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Disc brakes and flat bars should make for a speedy pothole basher

 

Equipped with Shimano Sora components, the Strada 6 is the top model from Raleigh's new Strada range. First impressions are that it's good value for money and a good bet if you're looking for a speedy flat handlebar bike that can take a bit more utilitarian abuse than a more purist road bike.

Raleigh markets the 12-model Strada range as “built to be sleek, stylish and agile around town”, although strangely none of them come equipped with a rack or mudguards. You'll need to look at the similarly-priced Pioneer range if you want a bike equipped for utility duties.

The Stradas look likely to appeal to riders looking at something fairly minimalist for leisure rides or commuting in good weather. The cheapest Strada costs £300, the most costly one is this, at £650, and there are two models with a step-through frame option.

The Strada 4, 5 and 6 all come with disc brakes, operated by cables on the £450 Strada 4, and hydraulic Shimanos on the £550 Strada 5 and the Strada 6. Shimano hydraulic discs have an excellent reputation for power, modulation and durability.

The drivetrain on the Strada 6 is based on Shimano Sora, with a 34/50 crankset and a SRAM 11-32 cassette. That will suit relative beginners better than the usual close ratio road cassette when it comes to hilly terrain.

House brand 700c wheels appear well built and come shod with 32mm Schwalbe Silento tyres, which have Kevlar protection in their tough but fast-rolling treads and a reflective strip around the sidewalls. The web site lists Schwalbe Road Cruiser tyres, though.

The handlebar on our sample was a flat 23.5in offering, rather than the riser bar listed, with comfy shaped grips and a 40mm spacer stack on the steerer for height adjustments, or you can flip the stem the other way up if you want to go lower. The stem, the seat post and the saddle are all basic Raleigh-branded parts.

The hydroformed double butted 6061 aluminium frameset seems very nicely put together and well finished, with a stealthy dark grey finish that's difficult to scuff in normal use.

The top tube has masses of standover clearance. The geometry on our test bike measures 70.5 degrees at the head, 74 degrees at the seat. Horizontal top tube reach is 56cm centre to centre, and the seat tube is 46cm from the top of seat clamp to the centre of the bottom bracket.

That would suggest fairly neutral handling and a slightly longer than average reach for a hybrid type bike but we'll report back after we've put some miles into it.

There are threaded eyelets for mudguards and a rack and you could fit bigger tyres if needed, but bigger tyres plus mudguards would be a squeeze. We like the way the rear disc brake bracket sits between the seat stays and the chain stays, leaving plenty clearance for mudguard and rack stays.

Complete bike weight is 11.9kg (26.5lb), way less than the many suspension  equipped fatter tyred hybrids that tout for customers around this price. We'll be putting the Strada through its paces over the next few weeks.

More information from Raleigh.

14 comments

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jason.timothy.jones [294 posts] 2 years ago
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looks like a decent offering, I just dont understand the 11-32 cassette

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fukawitribe [1616 posts] 2 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones wrote:

looks like a decent offering, I just dont understand the 11-32 cassette

I can understand the 32 to some extent, but I really don't get the 11 - for this role of bike 13 (maybe even higher) would be more like it, 12 at the absolute outside (IMO etc etc).

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jollygoodvelo [1400 posts] 2 years ago
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I completely understand the 32-tooth cassette. These bikes will be bought by people riding to work, not enthusiasts. People think cycling is hard work; so although we all know that it isn't really, fitting some low gearing means that the bike will get used and not just parked in a shed after the first couple of rides.

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fennesz [134 posts] 2 years ago
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I understand the cassette.

There - I've said it. Is this going to turn nasty?

Good lookin' bike.

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
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How much? Or am I being blind?

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turnerc99 [72 posts] 2 years ago
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"The Stradas look likely to appeal to riders looking at something fairly minimalist for leisure rides or commuting in good weather. The cheapest Strada costs £300, the most costly one is this, at £650, and there are two models with a step-through frame option.

The Strada 4, 5 and 6 all come with disc brakes, operated by cables on the £450 Strada 4, and hydraulic Shimanos on the £550 Strada 5 and the Strada 6. Shimano hydraulic discs have an excellent reputation for power, modulation and durability."

So...£650.

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alotronic [458 posts] 2 years ago
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MrGear wrote:

How much? Or am I being blind?

650, in the text!

Note that 56cm top tube for a flat bar bike is actually pretty short. Equiv MTB with a modern design would be 58/59cm. 56 is long for a drop-bar frame in this size. So more on the comfort end of the spectrum - makes perfect sense on a bike like this.

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fukawitribe [1616 posts] 2 years ago
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Gizmo_ wrote:

I completely understand the 32-tooth cassette. These bikes will be bought by people riding to work, not enthusiasts. People think cycling is hard work; so although we all know that it isn't really, fitting some low gearing means that the bike will get used and not just parked in a shed after the first couple of rides.

Yeah I get that - it's the 11 that's comes across odd to me, for all the reasons you've given. Sizing up a 2 or 3 on the small cog would give a smoother progression towards where it's needed most (at the other end of the cassette).

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alexb [123 posts] 2 years ago
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Where have all the hub-geared bikes gone?
I have a Ridgeback Nemesis with discs and it's a totally bullet-proof commuter. I was hoping I might be able to find a belt-driven hub-geared upgrade by now, but hub gears seem to be out of fashion with the major players right now. It's a huge shame, because for a commuting bike they make so much sense!

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Forester [115 posts] 2 years ago
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My Cube Hyde Pro Race (sic) hybrid with 8 spd Alfine hub is proving a great winter bike, especially with Marathon Plus 38's replacing the Road Cruiser 42's that came with it. Was a bit apprehensive about taking the rear wheel off but a YouTube clip takes you through it. Judging by the reduced prices on offer hub gears aren't popular, and the hub is heavy, but there is a good range of gears and changing while stationary is brilliant. The disc brakes are useful in crowded cycle lanes, and I should have really strong legs by the time I go back to the Summer bike.

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MrGear [87 posts] 2 years ago
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Blind it is then. Thanks!

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Joeinpoole [439 posts] 2 years ago
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jason.timothy.jones wrote:

I just dont understand the 11-32 cassette

It's easy. It means the smallest cog has 11 teeth and the biggest has 32. The others are probably somewhere in between.

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cat1commuter [1421 posts] 2 years ago
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Aluminium forks make me nervous. (Metal fatigue.)

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mrchrispy [444 posts] 2 years ago
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I've a focus TR3.0 which is ninja black so looks awesome  1
The rear wheel (with tyre) is 8kg so its not a light bike but with dics and mud guards its an ace commuter and great for leg strength!!

Belt drive is next on the list