Raleigh have raised their game in the last few years, with their carbon race bikes performing well in the Cycling Plus Bike of the Year tests and a pro team once more bearing the company name. But bikes like this are Raleigh’s bread and butter. It’s a crowded market, though, and they’ll be tussling with Trek, Specialized and Giant among others.
The Revenio is designed for long-distance comfort, with a taller head tube and a shortened top tube, but our 56cm was far from short and we were still slightly stretched. You might want to consider going down a size.
Its weight is spot on for the price and the ride itself is reassuringly neutral – pretty much ideal for days racking up long miles. The carbon fork – good on a £550 machine – and the flattened and curved seatstays also do a very good job of smoothing out road buzz even with an oversize seatpost. Hit a big bump and, as with any aluminium frame, you’re going to feel it, but for a budget road bike comfort is excellent, aided by a quality seat.
The Ponza saddle is quite narrow but has well placed and not overly deep padding, and its black-and-white stripes perfectly echo the top tube. Very neat. Raleigh have put thought into the cabling too, rubber protectors – with Raleigh logos – protecting the head tube. And as with ever more budget bikes, there’s internal brake routing through the top tube.
Unfortunately, this level of attention isn’t evident throughout the Revenio, which is suffering a minor identity crisis in places. It’s not serious, but why have eyelets at the rear and then not enough mudguard clearance even with 23mm tyres, and a fork with ample clearance but no eyelets? There are rack mounts, so Raleigh seem to think this is aimed at the all-round recreational rider, and it really would make a good commuter machine.
The welds are practical rather than pretty…
Brakes are typically average and we had a few issues with the wheels. The rear was okay, but the front spokes weren’t tight enough and the wheel was unevenly tensioned too, which would cause spokes to work loose as you ride. Our workshop manager addressed it – as your own bike shop should before selling it – but it’ll be worth checking.
All in all, Raleigh have delivered a good bike with a fine ride and decent kit, and nearly a very good bike, but you do need to get the sizing right to make the most of its taller head tube.
This article was originally published in Cycling Plus magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.