review

Raleigh Revenio 4 Carbon road bike

8
£3,000.00

VERDICT:

8
10
Very well rounded sportive bike that's quick and enjoyable to ride
Weight: 
7,980g

Raleigh's Revenio 4 Carbon is the most expensive build of their endurance platform, and if you're looking for a bike that combines a good turn of pace with a comfortable and relaxed ride then it's definitely one to swing a leg over. The high quality frame and excellent componentry come together into a bike that's a great performer straight out of the box.

The ride: relaxed but fast

The Revenio isn't designed to be an out-and-out racer and that's evident in the geometry and the handling. Our 60cm test bike has a 215mm head tube and seat and head angles of 72.5°, with a 590mm effective top tube. That's reasonably relaxed compared with a race frame, but similar to other endurance bikes such as the Giant Defy and Canyon Endurace.

Raleigh say that the "RE2P geometry shifts your weight further back on the bike taking the pressure of your arms and reducing fatigue"; I didn't notice that especially over any other sportive/endurance bike I've tried, but the more upright position does tend to move your centre of mass back a touch.

Anyway, the position is a good compromise between cracking on and staying comfy. The bike isn't so upright that you feel like you're catching too much headwind, and the drop position of the shallow RSP branded bars is easily accessible if you do want to hunker down a bit more.

For longer rides at a decent pace the handling is more or less spot on. The head angle isn't too aggressive and that translates into steering that's at the slow end of the normal range for a road bike. It isn't vague at all, just a bit more relaxed than many. It still responds well to small adjustments and is a confident descender at speed, and on the flat it's easy to cruise along with minimal input.

Sprint for a sign and the Revenio is well up to the job, transferring your power without any noticeable flex. This frameset is unusual for a higher-end carbon bike in that it still uses a 68mm bottom bracket shell and external bearings. From a practical point of view there's a lot to like about that: the bearings are less susceptible to creaks and groans, and they're simple to replace. That's good news if you're riding in British conditions.

The trade-off is that you can't make the bottom bracket junction as wide, which I'm sure other manufacturers would tell you means it's not as stiff. And it may well not be, but it's stiff enough for it never to have been an issue. The frame isn't the lightest out there: the 7.8kg all-in weight for this build suggests it's in the 1200-1300g range for the 60cm we tested. That's similar to other sportive frames such as the Ridley Fenix, and I'm guessing some of that extra weight over a race frame is beefing up the bottom bracket and chainstays to make sure they're up to the job.

The Raleigh's overall weight takes the edge off its ability to climb compared to some other bikes you could buy for three grand, but it's still a capable ascender and the position is especially well suited to seated climbing. The compact 50/34 chainset and 11-28 cassette give you all the gears you need for the steep stuff.

The Cole Rollen Elite wheels aren't a pair I've tried before but I've been very impressed with them. At a stated weight of under 1,600g a set they're light enough to make the bike feel eager under acceleration and they're very stiff too. The 27mm rims probably don't give any meaningful aero advantage over a standard box rim but they look the part, so there's that. The wheels climb well; even under my heavy frame standing up on the steep stuff there was no brake rub or vagueness, and it was the same story on descents.

I've given the Revenio the full range of riding, from fast, flat blasts to 100km+ excursions into the mountains. I've even raced Cat 4s on it, and each time I've found it well up to the job. It's best for longer rides but that doesn't mean you're giving too much away if you want to go short and fast.

The build: Great groupset, good wheels, decent finishing kit.

Shimano's Ultegra Di2 groupset probably doesn't need any introduction. We've reviewed it separately, so best to head to that review for the full lowdown, but the bottom line is that it offers flawless performance pretty much 100% of the time. There's very little not to like about it if you can cope with charging the battery every couple of months or so. The wheels we've already covered, and they're very good too. They come shod in Schwalbe Durano 25mm folding tyres, which are capable all-rounders and pretty hardy to boot.

The only disappointment is that the £3k budget doesn't stretch to some higher quality finishing kit. There's nothing wrong with the Fizik Ardea saddle or the own-brand stem and bars but they feel a bit pedestrian and add a bit of weight. Last word goes to the finish. I thought the matt metallic blue finish would really divide opinion, but everyone that's seen the Revenio in the flesh thinks it looks smashing. And I was worried it'd be a pain to clean, but it buffs up just fine. It's a very different look and a welcome change from black and red, if you're after something that stands out.

The price tag isn't amazingly cheap, and nor is it fantastically expensive. You can get an endurance-oriented carbon Di2 build for a grand less than this, and you can also pay a fair bit more. It's not going to be your first choice if value is your only concern, but if you want to buy locally and have a relationship with your bike shop there's probably a Raleigh dealer nearby, and the bike you're getting here is a very good quality machine that's enjoyable to ride. Raleigh have been upping their game in the last few years with some excellent bikes, and the Revenio 4 Carbon is another dot on that upward trend.

Verdict

Very well rounded sportive bike that's quick and enjoyable to ride

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Raleigh Revenio 4 Carbon

Size tested: 60cm

About the bike

State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.

Material: Carbon

Weight: 7.8KG

Wheel size: 700c

Frameset

Frame: Revenio Endurance Blend Direct Connect Carbon Fibre

Fork: Raleigh C5 all Carbon Fork

Headset: FSA Orbit C40 No 42

Groupset

Shift Levers: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Brake Levers: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Rear Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Front Derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2

Front Brake: Shimano Ultegra

Rear Brake: Shimano Ultegra

Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 50/34t crank lengths 165mm size 0, 1, 170mm size 2,3,4 172.5 size 5,6, 175mm size7,8,9

Bottom Bracket: Shimano 6800

Freewheel/Cassette: Shimano CS6800 11-28

Chain: Shimano CN6800

Wheelset

Front Wheel: New Cole Rollen Elite

Rear Wheel: New Cole Rollen elite

Front Tyre: Schwalbe Durano 700c x 25mm

Rear Tyre: Schwalbe Durano 700c x 25mm

Inner Tubes: 700c x 25 presta valve

Components

Stem: RSP+ alloy aheadset

Handlebars: RSP+

Tape: Fizik

Saddle: Fizik Ardea

Seatpost: FSA SLK Di2 battery compatible

Seat Clamp: RSP alloy

Tell us what the bike is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?

The Revenio Carbon 4 is designed as an extension of your body so that you can feel at home on it for hours on end. A comfortable ride causes less muscle fatigue so you can still ride fast all day long. With a smooth feel and responsive handling you can count on the Revenio when you can no longer count on your body

Our endurance blend carbon fibre layup absorbs road shock but is stiff enough to help you get up the climbs or win the sprint to the 30mph sign

RE2P geometry shifts your weight further back on the bike taking the pressure of your arms and reducing fatigue

Raleigh C5 all carbon fork

Shimano Di2 Ultegra groupset

New Cole Rollen Elite wheelset

Frame and fork

Overall rating for frame and fork
 
9/10

Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?

Very nicely constructed. Finish is lovely.

Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?

Full carbon monocoque frame and fork.

Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?

60cm stated. 590mm effective top tube, 72.5° seat angle, 72.5° head angle, 215mm head tube, 410mm chainstay length

How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?

Fit was very good.

Riding the bike

Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.

The Revenio is a comfortable carbon bike, but still direct-feeling.

Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?

A good balance.

Rate the bike for acceleration:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for sprinting:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
 
9/10
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
 
8/10
Rate the bike for climbing:
 
7/10

The drivetrain

Rate the drivetrain for performance:
 
10/10
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the drivetrain for value:
 
8/10

Wheels and tyres

Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
 
7/10

Controls

Rate the controls for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the controls for weight:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for comfort:
 
7/10
Rate the controls for value:
 
7/10

Your summary

Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes.

Would you consider buying the bike? It's a good all-rounder but it's not the best value bike out there.

Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Maybe, depending on what they wanted.

Rate the bike overall for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the bike overall for value:
 
7/10
Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
 
8/10

Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?

No problems with overlap.

Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?

The steering is direct and predictable but more relaxed than a race machine.

How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? Slowish for a road bike.

How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?

Yes, very efficient.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 190cm  Weight: 100kg

I usually ride: whatever I'm testing...  My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mtb, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track

 

Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.

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