Road Test: Raleigh Detour Deluxe

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Background

With roots dating back to 1887, Raleigh is one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world. They have a long history of producing bikes in England, but nearly all of the models currently available in the U.S. are produced in Asia.

In recent years, Raleigh has really gone after the steel-framed transpo segment of the market. Within their “road” and “hybrid” categories, I count approximately 15 bikes with steel frames, at least 8 of which could be be successfully used for commuting or utility purposes. Among these, the Detour Deluxe jumped out at me as a fully-outfitted commuter at a great price, so I approached Raleigh USA about getting one for review. It arrived in December and I’ve been riding it regularly for the past couple of months.

First Impression

The Detour Deluxe elicits comments wherever it goes, with people describing it as “sharp”, “clean” and “good looking”. The minimalist graphics, internal gears and brakes, integrated pannier rack, internal wiring, and metal fenders and chainguard painted to match the frame, all work together to create a strikingly clean, businesslike look.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Frame Construction

The Detour Deluxe frame is constructed of TIG-welded Reynolds 520 chromoly steel. The welds are reasonably clean and the powder coat is smooth and consistent—both are on par for a bike in this price range. The drive-side vertical dropout is bolted on, allowing for a belt-drive upgrade if so desired. The chain is tensioned via an eccentric bottom bracket. The main frame includes 2 water bottle mounts, openings for internal wiring, a kickstand plate, a wheel lock mount, an integrated metal chainguard, and an integrated pannier rack (more on that later). The straight blade fork includes a roller brake mount, cable stop, and mid-fork rack mounts. Overall, this is a well thought out transpo frameset that leaves little to be desired as a commuter.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Components

The Detour Deluxe comes outfitted with a mixture of mostly Shimano and Tektro components with a few generic parts in the mix (crank, seat post, stem, handlebars).

The drivetrain consists of a Nexus 8 internal gear hub matched to an Alfine 8 trigger shifter, a chain drive, and an alloy single crank with a 42T chainring and alloy guard. This is the basic Nexus hub, not the premium “Red Band” or Alfine model. For all intents and purposes, this smooth shifting hub performs as well as the Alfine, though the Alfine and Red Band are purported to be more efficient and better weather-sealed. Once the cable adjustment settled in, I had zero mis-shifts, and like its upper-end cousins, I was able to shift this hub smoothly while stopped, coasting, pedaling, and even under a fair amount of power while climbing (not necessarily recommended). As always, Shimano internal gear drivetrains are novice-friendly and a joy to use in the city.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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The Detour Deluxe’s front and rear brakes are both Shimano Roller Brakes. “Roller Brake” is Shimano’s proprietary name for their internal hub drum brakes. Prior to actually using them, I was fairly skeptical about these brakes. The Sturmey Archer drum brakes on our Pashleys were so lack-luster that I was not expecting much from these Shimanos. I must say, I’m pleasantly surprised. These brakes don’t have the power or modulation of a good cantilever or dual-pivot caliper, but they’re certainly safe and sufficient for city riding. No, I wouldn’t recommend bombing down a mountain pass with a touring load on these brakes, but they’re perfectly fine for bopping around town with a commuting load. The primary advantages of Roller Brakes are that they’re nearly impervious to wet weather, they require very little maintenance, and they don’t cause rim wear.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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The Detour Deluxe’s Shimano front hub has a built in generator that’s hard-wired to the Basta headlight and tail light. The mostly-hidden internal wiring is a nice touch. The lights are what I’d consider “first-generation” LEDs. In other words, there are more efficient dynamo-powered lights available, though at a fairly steep premium (the Schmidt Edelux, for example, is nearly $200; 25% the price of this entire bicycle). Like most modern dynamo-driven tail lights, the Basta has a steady-on beam and includes a stand light that shines for a few minutes after stopping.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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The non-branded seat post, stem, handlebars, and crank are perfectly functional, if not that visually exciting. The bars have a 27 degree sweep and zero rise. The ergonomic grips are comfortable and just about the perfect width for my hands. The Tektro brake levers work fine and the left-side lever includes a built in bell.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Stock saddles are often terrible, but I was surprised that I didn’t at all mind the supplied Avenir saddle. It’s a little soft and a little wide for my tastes, but those who are accustomed to wider saddles like the Brooks B67 may like this saddle.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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The AXA Defender wheel lock is a nice touch. It’s only good to slow down grab-and-dash opportunistic thieves, but it’s handy for quick trips into the coffee shop or library where you can keep the bike within sight. A cable that attaches to the lock is available as an optional accessory. I like the fact that the frame has braze-on mounts specifically for the lock.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Even though I always prefer double-legged center-stands, the supplied kickstand is plenty strong for up to, and including, commuting loads. Unlike many factory-supplied kickstands, the leg on the Detour Deluxe’s kickstand is long enough to hold the bike nearly upright (this is a good thing—it baffles me how many bikes come supplied with kickstands that are too short).

The Rack

Oh, the rack. I’ll say it up front; I don’t mind the rack. It has its limitations, but overall, I give it a tentative thumbs up. The issues are: it has no platform so rack trunks and cargo nets are out; it has no lower attachment points so it requires panniers with locking hardware such as those from Arkel and Ortlieb; and, if you don’t like it, it can’t be removed. The pluses are: it rides low, so the weight almost disappears behind you; it’s long, so it provides a ton of heel clearance, even with over-sized panniers; it’s stronger than it looks because it’s integrated into the frame; and, it’s included in the price of the bike.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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I asked Raleigh, and the official weight limit of the rack is 55 lbs. This is the standard weight limit many manufacturers list for their factory-supplied rear racks. I was able to carry loads up to the weight limit with no issue. The Detour Deluxe isn’t being sold as a cargo bike, so I didn’t run any over-limit tests.

Offering the Detour Deluxe with this integrated rear rack was a gutsy move by Raleigh. On the one hand, it makes the bike stand out from the crowd, and it certainly seems to have attracted some attention. On the other hand, there are going to be those who don’t like the rack because of its limitations; for them it could be a deal killer.

Ride Quality

The Detour Deluxe is a pleasure to ride. The handling is stable and predictable. The combination of a straight blade fork and a sloping top tube make for a modern, stiff ride. I personally prefer a more compliant frame, but most people will appreciate the rigidity of this frame, particularly those who cut their teeth on modern aluminum or carbon racing-influenced bikes. The geometry is optimized for rear loading which makes sense for a commuter with an integrated rear rack. With its high-trail front end, this bike is not particularly well-suited to a front cargo rack (that said, I’ve been riding a high-trail Surly with a porteur rack for a couple of years with no issue). Overall, the handling is dialed-in and easy, with or without a load.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Specifications

  • Frame: Reynold 520 Butted Chromoly w/CNC Dropouts
  • Fork: 4130 Chromoly
  • Shifter: Shimano Alfine 8-speed Trigger
  • Rear Hub: Shimano SG-8R31 Nexus 8-speed Internal Gear
  • Front Hub: Shimano DH-3R30-N Dynamo
  • Brakes: Shimano BR-IM50 Roller Brake
  • Rims: Weinmann XC260 Double Wall
  • Tires: Kenda K1053 700x35c
  • Cranks: Forged Aluminum 42t w/Alloy Guard
  • Bottom Bracket: Sealed Cartridge
  • Headset: Ahead 1-1/8″
  • Stem: 2D Forged 17 degree
  • Handlebar Alloy Flat 27 degree Sweep
  • Brake Levers: Tektro Comfort Alloy
  • Grips: Avenir Comfort
  • Seatpost: Alloy Micro Adjust 27.2x400mm
  • Saddle: Avenir City 100 Series
  • Price: $799-$820
Raleigh Detour Deluxe
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Conclusion

At $800, the Detour Deluxe is one of the best values on the market for a mid-priced, fully-outfitted commuter. It’s a well though out package that leaves very little to be desired. With its internal gear hub, internal brakes, dynamo lighting system, fenders, chainguard, kickstand, bell, and integrated rear rack, the Detour Deluxe is ready to roll right off of the dealer floor. The one question mark is the rear rack. It may be a deal stopper for some, but for those who can work within the limitations of the rack, this bike is hard to beat at this price point.

Disclosure: The Raleigh Detour Deluxe discussed in this article was supplied by Raleigh USA specifically for this review. For more information about our reviews, read our review policy.

Raleigh USA

42 Responses to “Road Test: Raleigh Detour Deluxe”

  • dW says:

    Alan- thanks for the review, great info. Could you by chance post a photo of the bike with panniers on it? If I recall, you have a pair of Ortliebs; I’m curious to see what position they in relative to the frame when they’re on the Detour’s rack.

  • dW says:

    sorry, I should have said “a pic from the side” with the panniers, I do see the one with the green pannier that you ran. thanks!!

  • Alan says:

    @dw

    Will do. Give me a day or two… :-)

    Alan

  • Darren R says:

    Nice review. For those of us who lives on the third floor, did Raleigh provide you with the bike’s weight? If not, how does it feel in relation to your other rides?

  • Alan says:

    @Darren

    I didn’t get an official weight from Raleigh, but my home scale says 39 lbs. For comparison, my LHT registers 32 lbs. on the same scale.

    Alan

  • Don S says:

    I was surprised to see the EBB on this bike. Is that because the rack and lock combo leave no wiggle room for the rear wheel fore and aft, or is it more of an aesthetic decision? And on a related note, is it any easier or harder to remove the rear wheel than any others with an IGH? Aren’t EBBs supposed to be problematic in terms of squeaking or slippage? If not, why aren’t they used more?

    Thanks for the comprehensive pics!

    Don

  • Alan says:

    @Don S

    I don’t think the rack or lock had a bearing on the decision to spec an eccentric bottom bracket. It’s possible it was purely an aesthetic decision, but I’m guessing it was a design/manufacturing decision related to supply or cost (only guessing).

    As you probably know, EBB’s are commonly used on tandems, and both Breezer and Co-Motion have been speccing them on their bikes outfitted with IGHs for years. I’ve never noticed any slipping or squeaking on the EBB equipped bikes I’ve had here.

    Regarding rear wheel removal, IMO, removing the IGH on this bike is no more or less difficult than removing an IGH on a bike with a sliding dropout.

    Alan

  • Buck says:

    Do you think the rear rack would lend itself to a bolt-on booster of some sort? Would be great to be able to create a more traditional hauling platform.

  • Alan says:

    @Buck

    Perhaps. But my advice is that if you absolutely need a rear rack with a platform, you’ll probably be better off if you look at other bikes. This rack is clearly designed for panniers only, and I can only recommend it in that regard.

    Alan

  • Alan says:

    @dw

    Here are a couple of photos with the Arkel Shopper mounted (I don’t currently own a pair of Ortlieb panniers).

  • RI Swamp Yankee says:

    One thing I’ve never understood about modern mountain bike frames (and other bikes based on similar geometry, like this one), is the sloping top-tube and the attendant extra-long seatpost. Yes, the main triangle and rear triangles are stiffer and more robust… but now you have a wobbly, fragile stick that has to support the rider’s weight and motion instead of a shorter (and by definition stiffer and stronger) seatpost supported by the structure of the main triangle and seat-stays. The heaviest loads should not be dealt with by the weakest structural member. Even Mixtes and women’s bikes have very strong rear triangles to cope with the rider cranking the pedals.

  • Alan says:

    @RI Swamp Yankee

    You can blame it on this guy… ;-)

    (That’s Charlie Cunningham.)

    While I prefer more traditional close-to-level top tubes, there was no discernible flex in the seatpost on the DD.

    Alan

    PS – The likely reason at least some manufacturers use sloping top tubes is to reduce the number of frame sizes they have to produce. To quote Dave Moulton, “By the mid 1990s manufactures had borrowed another concept from the BMX bike; namely the sloping top tube. With the resulting longer seat post, manufactures were able to get away with building less frame sizes.”

  • Arevee says:

    Thoughtful review, as always, Alan. A couple of question …

    Do the internal hub and dyne hub cause noticeable drag. I have ridden bikes with both and this seems to be the case. It’s not bad for shorter distance trips.

    Why are modern bikes often spec’d with straight forks? Is this a cost saving measure?

    Is the bike made in China? That’s usually how large companies keep the prices low. Low prices are a good thing, though I do have some ambivalence about purchasing ‘made in china’ products. For the most part, Chinese quality seems to have improved a great deal and I suppose ‘resistance is futile’ when it comes to Chinese manufactured goods.

  • Alan says:

    @Arevee

    Thanks Arevee.

    Yes, internal gear hubs and dynamos do cause some drag. Whether it’s an issue seems to be an individual thing based upon a person’s priorities. Certainly, if efficiency is a high priority, a derailleur drivetrain (or perhaps a 3-speed IGH or SS/fixie) and battery-powered lights should be considered. For myself, the relatively small amount of drag introduced by dynamos and internal gear hubs is not a concern for commuting.

    Regarding why straight forks, it can be a number of things. In some cases they’re required for a disc or hub brake, in others it may simply be a matter of style or manufacturing concerns.

    Yes, like a large majority of bikes in this price range, the DD is made in China.

    Alan

  • Joseph E says:

    Alan, thanks for the comprehensive review and excellent images, as usual.

    I’m still bugged by the rack (I really like to strap my U-lock to the top of the rear rack), but otherwise this bike was nicely thought-out and is a good deal. And I like how it is actually practical and comfortable, despite looking aggressive or masculine due to the silver/black components, sloping top tube, straight fork blades and pointy rack. It’s not exactly my style, but many guys will prefer this look, compared to more classic euro designs.

    @ Don S: the EBB (eccentric bottom bracket) is a great idea for a bike that can take a belt drive. My wife’s bike (Globe Live 2) is a chain drive, but has the belt as an upgrade option, and comes with an 8-speed Shimano hub, like the reviewed bike. The EBB allows chain tension to adjusted precisely, despite the use of short or vertical drop-outs. This makes it easier to install or replace a wheel (you don’t have to re-adjust the chain tension every time), and makes the chain or belt tension more precise.

    Sliding drop-outs, or chain tensioning screws are another good option for precise chain tension on IGH bikes, but EBBs are nice.

  • kfg says:

    Henry Ford with his bicycle:
    http://tinyurl.com/6l6m97h
    There is nothing new about sloping top tubes. Looks just like my 925.

  • Don S says:

    @Alan + Joseph E,

    Thanks for the explanations. I’m all for making chain tension more precise and less fussy. I’m one of those people who knows just enough about bikes to really screw one up, and I can see myself overtightening or misaligning with an IGH and belt drive after one flat tire. I vacillate a great deal on where I come down on such things. My current thinking is that I am against added resistance of any kind on principle. This is primarily a result of not having the funds to explore further, however, so I am turning self-preservation into philosophy.

    One of the beauties of bicycles, and what makes them so like a narcotic for me, is the number of variations within a relatively simple machine. I think it would be fun for somebody to create a “bike build wizard” that allows one to rank all possible options against each other and then present a model with existing production bikes ranked in relation to one’s ideal (can you say iPhone app?). In the absence of that, I like that the Detour has mixed up the formula a bit, particularly at that price point.

  • dW says:

    Very interesting bike, thanks so much for the pics and thoughtful review, Alan. The pannier position surprised me a little – based on the rack I imagined it sitting even further back. But it is certainly back far enough. Not sure I’d jump for it, but that’s based mostly on small issues with taste and aesthetics. Overall, it’s an amazing commuter for the money – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others and I think we’ll see it in many of the LBS this season.

  • Brian says:

    I noticed the chain on the bike seems different from any other chain I have seen. Every link is exactly the same, unlike the inner and outer links found on a standard chain. Have you every seen one like this before?

  • Alan says:

    @dw

    There’s a lot of leeway to adjust the fore-aft position of the pannier, which I see as a plus.

  • voyage says:

    Would the work-around for the rack be a seat post bag, klick-fix, bolt-on seat post rack (ugly).

    It will be interesting to learn what they do in 2012 model year.

    Secret discussion here:

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2011/01/25/detour-deluxe-pre-review-snaps/

  • Alan says:

    @voyage

    I think a medium sized saddlebag would pretty much solve the issue. This one from Banjo Brothers is nice and reasonably priced: http://www.banjobrothers.com/products/seat-bags/medium-seat-bag/

    Personally, I rarely use the platform on top of my rear rack, so not having one is not an issue for me. I can see how it is a problem for others though.

    Alan

  • CedarWood says:

    Due to the lower rack rails, using a saddlebag would make accessing the pannier contents much easier than on normal racks where one must sometimes shove the saddlebag out of the way. This would be an advantage to me, at least.

  • th says:

    The chain appears to be a half-link design. This type of chain allows one to change chain length in 1/2″ increments instead of the normal 1″. The EBB may not have enough adjustment to adequately tension the chain with different gear combos. The half-link chain would fix this problem. I’m not a fan of the EBB and wonder why Raleigh didn’t go with semi-horizontal drop-outs.

  • Alan says:

    @th

    Thanks for the info on the half-link chain.

    I’m curious what your misgivings are regarding the EBB. I’ve ridden and worked on bikes with both EBBs and sliding dropouts; I haven’t yet quite figured out which I prefer…

    Regards-
    Alan

  • TheCritic says:

    Alan, good to see the review up, thanks for this great resource!

    I went to purchase this bike two weeks ago from REI and found (only at the last stage of the order process!) that despite living in the San Fernando Valley the nearest REI *which is authorized to sell me a Raleigh* is 65 miles away, a second is 67 miles away in another direction. So that put a kink in my plan. I swung by the nearest today anyway, maybe they had a single hub-geared 3-speed somewhere, but I don’t remember seeing it. Certainly no Novara Fusion.

    There is a local independent dealer who is authorized, but they don’t have a single Raleigh (of any type) in stock, nor do they have much experience with hub-geared bikes (few in LA do) and my first experience with this particular shop was them giving me a bike to test-ride with the handlebar stem loose!

    There are several other authorized choices not far from me, but I’m hesitant to ask a small mom-and-pop place to order one when I haven’t even ridden one yet. Plus I’m curious about what might be improved for 2012…

    I have a question about the bike though (especially relevant if I ever do decide to pick it up 65 miles away, fully assembled–as required)… I was surprised to see the quick release lever on the front wheel, does it actually do anything? I’d have thought that the hub generator and roller brakes would be wired into the frame??

    If it isn’t removable (as I’ve thus far assumed) it’s really unfortunate since I’ve not been able to get a bike in the back of my car without removing the front wheel. And roof racks require that as well. And I don’t have a hitch-receiver. Your opinion of strap-on bike racks?

  • Alan says:

    @TheCritic

    The front wheel is actually fairly easy to remove. The brake cable is on a quick release of its own, the brake arm simply slides into its holder on the fork, and the dynamo wire is attached to the hub with a plug. The procedure I use is to unplug the wire, unhook the brake cable, then flip the quick-release. It only takes slightly more effort than releasing the front wheel on a bike with a rim brake.

    Alan

  • th says:

    @Alan

    The EBB adds needless complication to this bike. On a bike with disc-brakes and a single-speed or IGH drivetrain, the EBB makes more sense. On a Tandem bike the EBB is almost a necessity. This bike could have easily used Semi-horizontal drop-outs. Vertical drop-outs, like this bike uses, are great as they allow the wheel to be easily removed and reinstalled but with the IGH and roller-brakes on this bike, rear wheel removal is already a pain. Having semi-horizontals isn’t going to make a difference in convenience.

    The EBB does have some negative’s. Adjusting chain tension with an EBB causes minor changes in saddle to pedal distances, though that’s probably not a big issue on this type of bike. The eccentric can also slip or become seized in the bottom bracket. Some eccentrics lack the necessary adjustability to accomodate various gear combos.

    My experience with sliding drop-outs is limited. It’s a simple design but tolerances need to be good for everything to work nicely. The sliding drop-out bike that I owned also lacked adjustability. The chain ended up either too tight or too loose. I just ran it a little loose.

  • Dolan Halbrook says:

    ” In some cases they’re required for a disc or hub brake, in others it may simply be a matter of style or manufacturing concerns.”

    I don’t think a straight blade is required for either. My Rawland has a raked disc-specific fork, and I’m fairly certain Work Cycles makes raked forks with drum brakes.

    At the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, I think the current straight bladed fork trend is really about looks and manufacturing cost. They look cool, fast, and modern. Raked forks look “old” and “slow”. Funny thing is once you ride a nice raked fork straight blades seem like torture.

  • Daniel M says:

    It may be time for a post about chain tensioning. When you eliminate the derailer pulley / chain tensioner, either for a single-speed or an ebb, you have essentially two options for tensioning the chain: allow the bottom bracket to move forward, or allow the rear axle to move rearward.

    The simplest way to allow the rear axle to move rearward is to allow it to slide horizontally in the dropouts. Horizontal dropouts (NOT sliding dropouts) are the simplest way to achieve this, but they require a bolt-on hub and readjusting the chain tension every time you replace the wheel. Other disadvantages are that the relationship between the rim and brake, or brake disc and caliper, changes as you move the wheel forward and rearward.

    Sliding dropouts are pretty interesting. The dropout is vertical and allows use of a quick-release, but the dropout itself can move forwards and backwards relative to the frame. You can also place the disc tabs on the dropout plate so the caliper-disc placement remains constant. I do read stories of creaking and other issues regarding keeping the rear wheel in place with four small bolts. Some slide along a straight track in the frame (Paragon), some pivot and follow a curved track.

    EBBs are their own world. The bottom bracket axis is off-center with respect to the bottom bracket shell, so rotating the entire assembly moves the BB axis around in a circle. There is no universally agreed-upon way to keep the EBB in place. Some use a type of expander wedge (Bushnell?) which I’m told can become horribly frozen in place. The Raleigh pictured here uses a split bottom bracket shell, which some feel weakens the frame at the point where it is supposed to be stiffest. Thorn has an EBB of their own design using perpendicular set screws, which pass through the shell and make a small dent in the EBB itself to hold it in place, making small adjustments difficult if not impossible. And EBBs can creak as well, I’m told.

    I came across an old forum discussion where Sheldon Brown put himself down as “slightly favoring the EBB”. He had a Thorn amongst his stable of bikes; I have one on the way.

  • Alan says:

    @Dolan

    “Funny thing is once you ride a nice raked fork straight blades seem like torture.”

    That’s mostly been my experience, though the straight blade forks on the IF Club Racer I owned for a short while were oddly compliant and comfortable. They taught me that not all straight blade forks are created equal.

    Alan

  • David says:

    I’m so glad I got my Raleigh Detour Deluxe 2010 model. It has disk brakes, Alfine hub and a proper rack (bolted, not brazed, and tall enough to use sides and top). If I was in the market for a commuter bike now I would not buy this.

    @ Don S

    “[...] I think it would be fun for somebody to create a “bike build wizard” that allows one to rank all possible options against each other [...]”

    Not exactly what you ask for but close; go to http://www.koga-signature.com/en/Koga-Signature.aspx and click on “Build your Koga”

  • Don S says:

    @David,

    Sweet! Thanks! Clearly this is why I have a second monitor at work. : >)

  • Pete says:

    The bike does seem nicely equipped for the price. I guess another couple of bucks for a hacksaw blade to cut the rack off wouldn’t be a problem!
    I am curious about the “faux” brake discs that are in the photos. I’m sure they allegedly function for brake cooling, but if that’s the case they could have been designed better for that function, and less to look like fake discs.
    Overall, I’m glad to see more bikes like this, but still can’t get past the welded rack…

  • Derek says:

    Alan,

    Is there much clearance for wider tires on this bike?

  • Alan says:

    @Derek

    It comes spec’d with 35mm tires. There is still a bit more clearance – I’m pretty sure you could fit 37mm Marathon Supremes for example. Probably not much larger than that though.

    Alan

  • EcoVelo » Blog Archive » A Follow-Up: Panniers for the Raleigh Detour Deluxe says:

    [...] Road Test: Raleigh Detour Deluxe(1,136 views) [...]

  • Mary Westmacott says:

    Thats one beautiful looking Bicycle, I may have go find one a take a test ride, again great photographs and a great in depth review. Keep them coming and thanks again.x

  • John Lascurettes says:

    Regarding the frame lock. I added that same lock to my commuter with the optional plug-in chain (cables or chains are available). It’s amazingly convenient and more secure than the average lock. And as described in the article, I often dispense with the chain if I’m just going to be in a cafe where I can watch the bike from the window.

    On the roller brakes. I have older Shimano roller brakes and absolutely love them. They are, as stated, “impervious to water” and near zero maintenance. I put a pea-size bead of grease in the drum hole about once or twice a year. They’ve always stopped on a dime for my needs and a disc-brake aficionado I know said he really liked the feel of the modulation on mine. The biggest disadvantage is the difficulty in disconnecting the brakes, particularly for field repairs on flats (but I invested in some Schwalbe Marathon Supremes to make that less likely and it’s worked for two years).

    I really like the bolt-on vertical dropout. I’d be really tempted to get this bike and upgrade to a belt later on.

  • Emanuella says:

    Hi, Could you tell me the model of the blue bike with the basket? I love it.

  • Sandeep says:

    Hi Alan,

    You have some really really great shots of bicycles. I am sure these pics sell more bikes than all the advertising by the manufacturers.

    I am planning to instal mechanical disk brakes (avid bb7) and a nuvinci drive on the detour deluxe….do you think this is possible.

    Cheers,
    Sandeep

  • Steve Mahler says:

    Thanks, I really enjoyed this review and it contributed to my recent purchase of the Raleigh Detour Deluxe for my 6 mile commute to and from Cambridge Massachusetts. At this point I’m only fiddling with the basic setup – adjusting handlebar orientation, seat position, getting all of the fasteners cranked down. Before long I will probably upgrade to a Brooks saddle, SPD hybrid pedals and kevlar tires for the nasty Boston pavement. I really like the welded-on rack; works really well with the Ortleib rail-mount panniers that I already own.

 
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