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Is Raleigh Still Quality?

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Is Raleigh Still Quality?

Old 12-16-18, 12:59 AM
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BirdsBikeBinocs
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Is Raleigh Still Quality?

Simple question for those in the know... Does Raleigh still make a quality road bike.??
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Old 12-16-18, 01:33 AM
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Raleigh is now owned along with Diamondback and they are doing mail order. For price and quality it will be in-between a Bikes Direct bike and a bike-shop brand. There's a not-very-secret corporate discount code you can use when you sign up for an account on their website that will give you additional discounts. You can get some really great deals on prior year bikes from other mail order houses sometimes... I bought my diamondback through Nashbar (get well soon, Nashbar)
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Old 12-16-18, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Simple question for those in the know... Does Raleigh still make a quality road bike.??
Itís really simple:

How do you define quality?
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Old 12-16-18, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Simple question for those in the know... Does Raleigh still make a quality road bike.??
Yes. They are owned by the Accell Group along with several other brands. Raleigh bikes are fine. I do notice a lack of halo models at high price points like you will find from Trek and Specialized. Raleigh's focus seems to be on other than the racing market. Good bikes though. I bought one of the children's models a couple years back and am still very pleased with it.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:26 AM
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The first ten speeds I ever saw were a Raleigh Record and Grand Prix. I saw them at Marshall Field, in Oak Brook, Illinois, in the toy department...about 1968ish. Fields had a whole aura around it. It was the best of the best with service unsurpassed. That sort of shopping experience is gone. The bikes were set on their own display under spotlights. They gleamed. Metallic paint with gold pinstriping. Leather saddles. Made in England. They seamed very exotic from the Schwinns I was used to seeing. My dad said I was too young for that type of bike. I had to wait a couple years before my first ten speed, a Turin branded french bike. But those Raleighs on display have always stuck in my head.

50 years later and "Raleigh" is made in China. Purchased via the internet. Delivered to your door for YOU to assemble. I wonder what customer service is like if you have a problem? Ship the bike back and we'll send you a new one?

Come to think of it, Fields would have gift wrapped and delivered that Raleigh Record fully assembled for a modest fee. The times thet are a changing.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:49 AM
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I'm not sure that you could say that Raleigh ever consistently made premium quality bikes. I own four early 70s Raleighs, and although they are all great bikes, every one of them has evidence of poor quality control at the factory. Specifically, some brazed joints have too much/too little brass; original paint has flaws; and on one of the bikes one of the chainstays is about a quarter inch shorter than the other (compensated for by the horizontal dropout). That said, they were probably no different from the other large production companies.

Also, I have to say that the quality of the headset on my 72 Super Course is amazingly good. Close to 50 years on this thing and it shows very little wear, which is a good thing because it's 26 tpi and would require a fork replacement if it went bad.
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Old 12-16-18, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
I'm not sure that you could say that Raleigh ever consistently made premium quality bikes. I own four early 70s Raleighs, and although they are all great bikes, every one of them has evidence of poor quality control at the factory.
They were all hand built bikes. How much time can you give to the details if your pricepoint is to be competitive. Handbuilt in England, boxed, shipped to U.S., distributed to bike shops, assembled, and sold. What was a Raleigh Grand Prix...$115-125 in the boom years. Heck of a product at that price.

I've seen the flaws. But given the choice of a boom era Raleigh built by hand or a robotic built 80's Pana-yata-shiki, I'll take the Raleigh any day.
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Old 12-16-18, 04:43 PM
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Thanks for the replies. I get a sense it would not be a mistake to buy a Raleigh. I figured that would be the case. Parked next to my Schwinn is a buddies Raleigh from what I would guess the mid 70's. I love the medallion on the headset. "Made In Nottingham England." I like the Willard 4.(see link) And a couple pictures of the oldie....




https://www.raleighusa.com/willard-4-141
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Old 12-16-18, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ogmtb View Post


Itís really simple:

How do you define quality?
Look at the above pictures. That's quality defined.
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Old 12-16-18, 05:00 PM
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They've positioned themselves as a mid-priced value leader. They've entered the e-bike market in a big way as well. This model in particular is outrageously fun to ride: Bosch motor with 27.5+ tires. I demo'ed and literally could not stop riding it! With tires offering this much traction and comfort, it rivaled full suspension bikes. With higher battery capacity it would be a home run hit:

https://www.raleighusa.com/tokul-ie-141

They have a city bike model as well with a less powerful but very quiet Brose motor.

https://www.raleighusa.com/redux-ie-step-over

Their emphasis overall is on quality spec at a reasonable price. You won't find $16K flagship models weighing 15 lbs. with DuraAce Di2, carbon wheels, disc brakes and leaf spring comfort options.

Last edited by radroad; 12-16-18 at 05:07 PM.
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Old 12-16-18, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
its $1140 shipped when using the free discount code, just fyi.

In the last couple years since raleigh/diamondback went heavy to the online sales model, I have assembled 4 diamondback road bikes and a Raleigh road bike for friends/co-workers. And I've assembled a diamondback mtb for myself.

all were and are good quality for the price.

as for the Willard 4-
- thru axle front and rear is nice.
- The fork isnt full carbon, so itll be heavier than some other forks.
- it's a post mount front brake, which is less elegant than flatmount, but works perfectly fine.
- the shifting is 1 gen old 5800 105. Perfectly fine(I have it on a gravel bike), it it isnt the newest generation, just fyi.
- a Praxis Alba compact crank is excellent to see. I have the lighter Zayante crank on a bike with the same gearing and love it. Really quality shifting and the 32t small ring is nice to see on a gravel bike.
- the wheelset isnt light, but it's made with quality parts.
- the cockpit is quality branded components. I've held the bars and like the bend and flare of them a lot.
- trp spyre brakes are reliable and simple. I've set them up and use them...they stop just fine.


its a good aluminum frame carbon fork gravel bike overall. At that price, you get an excellent 105/Praxis drivetrain and quality branded wheels and cockpit.
there are concessions like the spyre brakes and 60tpi tires in order to meet a price point. I have those tires in 120tpi and love them.

hard pressed to find something with more for less. If the geometry fits, it's a great option.
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Old 12-16-18, 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ogmtb View Post
How do you define quality?
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
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Old 12-16-18, 05:28 PM
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MSTATEGLFR..... Nice post. Thanks for that. I'm not ready to buy just yet. Hopefully soon. I opened an account at their website but I'm not seeing any discounts.?? No biggie. When I get serious, I'll find whatever is available for discounts. $1140 for the Willard 4 would put it over the top. Great price. I like the 48/32 chain ring up front. A 50/34 seems a bit too rugged for me.
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Old 12-16-18, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Haha yeah, just so.

I've thought of that book and the Gumption Trap many times while learning to wrench. (Still learning.)
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Old 12-16-18, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Prior to a priori?

That's how Pirsig defined quality, perhaps ... did he even own a bicycle?

Wonderful book, though .....
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Old 12-16-18, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Simple question for those in the know... Does Raleigh still make a quality road bike.??
It depends on the bike shop who did the assembly. If you're buying it online, take it to the best shop who will do a complete tuneup costing $100.00 or more. I believe the warranty on Raleigh bikes are voided if the tuneup is avoided. I could be wrong on this but don't pass it up.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post
Look at the above pictures. That's quality defined.
FYI:

Vintage Raleighs hand-crafted in England have no relation, other than name, with the low-end, mass produced Raleighs that are for sale today.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:18 PM
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Raleigh does some nice bikes and a bunch of lower end bikes that look decent but use lesser quality parts. I am building up a 17 Redux IE with some pretty trick parts and I was pretty happy with it before I bought it. I had also looked at some of the steel Raleighs for a while because they are a decent candidate for a build. Overall I would put them firmly in the middle which on my scale for large manufacturers is reasonably high.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:40 PM
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The old traditional names for bicycle makers has absolutely no meaning whatsoever anymore. There is no Raleigh, Schwinn, Fuji, Shogun, etc...etc...etc. anymore. There's a few gigantic factories in Taiwan that make all these items now on huge assembly lines manned by robots. Some bikes are better than others. They're lighter & have better parts. Brand names have nothing to do with it. Good luck on sorting it all out. You don't always get what you pay for.
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Old 12-16-18, 08:56 PM
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^^^ What he said. I have a couple of older (circa 2004) bikes with the Raleigh head badge on them and they seem like decent "bang for the buck" bikes. At that time I believe the frames were made by Kinesis. Other than that I know absolutely nothing about Raleighs.
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Old 12-17-18, 06:53 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
that is one trippy book.
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Old 12-17-18, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BirdsBikeBinocs View Post




i gotta get one of these. I bought one last year, too small for me, flipped it for a little cash. The paint job on this era Raleigh is just superb. Along with the graphics its a winner. Components are a nice grouping too. Great bike.
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Old 12-23-18, 02:06 PM
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I currently have a 2015 Raleigh Port Townsend and a 2018 Raleigh Tourist, and am quite happy with both of them.

They are by no means top of the line bikes, but they are a good value for what I paid.
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Old 02-13-19, 07:17 AM
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I purchased a 2017 Port Townsend on-sale, but returned it for refund due to a bad bottom bracket weld, dented top tube and poor construction of the rack it came with. With some modifications (replace stem, replace saddle, upgrade pedals) it would have almost been a keeper, but not quite. It was disappointing. They did refund as promised and that was good. The refund was slow, but the shipping both ways was fast and free. If you are buying one new and have time then a purchase may be worthwhile since you can evaluate the bike and make a decision. It takes some patience and willingness to repack the bike if it is not satisfactory. I recently bought a trike from Raleigh, got a good price and am happy with it overall so far.

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Old 02-13-19, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Son_Rising View Post
I purchased a 2017 Port Townsend on-sale, but returned it for refund due to a bad bottom bracket weld, dented top tube and poor construction of the rack it came with.
That's too bad, but...If you ever get the chance, Port Townsend, WA is a great place to visit. Fort Worden State Park there is the old military base where much of "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed. You can rent the old officers' houses and other indoor accommodations once used by service members. During the summer it's common to see seals, sea lions and other marine mammals. There is also camping. I've stayed there twice during bike tours starting in Seattle.
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