As previously mentioned, a large part of our admiration for well-made aluminium bikes stems from their relative affordability.
The ability to reinvest savings in high-quality components, whether spec-ing your own build, or purchasing an off-the-peg machine (see the Kinesis Athein for an example of the former; the Cube Peloton Race for the latter) is a benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Further evidence can be found in the Militis Comp, which is equipped with drivetrain, shifting and braking components from SRAM, Cole wheels, FSA finishing kit, Selle Royal saddle, and a price tag of £1500. Let’s take a closer look.
The jewel in the spec of the Militis Comp are the carbon SRAM Rival dual control levers; easy on the eye and hands. We commented on the pleasing shape of the Force 22 lever when we experienced it at Eurobike, and the Rival feels like a similar profile. Other similarities between Rival and its senior siblings include Exact Actuation (the derailleur travels just as far as the cable), ZeroLoss (instant cable engagement and with it, shifting), and, of course, DoubleTap (one lever to control upshifts and downshifts). Raleigh, sensibly in our view, have paired the Rival dual control levers with Rival mechs, front and rear. Here, however, the deployment of the Rival groupset ends.
The remainder of the components come from SRAM’s S-Series line, a series of staging posts between the four pillars of RED 22, Force 22, Rival, and Apex. Raleigh have deployed an S-Series 300 chainset, a turbine fashioned from 6061-series aluminium and equipped with a classic 53-39 ratio that revolves on SRAM’s Pressfit 30 bottom bracket, one for 30mm axles and with bearings held in nylon cups fitted with their own seal. SRAM claim a host of advantages for the system, from narrower Q-Factor to ease of installation, but the most pertinent fact here is that it demands/has inspired Raleigh to equip the Militis Comp with an oversized BB shell, not commonplace even on the latest aluminium frames, and which we hope will provide stiffness in this critical area.
Other SRAM equipment includes the 10-speed cassette (11-28) and chain, and the brake calipers: non-series, but dual pivot, and equipped with cartridge pads. We’ll let you know how each performs in the subsequent review.
The Militis Comp rolls on Cole’s Rollen Elite wheelset, a 27mm deep aluminium clincher laced with J-bend spokes; 24 at the rear in a two-cross pattern on both sides, and 20 in a radial pattern up front. The hubs revolve on cartridge bearings, but those in the front wheel seem alarmingly small. Cole claim a weight of 1570g for the Rollen Elite.
They’re shod with Schwalbe Durano S tyres, what appears to be a staging post between the soft, race-oriented rubber of our favourite Ultremo ZX, some 30g lighter, and the endurance-oriented Durano. The Milits Comp will provide our first experience with the Durano S and given our previous good opinion of the German brand’s tyres, we’re looking forward to finding out how they perform.
Finishing kit is from Italian brand, FSA. The Omega handlebar is fashioned from 6061-series aluminium and equipped with a ‘compact’ 125mm drop and 80mm ‘reach’ (the distance from the top to the brake lever mounts). It has a rounded profile and feels instantly comfortable. The matching Omega stem is 100mm on our 53cm test bike. There’s an FSA SL280 seatpost too, in a 31.6mm diameter, topped with Selle Royal’s Seta saddle in sparkling white, though, sadly, unable to remain so during a winter test on British roads.