Classic British bike company Raleigh have been quietly putting out top-value products under their RSP (Raleigh Special Products) label for the past couple of years. A box of the latest kit has just landed in the BikeRadar office, along with products from some other brands distributed by Raleigh – Herrmans grips, Meqix tools and Avanti sunglasses. Here's a quick first look before they go off for testing.
Lightweight Carbon Race saddle
We tested RSP's titanium-railed Pro Race saddle earlier this year and were very impressed so we have high hopes for this top-end model, which sports carbon fibre rails and shell. Aimed at road and cross-country riders, it's claimed to weigh 154g but tipped our scales at 163g – still very light, considering RRP is just £79.99.
Aero Road Bar – Carbon
To go with the saddle there's a 'carbon' drop-bar, although this time we're talking a cosmetic wrap over an alloy core, not full-carbon construction. The 'Aero' tag comes from the flat top sections; we're not sure how much difference they'd make in a wind tunnel but they should improve comfort when riding on the tops.
The 356g (actual weight) bar comes in 420 and 440mm widths, to fit an oversize (31.8mm) stem. Supplied with RSP cushioned tape, it costs £59.99. The Aero Road bar is also available in an all-alloy version for £29.99.
Super Narrow Fixie bar and grips
Also available on the handlebar front is this 500mm wide pipe aimed at fixed-gear riders. It's matt black, weighs 189g and comes with a set of foam grips. If 500mm is still too wide, cut marks on the ends make it easy to trim down to 400mm. RRP is £21.99. It fits a standard (non-oversize) 25.4mm stem.
Lightweight Road pedal
Back to the performance road riding side of things, we were impressed by RSP's Look Keo compatible road pedals when we tested them last year, saying they were some of the best budget offerings on the market. The resin-bodied Lightweight versions weigh about 80g less (245g a pair) and cost just £15 more, making them both lighter and cheaper than Look's Keo Classics.
The cycle computer market is pretty crowded these days and £149.99 may seem like a lot of money for one that isn't GPS-enabled but the wireless EX4.0 boasts a massive 33 functions, including heart rate, cadence and altitude.
Professional chain catcher
Finally, RSP's chain catcher is designed to protect carbon frames from dropped chains. The K-Edge catcher that's popular with the pros costs £29.99; RSP's is just £9.99 and weighs 19g, including all its hardware.
We've not heard of Herrmans before but this Finnish company are apparently branching out into aftermarket sales after previously focusing on OEM equipment for complete bikes. They've been going since 1959 and, among other claims, reckon they were the first company to develop an LED-based bike light.
We've been sent three sets of grips for testing from their massive range. The Blister PrimErgo Jet (pictured below) is an ergonomic model aimed at touring and urban riders. It's shaped a little like a rifle butt and features a cork-effect finish and hidden outboard locking collar. Its glass fibre reinforced plastic core makes it quite a firm grip. RRP is £24.99.
The £9.99 Card-D Ergo shares the PrimErgo Jet's cork finish and has a similar ergonomic design but it's 20mm shorter, at 120mm, and is a lot softer, with no locking collars. Finally, the Card-D Woodoo is from Herrman's Attaque series of performance grips, rather than their Comfort series. It's a non-locking grip with a bulged centre and raised diamond pattern. RRP is £6.99.
Raleigh are also bringing in tools from Taiwan's Meqix to the UK. The
Last up are two pairs of glasses from Avenir. The £19.99 Smoke and £17.99 Delta both come with three sets of replacement lenses (clear, yellow and polarised) plus a soft storage pouch, which makes them look like a real bargain.
For more details about any of these products, visit www.cyclelife.com.