Raleigh, whose history dates back to 1887, has been enjoying a bit of a resurgence lately, with some solid-looking bikes and Team Raleigh garnering exposure for the Nottingham-based brand with its Militis Team bike.
The Militis Comp is the aluminium brother of the full carbon race bike, and benefits from the same race-proven geometry. The Comp is constructed from double-butted 6061 aluminium, helping to keep the bike's overall weight down to 8.3kg.
Raleigh's reasoning behind using aluminium over carbon at this price is that it is not only able to create a frame that's competitive on weight, but also to spec higher grade components. Raleigh has also given the frame a velvety paint finish, quite unlike any other bike.
The first thing you notice with the Militis is the bike's eagerness to drive forward. This is in part thanks to the classy Cole Rollen Elite wheels. At 1,626g per pair, they're not carbon light, but they're an excellent addition to a bike at this price.
They accelerate well and feel lively, ideal for attacking short climbs and sprints for signposts. Their 28mm depth offers a degree of aero benefit too, helping maintain speed on flatter sections, while 20 spokes up front and 24 at the rear build into a wheelset stiff enough to stand up well to big efforts out of the saddle.
Given where the bike's geometry has come from, it's no surprise to find a bike that performs well at speed, with a short head tube that allows you to get a low, aggressive stance over the bike. The head-tube is also tapered and with the deep-bladed Raleigh C6 carbon fork – the same as found on the race spec Militis Elite – results in a stiff front end.
This partly accounts for the Militis cornering well; it's possible to carve bends with confidence, and mid-corner line changes don't seem to faze the bike. Handling is nippier than a more relaxed sportive bike, as you'd expect, but not so much that it feels nervous.
Point the bike uphill and the Militis climbs well. The frame's stiffness is impressive, partly thanks to the wide down-tube and the Press-Fit 30 bottom bracket, giving plenty of weld area at this crucial junction.
Aluminium bikes aren't always as compliant as their carbon counterparts, but the carbon fork and Rollen Elite wheels do provide an element of comfort. The frame certainly isn't the harshest we've ridden, and at higher speeds it handles road vibrations well. The Militis is fitted with a 31.6mm aluminium seatpost, though, and it certainly wouldn't hurt to swap it for a carbon post.
While the contact points are aluminium rather than carbon, Raleigh has specced some decent components. SRAM Rival shifters and derailleurs provide accurate shifting, and though the S300 chainset is non-series it offers ample stiffness for transferring your efforts.
The S-Series chainset is very similar to the Rival chainset
Raleigh has opted for 53/39 chainrings with an 11-28 cassette so those looking to race might prefer a closer ratio cassette, as jumps between gears are noticeable in the middle of the block. Finishing off the package are Schwalbe's Durano S tyres, which are among the best hard-but-fast tyres around.