Hi all! I have been a member and reader of posts for a while now but have not contributed my share to this forum. I do apologize greatly for my lack of enthusiasm but I have been so busy riding that I just haven't had the time to post . I am starting this thread because I had been researching Raleigh's new line of steel cyclocross bikes: Furley, Roper, and the Tripper. I have yet to find a user review for the Raleigh Tripper so I thought I might as well be the first to Review it (if there is one I retract the previous statement as being the first). Ok enough sob story, here it is:
The 2013 Raleigh Tripper
Initial Ride: 17.3 miles
Terrain: City/Country--Asphalt, Chip and Seal road, short distance of dirt trail
Build quality: I am satisfied with the build quality of this bicycle. The steel 4130 tubing is to my liking and really suits this type of bike. My first impression of the "carry" weight of this bicycle was not disproportionate. Having never owned a bike under #20, I was not discouraged by the heavier weight of the Tripper as some have reverted to about the roper/furley. That said, it is a heavy bike for some accustomed to aluminum/carbon cyclocross racers. The brakes are shimano disc brakes, not really impressive as compared to bb7s but they do the job and have been easily adjustable. The most intriguing component that really sets the tripper off in my opinion is the single flat-bar stem combo. I did not think I would like it but once I rode it I strangely felt at home. Maybe since bicycles in days of yore had flat bars and I am simply discovering that I was designed to ride I don't know but it felt right. The jury is still out on the shimano nexus 3. The gear range is not too bad but, to be expected, not ideal for all circumstances. More importantly the shifting, even after adjusting the cables has alot to be desired particularly down-shifting. Maybe it needs more miles? This is my first experience with IGHs so any input would be appreciated.
Aesthetics: The frame is simply a clear-coated steel frame. The braze-ons and weld discoloration are visible giving it an "industrial" look. The brown fork compliments this very well. Function always takes precedence for me over looks but I must say it is very eye-pleasing without being overtly flashy.
Ride: All I can say is this bike took everything I gave it and left me smiling. Man-hole covers, sewer drain grates, uneven sidewalks, pothole ridden asphalt, mulch, loose gravel, chip/seal pavement, railroad ballast to name a few. As stated the steel is very forgiving. The geometry is new for me. I believe the geometry is the same used in Raleigh's cyclocross line-up and, coming from mtb/road background it was a mix between the two. I am 6' 33 in inseam and was riding a size 57cm. I never felt cramped; I guess "compact" but never uncomfortable is how I would describe it. I felt I could control the bike better in tighter conditions and whip it through narrow spaces better. It honestly even felt more stable and predictable than my GF hardtail.
Overall, I am pleased with the Tripper though I wanted to remain a "one bike" guy, I now have entered the multiple bike owner category. I am still debating on whether to keep the IGH or slap on a 10speed cassette and drop bars. The 10spd setup would allow me to use it for touring and I have a set of velocity deep v disc wheels that need a home. However, in some sense I feel I should leave it as is; designed to be an urban commuter/city bike. This would allow me to acquire yet another bike for road/touring (such as a Salsa Vaya I have been eyeing ). Comments/questions/criticisms are encouraged....
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