Review: Raleigh Misceo Trail 2.0

Originally posted on February 6, 2014 at 9:47 am

Misceo is a Latin verb that means “to mix or blend.” The idea behind the Raleigh Misceo Trail 2.0—a flat-bar, 700c bike decked out with disc brakes and a suspension fork—is to blend the performance and versatility of a mountain bike with the comfort and street-friendliness of a hybrid. This machine is designed to tackle a variety of terrain, including pavement, rough roads and even dirt trails.

The cockpit on my size large test bike felt roomy, and put my 5-foot-10 frame in a comfortable riding position. My posture fell midway between the bolt-upright position of “city” bikes and the more stretched-out attitude of road racing bikes. The balanced, athletic position centered me over the bike, and helped me control it in sketchy or loose surfaces.
With its longish 1,123mm wheelbase, the Misceo Trail felt reassuringly stable on loose surfaces such as gravel roads, dirt trails and railroad ballast. With the SR Suntour NCX suspension fork leading the way, this bike was happier plowing through potholes than swerving to avoid them. It’s more SUV than sports car. Think comfort and stability, rather than lightning-quick handling.
The Misceo Trail’s oversized aluminum frame was designed to handle the abuse of rough roads and light off-road use. I found the frame stiff and solid while romping over rough terrain, and it didn’t flex under the enormous strain of my massive pedaling power—wait, wha…
The Suntour fork offers 63mm of coil-sprung travel and it has a lockout lever atop the right leg. It did a fine job of soaking up the impacts from potholes, bridge expansion joints, curb drops, railroad ballast, gravel roads, rumble strips and staircases. I took advantage of the lockout on long climbs and when sticking to smooth roads. Mission accomplished.
Both the frame and fork have braze–ons. It would be a snap to fender-up the Misceo Trail, should you choose to do so. I opted to use a set of Axiom’s Clipper LX Trekk quick-release fenders because I wanted the ability to remove them on sunny days.
The Kenda Happy Medium tires have a center section that’s patterned with minimalist knobs, and the sides have more aggressive knobs. Versatility is their strong suit. They may not be the quickest tires on pavement, but they rolled relatively quietly, and I’ve been impressed with their traction on loose surfaces. I experimented and found that a set of folding Panaracer Paselas added some zippity-doo-dah to the feel of the bike on pavement.
The Shimano M416 mechanical disc brakes deserve kudos. They offered impressive stopping power with good modulation, wet or dry. More Shimano love: the Alivio 3×9 drivetrain (with Deore rear derailleur) offered plenty of gearing range and performed without incident.
Considering its rugged-use capabilities, and very reasonable price tag, the bike’s 30.1 pounds seems quite reasonable. Not once in my three months of grocery-getting, commuting to work, recreational riding and urban assaulting did I wish for a lighter bike. I was having too much fun.
I came away from this bike test impressed by the value and versatility Raleigh packed into the $800 Misceo Trail 2.0. It’s a fine example of a “do-everything” bike. It’s a bike that you can commute on, hit the rail-trail for some low-stress exercise, or venture off-road when the spirit moves you. For the same price, Raleigh also offers the Mesika Trail 2.0, an equivalent bike, but with women-specific geometry.

Vital stats

  • Price: $800
  • Weight: 30.1lbs
  • Sizes Available: S, M, L (tested), XL
  • Country of Origin: China


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