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Raleigh Bicycles 2016: Mustang and Roker gravel bikes launched

First look at new carbon Roker and aluminium Mustang, both disc-equipped bikes with wide tyre clearance

Iconic British brand Raleigh has dived into the popular gravel bike market, cycling’s hottest trend right now, with the aluminium Mustang and carbon fibre Roker, both equipped with disc brakes and with space for 35mm tyres. Here’s a first look at the 2016 range.

Gravel bikes have gotten very popular in the last two years, spawned by a popular gravel riding and racing scene over in the US. The UK can’t boast the same gravel roads or racing scene, but nonetheless the bikes, with their disc brakes, big tyres and relaxed geometry, are finding fans in the UK, with cyclists drawn to the comfort and ruggedness that is well suited to our generally poorly surfaced roads. And allows an indulgence of occasional off-road exploration.

- Buyer’s guide to gravel and adventure bikes plus 11 of the best

Says Raleigh: "Our Gravel road bikes are perfect for the majority of UK cyclists. They are essentially pothole hungry, endurance road bikes that are also perfect for an adventure off-road. Gravel bikes have the flexibility to fit wide, fast rolling tyres to cushion you and your bike and normally come equipped with disc brakes to improve performance in the wet. They are more stable than a Cyclocross bike which will reduce fatigue over a long ride. Also known as adventure bikes; they are ideal for road sportives, Sunday riding, forest tracks, canal paths and trekking - there are very few limits."

Raleigh is keen to stress that these are bikes designed for UK cycling conditions and riding styles. It has been extensively testing these bikes on the roads around its Nottingham headquarters. So rather than being ‘gravel-specific’, these are do-it-all bikes, as happy doing the daily commute as the weekend club ride. And with a set of mudguards they’d make an ideal winter training bike. tested the Raleigh Maverick last year, a steel-framed revival of a mountain bike the brand put out in 1985, pitched as a do-it-all cyclocross/gravel/adventure bike. It went down well in the review, and there two models in the 2016 range, priced £850 and £1,150.


The Roker though is all-new. It features a full carbon fibre frame and fork, with disc brakes, thru-axles and comes with 35mm tyres. Cables are internally routed and it’s compatible with electronic groupsets, and both models are specced with SRAM's 1x11 drivetrain, which dumps the front mech for a wide range cassette.

There are hidden eyelets for mudguards so you can easily convert it into a mudguard-equipped winter bike. Geometry is loosely based on the Maverick and features a longer wheelbase and relaxed angles, and a slightly lower bottom bracket, to provide stable ride and handling.

Top of the tree is the £2,500 Roker Race with an SRAM Force 1x drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes, with American Classic Hurricane tubeless-ready wheels. Raleigh is keen on tubeless road tyres and has fitted most of the bikes with tubeless compatible wheels and tyres, so it’s easy for the customer to ditch the inner tube.

This model is specced with the new Schwalbe G-One gravel tyre, a new model from the German tyre manufacturer and combining the tubeless technology we’ve experienced with its slick road tyres, with a gravel friendly tread pattern.

The Roker Pro costs £2,000 and uses the same carbon fibre frame and thru axles with an SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain, with hydraulic disc brakes.

There’s a 44t chainring combined with a 10-42t cassette. American Classic TCX tubeless-ready wheels are shod with Schwalbe G1 35mm tyres.


The Mustang range is the foundation of the new Raleigh gravel range and features an aluminium frame with disc brakes and four models to choose from. All models have external cable routing, a carbon fibre fork and two bottle cage mounts.

The range starts with the £650 Shimano Claris 16-speed model, with Tektro Mira cable disc brakes and Schwalbe CX Comp tyres.  

The Mustang Sport costs £800 and upgrades to Shimano Sora 18-speed with the same TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. Wheels are upgraded to RSP AD2.0 tubeless-ready wheels with Schwalbe CX Comp semi-slick tyres.

Costing £1,000 is the Mustang Elite, which switches from the double chainset of the two cheaper models to an SRAM Rival 1x11 single ring drivetrain, offering gear changing simplicity. A 44t chainring is combined with a huge 10-42t cassette, so getting up steep hills shouldn’t be a problem.

The brakes are TRP HyRd hydraulic discs, actuated by the mechanical brake levers. This bike gets RSP AD3.0 sealed bearing wheels and Schwalbe's new G1 35mm gravel tyres.  The Mustang Elite also gets an upgraded fork with a 15mm thru-axle.

The Mustang Comp, at £1,500, is the expensive model in this range. Again, it’s the same frame with external cable routing and thru-axle carbon fork as the bike below it in the range but is specced with an SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes. It also combines a 44t chainring and 10-42t cassette and features the same American Classic TCX/Schwalbe G1 wheelset.

The bikes look really good in real life, and we're impressed with some of the specification choices, especially the 1x11 drivetrains and tubeless-ready wheels and tyres. We're hoping to get a ride on one of these models soon so we can see how they perform.

David worked on the tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of 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, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes

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