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A close look at Team Raleigh's Militis race bike + 125th anniversary race bike

Team Raleigh this week announced a new 14-man squad that builds on a successful four years since the Nottinghamshire company first got back into racing. They’ll be riding the Militis, a full carbon fibre frame that weighs just 880g, making it one of the lightest in the peloton.

The Militis, complete with a 365g carbon fork, is Raleigh’s top-end offering and will be used by the team as they take to the roads of Britain and Europe with sights set firmly on success. The frame and fork carries over unchanged from last year. The big change for 2013 is the switch to a SRAM RED groupset, the lightest mechanical groupset on the market, which should ensure a full build weight that's more likely to be under rather than over the UCI limnit.

Cole’s T38 Lite deep-section carbon tubular wheelset weighs a feathery 1360g. They feature a 38mm carbon fibre rim and are laced with aero straight pull spokes, 16 front and 20 rear, to Cole’s unusual hub - Cole reckon it's unique. It’s cold forged from aluminium with a hard anodized freehub, but what sets it apart is what's going on inside the flanges. Those flanges play an integral part in Cole's DSA system (Dynamic Spoke Alignment) which is their way of ensuring highly tensioned spokes. The spokes are threaded at both ends, at the hub they screw into alloy cylinders contained in the flange - Cole don't say what the alloy is, but we'll assume it's aluminium. Anyway those little cylinders are what Cole says make their hubs unique.

Schwalbe Ultremo tubular tyres are glued to the rims. FSA, a popular supplier of finishing parts to many of the top teams, supply the handlebar, stem and seatpost. Saddle is a Fizik and there’s a pair of Elite bottle cages.

It’s an interesting looking frame, and is complete with details like very neat internal cable routing - there’s a nice path from the rear mech to the top of the chainstays, and into the sides of the downtube at the front - a tapered head tube and BB30 bottom bracket. The frame, as mentioned already, is on the light side, and carbon fork dropouts and rear dropouts certainly help. A small, but essential, weight saving.

The construction of the frame is worth mentioning. The huge downtube and head tube are moulded as one piece from T800 high modulus carbon fibre. They call this Direct Connect Evolution. The rest of the tubes are then bonded to this section. Moulding the downtube and headtube together in this fashion should contribute to a stiff and responsive handling frame. Hopefully we can arrange a ride on one to find out.

The tube profiles follow the trend for large section downtube and chainstays, with slimmer top tube and seat stays. It’s finished in a smart black paint finish with white logos. There isn’t the traditional Heron head badge, instead just a couple of angled logos. Clearly an attempt to modernise, but seems a shame in my opinion.

Unfortunately Raleigh don’t have any plans to sell the Militis in this build at the moment, so you’ll have to make do with the SRAM Force-equipped Militis, which costs £2,500. The frame and fork are identical however, it’s just a change of groupset. And wheels, the Force-equipped bike is fitted with Cole Rollen Elite wheels. You get a race-ready 53/39t chainset.

125th anniversary race bike

And in a blast from the past, we just had to end with a few photos of how racing bikes used to look during the 1980s. This is the 125th anniversary bike the company released towards the end of last year, to celebrate their race victories with the Ti-Raleigh Team that was so successful during a period when all races bikes were made from steel.

TI-Raleigh was actually a Dutch team but they raced with a British licence. They had much success, most notably during the Tour de France in 1980 with Joop Zoetemelk winning 11 stages. There were also five World Championship titles plus a string of victories in races like Paris-Nice, Amstel Gold Race, Ronde van Vlaanderen and many more.

This £2,000 special is limited to just 125 samples and is specced with a Campagnolo Veloce groupset that manages to convey a sense of period about it, mainly due to the smart silver finish and lack of carbon.

Wheels are Mavic Open Pro rims on Campagnolo Record hubs with Challenge Criterium tyres, with the obligatory amber sidewalls.

We covered the rest of the 2013 Raleigh range in this previous article.

www.raleigh.co.uk

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.

15 comments

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Roastie [27 posts] 3 years ago
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Why does that Campy Athena have "Veloce" written on it?  3

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therevokid [948 posts] 3 years ago
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you beat me to it  4

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nowasps [426 posts] 3 years ago
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125 years ago, athena was spelt veloce.

Period detail, you see.

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mr-andrew [300 posts] 3 years ago
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It's the Dutch spelling

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badback [302 posts] 3 years ago
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The 125th aniversary edition seems like a low spec for the money - not only the groupset, but the tubing's only Reynolds 525 according to the website: http://raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/ProductRange/Product/Default.aspx?pc=1&...

I'd be expecting a lot more for £2k.

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NJA [45 posts] 3 years ago
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Only available in 51cm and 54cm according to the website - seems strange.

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 3 years ago
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The militis looks a decent bike, but did they really need to drop the old Raleigh colour scheme? This could be any firms bike.

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Ben Burns [60 posts] 3 years ago
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badback wrote:

The 125th aniversary edition seems like a low spec for the money - not only the groupset, but the tubing's only Reynolds 525 according to the website: http://raleigh.co.uk/ProductType/ProductRange/Product/Default.aspx?pc=1&...

I'd be expecting a lot more for £2k.

They're only producing 125 by the looks of it - I guess set-up costs for production push the price up a bit - but still seems a lot of money!

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andybwhite [250 posts] 3 years ago
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where's the downtube shifters?

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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Nice enough looking bike but a terrible name, sounds like some kind of unpleasant affliction.

"How's yer Militis Bert?"
"We'll mustn't grumble Roy, Doctor says it's common for a man of my age to lose a bit of vertical compliance in the tubes"

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Littlesox [78 posts] 3 years ago
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joemmo wrote:

sounds like some kind of unpleasant affliction.

Very rusty on my grammar (long time since I left shool) but I think it's a play on words - depends on whether you look at it from Spanish or Latin perspective, but it could mean thousands of miles.

Regardless of that, (and some of the pooh-pooing that goes on every time the R word is mentioned here)I think it's great to see Raleigh building some half-decent bikes again.

Cue paper round jibes....and action.

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joemmo [1164 posts] 3 years ago
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It would be interesting to know if there is any continuity between Raleigh as it was and Raleigh as it is now or if its just a brand name that has been bought up by a company and applied to a product range.

Anyone know?

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chris75018 [99 posts] 3 years ago
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@joemmo - I think I'm right in saying that the raliegh brand was bought up by Accel, a big (Canadian?) conglomerate who own a host of other brands. Would be surprised if there were many remaining british links beyond the sales & marketing teams.  2

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billsdon [36 posts] 3 years ago
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Hi folks, Accell is a Dutch firm. There are people throughout Raleigh who were with the company in the 70s, 80s and 90s, most notably now in the Product Design teams.

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SportsTrophyCo [3 posts] 3 years ago
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The orange on the limited edition reminds me of my old Carlton frame, lovely piece of engineering.