Raleigh have announced a new range of RX cyclocross bikes for 2014, along with two new Aura time trial bikes and extended Militis and Revenio road bike line-ups. There’s also a supercool limited edition Beano Chopper that we just have to show you.
RX cyclocross bikes
We’ll kick off with the cyclocross bikes that look really interesting. The four-bike range includes both carbon and alloy frames, disc and canti brakes and differing geometries, and it covers prices from £800 to £3,000.
Top of the range is the £3,000 Raleigh RX Team Cross (main pic) that’s built around a high modulus carbon cross frame with tapered head tube and a PressFit 30 bottom bracket – all of the cyclocross bikes use that BB standard. It’s a really neat-looking frame with internal cable routing via removable ports, and wishbone seatstays, and that’s a carbon monocoque fork plugged in at the front.
The RX Team Cross comes in what Raleigh call a North American geometry, giving you a ride position similar to that of a road bike with a long top tube and plenty of fork trail. The idea it to provide lots of stability.
The wheels are Cole’s carbon C30 CX, Raleigh using Coles on most of their performance bikes. It’s a tie-in that extends to the wheels that their sponsored teams ride.
Braking comes courtesy of Avid BB7 Road S mechanical discs while the rest of the groupset is SRAM’s new Force 22 (it’s a 2 x 11spd system). It’s solid branded kit throughout with an FSA Energy bar and stem, an SLK seatpost and a Fizik Arione saddle.
The RX Team Cross comes in a velvet red finish. For continuity, Raleigh are using red for their top-level bikes across their range in 2014. Red is their high-performance colour.
The RX Team Cross frame has been ridden by Belgian cyclocross professional Ben Berden, and French two-time national champion Caroline Mani.
Raleigh are also going to be helping two young UK cyclocross riders by providing bikes and equipment and helping to boost their public profile in the near future. We'll soon have more details on who they've selected.
The £2,000 RX Race Cross is built to Raleigh’s European geometry with the frame and the trail a little shorter. This is designed to quicken the handling, making the bike more agile for tighter courses.
Again, you get a high modulus carbon frame with a tapered head tube, a carbon monocoque fork and mostly internal cable routing – although the front mech cable runs externally down the seat tube. One major difference, though, is that the RX Race Cross comes with cantilever brakes. They’re Tektro’s CR720s.
The groupset is SRAM Apex with Cole Rollen RX wheels, and the build is nearly all branded kit. That Selle Italia Seta S1 saddle is new, by the way. It’s colour-matched to the frame.
The other two cyclocross bikes share the same double-butted alloy frame with mudguard/rack bosses. It has a UK-specific back end with a good amount of mud clearance on there for the conditions we typically have over here.
The more expensive model, the £1,200 RX Comp Alloy, is disc-brake equipped although, unlike the RX Team Cross, the rear brake is mounted outside the rear triangle. The brakes in question are Avid BB7s while the groupset is SRAM Apex, the same as the RX Race Comp.
The entry-level model is the £800 RX Elite Alloy with bartop levers on Raleigh’s own compact-drop handlebar.
Militis performance road bike line-up
Raleigh are extending the size of their Militis performance road bike line-up for 2014. Stu reviewed the Militis 3 a couple of weeks ago and loved the way it handled.
There will be three carbon-framed Militis models, and two alloy models. The carbon ones all use the same frame that’s made with T800 carbon fibre, a PF30 bottom bracket and tapered (1 1/8in to 1 1/2in) head tube. It’s the same as previously but for the fact that it’s now Di2-ready and Raleigh claim a frame weight of 880g. Raleigh’s C6 carbon blade/carbon steerer fork is used across the three bikes too.
The top model – in velvet red, the same as the top cyclocross bike – is the £5,000 Militis Team. As the name suggests, it’s built the same as the bike the team riders will use with a SRAM Red 22 groupset and Cole C38 Lite wheels. Raleigh reckon the team haven’t ever broken any Cole wheels, by the way.
The rest of the kit is high quality too, with FSA’s SLK carbon bar, stem and seatpost, and a Fizik Arione saddle.
The £2,750 Militis Race gets SRAM’s new Force 22 group and Cole Rollen Elite wheels. Basically, the spec is a little lower across the board.
The Militis Pro has the same wheels but it has built up with a Shimano 105 groupset for £2,275.
The two alloy Militis bikes are the Comp Alloy (£1,500) and the Elite Alloy (£1,300). They both have the same double-butted 6061 alloy frame with a tapered headtube and a PF30 bottom bracket, and they both come fitted with Raleigh’s C6 carbon fork, the same as the carbon Militis models. They share the race-centric geometry too.
The differences between them are down to the components, the Comp being SRAM Rival based, the Elite being mostly SRAM Apex.
The Revenio road bikes are more endurance focused, and this range has been extended too. The geometry of these bikes is more relaxed, the biggest differences being the taller head tube length and shorter top tube – you get a higher ride position here. You also get longer chainstays and a lower bottom bracket for more stability. Raleigh are now offering up to 10 frame sizes in the Revenio range now, from 48cm right up to 62cm, so chances are that you’ll be able to get a good fit.
There are four Revenio carbon bikes, all sharing the same frame, and three Revenio alloy bikes. Again, these are all built around the same frame.
The Revenio Carbon frame uses T700 carbon fibre and the cables are routed internally. The top model is the Revenio Carbon 4 (£3,000) that comes in this velvet blue. It’s a striking colour. This model is built up with Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 groupset that’s bound to prove massively popular. Like all of the Revenio models, it has compact (50/34T) gearing.
The most affordable build is the Revenio Carbon 1 at £1,400. Rather than the C5 carbon blade/carbon fork of the higher models, the Carbon 1 gets a C3 fork with an alloy steerer and the groupset is Shimano’s 10-speed Tiagra.
The alloy Revenios get a custom-butted frame built to the same geometry. The cheapest model is the £600 Revenio 1 with a Shimano Claris 8-speed group and Raleigh’s own AC1.0 wheels.
We showed you one of Raleigh’s new Aura time trial bikes last week and now we’ve had the chance to check it out properly.
There are actually two new TT bikes, completely different from one another. This one is the higher level Aura Team (£4,000), built around a high modulus carbon frame.
There are many aero features here including skinny tubes that are said to be aero-optimised, an integrated fork crown, cutaway seat tube, deep-legged fork, a reduced-size rear triangle, an aero seatpost… all of which we’ve come to associate with TT/triathlon bikes over the past few years.
The frame is capable of taking a Shimano Di2 electronic shift system altnough the Aura Team actually comes equipped with a SRAM Force 22 groupset (with a wide-ranging 52/36 tooth chainset). The brakes are from TRP, the front one hidden inside the extended legs of the fork. The leading section of the top end of the fork is hollow, but behind that the legs are just a single wall with the brakes sitting inside the recess. The rear brake is mounted underneath/behind the bottom bracket.
The bars are Vision’s TriMax Carbon and the wheels are Cole’s C85 clinchers with Schwalbe Ironman Evo 23c tyres.
Oh, there will be one significant change from this pre-production version when the Aura Team becomes available in February: it will have a PF30 bottom bracket rather than an outboard design.
The Aura Comp is considerably less expensive at £1,600. Rather than carbon fibre, this one is made from hydroformed 7005 alloy with a carbon bladed fork. That curved seat tube looks a little like the one Cervélo used to use on their early alloy P3s. With a SRAM groupset (largely Apex) and Cole Rollen Lite wheels, this one should be available in August.
One other bike from the Raleigh range that I love is the Beano Chopper. I don’t mean that I love it in an ironic, studenty way, I just think it looks absolutely fantastic.
It’s £300 and it has Beano characters all over the place, right down to the mudguards and the cranks.
You’ve even got Dennis the Menace eyeballing Mini the Minx on the head tube.
Of course, there are far more sensible kids’ bikes out there, but this looks brilliant. It’s £300 in a limited edition. I’m tempted to buy one of these just so I can get it out and look at it if I ever need cheering up. It has Gnasher on the end one of the handlebar grips, for goodness’ sake. That’s enough in itself.
By the way, Dennis the Menace fans: DING!
Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a youthful 45-year-old Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.