2015 Raleigh Furley
Cross bike? Commuter? Gravel road explorer? Raleigh's Furley is whatever you want it to be. Wherever you pedal, you'll love the smooth ride of the chromoly frame and fork that sing over rough pavement and dirt paths. Set up as a singlespeed with an ingenious eccentric bottom bracket, you can also run the Furley with gears thanks to the rear derailleur hanger and vertical dropouts. For the build, you get Clement tires, semi-aero Weinmann rims, forged 2-piece cranks and mechanical disc brakes that pull it all to a stop. Other details that keep this rig versatile include fender, water bottle, and rack mounts.
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Displaying reviews 1
I've had the Furley for about a month now and love it. I switched the seat for something more comfortable (the bolts in the stock seat bugged me), added a rack and fenders, added a kickstand, switched to Pitlock skewers, and am about to switch out the pedals for alloy. I'm also toying with the idea of swapping out the sprocket to raise the gearing a bit. It's awesome for going up hills, but really easy to spin out going down and even on flat surfaces. This is my first bike with disc brakes, and the adjustments took some getting used to, but I like them for the most part. They certainly work MUCH better in wet conditions, which is what I primarily sought. The downside is that it's really tough to get a short pull with these disc brakes. The discs tend to tilt a bit from side to side with the wheels (this is normal - the forces when you stand up and pump naturally tilt your bike from side to side, placing additional pressure on the wheels and, therefore, the discs). The problem is that the disc brake pads leave significantly less room for error than caliper brakes do. That means I have to start the pads farther away from the disc, increasing the pull distance. Otherwise, the discs rub the pads when I pedal hard. This is manageable, but requires regular maintenance of the brakes. The pedals are fine, but I'm not a fan of the composite plastic or the full toe-clips with straps, so I'm swapping those out. The bike fits fenders and a rack quite well, but note that you will need to rig the front fender a bit. Because the bike lacks caliper brakes, you'll need an extra screw and washers to mount the front fender to the fork. As for the fender supports, Raleigh inexplicably included fender mounts...then buried them beneath the disc brake system on the left side, rendering it completely useless. It's really not a big deal - just use a zip-tie to attach the fender support to the fork above the disc brakes - but it is sort of puzzling and annoying. Now for the cons. There are only two thus far. First, the eccentric bottom bracket is a great idea, but I'm experiencing some grinding at the bottom of my right pedal strokes with high torque (going up hills), and the chain has slipped a few times under similar circumstances. I'm taking the bike in this weekend to get it checked out, but keep an eye on that. By far my biggest complaint is the sorry excuse for paint/clear coat that Raleigh put on this bike. I'm confident that a $6 can of clear coat from the hardware store would've done better. I take good care of this bike, only lock it to real racks that are covered in plastic/rubber, and keep it indoors at home. Nonetheless, it has several pretty nasty scratches on the frame. But the worst is Raleigh's own brake cables have rubbed right through the clear coat and paint both on the frame at the headset/fork. Unbelievable. The cables are covered in plastic, so they're not sharp or anything, but they've still rubbed right though. I tried to improvise by wrapping that portion of the cable in electrical tape, but no dice. I finally had to wrap it with two-sided velcro with the soft side out. Not sure how long that will last, but it's ok for now. Raleigh, spend an extra couple bucks on an extra coat of real clear-coat! There's no point in making a beautiful orange bike if even a covered brake cable can wear right through that orange. All-in-all, I recommend this bike for commuting, but also recommend adding your own coat of clear coat if possible.