New to gear! Cannondale bikes!
Fantastic quality from the leading american brand, now available through gear bikes in Glasgow.
CANNONDALE JUST WHIPPED THE COVERS OFF THE BRAND NEW SYNAPSE, HERE’S EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.
The Synapse has been a popular bike since it was last updated in 2014, and for the new version that has just been launched, the US company has refined, rather than revolutionised, the new bike, keeping everything that was well received about the original but bringing it firmly up to date with the latest endurance road bike standards, such as disc brakes and wider tyres.
Here’s everything you need to know about Cannondale’s updated endurance bike. We’ve had the chance to ride the new bike and we’ll post a separate first ride review soon.
IT’S LIGHTER AND STIFFER
Cannondale has sought to close the performance gap to the SuperSix Evo with the new Synapse, and it’s done that by shedding weight and ramping up the stiffness.
Moving to disc brakes has freed up the designers to really maximise the frame in every way. The result is a fully asymmetric frame that weighs 950g for a size 56cm, an impressive 220g lighter than the previous frame. Stiffness at the head tube has gone up by 9.4%.
There’s also a size-specific tune to the new Synapse. It involves three forks with different offsets and steerer tube dimensions aimed at providing the same desired handling traits across the size range.
Cable routing has been cleaned up a lot over the old bike. Central to the revised routing layout is a port on the down tube into which the gear cables are routed. It is easily compatible with electronic, mechanical and wireless groupsets, with different plugs that accommodate the different requirements.
SAVE AIMS TO INCREASE COMFORT
SAVE (Synapse Active Vibration Elimination) has been a key design feature of the Synapse over the years, and it was also added to the SuperSix Evo when it was introduced in 2011.
SAVE is micro suspension, and involves areas of the frame that are designed, by the shape of the tube and carbon layup, to provide active deflection. It’s used in the chainstays, seatstays and forks. And it has now been added to the seatpost and handlebar.
The SAVE seatpost, which keeps the same 25.4mm diameter of the old bike, has a new shape to ramp up the deflection. But most interesting of all is the new Systembar, a two-piece handlebar and stem with the appearance of an integrated handlebar.
Cannondale says it offers between 4-6mm of deflection (it recorded 15mm deflection in its most extreme testing) and drastically increases front end compliance. It’s also more aero, with an elliptical shaped bar, though Cannondale isn’t talking much about the aero efficiency of the new bike.
Because it’s a two-piece design, fit adjustments can be made relatively easily. The angle of the handlebars can also be adjusted with 8° of available adjustment. Cannondale is offering a wide choice of stem lengths and angles so you should be able to dial in the fit. There’s also a Garmin and light mount that can be bolted to the front of the bar.
DISC BRAKES ONLY
The new Synapse has been designed wholly around disc brakes, there is no rim brake option. That disc brake focus has allowed Cannondale to really refine the design and carbon construction of the new frame and fork, and make fewer concessions to rim brakes.
Disc brake standards have settled down finally, and Cannondale is using flat mount brake calipers and 12mm thru-axles front and rear.
Cannondale believes disc brakes are the right choice for this type of bike and the style of riding endurance bikes are being used for, and as well as the braking benefits in all weather conditions, opens up the designers to offer the weight, comfort and tyre clearance benefits that the new Synapse offers.
BIGGER TYRE CLEARANCE AND MUDGUARDS
Tyre clearance has been increased, from the 28mm tyres of the previous Synapse, to 32mm (measured) on the new bike. Stock bikes will ship with 28mm tyres with Vittoria tyres a common option, a tyre we like here at Bespoke.
The new Synapse also takes mudguards, with hidden eyelets on the inside for the fork legs and a removable brake bridge for attaching ‘guards when the roads are wet and you don’t want to get a soggy bum.
The new Synapse will be available in a choice of builds starting from £2,199 and rising to £7,999, with a split between the lighter Hi-Mod frame on the top models, and a regular Carbon (without high-modulus carbon) on the lower models.
Tune in soon for a first ride of the new Synapse…
THE HIGH-END ALUMINIUM OPTION
DOES ALUMINIUM STILL HAVE A PLACE IN A MARKET DOMINATED BY CARBON?
It has been nearly 20 years since Marco Pantani became the last man to win the Tour de France on an aluminium bike (a Bianchi Mega Pro XL) and since then the peloton, along with the consumer market, has come to be dominated by carbon fibre.
There are four main frame materials of choice but it’s aluminium that has unfairly been relegated to the cheaper end of the road bike market because it’s easy to mass produce cheaply. Titanium and steel remain expensive materials to work and don’t lend themselves to mass production, while carbon fibre, once extremely expensive when it was new and exciting, has become a lot more affordable over the years.
But there are many good reasons for making a high-end frame from aluminium and in the two decades since Pantani’s victory, a number of bicycle manufacturers have been keeping the aluminium flame alive. Despite investing millions in carbon fibre development and manufacturing, they’ve continued to develop aluminium, pushing it ever closer to its limit.
That means you can buy an aluminium frame that’s nearly as light (in some cases lighter) as many carbon frames, provides an excellent strength to weight ratio, has more compliance than you’d expect and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper. It’s notable that carbon has become a lot more affordable but the frame still commands a large part of the price tag in an off-the-shelf build, and that’s where aluminium provides a good alternative.
Aluminium frames are also tough, making them ideal for racing. Carbon may be strong but it is brittle and can fail under the right circumstances. Aluminium will dent or bend long before it fails. And don’t believe the line about aluminium frames being harsh and uncomfortable to ride. The latest aluminium developments have made big progress in the comfort department.
I have always liked Cannondale as a brand. When I was a teenager getting into MTB, Cannondale were a cool brand. They were always prepared to push the envelope in terms of design and engineering; never afraid to challenge the status quo.
And that’s carried into the road scene.
The Saeco CAAD 7 was my dream bike 15 yrs ago. When Lance was winning the Tour and the Trek OCLV carbon bike was selling well I rode one and did not like it. Smooth, yes, but I did not find it that exciting a ride.
In comparison the CAAD 7 was aluminium, and thus struggled for sales on the shop floor against carbon. But it was a fantastic ride – sharp and responsive (though a tad harsh!).
Cannondale also popularised the 30mm crank system – they went out on a limb for many years, before others copied and its now the ‘standard’.
Cannondale eventually conceded that carbon was the future and did a mixed aluminium and carbon bike before going full carbon with the Supersix. A bike almost comic book oversized in terms of its tubing.
But it was only when Cannondale launched the Evo that they perfected a road frame that was the holy grail of stiff, light and compliant. For the last five years the Evo has been up there with the very best race frames you can buy. It’s certainly one of the lightest, at a staggering sub 700gms a frame.
The latest generation could not get much lighter, so they have focused on ride quality and making it slightly more aero.
The naming convention on Evo is confusing but basuically there is Evo (light), Evo Hi-Mod (very light) and finally Black Inc.
The Black Inc is the flagship version – the very lightest verson of the frame Cannondale do. Black Inc has always been super cool – when Enve made their components with white decals, Cannondale were the only people in the world who got Enve to do Black decals (that black on black look which is so popular). This run was exclusive to Cannondale for a number of years. The result was so cool, and popular, that Enve took this for themselves and its now the standard Enve finish…
The Black Inc previously suffered a near fatal flaw – in an obsession to lose weight they made previous versions non Di2 compatible – so you had to run a mechanical groupset. That massively limited demand.
Fortunately its now Di2 compatible and this bike (at the princely sum of £8999) is equipped with latest Di2 and full Enve cockpit and wheels. If you break it down that’s actually very good value.
The groupset is £3000 on its own, as are the wheels. Add in £700 for Enve finishing kit and you have a frame price of around £2000…
Find me a single frame that’s anywhere near this quality at that price!
As mentioned before, Cannondale have over 15 years experience in oversized cranks; the theory being the stiffer the axle the lighter the crank. This latest version is the SiSL2.
The chainrings (big and small) are actually one piece; these were my new favourite size of 52/36 (the so called mid-compact) – I think it’s a great compromise: you lose nothing on the top end and climbing with a 36 is much nicer than on a 39
The Black Inc, in keeping with its name, used to be a super stealth all black bike. This year they have added some white elements to the rear triangle. It looks very smart. My wife, who despairs about the number of different bikes I leave in her kitchen, conceded that this one was “very nice”.
The Black Inc Supersix is the lightest bike I have personally ever ridden.
Its genuinely astonishing how light it is.
Not surprisingly, climbing is a joy. Super light frame, stiff BB and a stiff crank means you fly up hills. I set a lot of Strava PBs around Kent on this bike !
Apart from the proprietary cranks, the full groupset is new Shimano Di2. So shifting is sublime, and the brakes are fabulous. Great stopping power and good modulation
The bike comes with Enve 4.5s wheels (which are part of this push to make the bike more aero). I actually think 3.4s would suit its character better. I tried a number of wheels; mainly enve 2.2 climbing wheels and they were perfect.
The post and stem is Enve and is about as good as it gets. Interestingly the post is 25.4, which is rare in this world of 31.6mm oversized. It’s meant to give the bike a bit more compliance, but I have to say it looks slightly odd against the huge carbon main triangle of the frame.
The bars are Enve, but instead of the round ones (which we adore) these are the SES Aero ones. I am personally not a fan of these; I like round tops on my bars so I can grab them when climbing. These have super wide, flat tops – presumably for added aero. But they dramatically limit your hand positions. Its probably the only component choice on the entire bike I have an issue with.
They do look cool though – so there is that…
I was saying to a colleague at work there has never been a more exciting time as a consumer to buy a bike. The sheer quality of the offerings out there is remarkable. At this level its very hard to say one ‘super bike’ is defientely better than another. Pick a bike that fits you like a glove and that suits your riding style.
For me, the Black Inc is just about perfect. I love the fact that it has a level top tube in an era so many bikes are sloping. On a bigger bike, with a taller saddle height, I think a level top tube just looks “right”. But its biggest advantage is its weight, or lack thereof.
There is a reason the Evo family is so popular in European sportives; this bike was born to climb. If I had to pick one bike to set a climbing PB it would very likely be this. check out the range at https://www.cannondale.com/en/Great%20Britain , all orders can be done through gear bikes glasgow
email : firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0141 3391179 for a quote !!
Here is a brief example of the types of bike hire enquires we receive :
“Dear Gear bikes
My friends and i are planning a cycling holiday from glasgow to inverness along the national cycle route.
Ideally, we would like to pick up hire bikes in glasgow and then drop the bikes off in inverness. Please can you confirm whether you offer this service, and if so how much would it cost?
Assume (for quote purposes) there will be 4 of us in total but the final numbers could be 3,4,5 or 6.
Assume we will all require large bikes (we are all adult males).
Some may require hire panniers.
The dates we are planning are as follows:-
Pickup bikes in glasgow sat 5th may 2018
Drop off bikes in inverness sat 12th may 2018
If you don’t offer the one way drop off service, please provide a quote for returning the bikes to your shop in glasgow on sunday 13th may.
Please can you also briefly describe the bikes we would get?
Many thanks, and if you require any further info, please email me back”
“I’d like to enquire about hiring a touring bike with two rear panniers from mid-morning on 17 May until the morning of 27 May. I am 6’4” and usually ride a 59-61cm frame bike.
Can you give me a quote and let me know what I need to do to reserve a bike in advance.
“My name is Brian Pasman and my wife and I live in Canada. We have cycled on your Systran cycle paths many times in the past. We are looking for a quote on hiring 2 hybrid gear bikes with rat traps on the back from May 9 – May 29 of this year. The bikes need to be the type where we sit up fairly straight as opposed to a mountain bike where we lean over and our backs get sore on an extended ride. Brian in 5 foot 9 inches and Carlene is 5 foot 5 inches. Carlene usually gets a man’s bike the same size as Brian’s and just lowers the seat. She likes this better than a smaller or ladies bike. Could you let us know the price for this extended 3 week period in May”
A steady flow of customers today , most in enquiring about the new government run cycle to work scheme , at last count there are now over 8 separate cycle scheme orginisations, check if your employer is signed up and come in and speak to us. The whole process is fairly simple, like i said if your unsure come in and we will talk you through the process.
Our workshop has just finished building this years bike rental fleet, all 15 bikes ready for the yearly visit of many foreighners from far and wide…..the bikes look superb this year …….
For a bit of fun last year we kept a record of every person and the country the arrived from with some intersting results ……
America – 36 people , Europe 33, new Zealand, 19 , Ireland 12 , Australia 8 , with 1 or 2 from variuos other countries .
So far this year hire bike bookings have come from mainly Belgium , France and the USA.
Theres no doubt the lure of Scotland’s fantastic scenic biking routes have brought people over, we do boast some of the best cycle routes in the uk with the outer hebrides and variuos coastal routes . the north coast 500 gets mentioned more than most !.
North Coast 500: More than 500 miles of the best the North Highlands has to offer. The route way runs to and from Inverness, venturing round the capital of the Highlands, up the West Coast and back via the rugged north coast. The North Coast 500 is Scotland’s biggest road trip measuring over 500 miles. The route begins in Inverness and flows along the stunning coastal edges of the North Highlands in one round trip. Bringing together the best of the Highlands from glistening beaches, haunting castles, monumental munros and hundreds more scenic stop-offs, you will be spoilt for choice on this road trip!
As you can imagine there are some terrific websites crammed full of information regarding planning a bike trip around Scotland, here are a few of our favourites :
If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not enjoy a cycling holiday and take your time to explore the longer routes throughout Scotland? Book a place for you and your bike on the ferry and hop across to the Isle of Arran and National Route 73, to explore the diverse landscape, taking in the rolling southern countryside and the mountainous north.
Route 1 stretches from Scotland’s border with England, up the east coast to Shetland. Split into three large sections in Scotland, including Edinburgh to Aberdeen and Aberdeen to Shetland, via Inverness, John O’Groats and Orkney, Route 1 offers a great mix of challenging and more manageable cycle paths and trails.
In the Outer Hebrides, follow the 185-mile Hebridean Way Cycling Route, which crosses 10 islands in the blissful archipelago, travelling northwards from Vatersay to Lewis.
Cycle the Kintyre Way, a beautiful route stretching from Tarbert to Machrihanish along the blissful Kintyre Peninsula. Originally designed as a walking route, the trail has been improved for cyclists and mountain bikers, and offers several rewarding sections.
Scotland’s most northerly section of Route 1 is the 109-mile stretch on Shetland, between Sumburgh Head and Nor Wick Bay. It’s not for the faint hearted, but cyclists will be rewarded with spectacular scenery throughout.
Another great site to visit below ( route 7 is fantastic)
monday 27th march
some fantastic sunshine over the weekend saw lots of people out and about on there bikes , a balmy 16 degrees on Sunday !!
Thursday 30th march :
Its that time of the year when those cycle events that your best friend got you to sign up to !
first up …..THE ETAPE ……
THE MARIE CURIE ETAPE CALEDONIA
SUNDAY 21ST MAY 2017 – PITLOCHRY, SCOTLAND
A challenging 81 miles, the ride begins and concludes in Pitlochry, featuring steep climbs, rolling hills and forest-lined roads. Once you have set off from a buzzing Pitlochry and taken in the breath taking views of Loch Rannoch and Loch Tummel, your legs will be readily prepared for the steep climb of Schiehallion. You’ll then be rewarded with exhilerating views of the Scottish Highlands, which will inspire you as you glide through tree-lined closed roads.
Once you’ve crossed the finish line, make the most of the vibrant atmosphere of our new look Event Village, relax with friends and family and raise a glass to your latest or first cycling achievement. A host of activities are being going to be taking place throughout the course of the weekend, watch this space!
more to follow …..
new bikes in-store for 2017 first up “gravel bikes”…….
GT’s Grade is one of a new trend of road bikes (some call it gravel and adventure, GT calls it EnduRoad) built with the intention of providing the capability to tackle more than just smooth roads, because with its relaxed geometry and bigger tyres, the Grade is as happy hurtling through the woods on a thin slither of singletrack as it is chasing wheels on the Sunday club run. Fit some mudguards and it can be pressed into service as a daily commuter.
If you don’t race and want a bike that’s a more versatile all-rounder than most regular race-inspired road bikes, the Grade might just be for you. This £850 Tiagra and TRP Spyre disc brake-equipped model provides a lot of fun for not a lot of outlay, and really impressed us.
we asked our good friend and regular 20 mile round trip commuter ben thomson to take a gt grade for a test ride week
To ride, the GT Grade isn’t all that dissimilar to a regular road bike. On smooth roads, it zips along with plenty of pace and demonstrates good authority on the descents, with surefooted handling through the corners. On road climbs the high weight does make itself known, but the compact chainset and 11-28t cassette do give you a fighting chance. Head off-road, though, and you might be wishing GT had specced a wider range cassette; we’re seeing manufacturers spec 30 and 32t cassettes on these sort of bikes, which definitely help on the steeper gradients you’re more likely to be discovering.
The Grade is built for going the distance. With the 28mm tyres it’s a comfortable companion over long rides. The carbon fibre fork helps remove some of the vibration at the front end, providing a bit of comfort for your hands and wrists, while the 27.2mm diameter seatpost and skinny stays attempt to provide rear end smoothness.
There is more feedback through the saddle compared with the carbon fibre Grade, which is only to be expected, but the ride never gets unduly harsh, a significant benefit no doubt of the big volume tyres. It is competent, rather than satisfyingly smooth, when the tarmac gets choppy.
Speed is easily piled on but don’t expect an electrifying or snappy ride. It’s more measured than that, partly due to the long wheelbase and a more relaxed head angle than you’d expect on a regular road bike. Once up to a decent lick, though, it hurtles along, providing enough pace to easily keep up with regular road bikes. You can average good speeds on the Grade, making it a fast commuter, and it’s only when the screw is really turned that you might wish you were on a regular road race bike.
So, good on the road, but is it any good off? Yes, is the simple answer. Heading off-road is where the Grade gets really interesting. As you no doubt know, gravel and adventure bikes have become hugely popular in the past couple of years and the Grade came along just as the scene was mushrooming from an underground US-only pastime to the global invasion it has become, with more manufacturers jumping aboard.
GT doesn’t claim to be reinventing the wheel here, recognising that cyclists back in the day had no hesitation in taking touring bikes off-road. But there definitely appears to be a growing desire to get away from the blackstuff .
Going off-road is something the Grade excels at. With the simple addition of the bigger volume tyres, the longer wheelbase (1025mm) and slacker angles (a 70.5 degree head angle on this 55cm bike), the Grade is a huge amount of fun in the woods and over the plains and along bridleways. Spread out an Ordnance Survey map of your local area and start exploring tracks and paths as a new way of spicing up otherwise ordinary road rides.
I’ve been doing exactly this. I’ve ridden the Grade along paths and tracks I wouldn’t dream of taking a regular race bike with 23mm tyres along. The swept out handlebar, an oddity at first, suddenly makes sense off-road, providing a wider effective bar when riding in the drops for more control and leverage
It’s surprising what you can get away with on the Grade. The frame is stiff and direct, and with the tyres running soft, it smooths out smaller rocks and roots on wooded trails a treat. It’s not quite as point-and-squirt through the tighter corners as a cyclo-cross race bike, but it’s less scary when the terrain pitches you down a steep gulley into a dried-out riverbed.
Keep riding like that and you’ll reach the limits of the tyres, especially in anything but dry conditions. The frame and fork has space for up to 35mm tyres, though you might get away with wider depending on the specific tyre. Regular cyclo-cross tyres can be accommodated if you want to get through some muddy trails, so you could tackle a cyclo-cross race if you wanted.
Falling neatly between a slick and a ‘cross tyre, the Panaracer Gravel Racer I recently tested would be a good option, perfect for rides that have an equal mix of tarmac and dirt, providing extra traction on the loose while still allowing decent speeds on the smooth.
Far from being a jack-of-all-trades, master of none, the GT Grade combines the capabilities of an endurance road bike and a cyclo-cross bike into one multi-talented package. If you want a road bike that can tackle so much more than just road riding, from blasting along bridleways and trails like the cycle path to loch lomond on a Sunday morning, to commuting along a mixture of road and canal towpaths on Monday morning, the Grade manages it all.
Frame and build kit
The GT Grade is available in a range of aluminium and carbon fibre builds, with prices starting at £650 and rising to £2,499. This £850 model has a Shimano Tiagra mechanical drivetrain and TRP Spyre disc brakes.
The aluminium bikes share a frame that is visually similar to the carbon Grades. Key features include double-butted tubing with hydroformed profiles, smooth welds and a tapered head tube, and a carbon fibre fork with an aluminium steerer tube. It’s available in six sizes, from 51 to 60cm.
The Triple Triangle Design, where the seatstays bypass the seat tube and meet at the top tube, is a signature design feature that GT has been using for the many decades it has been in existence. You’ll either love it or hate it, depending on your viewpoint and memory of early GT mountain bikes.
GT keeps the cable routing simple, externally routing them along the underside of the down tube with screw-in clips to keep them secure. The carbon fibre fork has a regular quick release axle, and it’s the same at the rear dropouts. The more expensive carbon framed models feature a fork with a bolt-through axle. I didn’t notice any downside to the regular axle, with no detectable flex or disc brake rub from the front.
The 28mm tyres that the GT Grade Alloy Tiagra comes with are Continental Ultra Sport IIs. They’re a wire bead tyre so they carry a bit more weight than the folding version, so that could be a future upgrade to shed a bit of weight.
You could swap them for narrower tyres if you want, but it’s likely you’ll stick with these. They’re very good. Rolling speed is good, as is the traction in a range of conditions, and they’re impressively durable when hacking through the undergrowth.
As mentioned earlier, the Grade is designed for up to 35mm tyres, so you can go wider if you feel the need for a chunkier tyre, depending on how adventurous you want to get. With 32mm Panaracer Gravel King tyres fitted it was suitable for proper off-road exploring, good enough to tackle some of the trails I normally only ride on my mountain bike and lots of fun.
Mudguard and rack mounts ensure that the Grade will appeal to commuters and sensible cyclists who like to fit ‘guards for winter cycling, and racks for touring or commuting.
The Tiagra groupset is fine for the money. It’s not the lightest, but it’s certainly easy to use and most definitely durable. Reliability is something Shimano is famed for, and the Tiagra parts don’t disappoint in this arena. The FSA Vero 50/34t compact chainset is a common cost-saving measure but it provides adequate shifting performance and stiffness.
TRP’s Spyre disc brakes are of the mechanical variety, and here are combined with 160mm rotors front and rear. After a short bedding-in period, the brakes provided bags of power measured out with enough modulation to make them very usable.
Wheels are subject to more abuse than usual on a bike designed to be taken off road. The Formula hubs and Alex ATD 470 rims are well built, with even spoke tension, and though a little on the weighty side they turned out to be very strong and sturdy when given a battering. It would be nice to see a tubeless-ready rim as used on the more expensive Grades, though.
GT uses its own-brand flared dropped handlebar – which doesn’t take long to get used to – stem, seatpost in 27.2mm diameter and Bio-Morphic saddle. GT has wisely provided a few headset spacers so you can play about with the height of the handlebar, and the seatpost is easy to adjust with a two-bolt clamp. The saddle was pleasantly comfortable on all but the longest rides.
Hanging from the scales, this size 55cm Grade comes in at 10.01kg (22.06lb). That’s a respectable weight for the type of bike, the specification level and the type of riding it’s aimed at, and as I mentioned, you could drop a bit of weight easily by upgrading the wire bead Continental tyres to folding versions.
Any fears that the GT Grade might be a jack-of-all-trades, master of none were soon dispelled after several months of riding it. From being a suitable candidate for the evening chaingang or weekend club run to the daily commute, the Grade has all the speed and performance, plus the comfort and stability, of an endurance road bike like the Cannondale Synapse.
But it also has the capability to genuinely tackle gravel tracks, bridleways, moorland paths, canal towpaths and tree-lined singletrack, along with the ability to be pointed down terrain normally reserved for a mountain bike. Add in the generous tyre clearance, disc brake performance and reliable kit, and this Grade is a very accomplished performer. If you’re not racing, the Grade takes a sledgehammer to n+1.
Brilliantly capable and fun disc brake-equipped bike for tackling the rough and the smooth
Make and model: GT Grade Alloy Tiagra
Size tested: 55cm
About the bike
State the frame and fork material and method of construction. List the components used to build up the bike.
GT Triple Triangle™ alloy hydroformed frame
Carbon 1″1/8 to 1″1/4 alloy steerer fork
Shimano Tiagra 10 Speed drivetrain
Mechanical disc brakes
Alex/Formula disc specific wheels
GT finishing kit
Tell us what the bike is for, and who it’s aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
GT say: “For a comfortable and enjoyable set up that is primarily to get you from A to B fast whether it be gravel tracks or hard hitting roads then the new 2015 GT Grade AL Tiagra is the one for you.”
Frame and fork
Overall rating for frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
Hydroformed and double butted aluminium tubing with a tapered head tube. The triple triangle design, well, you’ll either love it or hate it.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
A carbon fibre fork with an aluminium steerer tube which adds a bit of weight, and a full aluminium frame.
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The key difference is the much slacker head angle than a road bike, which makes it much more stable and is a bonus on rough tracks. The wheelbase is longer as well, at 1025mm on this 55cm model.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
Really good fit, all the control points fall into place nicely.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Yes, mostly. The aluminium frame is sprightly and quite stiff, but the 27.2mm seatpost and big volume tyres help to smooth the ride.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
No lack of agility when you stamp on the pedals.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so, was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively, neutral or unresponsive? A little slower than most road bikes.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
Fantastic stability especially at higher speeds, though it can feel a little slow and ponderous at slower speeds – which becomes a bonus on the rougher tracks and navigating through the trees on a slither of singletrack.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike’s comfort? would you recommend any changes?
The tyres are good but the wire bead adds weight; upgrading to a more versatile tyre with a tread pattern gives more grip if you do plan to take this bike away from the roads.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike’s stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
A carbon fibre seatpost might inject a bit more compliance into the ride.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike’s efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
Lighter tyres would be a good start.
Rate the bike for efficiency of power transfer:
Rate the bike for acceleration:
Rate the bike for sprinting:
Rate the bike for high speed stability:
Rate the bike for cruising speed stability:
Rate the bike for low speed stability:
Rate the bike for flat cornering:
Rate the bike for cornering on descents:
Rate the bike for climbing:
Rate the drivetrain for performance:
Rate the drivetrain for durability:
Rate the drivetrain for weight:
Rate the drivetrain for value:
Wheels and tyres
Rate the wheels and tyres for performance:
Rate the wheels and tyres for durability:
Rate the wheels and tyres for weight:
Rate the wheels and tyres for comfort:
Rate the wheels and tyres for value:
Tell us some more about the wheels and tyres.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels or tyres? If so, what for?
I’d upgrade from wire bead to folding tyres to shed a bit of weight. And don’t be afraid to experiment with tyre choice to suit your local terrain or style of riding.
Rate the controls for performance:
Rate the controls for durability:
Rate the controls for weight:
Rate the controls for comfort:
Rate the controls for value:
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
The handlebar seems odd at first but do give it a chance, it works well off-road.
Anything else you want to say about the componentry? Comment on any other components (good or bad)
The TRP Spyre disc brakes provide a good balance of power and control, once bedded in.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes
Would you consider buying the bike? Yes
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Yes
Rate the bike overall for performance:
Rate the bike overall for value:
wow what a fantastic summer ! , although the weather was “ok” it certainly didnt dampen the spirits of a record number of visitors from abroad this year , mainly hiring one of our great bikes and heading off around some of scotlands best cycling scenery
october is a great time to be around glasgow as the city and west end is a buzz with all the new “freshers” heading to univeristy for the first year , good luck to each and every one !.
The number of bikes on the roads these days has increased rapidly and with the rise in electic bikes the future looks great !!
keep an eye out for our up and coming feature ” electric city bike day ” featuring our best selling electric model : https://www.raleigh.co.uk/bikes/electric
were are pleased to announce that glasgow will host the 2018 European Championships to include 7 leading sports: athletics, swimming, cycling, rowing, triathlon, golf & gymnastics
link : https://www.glasgow2018.com
ELECTRIC BIKES ARE HERE !!
Although the market is generally crowded with different types and styles of electric models we have chosen one brand.
a brand name that most should know ! RALEIGH !
raleighs new electic bike range first caught our eye last year , with more of a ” normal ” bike look to the range .
here’s some tech chat from raleigh on our best selling model , the “ARRAY” availible to purchase instore .
We designed the Array to be the best looking entry level e-bike on the market and we think we delivered! Great looks, comfortable riding position and smooth power delivery from the E-motion motor.
The Raleigh Array takes a beautifully styled Aluminium frame and combines it with the excellent E-Motion system that will assist you with inclines providing a smooth and controlled push. The E-motion system is the best riding front motor we have ever experienced at this price point making it a perfect choice for your first e-bike. Custom software provides an even delivery of power meaning that the bike pulls away smoothly and without the jerky surge of rival systems. There are five different modes that are easily selected with a push of a button on the handlebar to offer you various levels of assistance, this also includes a ‘walk’ mode that gives slight assistance when you are walking alongside the bike.
The front wheel motor is coupled with 7 speed Shimano Acera derailleur gears changed with the easy to use twist shift dial and provide a wide range of gears to choose from. The 300wh battery will take you between 22 and 108km* on a single charge depending on the level of assistance selected and can be easily removed so you can take it into the house to charge it for your next ride. This Array comes fully equipped with a kickstand, steel mudguards, front and rear lights and an rear pannier rack so you can ride all year round, day or night with your fully loaded pannier bags if you wish. The bike also rides on strong double wall wheel rims that are clad with high volume, puncture resistant CST tyres designed specifically for e-bikes and featuring reflective strips to make your ride safer.
So who is the Array for? Well the answer is, everybody. The Array comes in two low step colour options and a crossbar versions in a choice of traditional derailleur or hub gear systems and is one of the most inclusive bikes on the market. It can be used to commute to work, getting out and about on the weekend with family or just for leisurely rides around town. All of this with an extra bit of assistance along the way – so what are you waiting for?
*Range figure is an average and is dependent on terrain, weather conditions and level of assistance selected.