Raleigh have unveiled the Aura time trial bike, to be ridden by Team Raleigh next season, as part of a revamped model year 2014 range.
That leaves us to cast an eye over the rest of the Nottingham-based firm’s 2014 bikes, including the Aura, four all-new cyclo-cross machines, and the expanded Revenio ‘endurance’ range. Open the gallery at the bottom of the page for a closer look at each machine.
Aura time trial frame unveiled
Raleigh have unveiled two time trial bikes as part of a 2014 range which has a firm focus on performance. The Aura Team is the bike that will be ridden by Team Raleigh against the clock next season, so we’ll focus on that first.
The frame has many of the features we’ve come to expect from a time trial bike, not least skinny, aerodynamically-optimised tube profiles, winged fork legs, internal cable routing, hidden TRP-manufacturer brakes (inside the fork legs and behind the bottom bracket), low seatstays and a rear wheel cutout.
The build is based around SRAM’s second-from-top Force 22 groupset, with a 52-36t chainset and wide-ranging 11-28t cassette. Vision provide the carbon TriMax cockpit, while the deep-section Cole C85 hoops are wrapped in Schwalbe Ironman Evo tyres. A Fizik Arione Trio 2 saddle and RSP integrated aero seatpost complete the build. Claimed weight is 8.8kg and the asking price is £4,000.
The Aura Comp, meanwhile, is Raleigh’s new entry-level time trial bike. “Affordable speed” was the goal when designing the Aura Comp so it doesn’t share as many of the aero features as the Aura Team.
The 7005 aluminium frame’s tubes are still aero-profiled, though, and the bladed fork (carbon legs, aluminium steerer), aero seatpost and rear wheel cut-out are all designed to help the Aura Comp cut through the wind. While the Aura Team has a tapered 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″ headtube, the Aura Comp has a straight-through 1-1/8″ headtube.
The frame is dressed in SRAM components, with Apex front and rear derailleurs, and a non-series chainset and bar-end shifters. Cole supply the Rollen Lite wheels, shod with Schwalbe Durano S tyres, the cockpit components are from Vision’s alloy TriMax range and the saddle is a Selle Royal Seta T1. All that makes for a claimed weight of 9.3kg and a price tag of £1,600.
Revenio ‘endurance’ range expanded
Raleigh’s existing Revenio ‘endurance’ platform has, like much of the firm’s road range, been significantly expanded for 2014, growing from three aluminium bikes and one carbon, to three aluminium and four carbon.
The 2014 Revenio has updated geometries in both the alloy and carbon versions, with the seattube angle slackened in a bid to shift the rider’s centre of gravity back and take some weight off the handlebars, in order to reduce strain on the wrists, elbows, neck and lower back. Otherwise, the Revenio keeps it’s long wheelbase (for stability) and unashamedly tall headtube (for an upright riding position).
One key change away from the bike itself is the introduction of the Raleigh Sizing System, with up to ten sizes per model. Each size is numbered from 0 to 9, with a suggested rider height for each size and the actual and effective seattube lengths printed on the bike.
In the middle of the size range, there are frame sizes with similar seat-tube lengths but the geometry tweaked elsewhere. For example, one 54cm model has an effective toptube of 540mm and is fitted with a 400mm handlebar, while the other has a 545mm effective toptube with a 420mm ‘bar. It’s a move designed to offer more size options to suit different body shapes and sizes, regardless of gender.
So what about the bikes? The aluminium range starts with the Revenio 1, equipped with Shimano’s new entry-level Claris groupset, and rises to the Revenio 3, which comes with Shimano 105 (save for the FSA Omega chainset), Cole Rollen Lite wheels, Schwalbe Lugano tyres, FSA finishing kit and a Raleigh own-brand stem for a Cycle to Work friendly £1,000. Claimed weight is 9.2kg.
The carbon frame is made from a T700 high-modulus carbon fibre which results in a claimed weight of 980g. All four models are based around the same frame, which has internal cable routing, although while the Carbon 4 and 3 use Raleigh’s C5 full carbon fork, the Carbon 3 and 2 use the C3 fork, which has carbon blades and an aluminium steerer. All Revenio frames have a headtube which tapers from 1-1/8″ to 1-1/2″.
The carbon range starts with the Shimano Tiagra-equipped Revenio Carbon 1 and rises to the Revenio Carbon 4, dressed in 11-speed Shimano Ultegra Di2.
Like all machines in the Revenio range, the Carbon 4 is equipped with a compact chainset and a wide-ranging cassette (11-28t, although the Carbon 1, 2 and 3 offer even more low gears with an 11-32t cassette) to provide enough gears to tackle most sportive climbs.
Otherwise, the Carbon 4 has Cole Rollen Elite wheels, shod with 25mm Schwalbe Durano tyres (all Revenio bikes have 25mm tyres, another move to boost comfort), as well as FSA finishing kit and a Fizik saddle. Claimed weight is 8kg. And the price? £3,000.
Four cyclo-cross bikes introduced
Finally, Raleigh are backing cyclo-cross in a big way in their 2014, introducing four new bikes, two based around a carbon fibre frame and two built around an aluminium frame.
The aluminium frame, which has a double-butted construction, is designed for UK conditions, so there’s plenty of mud clearance, and there are also mudguard/rack mounts, making it suitable as a do-it-all winter bike/commuter.
As for the builds, the RX Comp is based around a SRAM Apex groupset and Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes for £1,200, while the RX Elite has Shimano Sora with cantilever brakes and bartop levers for £800.
And the carbon frame? That’s where things get interesting. There are, in fact, two Di2-compatible frames, with two different geometries, though both are made from the same high-modulus carbon fibre, with internal cable routing, wishbone seatstays and a PressFit bottom bracket. Up front there’s Raleigh’s full carbon C6 fork.
The top-of-the-range model, the RX Team, has a ‘North American geometry’, which is closer to what you’d expect to see on the road bike, so the top tube is a little longer and there’s a little more stability thanks to more fork trail.
The frame is built up with SRAM Force 22 with Avid BB7 mechanical discs, Cole C30 carbon wheels, FSA finishing kit and a Fizik Arione saddle for a claimed weight of 8.7kg and a price tag of £3,000.
Meanwhile, the £2,000 RX Race is designed for the tighter cyclo-cross courses found in Europe, so the toptube is shorter and there’s less fork trail in order to make the bike a little more agile.
The build is based around SRAM Apex (all four bikes have ‘cross-specific 46-36t chainrings), with Tektro CR720 cantilever brakes, Cole Rollen RX wheels wrapped in Schwalbe Racing Ralph tyres, FSA finishing kit and a Selle Royal Seta S1 saddle. Claimed weight is the same as the RX Team – 8.7kg.
It’s a big commitment to ‘cross and Raleigh will be backing that up by supporting two young cyclo-cross riders in the UK, while pro ‘cross riders Ben Berden and Caroline Mani will both use the RX Team.