Raleigh Ti Team Replica gets put through its paces by Urban Cyclist Magazine

Image4Back in the day, bikes had skinny Reynolds steel tubes, a flat toptube (or ‘crossbar’ in the argot of the time) and were made in factories in Nottingham and the Midlands in the millions.

Times change, sadly, but with this gorgeous looking Raleigh Ti Team Replica you can step
back to the late 1970s and early 1980s when the Ti Raleigh pro team briefly dominated the cycling world like few outfits before or since, taking in victory – and multiple stages – in the Tour de France as well as numerous Classics and other one-day races including the world title.

Image2Today’s Ti Raleigh Team Replica features that iconic red, black and yellow colour scheme, a Reynolds frame and fork, kit from Campagnolo, wheels from Mavic and a Cinelli cockpit. It’s enough to get your rose-tinted glasses misting up. It’s a shame that the neatly lugged frame is no longer made in Blighty – at least the Reynolds 525 steel comes from Birmingham. The original bikes would have been made from 531 or in some cases
its more exotic spin-off, 753, and Reynolds reckons that chromoly 525 has similar characteristics to the manganese-molybdenum 531. However, 525 is now at the lower end of the Reynolds hierarchy and is normally found much less expensive bikes.

Image1The same is true of the Campagnolo Veloce 10-speed groupset. It works fine, with smooth and accurate shifts, and the compact 50/34 chainset and 11-27 cassette are much friendlier to the average cyclist than the original’s would have been, but it isn’t what we’re used to
at two grand. Nor is the 9.4kg weight. The spec choices are balanced out to an extent by the fantastic wheels: Mavic Open Pro rims on Campagnolo Record hubs, paired with quality 23mm open tubular (ie posh clincher) tyres from Challenge. The Cinelli quill stem and bar looks the part but costs a little steering precision. Once up to a steady cruising speed, the Ti TR rolls along superbly and copes with road buzz, though you feel bigger bumps more on some other bikes. It makes you admire Jan Raas’s Paris-Roubaix victory in 1982 even more.

This is a Sunday best bike, for whatever your best Sundays entail: social rides, century
sportives…provided you’re not after a personal best. And that you’re happy to chat with admirers – everyone loves this bike. We do, too, but can’t ignore that overly inflated price. Perhaps it’s another nod to the 1970s.

OVERALL SCORE: 7/10

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Author: raleighuk

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