2015 Sneak Peek: Raleigh Brings Back Steel, New Willard Gravel Bike, New Women’s MTB, and More!
It’s been great to see Raleigh reborn over the past few years, and our little glance into the future indicates they have no plans of slowing down any time soon. In 2014, the brand took a break from their steel classics series, but for 2015 they’re back. Not only is the company bringing Chromoly back, but the new bikes include bigger tires, more tire clearance, new geometry, and even a Ritchey Break-Away model at $2100 (above). In addition to a number of new options in steel, Raleigh is expanding their “gravel” line with the all new Willard – an aluminum version of the Tamland that’s both lighter and more affordable.
On the mountain bike side the Skarn full suspension bikes are in production now and will range from $2,500 to $4,000. Raleigh is also introducing a new price point, single pivot 27.5″ full suspension bike which starts at just $1,000. There’s even new women’s specific mountain bikes designed with input from Caroline Mani and Courtney McFadden. Raleigh has definitely been busy lately and the new product looks to be ideal for many – quality bikes with great design, that won’t break the bank.
Details on a few of the highlights, next…
Called the Grand Prix, Raleigh’s travel bike will use the Ritchey Break-Away system and include a travel bag all for just $2100. Designed for 28mm tires, the Reynolds 520 butted chromoly frame uses a matching 4130 lugged fork with long reach rim brakes and a Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group. With a claimed weight of 22.7 lbs, the bike will be offered in 52, 54, 56, 58, 60, and 62cm sizes.
A very similar bike without the Break-Away system, the Record Ace is an all new frame that was also designed around 28mm tires. Rack and fender ready, the Reynolds 631 double butted frame and 4130 lugged fork carries the same Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group. A 56cm has a claimed weight of 22.5lbs and comes in the same sizes as the Grand Prix for $1750.
The Grand Sport is a lower price point steel build that uses unnamed 4130 chromoly tubing and a custom fork to keep the price to just $800. Equipped with Shimano Claris 8 speed (11-30), the Grand Sport may be one of the most affordable steel road bikes on the market. Claimed weight is 24.9 lbs.
Along with the Clubman Disc, the Port Townsend looks like an awesome option for commuting with a fender equipped steel frame complete with Raleigh’s 12 pack Rack. Did we mention the Rainier themed paint? This killer build uses a Reynolds 520 butted chromoly frame, 4130 fork, Simano Sora 2×9 drivetrain, and 28mm Kenda Karv tires to create a commuter/grocery getter at 28.4 lbs. Offered in 50, 53, 55, 57, and 59cm frames, the Port Townsend will retail for just $800.
Gravel/all road/adventure road more your thing? Check out the new Willard 1 and 2. Designed off of the popular Tamland but with a lightweight 6061 alloy frame, the disc brake “gravel” bikes will provide lighter and cheaper options for the category. The 22.9 lb, $1,600 Willard 2 gets a full Shimano 105 drivetrain with 50/34t crank and 11-28 cassette, TRP Spyre mechanical brakes and Clement X’plor MSO 40mm tires and will be offered in even sizes from 52-62cm. Willard 1 has almost the identical spec with the exception of a Shimano Sora 2×9 speed drivetrain and a few other changes including the hubs. Available in the same sizes, the Willard 1 will retail for $1200.
While the prototype Skarn full suspension bike stole the show at Sea Otter, Raleigh has a lot of new mountain bike products including the new Women’s Ziva Expert and Comp. Designed with Women’s specific sizing and 27.5″ wheels, the Ziva is Raleigh’s race-ready bike for 2015. Zivas start out with the $1,500 Expert which uses the same 6061 SL Custom butted aluminum frame as the Comp. The difference comes from the components with the Expert receiving a SRAM X7 2×10 drivetrain with Type 2 rear derailleur, Tektro Gemini hydraulic brakes, and a RockShox Recon Gold TK fork with 100mm travel. Sold in XS, SM, MD, and LG, the 25.6 lbs (SM) Expert will retail for $1,500.
At $1,000, the comp is a bit heavier at 27.4 lbs and includes a SRAM X5/X7 drivetrain, Tektro Gemini brakes, and a RockShox XC30 SoloAir 100mm fork with lockout. Both bikes include women’s specific saddles, grips, and brake levers.
While a lot of research and development has gone into the 29″ Skarn, Raleigh admits they’re not trying to break new ground with the new Kodiak. Instead, the bike is meant to bring full suspension to a new level and offer a bike at a price point that will get people excited so they will continue to grow with the sport. Using a simple single pivot design, Raleigh was able to get the price on the Kodiak down to $1,500 for the SRAM X5/X7, RockShox XC32/Monarch R Equipped 2, and $1,000 for the Shimano Altus/Acera 3×8, and Suntour XCR 32/Raidon R air equipped 1. Both models include a 120mm travel aluminum frame with thru axles front and rear, tapered head tubes, and hydraulic brakes. Pretty impressive spec for the price.
Expect to see a lot more out of Raleigh in the coming year!