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Old 01-14-09, 07:35 PM   #1
magersky@gmail.
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Raleigh Sojourn

Does anybody have any experience with the Raleight Sojourn.
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Old 01-14-09, 08:02 PM   #2
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There are several threads about this bike. Here's one.
Raleigh Sojourn?
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Old 01-15-09, 12:56 AM   #3
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I rode the 2008 model last year. I liked it enough, typical steel frame ride with a bit of an upright posture feeling to it. It comes with disc brakes so I chose the Surly LHT instead. The sojourn is a very nice-looking bike, nice cream tones with brown bar-tape and saddle. Also has the rear rack which i think was a tubus model, that is a good deal for sure. I think if you're looking for a bike that is ready to go right away, this is a great choice. If you want to custom-build or make a lot of additions, go with another model.
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Old 01-15-09, 01:01 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by recklesscogniti View Post
I rode the 2008 model last year. I liked it enough, typical steel frame ride with a bit of an upright posture feeling to it. It comes with disc brakes so I chose the Surly LHT instead. The sojourn is a very nice-looking bike, nice cream tones with brown bar-tape and saddle. Also has the rear rack which i think was a tubus model, that is a good deal for sure. I think if you're looking for a bike that is ready to go right away, this is a great choice. If you want to custom-build or make a lot of additions, go with another model.
What's wrong with disc brakes?
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Old 01-15-09, 02:05 AM   #5
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Disc brakes are hard to replace in remote areas, they are more complicated to repair, and thus not something I want to deal with. I don't see this being much of an issue for riders not going out into the middle of nowhere.
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Old 01-15-09, 02:17 AM   #6
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Disc brakes are hard to replace in remote areas, they are more complicated to repair, and thus not something I want to deal with. I don't see this being much of an issue for riders not going out into the middle of nowhere.
Good point. I was considering having disc brakes on my future tour bike, but now, you got me to reconsider. Thanks!
How about carrying repair kits for disc brake on tour? Would that ease up thinks?
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Old 01-15-09, 04:11 AM   #7
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Well, after I made my post, I did some research to make sure I was making a valid argument about the repair difficulties. From what I read, it seems like the idea that disc brakes are hard to repair, is a bit of a stretch. I didn't find any disc brake repair kits, but looking at the parts, you might need to carry an extra rotor, some bleeding tools and fluid, and some pads. Those replacement parts, plus the added weight of a typical set of disc brakes, might turn some weight-conscious people away from disc brakes.

If the things stopped working for some reason, or you broke an essential part, you wouldn't be able to get a new set too easily. I guess that is the sticking point, along with weight. If you think you have a chance to totally wreck the brakes, then I'd go with another brake type.

Also consider the terrain of your ride. If there are a lot of hills, those downhills fully loaded with gear could require some strong disc brakes. The weather also plays a part. Wet and muddy weather is no problem for discs.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:16 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by magersky@gmail. View Post
Does anybody have any experience with the Raleight Sojourn.
I would think twice before buying this bike for loaded touring. You will notice that they don't mention touring anywhere in the description. The 32 spoke wheels are not up to the task of fully loaded touring and the gearing will need to be lower for touring in hilly or mountainous country. Personally I am not a fan of disk brakes finding rim brakes adequate, but if you like them they could be considered a plus. Similarly the bar end shifters and Brooks saddle are not my cup of tea but are a plus for some riders.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:31 AM   #9
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First: I do have disc brakes on my tourer. I do prefer them, though they have their drawbacks (rack mounting issues, slight weight penalty for the type I have, expense, etc). They also have advantages (I prefer the braking performance, warped wheels won't effect braking, etc).

Secondly: I'm not convinced by this argument, but I'd be more convinced by the argument of lack of traditional brake mounts (i.e. if your frame only has disc mounts but no traditional brake mounts). I've found disc brakes to be just as reliable as traditional brakes -though admittedly most of the time that's been mountain biking, but still, that's a fairly good testing environment.

If any brake goes wrong -and granted because of more moving parts a disc brake is likely to wrong -it's going to be difficult to fix. I mean, let's say a traditional canti or v brake arm breaks, how are you going to fix it anyway? That's where I'd say having traditional mounts is a positive -in the middle of nowhere assuming you can get some kind of brake replacement, it's going to be more likely that it would fit on traditional mounts. But this is, of course, assuming you will have some kind of problem. Based on this logic, you might also be better off not using multiple gears and derailleurs and internal hubs (more parts than a single speed, more likely to break and more difficult to fix).

I really think some of the good quality disc brakes (particularly Avid cable actuated) have reached extremely good reliability and ruggedness.

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Good point. I was considering having disc brakes on my future tour bike, but now, you got me to reconsider. Thanks!
How about carrying repair kits for disc brake on tour? Would that ease up thinks?
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Old 01-15-09, 06:37 AM   #10
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I'm with Staehpj1 with this one. I think a touring bike should have at least a 36h rear rim and mtb-like gearing -something the Sojourn doesn't (though at a push, if you are incredibly light and strong and you tour lightly loaded and in a relatively flat area you'll probably not have any problems -but I just don't think that describes the average bike tourer). It's probably a very nice bike, but for me personally I'd want to change the rear wheel to 36h and probably change the gearing. So mentally I'd add some numbers onto the price.

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I would think twice before buying this bike for loaded touring. You will notice that they don't mention touring anywhere in the description. The 32 spoke wheels are not up to the task of fully loaded touring and the gearing will need to be lower for touring in hilly or mountainous country. Personally I am not a fan of disk brakes finding rim brakes adequate, but if you like them they could be considered a plus. Similarly the bar end shifters and Brooks saddle are not my cup of tea but are a plus for some riders.
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Old 01-15-09, 06:52 AM   #11
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I also agree with the 36h rims. I just loaded up my Surly LHT and it is really heavy. I feel bad for my rims.

As far as the disc brakes, what you said it correct, you're screwed if your brakes are totally dead, but I think you could find a bike store with traditional brakes easier than one with disc brake stuff. this might be changing, but it was certainly true a couple of years ago. Again, I don't have any experience riding through remote regions of Central asia, africa, or the middle east, so I don't know what disc brake availability is like. if anyone has experience, please tell us. I will be riding through central asia and maybe a bit of the middle east starting in march, so I will keep everyone up-to-date. It certainly does seem like a lot of the negative things related to disc brakes are being dealt with as of late (weight, rack compatibility).
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Old 01-15-09, 07:52 AM   #12
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A friend of mine bought the Sojourn. The thing is a tank. He weighed it: 37lb. with the rack. There are better options out there.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:32 AM   #13
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It is agonizingly close to a really good touring bike, but the sojourn has a couple of negatives that kill it. For the positives, it comes with fenders, a pump, and a brooks saddle. Most touring bikes don't come with those things, and that would add about $200 to the price of any tourer you bought.

However, it only comes with 32 spoke wheels. Frankly, on a touring bike, that is a mind-numbingly stupid decision. The other things is the disk brakes. Personally, I don't think it is that big a deal, but a lot of tourers aren't too keen on disk brakes because of serviceability. I think it shouldn't be an issue if you are touring in any western or industrialized nation(Japan, Korea, Taiwan). All the major bike brands sell disk equipped mtn bikes, so I can't imagine a bike shop not having the ability to fix a disk brake.
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Old 01-15-09, 08:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
Good point. I was considering having disc brakes on my future tour bike, but now, you got me to reconsider. Thanks!
How about carrying repair kits for disc brake on tour? Would that ease up thinks?
I dont know how far your going to be touring, but I have 5500 miles on my disk brakes and I haven't changed the pads out yet.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:13 AM   #15
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He weighed it: 37lb. with the rack.
Was it that heavy as delivered or did he add stuff before weighing? Can anyone verify that weight?
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Old 01-15-09, 09:25 AM   #16
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For the positives, it comes with fenders, a pump, and a brooks saddle.
Fenders are a nice touch, but the saddle and pump are only a plus if those are the ones you would purchase. I would probably sell them both and use a plastic saddle and a Topeak pump from the Morph series (MTN Morph probably). It is kind of like putting expensive pedals on a bike as original equipment; it is only good if they are the ones you like.

I suspect that all of the admirers of this bike are overly influenced by the saddle and matching bar tape that give it a look that they associate with their idea of what a touring bike should be. Because of this they overlook the other deficiencies. Seems to me that the old "lipstick on a pig" comment applies here. More so if it isn't your shade of lipstick
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Old 01-15-09, 12:26 PM   #17
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Was it that heavy as delivered or did he add stuff before weighing? Can anyone verify that weight?
I weighed a 56cm right off the shop floor earlier this year - 34.9 lbs. The thing is a tank.
My Fuji World, with fenders, rack, B17, etc. weighs in at only 28.
I'd rather carry 7 pounds of more stuff than 7 pounds of more bike.
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Old 01-15-09, 01:15 PM   #18
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I weighed a 56cm right off the shop floor earlier this year - 34.9 lbs. The thing is a tank.
My Fuji World, with fenders, rack, B17, etc. weighs in at only 28.
I'd rather carry 7 pounds of more stuff than 7 pounds of more bike.
My bike is heavier than I like, but that sounds pretty excessive. I think a couple pounds makes a big difference when on tour in the mountains or anywhere that is hilly. Seven pounds is a huge difference.
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Old 01-15-09, 09:32 PM   #19
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Yeah, it is a pretty heavy bike...but all touring bikes are heavy. The wheels are not the greatest for touring and you may need to get a smaller small chainring, but it wouldn't be that hard to change these things.

The cost for fenders, new saddle and rear rack to fix up a LHT wouldn't be much different than a new wheelset for the Sojoun.

And the Avid disk brakes are easier to work on than cantilevers-- anybody can fix them with just a few tools.
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Old 01-16-09, 06:43 AM   #20
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Yeah, it is a pretty heavy bike...but all touring bikes are heavy.
But not that heavy. Most of the ones I have weighed came in at 30# or less with racks, pump, and fenders. 5# is a huge difference IMO. Granted some other touring bikes are that heavy, but that is usually with extra wide heavy tires, stoutly built wheels, and overbuilt racks like the Surly Nice Rack.

The people who don't care about weight are probably carrying a lot and will need to have much stronger wheels than the Sojourn comes with.

Obviously you could tour on a Sojourn, but if buying a new bike why wouldn't a buyer pick something more suited to touring?
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Old 01-16-09, 06:55 PM   #21
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Well, the Sojourn has a great finish-- the paint is great, it's got a Brooks stock, WTB dirt drop bars, very nice rear rack, SKS fenders, frame pump, Avid BB5 disc brakes.

The reason the Sojourn is heavy is that it comes with a lot of good stuff. Load all that stuff (rack, fenders, pump, Brooks) on to LHT and I doubt there is much weight difference.

Because almost all bike companies put lower quality parts on bikes to lower the MSRP, the Sojourn wheelset isn't great. But it's still usable. I'd ride those wheels unloaded, no problem.

The LHT stock seat, however, is trash-- and it's missing fenders, rack, pump. Plus, the powder coat sucks (Surly ought to fix this)

Overall, the Sojourn is a great bike.
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Old 01-16-09, 10:22 PM   #22
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Yeah, it is a pretty heavy bike...but all touring bikes are heavy. The wheels are not the greatest for touring and you may need to get a smaller small chainring, but it wouldn't be that hard to change these things.

The cost for fenders, new saddle and rear rack to fix up a LHT wouldn't be much different than a new wheelset for the Sojoun.

And the Avid disk brakes are easier to work on than cantilevers-- anybody can fix them with just a few tools.
Once you sell the OEM rear wheel on Ebay, you'll have about half the money for a new rear wheel!

I happen to like the Sojourn and you're right about disk brakes. Simple to fix.
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Old 01-17-09, 07:02 AM   #23
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Because almost all bike companies put lower quality parts on bikes to lower the MSRP, the Sojourn wheelset isn't great. But it's still usable. I'd ride those wheels unloaded, no problem.

The LHT stock seat, however, is trash-- and it's missing fenders, rack, pump. Plus, the powder coat sucks (Surly ought to fix this)
That's the problem. For a touring bike the wheels are not usable. If they had dumped the pump and fenders and put the money into a proper wheelset, they'd have a great touring bike. They didn't and the sojourn comes up short as a result.
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Old 01-17-09, 08:22 AM   #24
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Co-Motion, my friend, Co-Motion. There's a company that makes a touring bike and doesn't skip anything. The only trouble is the price.

There isn't a mass production touring bike that doen't have some crappy parts on it out of the box. The LHT wheelset is better than the Sojourn wheelset, but I wouldn't call it good. Most of the time, touring bikes are ridden unloaded-- so it's not like the stock wheels need to be tossed out for the majority of riders.

Raleigh did a pretty good job on the Sojourn. It looks great, rides great (I haven't ridden it loaded however) Looking at the total cost of getting the bike tour ready (smaller chain ring, Third Eye chain catcher, better wheels, frount rack and panniers), it's a pretty good value.
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Old 01-17-09, 08:37 AM   #25
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The reason the Sojourn is heavy is that it comes with a lot of good stuff. Load all that stuff (rack, fenders, pump, Brooks) on to LHT and I doubt there is much weight difference.
As I said earlier, my Fuji World, with fenders, rack and B17 (there was no pump on the Sojourn I weighed), weighs in at 28lbs, effectively 7 pounds lighter than the Sojourn and is geared better. A similarly equipped LHT would probably weigh in at 30-32, still 3 pounds lighter than the Sojourn and again, with better gearing and a much better frame. One could build out an LHT equipped like my Fuji for about $1500.
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