We've just returned from Raleigh's annual Heron show in Nottingham where we've been having a look the rejuvenated brand's new bikes for 2014. There's a disc road bike in the works, the endurance/ Revenio line has been updated, and there's an all-new track and time trial offering.
Revenio Disc prototype
Disc brakes are all the rage this year, and Raleigh is currently developing a new line of disc-equipped road bikes. This is still in pre-production guise at the moment, but based on this sample it’s a good looking entrant into the growing road disc category.
The alloy frame has has the rear brake routed internally, and the gear cables external on the down tube. The plastic sample fork will be replaced with a carbon fibre fork they’ve sourced in time for the production models to roll off the production line later this spring. It’s a cleanly finished frame, we like the black on black finish, but Raleigh’s Product Manager Terry Blackwood told us they might not put this paint job into production. Which would be a shame.
No official prices have been confirmed yet, but Terry did tell us that we could expect a sub-£1,000 build with mechanical disc brakes, and there will be a hydraulic option too above that. The bike is labeled up as a Revenio so you can expect the same relaxed/endurance geometry as the rest of the bikes in the Revenio range.. We’ll have more details once it’s properly launched.
There's a bit of split with regards to manufacturers locating the rear disc caliper. Most, from the bikes we've seen, are opting to mount the caliper inside the rear triangle, usually on the chainstays. Some, including Raleigh, have opted to fit it on the seat stays. Neither is particularly right or wrong, just different. This approach does make fitting mudguards and racks a little more tricky, but not impossible.
Revenio range updated
Raleigh splits their range of road bikes into separate ranges. There’s the Militis for the racers, and for those into sportives and more relaxed riding are catered for by the Revenio.
The bike has been tweaked quite a bit for 2014, with one of the main changes being a fork with a 50mm offset fork and adjusted geometry, including a slacker seat angle. The aim has been to produce a slightly more relaxed handling characteristic.The range is divided between three alloy entry level models and three carbon fibre offerings, each sharing the same geometry and new 27.2mm seatpost, intended to offer a little more comfort.
The alloy range comprises three bikes priced at £600, £750 and £1,000. Above that are four carbon models, ranging from £1,400 up to £3,000. That top-end model gets a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, while SRAM groupsets are used for the middle of the range bikes, and Shimano taking over again on the cheaper bikes, with its Claris, Sora and 105 groupsets.
Geometry is the same across the range, so you could easily jump from the £600 bike to the £3,000 and feel at home. There are some key differences on the allow models though, the £600 bike gets a traditional non-tapered 1 1/8in fork with a chromoly steerer tube, and as you move up the range it’s a switch to tapered head tubes and steerer tubes made from alloy and then carbon fibre, as the price increases. The alloy frames get rack mounts, so you could use it for commuting and light touring. The Revenio is also now available in 10 sizes, right down to 48cm.
The £1,000 Revenio 3 here uses an alloy double butted frame with a carbon fork and tapered alloy steerer tube (1 1/8in - 1 1/2in) and with a Shimano 105 compact groupset (with crank arm length specific to size) weighs a claimed 9.2kg. It’s fitted with 25mm tyres and a 27.2mm seatpost.
The £600 Revenio 1 is the cheapest bike in the range, but gets the same butted alloy frame as the more expensive bikes in the range, aside from a non-tapered head tube and chromoly steerer tube. A Shimano Claris 8-speed groupset with an FSA Omega chainset is bolted to the frame with 25mm Schwalbe Lugano tyres, and a claimed 10.2kg weight.
And splitting the two bikes, the £750 Revenio 2 with a Shimano Sora groupset.
Moving to the carbon Revenio, here's the most expensive Revenio Carbon 4 costing £3,000. It's specced with a Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed groupset, Cole Rollen Elite wheels with Schwalbe Durano 25mm tyres.
The frame is fully Di2-compatible, but the routing from the down tube to the control box does leave a little to be desired.
Militis goes unchanged for 2014
No change for the Militis this year. Raleigh has a two-year model cycle so it strays away from updating its bikes every year. That’s no bad thing, as the Militis was one of the best reviewed bikes last year, and finished third in the road.cc Bike of the Year 2013/14 awards. You can read our review here.
The Team model is new though, when the Militis first launched the professional team rode a bike built with SRAM Red, but it wasn’t offered to customers. That changes for 2014, and this £5,000 model now headlines the range.
The bike is paired with Cole deep-section wheels, a rare choice in the cycling world but feedback from the team, who have been racing them extensively, is very positive, with apparently no mechanical issues at all.
Next in the line-up is the Race costing £2,750 and equipped with SRAM Force, which is the same bike we reviewed last year. It’s now available in this bold yellow and black finish.
The entry-level Militis is this £2,275 Shimano 105 bike, which uses the same frame as the top two models so it’s a good way onto the Militis ladder, at a decent price and the frame offers plenty of upgrade potential. The cable routing for example can be switched to Di2 at a latter stage.
Sitting under the Militis range is the SP Carbon line of bikes. These are more affordable carbon fibre road bikes, and is offered in two builds; £1,400 with Shimano Tiagra and £1,150 with Shimano Sora.
Raleigh has clearly been putting a lot of effort into the finish of the bikes, and particularly the choice of colours. We think this blue looks pretty nice. Just check those decals.
Aura time trial bike launched
Raleigh has launched two new time trial and triathlon bikes for 2014. The Aura Team has been developed with the team, and one example of the changes to the frame based on that feedback is they’ve boosted the stiffness by adding more carbon in key areas despite the change increasing the weight, they felt the benefit of the extra stiffness outweighed the slight weight penalty.
The frame and fork is constructed from teardrop shaped tubes, the rear wheel cutting into the seat tube and the rear triangle compact to maintain the ride stiffness and increase the aero performance. All cables have been routed internally, entering at the top of the down tube.
The reverse seat clamp keeps the top tube clean to minims drag. TRP mini V-brakes are used - we’re seeing plenty of time trial bikes using these - and at the front they are concealed inside the fork, and down under the chainstays behind the bottom bracket.
The Aura is offered in just this £4,000 build, complete with a SRAM Force groupset and Cole C85 wheels with Schwalbe Ironman tyres. A Vision base bar and extensions are mounted to a Vision stem. A Fizik Arione Tri 2 saddle completes the package.
Intended as a more affordable time trial or triathlon bike, ideal for beginners or those just dabbling in the art of racing against the clock, the Aura Comp uses an alloy frame with a SRAM Apex groupset and costs £1,600.
The frame features tube shapes profiled to minimise drag, with a seat tube curving around the rear wheel and deep bladed forks It has a Vision base bar and extensions with Cole box-section wheels. It’s a neatly finished bike, with internally routed cables.
Slot some deep section wheels in, and save the stock wheels for training, and you’ve got yourself the ideal first time trial bike.
The Strada range consists of bikes designed for fast city riding and commuting. They’re all built using the same alloy frame with eyelets for mudguards and racks, and space for wide tyres, so packing plenty of versatility and build options. These are pre-production frames, the top tubes will be a smoother curve than what you can see here. They’re all fitted with disc brakes as well.
They will be offering some interesting builds at a range of competitive prices, from £350 up to £850. Along with the regular geared bikes with mechanical or hydraulic disc brake builds, there’ll be some more interesting options, such as a s belt drive two-speed automatic gear hub equipped bike. There’ll be a singlespeed as well.
Four cyclo-cross bikes added to range
There are cyclo-cross bikes in the fold now too, with four models priced from £800 up to £3,000.
The RX Team uses a carbon fibre frame and fork designed with geometry influenced by the wider and faster cyclo-cross courses in the US - this is a frame developed by the US branch of Raleigh, which is a separate company but they do work together on bikes. You can read more about the new cyclo-cross bikes from our coverage at their official launch last summer.
Raleigh tell us the bike offers a similar riding position to a road bike, with a longer top tube and longer fork trail creating a stable ride. With some fat cut slicks it could be an interesting ‘gravel racer’ bike if you were interested in that sort of setup.
Meanwhile, based on more conventional European cyclo-cross lines is the RX Race. It’s a different frame designed by Raleigh UK for those wanting a traditional ‘cross bike with caliper brakes, so it's a bit quicker and more nimble for the tighter euro 'cross courses. The frame features massively oversized tube profiles with internal cable routing, a pressfit 30 bottom bracket and tapered head tube. With the Cole Rollen CX wheels, Schwalbe Racing Ralph 32mm tyres and SRAM Apex groupset with SRAM 350 46-36 chainset, it costs £2,000.
It’s also the bike that Raleigh’s Dylan Kerfoot-Robson has been racing this season, culminating in winning the Welsh National Championship and second place in the British Nationals. Dylan also rode the recent World Championship race in Hoogerheide, Netherlands, you can read about how that race went on the Raleigh blog here
The two cheaper RX ‘cross bikes use an alloy double butted frame. The £800 RX Elite gets caliper brakes while the £1,200 RX Comp gets a set of Avid BB7 Road cable disc brakes with 160mm rotors.
Equipe track bike
Lastly, the Equipe track bike is all-new. Yes, it says Equinox on the top tube, but they had to change it because another company owns the right to use that name.
It’s competitively priced at £600, and the price smartly includes a set of spare chainrings, sprockets and gear inch chart so you can ensure you’re riding on the correct gear for the velodrome or conditions.
Not a new bike, but just too nice not to include for your delectation. The Clubman is a joyous expression of Raleigh's heritage, a steel frame and fork classically styled.
The frame has clearance for 28mm tyres and mudguards and all the eyelets you could wish for to attach the mudguards and a rear rack for lightish loads. It costs £1,000 with a Shimano Tiagra groupset.
More at www.raleigh.co.uk, and more from the Raleigh Heron 2014 show soon.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.