As one of the UK’s largest distribution companies, Raleigh not only distributes its own range of performance and leisure bikes but also several other bike brands including Diamondback mountain and BMX bikes and Dahon folding bikes.
Recently our friends at Dahon drew our attention to the IG Markets London Nocturne folding bike race, at which they were planning to enter their new limited edition carbon bike to celebrate their 30th birthday.
Team Raleigh-GAC’s Jeroen Janssen jumped at the chance to race this and stunned the on-lookers with a sterling performance. Here he tells us how he got on:
“My first thoughts were that the bike looked amazing – carbon wheels, seat post, bars and stem – I’d never seen a bike like it. It was so light, really easy to carry around, and simple to assemble too.
“With this being a commuter race I decided to forgo my normal Raleigh-GAC race gear in favour of something more fitting, so I wore my formal Raleigh shirt and Dare 2b gilet.
“The ‘Le Mans’ run-to-the-bike start was a little different to what I’m used to but once I assembled the bike I knew the pressure was on to put in a good show on the special 30th anniversary Dahon bike.
“The qualifying heat was three laps of the one mile Smithfield Nocturne, which I won with plenty to spare – in fact I lapped quite a few people. The bike handled surprisingly well compared to my usual race bike and felt like a fast, solid package.
“The next race was the final and this is where it all counted. I spotted some other 1st and 2nd cat riders in the 40-man line up so I knew the final would be a little faster. I had to judge my effort to keep something in reserve for the Elite race later on that evening.
“The final was five laps long and by the fourth I was pulling away from other the riders and knew I had it in the bag. The crowd were going wild at this point, banging the boards and cheering me on so as the finish line approached I unzipped my Dare 2b gilet and put on a show of applause for the crowd. I had a good five bike lengths to spare so I knew I could soak up the applause.
“After the race there were lots more questions about the bike from the journalists present. The race was filmed by a Channel 4 film crew so hopefully you’ll see me on the Dahon next Saturday at 7am.
“The Elite race took place later that night at a blistering pace and with the great warm up on the Dahon I claimed one of my best results of the season, finishing seventh, just behind my Raleigh-GAC team mates Dan Holloway and Tobyn Horton.”
Dahon designed the special limited edition bike to be the fastest, lightest and highest quality production folding bicycle in the world.
The new carbon model is built on Dahon’s patented Dalloy Hydroformed aluminum frame and incorporates a selection of the industry’s top components such as a 10-speed version of Shimano Dura Ace with carbon fiber components from Control Tech USA, a custom-made rigid fork, Bullhorn handlebar and stem, Shimano Dura Ace Caliper brakes and an over-sized quick release seat clamp. Additional touches include a Concor Carbon saddle from Selle San Marco and Schwalbe Durano high pressure tires made exclusively for Dahon.
Next up for Jeroen is a return to Holland for some warm up Criterium races before the Dutch National Road Race on Sunday 24th June in Kerkrade, Holland. Jeroen’s Raleigh-GAC team mates will be competing in the final Tour Series races in Woking and Stoke-On-Trent on June 12th and 14th respectively.
You can find out more about Dahon bikes at www.dahonbikes.com. Raleigh’s range of Dahon bikes can be found on its website or you can visit your local Raleigh dealer to order one.