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Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

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Old 04-02-08, 07:26 PM   #1
Jtarkey
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2008 Raleigh Sojourn

So, I'm into really long spontaneous bike rides. I don't train or anything, i just do it for my own enjoyment at leisure. Anyways, recently I've been looking for a bike that could take me far, fast, and comfortably and i've come across the Raleigh sojourn http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/. I was just wondering if this is a good investment or not. I have a good camera that i could sell for 1200 bucks in order to get the bike, i was just wondering if its worth the investment. thanks.
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Old 04-02-08, 07:45 PM   #2
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It's not a bad investment. The overall opinion what that it was high geared with front rack issues. Other than that, it's one of the best looking touring bikes out there.

I hope the price drops to $900.00 dollars by December.
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Old 04-02-08, 08:50 PM   #3
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Raleigh is so close to getting this bike right...
Why did they spec it with Joytech hubs (which are awful, in my experience)? Why didn't they include mid-level eyelets on the front fork? Why is it geared so high?
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Old 04-02-08, 10:01 PM   #4
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I've been riding my Sojourn since Saturday, as my commuter and general bike. There is already a thread going about the Sojourn here. Generally I'm please with it. I'm hoping to take it on longer rides this summer. I decided to buy this one after a fair amount of time spent on beater bikes- it matched my desires, so it was worth it. The shortcomings I am mostly thinking of as opportunities to learn new skills and graduate to higher levels.

Not having experience, my quibbles with the Sojourn are different from others. I was expecting to need a new stem. We went with an adjustable stem so I could experiment and tweak it, and so far I'm happy. The picture shows the stock stem.

I don't think it will be anytime soon that I run extraordinary weights, so I'm not worried about the spoke count. I think it would be nice to learn to build a wheel using a dynohub, and an appropriate rim- I will use a 36. Any wheel building will include upgrades on the hubs. The reviews I have found of the hubs lean towards nothing special but not garbage.

I'm not having issues with the gearing- I'm planning on doing a ride in Wisconsin that is hilly, so we'll see then how I feel.

I've never had the opportunity to run font racks, and I don't recognize the problem with the eyelets.

I've been wanting disc brakes for ages, so they please me. OTOH I would like to have the option of installing Cantilevers as back ups, since I don't know how much mechanical skill discs will require.

I love Brooks, but I think the "pre-aged" saddles are silly. It's incredibly hard, and I've undone the lacing to let the saddle shape itself to me, rather than the other way round- so far so good.

My biggest obstacle is mounting a kickstand- something that many people seem to prefer not to have. The spare spoke holder is right where a basic chainstay clamp would go. And I haven't been able to confirm that any stay-mounted stands are compatible with the drop-out style and disc brakes.

Erick
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Old 04-02-08, 10:11 PM   #5
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If I was to buy that bike I would use the stock wheelset for cyclocross type use, and then build a custom wheelset using Mavic A719 36H rims, DT Swiss Alpine III spokes, and the new Shimano XT hubs.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:33 AM   #6
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Yes, I think it's worth the investment, but of course only if you ride it. It looks a beautiful bike to me (if you love the bike, that too, makes a difference when it comes to ride time), and if I was in the market to buy a new touring bike, I'd be giving the Sojourn consideration. Though I think many of criticisms are valid, I'd think the only really big issues for touring would be the gearing (too high) and possible strength of the 32 spoke wheels. Of course if you don't tour in a hilly area (the gearing should be adequate for hills unloaded anyway) or if the wheels are really well built and you tour lightly loaded, it shouldn't matter.

I think Raleigh could have a really good touring bike if they changed the crank gearing (48-38-26) and put at least a 32 spoke rear wheel on there, as well as provide canti brake posts on the frame and fork and two eyelets on the front fork. I reckon if they did that, it would be a killer off the peg touring bike.

If I wanted a bike to commute to work on, this would be it -for a touring bike though, I'm sitting in the "so close, but disappointingly not quite there" camp. The thing is, I have a soft spot for Raleighs (used to cycle quite often by the Nottingham, UK factory) and even though it's a Raleigh in name only, I really want it to be a good bike! The problem here is that I'd be thinking of getting different gearing (let's say another $100 for a crankset) and a rear wheel with 36 spokes (let's say another $100), and I think those prices are probably on the low end too. The problem then is it would be $1400 at least -and given you can buy a Surly LHT complete for under a $1000, it makes it a much harder sell. If Raleigh could provide more appropriate gearing, 36 spoke rear wheel and eyelets for $1200, then........

Frustratingly, Trek and Raleigh should really be asking if they know what touring gearing is though -there's no excuse (yes, I know you can change the cranks quite easily, but why should you have to?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jtarkey View Post
So, I'm into really long spontaneous bike rides. I don't train or anything, i just do it for my own enjoyment at leisure. Anyways, recently I've been looking for a bike that could take me far, fast, and comfortably and i've come across the Raleigh sojourn http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/road/sojourn/. I was just wondering if this is a good investment or not. I have a good camera that i could sell for 1200 bucks in order to get the bike, i was just wondering if its worth the investment. thanks.
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Old 04-03-08, 06:53 AM   #7
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Enjoy the Raleigh

Its nice to see a Raleigh touring bike on the market. The gearing question seems to be an ongoing issue on this site. If you use the bike as a commuter/touring bike an ideal setup is hard to fathom. Try the stock gearing, ....should be perfect for commuting and flatland touring. For loaded touring switch out the 30 ring for a 26 and you are good to go. Yes it would be nice to have mid fork eyelets but most front racks come with the necessary, rubberized clamps to provide a clean and supportive setup. Enjoy your bike, only you can determine what works for you.
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Old 04-03-08, 07:21 AM   #8
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Can someone point to mid-fork eyelets? Are you talking about something other than these?
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File Type: jpg Sojourn fork 2.jpg (51.3 KB, 44 views)
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Old 04-03-08, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riotgeer View Post
Can someone point to mid-fork eyelets? Are you talking about something other than these?
Yes, that is it. The picture says it all. Have fun with the bike and congratulations.
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Old 04-03-08, 10:22 AM   #10
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Was down at the LBS two weeks ago to look at one - they're selling them at $1000. Liked the bike a lot.

I don't tour heavy, so the spoke count shouldn't be that much of an issue. Gearing is a total non-issue here, as I've regeared every bike I've ever owned within 30 days of first getting it on the road. I'm real picky regarding gearing, and happily go to the effort that I need.

All in all, a very good bike. Yeah, not perfect . . . . . . but then I've never see a straight from the box bike be perfect to whatever the forum on this website anyway. Always nitpicking, nitpicking, nitpicking.

Just got my taxes done - and discovered my purchase price of the bike (already saved up) is going to the IRS and VA Department of Taxation instead. Looks like I'll be sticking another year with the Magneet.
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