Storied British brand Raleigh is marking the 40th anniversary of Joop Zoetemelk’s Tour de France victory with a stunning replica of his TI-Raleigh-Creda team bike.
The red TI-Raleigh is an iconic design – an object of desire for fans of cycling from a time before hidden cables and clipless pedals.
Don’t be confused by the name, by the way. The TI-Raleigh is and always was a steel bike and, like the original, the 2020 replica is made from brazed Reynolds 753 tubing, with original Raleigh-designed lugs. TI stands for Tube Investments, Raleigh’s then parent company.
This isn’t the first replica of the TI-Raleigh, but the new bike looks to be a more faithful one than the lower-specced Reynolds 525 model we tested back in 2015.
The 2020 TI blends retro-style and retro-spec components for a build that’s a touch more practical than the original.
The headset is a period-correct 1in Campagnolo Record item while the cockpit is from Cinelli, comprising a Giro D’Italia bar with a classic bend wrapped in Velox cloth tape, and a 1A quill stem.
The shifting is controlled by down tube levers as you’d expect, but the gearing is modern 2×10-speed Campagnolo Veloce rather than the 2×6 pros had to make do with 40 years ago.
The cranks look properly vintage, but the 50/39 chainrings are smaller than Zoetemelk would have used and they’re matched to a similarly generous 13-29 cassette.
Similarly, while the Dia-Compe brake levers with their natural rubber hoods don’t have ‘aero’ cable routing that runs under the bar tape, they’re matched to modern Campagnolo Centaur dual-pivot brake calipers, which will offer far better performance than any 1980’s setup.
Buyers intending to ride the TI-Raleigh day-to-day may also be relieved that the bike is specced with Challenge Open Tubular (i.e. clincher) tyres rather than real tubulars.
Naturally, they’re tan-walls, and mounted on silver Mavic Open Pro rims, which, delightfully, Raleigh has adorned with period-correct decals. These are laced to high-flange hubs of unspecified origin.
The Selle Italia Turbo 1980 saddle looks the part too and, for true authenticity, the bike ships with MKS Sylvan quill pedals complete with leather toe straps.
All this retro goodness does come at a price, of course. The TI-Raleigh will retail at £2,500 / €2,900 for a complete bike or £1,500 / €1,750 for a frameset.
It goes on sale 1 September, although Raleigh will be holding a virtual preview event and attendees will get first dibs.