The Raleigh Bicycle Company began life in Nottingham, England, in 1887, making it one of the world’s oldest bike brands. Having been bought and sold by various organizations over the past few decades, the current Raleigh USA company was acquired in April 2012 by the Accell Group, a Dutch holding company that also owns Lapierre, Redline and Batavus, among other bike brands. The current Raleigh catalog contains 18 road models—from the $6500 Militis to the $710 Revenio 1.0, and including the seven-bike-strong Capri series for women.
Raleigh considers the Revenio to be a “multi-faceted” bike “suited for longer-mile days” and is also an “excellent road racing frame, but not ideal for crits.” The Revenio frame is crafted from Raleigh’s proprietary Direct Connect carbon fiber, and it sports an appealing and contemporary silhouette. Notable frame features include the 1 1/8- to 1 1/2-inch tapered head tube and bladed carbon fork, a sloping (and slightly arced) top tube and stout downtube, and chainstays that are quite tall at the bottom bracket junction but gradually thin out toward the rear dropouts. The clean internal cable routing adds to the Revenio’s stealthy aesthetics, and we were impressed to find full-carbon dropouts. In between the paint at the tube intersections, the Revenio has a nice unidirectional carbon finish that provides a nice sheen in the sunlight.
In order of descending retail price, Raleigh has dubbed the four models in the Revenio Carbon line as follows: 4.0, 3.0, 2.0 and 1.0. Our 2.0 test bike came with a full Shimano 105 group. The wheels are made up of Weinmann aluminum clincher rims (with stylish, blacked-out brake tracks) paired with Formula Alloy hubs, and they’re wrapped in a set of Vittoria Zaffiro tires in size 23c. The aluminum cockpit components, including a shallow drop handlebar and 31.6mm-diameter seatpost, come from Raleigh’s house parts brand, Avenir. A plush saddle rounds out the parts list, and it, too, is from Avenir (although you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s a Fizik Arione at first glance).
Weighing in at just shy of 20 pounds isn’t all that respectable for a bike in its price range. Still, the Revenio proved to be a bike best suited for longer days in the saddle. And to that point, it serves up a solid ride quality with a stable feel and confident handling. The rear-end compliance is what you’d find on most comparable bikes from other brands, which is to say that the Carbon Revenio is a bike that can be ridden all day over a variety of road conditions without discomfort. Its front end, however, is considerably stiffer than its competitors’ models, which will appeal to those who aren’t satisfied by casually riding around their favorite loop but instead prefer to throw in a hard, sustained effort throughout the day. Our only real complaint about the Revenio Carbon 2.0 involves the wheelset. The 30mm-deep Wienmann aluminum rims are deeper than most aluminum box clinchers found on comparably priced bikes. But this greater depth is a double-edge sword. On one hand, it improves aerodynamics, but it also adds weight (for comparison, the front wheel off a $2000 test bike weighed 150 grams less). As a result, the Revenio Carbon 2.0 is noticeably slow to accelerate.
Raleigh claims that the Revenio Carbon 2.0 is a bike for all-day riding, and we have to agree. We’d like to see a lighter wheelset accompany an otherwise competent build, which would have given the relatively high performance carbon frame some accelerating chops, as well as lightening up the steering feel. Still, the Revenio Carbon 2.0 will appeal to almost any rider, but particularly to those who prefer stable, not snappy, steering and would rather power across long straightaways, not sprint to the finish line.
• Solid ride, all-day versatility
• Could do with a wheel upgrade
• On the heavy side for the price
Weight: 19.9 pounds
Sizes: 49, 52 (tested), 54, 56, 59cm
For more info: Raleigh