Raleigh SP Comp review

A competitive rider’s ideal companion

Our rating 
3.5 out of 5 star rating 3.5
£1,450.00 RRP

Our review

Majors on handling at speed, but better vibration damping would be welcome
Skip to view product specifications

Raleigh’s SP Race impressed in the Cycling Plus Bike of the Year test. Its cheaper cousin – the SP Comp – shares the same geometry and frame material.

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  • Highs: With pitch perfect handling and an enticing, exciting ride, the SP Comp is great for competitions
  • Lows: Chatter through the fork over coarse surfaces and some unwanted flex in the chainrings
  • Buy if: You want a bike that will handle the rigours of competition at a great price

There are differences between the two bikes, though: the bottom bracket shell is BSA rather than BB30, the chassis a little heavier – but what hasn’t been lost is Raleigh’s ideally balanced ride. The handling is truly impressive, requiring minimal input for direction changes. It’s a bike that’s at its very best at speed, its stiff frame allowing you to lay it over confidently and safely through high-speed corners.

The fork tracks straight without side-to-side flex, but suffers from excessive chatter and vibration over coarse surfaces. This, combined with the aluminium bar and stem, transfers a fair amount of buzz to your hands, though the bar’s semi-wing profile offers a comfortable hold on the tops or hoods. It’s not hugely comfortable through the saddle, though, and a carbon seatpost wouldn’t go amiss.

At £1,450 it’s not surprising to see the Raleigh lose a few points on kit choice, though its 8.61kg for a 58cm frame would suggest less than you’d think.

Shifting, with the predominantly Shimano 105 drivetrain and non-series R600 compact chainset, is smooth and positive, though when climbing we could detect some flex in the large ring with more acute chainlines. But other than occasional chain noise it wasn’t an issue.

Shimano’s R561 brakes match 105 for performance, but with a bit more weight and a slightly harder compound pad. The wheels are Shimano’s solid and tough RS10s, but Raleigh haven’t skimped on the rubber. Schwalbe’s excellent Durano S tyres are both tough and fast rolling. 

The Concor is a slim and comfortable racing saddle, its high rear end allowing you to hunker into the saddle on challenging climbs and really lever into your pedal stroke.

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The guys at Nottingham have delivered another impressive machine, which in spite of its compact setup we’d still put firmly in race bike territory. It’s exciting to ride but lacks a little refinement compared with other, smoother bikes. If you have competitive ambitions, though, the SP Comp could be your perfect partner.

Raleigh SP Comp
Raleigh sp comp: raleigh sp comp
Russell Burton

Product Specifications

Product

Name SP Comp (12)
Brand Raleigh

Description 50, 54, 56, 58cm sizes, Schwalbe Durano 700x23 tyres
Rear Wheel Weight 1690
Top Tube (cm) 57
Standover Height (cm) 81.5
Seat Tube (cm) 53.5
Chainstays (cm) 40.5
Bottom Bracket Height (cm) 27.5
Weight (kg) 8.61
Stem ITM Alutech 13cm
Seatpost ITM Alutech alloy twin bolt, 31.6x350mm
Seat Angle 73
Saddle San Marco Concor, steel rails
Rims Shimano RS10, alloy loose ball and cup hubs, bladed stainless spokes, 16 radial front, 20 2-cross rear
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 short cage
Bottom Bracket Shimano external sealed cartridge alloy cups
Headset Type Integrated sealed cartridge aheadset, 1¼x11/8in
Head Angle 72
Handlebar ITM Alutech, alloy, aero, shallow anatomic, 44cm
Front Wheel Weight 1130
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 clamp-on
Frame Weight 1340
Frame Material 12K carbon, metal capped dropouts, replaceable gear hanger
Fork Weight 560
Fork Carbon, metal capped dropouts, 1¼x11/8in steerer
Cranks Shimano R600 compact, 50/34, 172.5mm arms
Chain Shimano 105
Brakes Shimano R561 dual-pivot
Wheelbase (cm) 101.5