You can talk about high end components and bike weight until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not having fun on your bike, many would say you’re missing the point. In a nut shell, that’s the direction Raleigh is taking with their line for 2016. That’s not to say Raleigh is without any high end bikes for next year – the new Carbon Skarn full suspension bike is offered as proof. But that for the bulk of the line they are focused on well spec’ed, affordable, fun bikes for the city, open road, dirt, and for youth…
Yes, for 2016 Raleigh has a fat bike. Two to be exact. How does Raleigh expect to compete in a market getting more crowded by the day? Mostly on price without cheaping out on features. The upper end Rumson uses a 197x12mm rear and 150x15mm front thru axle dropouts for a suspension ready 6061 aluminum frame that ships with a tapered, rigid fork.
One of the few fat bikes that ships with 100mm rims and 4.9″ tires at this price point, the Chao Yang tires probably aren’t the lightest but they should do the trick. Built with a SRAM X5 2×10 drivetrain and TRP Spyke mechanical disc brakes, the Rumson will sell for $1,499.
For even more affordability, check out the new Pardner. The steel fat bike uses a 170mm rear spacing with 135mm front, both with bolt on hubs instead of the thru axles on the Rumson. The Pardner also downsizes to 73mm Raleigh Prospect rims with 26×4.0 CY tires. Equipped with a Shimano Alivio 3×9 drivetrain, the Pardner drops the price all the way down to $849.
In its final prototype form just this past Sea Otter, the Skarn Pro carbon is ready for the trails. The carbon frame uses a carbon link and aluminum chain stay and offers 100mm of travel front and rear. Cable routing is a mix of internal and external with provisions for front derailleurs and internal dropper posts. Offered in two carbon builds, the Skarn will be sold in the Pro model for $4,799 and the Expert model for $3,799. There will still be an aluminum Skarn Sport for $2,699 as well.
Over on the city side, the new Redux looks like a super fun bike. Calling it an aggressive urban commuter, the Redux will be sold in three builds all with 1x drivetrains.
Key to the Redux’ fun factor are the chunky 27.5×2.0 Schwalbe Big Ben tires on 28mm wide rims. Each bike is outfitted with a chain guide and a bash guard for chain retention when you’re getting rowdy on your way to work. Pricing starts at $599 for the Redux 1, then $749 for the 2, and $949 for the 1×10 Redux 3.
If dirt roads are your idea of fun, the Roker carbon could be the answer. The carbon frame and fork runs thru axles front and rear (142×12 and 100×15) and has clearance for “bigger than 40mm” tires and fender mounts. Pricing is set for $2,499 for the Sport, $3,299 for the Comp, and $5,299 for the LTD.
If you plan on sticking to the roads as much as the dirt, the new Merit Open Road bike could be the answer. Carrying the title of the lightweight evolution of the traditional road bike, the Merit series is a disc road frame built around 28-32mm tires. One interesting spec choice is the use of TranzX AntiShock stems and seatpost which we first spotted back in 2013 and had yet to see on a stock bike.
The Merit line will be available in three carbon models from $2,199 – $3,299 and three aluminum models from $749 (rim brake) – $1,399. The same concept will also be offered in a women’s model called the Revere with three aluminum bikes from $749-$1,399.