Ebike Tips take the Strada Electric for a spin

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 >

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Raleigh’s Roker looks like a racer that enjoys a bit of rough

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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.

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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 >

Raleigh Militis Race wins the BikesEtc Best of British test

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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.

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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 >

The Raleigh Mustang Elite gets 4/5 in Out and About Live Magazine

Gravel bikes are all the rage at the minute and I have been riding one of Raleigh’s mid-range offerings, the wonderfully light (10.5kg) Mustang Elite (RRP £1,000). A gravel bike allows you to ride sportily and fast but also to cover moderate off-road tracks such as towpaths and forest tracks and roads.

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The Mustang Elite sits in the middle of Raleigh’s large 2016 range of gravel bikes. A single chainwheel drives an 11-speed rear sprocket with a gear range of 386% and a lowest gear of around 29 gear inches. That’s a huge range off a single chainwheel, great for going fast and steep hill climbing whilst keeping the weight down and keeping the gears easy to use. Impressively, it’s all operated by single gear change lever.

The pimply, 40mm wide tyres have a very off-road look but the bike streaked away on tarmac, helped by the head-down position you adopt. On local tracks, the transition to a much more head-down approach took some getting used to.
The semi-hydraulic disc brakes were excellent, with nice gradual control in
the early stages of braking, giving way to quick and solid stopping power as
you squeeze harder on the levers.

It’s good value for what you get so the Mustang Elite is worth a look for sporty riders wanting to extend their road biking horizons.

Written by Richard Pearce

Find out more about the Mustang Elite here >

Hit the trails with Raleigh’s 2016 Gravel road bike range

2015 has seen many new markets take shape in the cycle industry with the likes of 27.5″ becoming more dominant and the introduction of Boost seeing a new discipline being introduced.

One market that has been around for a while in many forms is the utility bike. It has many names, Adventure, All Road, Gravel and even Graventure.

After the introduction of the Raleigh Maverick range of utilitarian bikes we realised that it was time for us to take control of this market and expand our range and give it a clear and specific name. For 2016 the Gravel Road range was born….

The whole range is designed to be used on a multitude of terrains and give cyclists a bike that has one pure purpose, to enjoy cycling. The Gravel Road range is happy on loose surfaces, mud or tarmac, it can be fitted with mudguards, a rack and wider tyres making it completely adaptable. Our range is designed specifically to suit British conditions.

Models range from the alloy Mustang range up to the full carbon Roker range with the Maverick steel range sitting in the middle of the two. Our range will suit the beginner to the enthusiast, giving them a bike that is ready for the short trip to the shop right up to the weekend sportive or cycling holiday with the family.

The Cycling Weekly team recently came to visit us to take a look round the new range of Gravel Road bikes that are coming soon. Here is what they had to say.

Nine new carbon framed Roker and aluminium framed Mustang bikes greatly extend Raleigh’s adventure road bike options

For 2016 Raleigh has launched a new carbon adventure road bike range and extended its aluminium offerings. Named the Roker, the new carbon bike has a bang up to date spec. This includes SRAM’s 1x drivetrain with post mount hydraulic disc brakes on many models, thru axles front and rear and space for 35mm plus tyres. All cables and hoses are routed internally and the frame is equipped with bottle cage mounts.

Thru axle, hydraulic disc brakes and SchwalbeTubeless Easy tyres on the Roker Race

The top spec Roker Race costs £2500 and comes with a SRAM Force 1x drivechain with SRAM Force Hydro disc brakes. Wheels are American Classic Hurricane tubeless ready disc wheels. These follow the trend for wider rims with an internal width of 18mm and are 24mm deep. With 32 spokes laced three-cross front and rear, American Classic quote a weight of 1646g for the pair. They come shod with Schwalbe G-One gravel tyres, a brand new design from Schwalbe which uses its Tubeless Easy technology and has a small knobbed tread.

The Roker Race comes with a carbon seatpost and a Fizik Aliante saddle, which is well-padded to adsorb some of the jolts off-road.

For £650 the base model alloy Mustang comes with Shimano Claris drive chain

Below the Roker range sits the Mustang range which has aluminium frames and carbon forks. The top spec Mustang Comp model costs £1000 and comes with SRAM Rival 1x drivechain with Rival hydraulic disc brakes. The range extends down to a Shimano Claris equipped 16-speed bike priced at £650.

Raleigh will continue to offer its existing steel framed Maveric range, which extends up to the £1150 Elite equipped with SRAM Rival drivetrain, TRP HyRD hybrid mechanical-hydraulic disc brakes and 35mm tyres.


The bikes are due to be launched soon so keep a look out for them on the Raleigh website.