Raleigh are not just a bicycle manufacturer, they’re a British institution – founded in 1885 in Nottingham, they are probably the best known British bike brand in the business. The iconic heron head badge has graced many a beautiful bike, and the name is equally intrinsically linked with the sport at the highest level.

Joop Zoetemelk and Jan Raas both achieved major success riding for TI-Raleigh in the 1970s and early 1980s, and the team’s red-and-yellow jersey is easily recognisable. So much so, in fact, that Raleigh’s latest pro team – competing on the British domestic circuit as a UCI Continental outfit – adopted the kit themselves in 2014.

Why is that relevant? Well a quick glance at the new Raleigh Militis Team bike shows that the iconic colour-way has made its way into the manufacturing side, creating the eye-catching beauty we see here.

Raleigh are not just a bike manufacturer, they’re a British institution. Founded in 1885 in Nottingham, they're probably the best known British brand in the business.

But this isn’t just a machine pointing to the past from a long-standing company. The latest iteration of Raleigh’s flagship road bike is anything but, in fact, serving as proof this company is as much one for the future as it is an icon of the past.

Raleigh have used SRAM groupsets on their Militis Team for some time, but in 2016 have become one of the first to embrace the brand’s newly-launched wireless Red eTap. It was only unveiled in August, so you won’t find too many bikes equipped with it and as the Raleigh Militis Team Red eTap is limited edition you’ll have to be quick if you want to get your hands on it.

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

British cyclists can be forgiven for cutting Raleigh some slack, being a British brand - and such a long-standing, iconic one at that - but with the Militis Team you don’t have to

SRAM’s new groupset ditches wires completely, using wireless signalling to transmit gear change requests between the shifters and derailleurs. And it’s not just the embracing of the new tech which makes the Militis stand out, either, as the bike’s a great machine in its own right. It’s also cheaper, at £6,000, than one of the few other early adopters of Red eTap, Boardman Bikes’ eTap AiR and SLR models.

Built in response to the Team Raleigh riders’ requests for an ultra-stiff, very light and very compliant bike, the machine helped propel Raleigh back into the performance market. The super-fast, super-responsive bike weighs in at just 880g and is the brand’s lightest and stiffest frame yet.

That frame itself is largely unchanged for 2016 compared to its previous editions, crafted from the same high-modulus T800 carbon fibre, with a tapered headtube, PressFit bottom bracket and carbon dropouts.

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

RCUK100 - Raleigh Militis Team road bike, SRAM Red eTap

Zipp components – namely 202 Firecrest wheels, carbon SL70 aero bars and SL carbon stem and seatpost are also included, while Schwalbe provide the tyres, and a Fizik Arione R5 saddle completes the bike. All in all, that adds up to a complete bike weighing in at just 6.73kg.

And that lightweight comes with the promise, from Raleigh, that no compromise has been made when it comes to aerodynamics or the bike’s handling and stiffness.

British cyclists can be forgiven for cutting Raleigh some slack, being a British brand – and such a long-standing, iconic one at that – but with the Militis Team you don’t have to. Its performance makes it a worthy successor to some of Raleigh’s great bikes of years gone by. Chuck SRAM’s Red eTap in there and you have a bike ready to embrace the future too.