By Karen Brooks
We saw two pretty exciting bikes from Raleigh: the Roper (orange) and the Furley (gray). If you don’t know where those names come from, you’re too young and/or need to watch some of this. Actually, I must confess that we’ve seen the Roper already, because we had caught wind of it early and snagged one for a review before the show.
Both models are essentially what I’ll call “commuter-cross,” with drop bars and 700c wheels that can handle some gravel and dirt as well as the mean streets. Naturally they have rack and fender mounts, and they also come with disc brakes, a huge advantage for handling all kinds of terrain and weather. They share the same steel frame, while the Furley is built as a singlespeed with an eccentric adapter for the BB30 bottom bracket, and the Roper with a Shimano 105 2×10 drivetrain. Raleigh gets bonus points for including spoke holders (and a couple spokes) and a chain-holder peg on the frames.
We also spied a pretty Record ace, the 125th anniversary edition, in fact. How many bike companies have three digits in their anniversary editions? Not many.
Raleigh revamped their Detour City Sport line, making the rear dropouts compatible with all manner of drivetrains, from derailleur to internally geared to belt drive, and adding waterproof saddles and a removable, color-matched rack. This Route City Sport is $710.
This sweet Brooks edition is the cream of the crop, at $2,500.
Bikes made to stay comfortable over long distances are proliferating. The Revenio is Raleigh’s endurance/comfort road bike line, and they’ve added some carbon models to the top end, going up to the 4.0 dressed in Shimano Ultegra with Di2 electronic shifting for $4,000. This Carbon 1.0 is priced at $2,000. Details like a tapered head tube, internal cable routing, and a large bottom bracket juncture spell a bike that can go fast without feeling harsh. It sports the new Shimano Tiagra group, which offers up to a 30-tooth big cog in the back for a nice wide gear range without the weight of a triple chainring crank.
A lot of people are looking for comfortable endurance road bikes to do charity events and other social, and socially aware, rides. To help customers get ready, Raleigh started an ingenious website called www.mycyclingevent.com with event listings, helpful tips, a directory of local fellow cyclists who can help you out, and a lot more. They’re also partnering with the Multiple Sclerosis Society and local bike shops to donate $50 toward your MS150 ride fundraising if you purchase a Raleigh bike. Cool!
It doesn’t end here, we’ve got a lot more coverage of Interbike 2011.