On our blog pages you'll find all the latest news, reviews and rider experiences from our athletes.
Fri, 27 May 2016 13:23:37
Raleigh have been making their urban Strada bike in a range of builds for a while now, but this is the first time they’ve offered it as an electric bike. For £2,000 you get Shimano’s STePS middle motor system with an eight-speed Alfine Di2 hub, Shimano hydraulic disc brakes and a new carbon-bladed fork at the front that’s similar to the one that Raleigh use on the Strada Speed 2.
To fit the middle motor Raleigh have had to redesign the frame, and they’ve take the opportunity to route the cables inside the frame for a cleaner look. There’s no chain case, rack or mudguards so it’s a very uncluttered and classy look with a gunmetal finish and minimal graphics. You do get a kickstand though. Raleigh have opted for a standard dropout at the rear and the Alfine chain tensioner, rather than using a horizontal slot dropout which allows you to get the chain tight without the sprung tensioner. There’s positives to both approaches: a horizontal dropout is neater, but the chain tensioner means getting the wheel out to mend a puncture is easier.
It’s certainly a good-looking urban bike
The Shimano STePS system gives you a mid-motor 250W power unit and three assistance modes. The battery is downtube-mounted and swings out from its mount for easy removal and charging. The Strada E we tried had the new, larger display but hadn’t been updated to include the new automatic mode that shifts gear for you based on your cadence and how hard you’re working. Production models should have that, though.
The new STePS head unit is a big improvement
Shimano supply the hydraulic disc brakes, and the seatpost, stem and flat handlebar are fairly generic alloy units; there’s a sporty-profile saddle and standard round grips, and the road/bike interface is a set of Schwalbe Energiser Plus tyres.
Dave says: There’s always a demand for good-looking, stripped-down urban bikes and that trend is likely to make the jump to e-bikes as well. Boutique brands like Electrolyte are already serving the top-end of that market, but the £2,000 price point is likely to be an important one as the e-bike market in the UK grows and the Strada is a great-looking bike for the money.
It’s fun to ride, too. The frame and fork is nice and stiff and direct-feeling; it’d probably be a bit harsh with narrow tyres but the Schwalbe Energiser Plus rubber fitted is big enough to smooth through the bumps and it rolls very well too. There’s plenty of grip and the rounded profile means they’re good in the corners. Stopping from the non-series Shimano disc brakes is excellent too, with one-finger stopping even with the extra weight of the battery and motor.
Shimano hydraulic disc brakes stop you quickly
STePS is a high-quality system and the fact that it’s all designed to be used together makes it a neat solution too. The motor isn’t as quiet as its main rival, the Bosch Active Line, but the power curve feels very natural and in Eco mode you can forget you’re being given a helping hand. Stick it in High and point the Strada uphill and you’ll be in no doubt, though. The twin remotes – one for power mode and one for gear – are easy to use and the new, bigger display is a marked improvement.
The Strada E is a fun, if firm, stripped down urban bike
If you’re after a leisure e-bike that looks good, this is certainly one to look at. Utility-wise there’s no rack or mudguards but you could easily fit a nice set of low-profile mudguards and chaincase – something from the likes of Curana for example – and still maintain the sharp lines of the Strada E, and make it a bit more UK-weather-friendly.
Find out more about the Strada Electric here >
Fri, 27 May 2016 10:24:11
Its evocative name If you were around for the early days of UK mountain biking, you will have seen the original Raleigh Mustang, its exotically painted tubes promising uninhibited exploration. Before the drive for lightness, comfort and more performance, early mountain bikes opened up a whole new world. With a drop bar, 1x transmission and balloon tyres, today’s Mustang maintains some of the original bike’s ethos.
Its all-round ability Raleigh’s Gravel Road geometry, with its long wheelbase and lower bottom bracket, offers oil tanker-like stability over rough terrain. A shortish stem
ensures positive steering, and there’s clearance for even bigger rubber, or full mudguards, and rack mounts too. Fitted with 26mm-wide American Classic TCX tubeless-ready rims and Schwalbe’s 35mm G1 gravel tyres, it rolls quickly on tarmac and has plenty of grip on everything short of wet mud, as well as excellent cushioning.
Its component spec SRAM’s Rival 1 hydraulic levers and disc brakes ensure heaps of modulated power, but the real bonus is the drivetrain. Despite our doubts, the 44t chainset and 10-42t cassette covered all bases. From long, steep climbs to fast descents, we didn’t want for gears, and the gaps were reasonable too. It’s simple, reliable and child’s play to use.
To find out more about the Mustang Comp click here >
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 15:25:48
On Sunday 17th April Raleigh dealer, Easy Pedal Bikes opened their doors to the public for their Spring Open Sunday demonstration event. A warm, sunny day and the promise of refreshments including cakes & sweet treats resulted in an impressive turnout with plenty of people queuing up to test ride the Electric bikes. An extensive E-bike range was available to test with the popular Captus & Motus models featuring from Raleigh alongside Freego’s, Wisper’s and Muller’s to name a few.
Eastbourne’s local MP Caroline Ansell was spotted at the event and is pictured riding a Raleigh Motus. When asked what she thought of the Motus Caroline commented “[it’s] effortless to ride, feels like I’m being pushed along!” Rumor has it that Caroline is now keen to purchase an E-bike for use around Eastbourne and is planning to get her hands on a Raleigh Motus.
When commenting on the event, Mike Crossman, Raleigh’s Area Account Manager for Eastbourne said “It was a really successful day all in all; lots of customers were willing to have a go and that is what it’s all about with E-bikes. It’s surprising how many people have the impression that E-bikes are not for them at first then try them out and just don’t want to give them back!”
Why not try out one of our E-bikes for yourself? Just get yourself down to one of our upcoming dealer demonstration events near you.
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 15:11:29
Raleigh has six gravel bikes in its 2016 range, which is topped by the Roker Pro and the 2500 Roker Race. As you’d hope for from the most expensive bike on test the Pro is nstantly likeable. It’s not the lightest machine here, and only gets SRAM’s Apex-level alloy chainset rather than Rival or Force, but it has an immediately fresh and clean feel.
The head angle is quite slack, which should slow the steering down. But the solidity of the
142x12mm front thru-axle helps to keep the steering sharp, and it still feels quick and responsive through RALEIGH ROKER PRO £2000 › Raleigh’s Roker looks like a racer that enjoys a bit of rough the bar. Its chunky chainstays and 142x12mm rear thru-axle transfer
your power well, but the curved toptube and flat wishbone seatstays mean that drive doesn’t mean discomfort even over rough forest roads. It wasn’t knocked off its stride by rutted and rubble- ‘repaired’ farm tracks, either
A lot of the credit for the Roker’s impressive ride quality has to go to the American Classic tubelessready wheelset and Schwalbe G-One tyres. The latter are listed as 35mm but thanks to the wider rim blow up to 39mm. Simply adding valves would turn them tubeless, which would make them lighter, smoother and puncture-resistant in a single stroke. But even with inner tubes the fat, fast-rolling carcass feels great on the road when it comes to
sustaining speed, and off road the stipple tread offers much better grip than you’d expect, even in the wet. The FC350 chainset’s 44-tooth ring is the biggest on test, but this is offset by a super-wide-range 10-42 cassette. The result is that you’ll hit 60kph before you spin out, but can still grunt up walking pace cyclocross climbs if you’re determined.
The flipside is the bigger gaps between gears, which can irritate when you’re riding hallow slopes or rolling terrain on the road.
All our testers appreciated the simplicity of purely sequential gearing offered by a single ring, so you never have to work out which ring and sprocket combination delivers the next ratio. As with the other bikes here, it also results in a clean look, and reduces the chance
of grass or other off-road debris clogging the frame, while there’s no chance of anything getting caught in the front mech as there isn’t one. This is why single chainrings have
become so popular in cyclo-cross races. SRAM’s Rival hydraulic disc brakes also come into their own in filthy conditions. Their fine control and modulation is noticeably better
than rim brakes in the dry – and in a totally different class if you’re dealing with wet, dirty rims.
There are a couple of potential Achilles heels on this otherwise weatherproof machine. For some reason there are no front mudguard mounts, which is especially odd as the rear is ready for ’guards and a rack. We also aren’t fans of the open cable entry holes in the frame and a large aperture for the internally routed front disc brake line, both of which could potentially let water in. You could seal them with something like Sugru mouldable glue, but we’d have liked a neater solution. But those are minor negatives on a machine that offers a comfortable, lively ride, a racy riding position, quick steering, keen brakes and
a wide range of gears.
The result is a versatile ride if you don’t want to be restricted by a pure road bike.
Find out more about the Roker Pro here >
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:20:34
Before we get round to the enviable task of throttling the Raleigh over a four-hour ride in
the Peaks, it’s clear that the Militis is one well-appointed bike. Running the same frameset as the brand’s pro team bikes, and comprehensively specced with SRAM’s second-tier Force groupset, from shifters to brakes to chainset to derailleurs, it’s festooned with equipment of the level we’ve seen on road bikes costing £1,000 more. It’s
also a real head-turner, not least for its wearing of the traditional Raleigh heron head badge, but especially thanks to its eye-catching tangerine and metal-effect paint job. Turn up on the next club run on this and people will flock round you.
You’ll also batter them. The Raleigh’s race pedigree shows itself from the moment we set off down the descent of the Peak District’s Cat & Fiddle. It’s super-stable at speed in a straight line, and as we weave through the sinuous downhill turns, we need to recalibrate
our head – it changes direction so quickly that less experienced riders would call it twitchy. The way this bike turns, on the flat as well as when rocketing down a mountainside, is with the utmost directness and confidence. Schwalbe’s ever-excellent One tyres assist in this, especially in this 25c size, as a larger contact patch adds even more cornering assistance to these already grippy tyres.
Overall, it’s a lightweight package, making uphill riding far from arduous. Equipped with a compact chainset and 11-28 cassette you could climb anything on this. However, the one
thing that holds us back in the Peaks is the 53/39 chainset, causing some grindingly slow ascents.
Sprints to cafés and up short ramps are made child’s play by the incredibly punchy frame, and Cole’s C27 wheelset is a cut above the usual budget wheels so often found fitted to otherwise highly-specified road bikes. Special mentions go to the all-day-cosseting Fizik Arione saddle and ergonomically perfect 400mm bars on our size 53 frame, topping off a truly excellent all-round package that would not only help you destroy your rivals a crit race but do just as good a job of supplying fun and comfort on your next sportive.
There’s no better testing ground for any bike than the gruelling climbs and precipitous descents of the Peak District, and all three of these bikes handled their duties on this punishing terrain with aplomb. Even the two of our bikes with standard double chainsets were capable of grinding out a climb, and all three offered enough speed to thrill. In fact, if you fail to be thrilled by a 50mph descent on a road bike, you might want to check your pulse to make sure you’re still alive.
What makes the Raleigh Militis Race our overall winner is simple. It offers the best
combination of poise, stiffness, confidence and overall specification to fit any situation.
Yes, it’s built to race, but if you’re looking for a bike to excite you on a long ride, it’ll ably
feed your adrenaline habit, too. Tifosi’s SS26 might be a little too focussed in its current
build to suit most riders, but if it’s a race bike you’re after, look no further. Equally, Hoy’s
Alto Irpavi .004 has abundant character and would be the only bike you’d need if leisure
rides in all conditions were on the cards. What all three bikes prove is that, while we might not be making them in numbers, Britain sure knows how to create a good bike build that’s designed to excel on the varied terrain of this green and pleasant land.
To find out more about the Militis Race click here >