Court's review of the updated, lower priced 2016 Misceo iE
was just recently posted. It seems to meet most of my requirements with two exceptions, and I'm especially impressed that all this capability can be found in a 43# bike. One of my two reservations has to do with the lack of a front fork suspension, which I prefer because I'm an older guy who wants to mitigate elbow/wrist/hand shock loading on longer (20 mi) rides. Can I please ask for some comments about what's involved in swapping out the fork assembly. The added weight (the amount depending on the kind of fork) and cost (air suspensions are more costly than spring types, yes?) both argue against doing this. A non-starter? I'm not sure that carbon fork is going to make that much difference on worn paved roads and maintained trails of mixed composition. Any thoughts about that, too? Thanks, everyone!
Two weeks out from moving to Montana...
I used to say/think suspension wasn't needed unless you were 'gimpy' in some area. Then I got one. Wow. I'll probably not buy another bike without suspension.
It's a simple swap in most cases, but check first with Raleigh. Then don't buy the fork new from a LBS!! ($$$) Ebay or Craigs list for 1/4-1/2 the price. Or see if the LBS has "take offs" they've kept. (dont' know if they do that)
LOTS of lower end forks taken off the bike when purchased to upgrade and never used. Cheap.
If you aren't over 200lbs, spring forks with the proper springs are still the best in use. Air forks do great on the occasional pothole type impact but can't respond quickly to small inputs like whoop de doo's off road (think wake up strips in the roads) nearly as well.
You can buy a nice lower end but perfectly functional Roxshox or Fox for $100-150, get the spring for your weight and you love it. You can pay $1,000+ for a top of the line fork now! And it won't be "that" much better than that $300 fork you buy on ebay for $100.
You can also put the cartridge (tuning part) of a "better" fork into the tubes of a "cheaper" fork (has to be sized the same!) and get dramatically better results.
I had a low end Giant mtb with a Rockshox 32(?) and with the hd spring (200+lbs) and a cartridge from a much more expensive Rockshox (Reba?) it was fabulous. I had $75 in the spring and cartridge.
I have air fork now on my Haibike and it's impressive as heck, especially given my 225lbs.
I also had a carbon fiber fork on a Stromer ST1 and it made a noticeable difference over a steel fork but wasn't near a suspension fork in ride quality. Carbon fiber = Good Suspension = WOW!
PS - Lucky you! Are you going to stay there in winter? Culture shock? LOL