Back in May I bought my Raleigh Stowaway from a local bicycle shop. It was an impulse buy – costing just over £460 I’d go as far as to say it was a very expensive impulse buy. The colour won me over, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Raleigh bikes having been raised in Raleigh all the way through the 1970’s and early 80’s (until I got a Diamond Back Silver Streak II BMX).
The brown highlights were unusual. I wasn’t quite sure of my thoughts on them, but I could always change to black should I feel the need to in future.
So a few days later I collected my new ride, and it’s been my daily driver ever since.
So what are my thoughts after three months?
I’ve abused it. I admit I have. I wheelie. I jump off kerbs. I bunny hop over obstacles. It’s served me very well and not developed any rattles.
I have chipped the frame in a few places but I filled the chips in quite well and cosmetically it still looks good. The paint on the rear carry rack has held up very well though despite being loaded up with various packages and baggage.
According to my fitness trackers I’ve done approximately 400 miles on it already and the tyres are beginning to show a little wear. I’m not convinced with the tyres, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt and running them to replacement.
The brakes, on the other hand, are pretty stonking good and feel positive. They’re V-brakes so the grip is firm. Back wheel skids are easy to do, and I’ve even managed a couple of stoppies although the rear weight balance and odd seating position of a folding bike make this feel odd.
Gearing is pretty flexible too. I’ve ridden it around Sheffield and I can manage a fair few hills without too much drama. It’s good for an average speed of around 12-13mph when pedaled at a non-torturous rate although I’ve had 34mph down a hill and that was terrifying!
In all honesty I love it. The folding could be a little neater; it’s handy to have a strap to keep it together; and the magnets designed to hold the fold together are next to useless.
I’ll probably replace the pedals as they feel a little too flexible for my liking but I think the rest of the bike is going to stay stock. I’m even looking for suitable tyres of a similar colour for when the fitted ones need replacement.
After three months?
Rating 🟡🟡🟡🟡🟡🟡🟡🟡🔵🔵 a solid 8/10.
Things could be improved, especially the folding mechanism holders and tidyness when it is folded, but it’s well worth a look if you fancy a Raleigh folder.