Raleigh’s new Criterium Sport comes equipped with Shimano Tiagra 4700. Here are our first impressions of the new groupset.
Shimano’s new Tiagra 4700 groupset looks much more like Shimano’s higher end groupsets than its predecessor. Gone is the “dinnerplate” chainset, in favour of a new four-armed design which looks much more like the offerings in the 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace ranges. It is available in 50/34 compact and 52/36 semi-compact versions with crank lengths of 165 to 175mm as well as a 50/39/30 triple.
We’ve got in the 50/34 compact version attached to Raleigh’s new 2016 Criterium Sport aluminium bike. Raleigh claims that the £750 Criterium Sport is the first bike available in the UK with Tiagra 4700.
The other major visible change is in the shifters which have lost their gear indicator windows and also look much like Shimano’s higher end groupsets. Gear cables have followed the brake cables under the bar tape, rather than coming out of the side of the shifters – again like the higher-end groupsets.
Gearing remains ten-speed rather than being promoted to the eleven-speed of 105 and above. The double set-up will take a largest sprocket of 34 teeth whilst the triple tops out at 32 teeth. Shimano quotes a smallest sprocket of 12 teeth for this set-up. The Raleigh comes equipped with a SRAM cassette which has a range of 11-32 sprockets. The rear derailleur comes with a long cage to allow it to handle the wider range options.
The front mech has been redesigned with a longer cable arm to provide more leverage and lighter shifting option, which again reflects the design of Tiagra’s stablemates. The new 4700 Tiagra brakes also bear more than a passing resemblance to 105 and Ultegra and Shimano claims lower friction within the calipers, a 30% increase in braking power and better modulation relative to its predecessor.
Tiagra brakes are more efficient and better modulated
Overall, despite remaining ten-speed, Tiagra 4700 has much more of the look and feel of Shimano’s higher-end groupsets. We’ll report further once we’ve got out on the road and seen if it matches them in performance.
This is the brand new 2016 Raleigh Criterium Sport, a £750 aluminium road bike equipped with the latest Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset. It’s just arrived in the office for testing so before we hit the road and get it all dirty, here’s a quick overview of the key features.
While it’s easy to get distracted by the glittery bikes at the top-end, with price tags that’ll have your jaw hitting the floor, there has been a lot of progress in the sub-£1,000 road bike market in recent years. A lot of the technology once only seen on range-topping bikes is filtering down the price ranges, meaning your pound goes a lot further than before.
On paper, this Raleigh Criterium Sport looks very good value for money. You get a really smart looking aluminium frame with full internal cable routing, and a carbon fibre fork with a tapered steerer tube. Those are the sort of details you just wouldn’t expect to see on bikes in this class a few years ago.
Raleigh has given the frame ‘Endurance Race’ geometry, which basically means it’s taller in the front so you don’t have to possess the flexibility of a yoga instructor to get comfortable on it, but not so tall if you do want to adopt a racy position. Raleigh describes the bike as “fast enough to race, comfortable enough to ride all day,” which provides a good indication of the sort of cyclist this bike is aimed at.
Onto this frame Raleigh has bolted the all-new Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset. It’s a full groupset too, no mix-and-match here. This is actually the first time we’ve seen the Japanese company’s new Tiagra, after seeing it launched earlier this year. We’re pretty excited to see how it performs, and if it’s anywhere near as good as the new 105 (which we loved) Shimano is onto a winner.
Like 105, the new Tiagra borrows a lot of technology and styling from the more expensive groupsets in the Shimano range. In case you’re wondering, Tiagra is Shimano’s fourth-tier groupset, and will feature on a lot of bikes in this price range in 2016.
While it’s still a 10-speed groupset, it does have the same four-arm chainset as first seen on Dura-Ace a few years ago (Shimano doesn’t wait long to trickle down tech from the top-end). This bike has a compact chainset, but it’s available in 52/36 and 53/39 – the 50/34 is right for this bike. That’s paired with an 11-32t cassette, so plenty of ratios for getting up the hills.
The other big visual, and ergonomic, change, is the new shifters. The cables are now hidden, routed as they are underneath the tape. The shape of the hoods and levers very closely resembles 105 and Dura-Ace, and in the hands they feel pretty much identical.
The bike is then finished with an aluminium handlebar, stem, seatpost and saddle from Raleigh’s in-house RSP brand. And it’s fine kit, not flash, but it looks the part. The RSP AC2.0 wheels are fitted with 25mm Schwalbe Lugano tyres with a K-Guard puncture belt.
The Raleigh Criterium Sport is available in six sizes from 49 to 61cm. The test bike is a 56cm and weighs 9.95kg (21.94lb).
And you like the like of this bike but your budget won’t quite stretch to £750, then the entry-level Criterium at £475 is worth a look. It has the same frame but swaps out the Tiagra parts for Shimano Claris.
It’s a good looking bike don’t you think? We’re (well I am) going to hit the road immediately to put it through its paces, so watch out for the review soon.
Raleigh have bolstered their best selling range of eBkes with today’s launch of the Captus Colour.
The Captus Colour shares the same specification as the current Captus but with an emboldened blue colour scheme.
“Electric Bikes are leading a quiet revolution, gaining respect from enthusiasts and encouraging both the young and the less able to enjoy the freedom and health benefits of cycling. The Captus Colour is available in both light blue low step frame and electric blue cross bar frames and will appeal to the fast growing younger eBike target ” commented Pippa Wibberley, Sales and Marketing Director for Raleigh.
Raleigh have seen its electric bike sales double year on year and are now the biggest electric bike company in the UK. With a broad range of eBikes from Raleigh, complemented by specialist town and mountain eBikes from Koga and Haibike, Raleigh stockists have an eBike for everyone.
To find out more about the new Captus colour click here >>
Three of the http://www.cxmagazine.com Racing Team’s young riders will be tackling the forthcoming 2015-16 Cyclo-Cross season on Raleigh’s RX Race bikes, thanks to a new deal with the cycle manufacturer.
The team’s three under-23 category riders Hannah Saville, Joanna Rycroft and Edwyn Oliver-Evans, will be competing in both National and Regional race series, plus the season ending National Championships in January 2016. They will all be riding bikes from Raleigh’s new 2016 Cyclo-Cross range, which for the first time includes female specific bikes.
The trio have already tasted success on two wheels in 2015, with Hannah the reigning Yorkshire Junior Champion, Joanna holding the Three Peak under-23 title and course record and Edwyn a recent double medallist in GB colours at the European Mountain Bike Orienteering Championships.
The http://www.cxmagazine.com Racing Team is run by veteran riders Steve Smales and Ted Sarmiento and Ted believes the Raleigh deal will give the team a significant boost: “We are all super excited by the additional help Raleigh is offering the team. Having top-class equipment is crucial in a sport which puts both riders and bikes through extremely demanding conditions. Hannah, Joanna and Edwyn will all benefit hugely from Raleigh’s support. All three are training hard and can’t wait to test their new hardware in race conditions. Roll on winter!”
Pippa Wibberley, Raleigh Sales and Marketing Director commented. “Raleigh has always been committed to supporting young riders to help progress their careers in cycling. Cyclo-Cross offers us an excellent chance to help these young riders become the World Champions of the future.”
Hannah, the team’s newest and youngest rider is hoping to live up to Raleigh’s prestigious reputation as a world-class bike builder: “I’m really looking forward to racing the ‘cross season aboard a Raleigh bike, especially at the Three Peaks race this September, where, hopefully, the bike will help me be competitive. I really appreciate the support from Raleigh and I’m stoked to be able to try out a race orientated female specific bike. It’s a vast improvement from the current bikes I’m riding and I hope I can do them justice this season by racing hard and getting them muddy!”
http://www.cxmagazine.com Racing Team
Steve Smales and Ted Sarmiento
Supported Riders 2015-6:
Hannah Saville (U23)
Joanna Rycroft (U23)
Edwyn Oliver-Evans (U23)