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  1. #1
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    New Raleigh bike with Richey Break-Away system

    I came across the 2015 Raleigh Grand Prix. It has the Richey Break-Away system and comes with a travel bag. Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group. The crank is 34/50t. Reynolds 530 butted steel frame includes rack and fender mounts, and is designed for 28mm tires. I can't find what the cassette is. One source states $2,300 MSRP, another has $2100.

    Raleigh Bicycles - Grand Prix

    Does anyone have any personal observations or opinions on it? This will be my first summer touring on a bike. Locally I can use my Rocky Mountain Sherpa, but the bike case I bought is cumbersome and will rack up $$ fees if I fly with it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Kind of a tricky bike. I have toured on two Raleigh steel frame bikes, but neither had the Ritchey system.

    Here are the pros:

    - Good steel quality. Not great, but good.
    - Cool break-away feature if you fly a lot. Remember, some airlines don't kill you with fees. Do some research here! My bike shop charges $50 to take apart your bike, pack it in a box, and ship it. Not super expensive depending on where you're going.

    Here are the cons:

    - 28mm tire maximum is not flexible. My Soma Double Cross has clearance for 41mm tires, and still rides just as good as any other road bike. Flexibility is good!
    - Campagnolo can be hard to find/replace in some areas. Shimano or SRAM are much more widely available. If you are looking to travel internationally, use a more standard groupset.
    - I found the double chainring 34/50 to be fine for my touring, but you may want a triple front ring for tough hills.
    - The stock Raleigh seat is only for masochists.
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    I appreciate you posing it in pros and cons. Easily understood. Not seeing this bike discussed had me concerned.

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    Limited mounts for racks/fenders make this a less than awesome travel touring bike. Ritchey Breakaway cross bike or Surly LHT Delux are better options for touring.

  5. #5
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wnylogo View Post
    I came across the 2015 Raleigh Grand Prix. It has the Richey Break-Away system and comes with a travel bag. Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group. The crank is 34/50t. Reynolds 530 butted steel frame includes rack and fender mounts, and is designed for 28mm tires. I can't find what the cassette is. One source states $2,300 MSRP, another has $2100.
    It looks like a pretty nice bike, but the price sounds high for the specs. Mdilthey has some good points so I won't repeat them. Skimaxpower's point about rack and fender mounting would be a non issue for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by wnylogo View Post
    Does anyone have any personal observations or opinions on it? This will be my first summer touring on a bike. Locally I can use my Rocky Mountain Sherpa, but the bike case I bought is cumbersome and will rack up $$ fees if I fly with it.
    I think how suitable it is will depend on your style of touring.

    On the breakaway feature... I have not found that take-apart frames really work for me. They are probably wonderful for someone who not only flies a lot, but also starts and ends their tour at the same airport. If like me you tend to do point to point tours the advantage of the case is lost because you have to ship it home or to the endpoint of your tour. You can use a cardboard box, but it has to be a very specific size to fit the bike and still be under the airline 62" limit.

    I typically fly Southwest if at all possible. If things haven't changed since I last checked, they let you take two checked bags for no charge, but tack on a $75 bike charge (the bike still counts as one of the bags). That winds up being pretty cheap and convenient given that other many airlines charge for all bags and have a much higher bike surcharge.

    On the way home I often prefer to just drop my bike off at a bike shop to be boxed and shipped. Between the packing fee and the shipping it usually has run about $100. They seem to get a much better shipping rate than you get just walking into a UPS or FedEx store.

    I am told that using a service like shipbikes.com is pretty inexpensive too. They may be a good option if Southwest isn't convenient for where you fly.

    The bottom line is that take apart frames may or may not be a good thing depending on the specifics of your usage. Don't assume they will be cheaper without really looking at where and how you will use them.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    This is a classic sports touring bike. The 700 x 28c is a very good choice for road riding. The bike has long reach brakes which is a real plus. I wish more road bikes came with these. This will allow you to mount a fender with your 28c tires. The point is that for a road bike this bike is very flexible when it comes to tire sizes.

    I disagree or have a more nuanced of the cons in post no. 2. Parts don't fall apart that easily so I'm not too concerned with the choice of campy parts. These are good parts and will last. If you are thinking about touring with this bike in the less developed parts of the world, this could be an issue.

    I think comparing this bike to a soma doublecross or indeed any cross bike is an apples to oranges comparison. I love my soma doublecross with its fat tires and I love my salsa casseroll with its long reach brakes and 28c tires. They are designed a bit differently for somewhat different uses. The raleigh is a road bike and it has road bike parts; it is not a cross bike.

    That said if you are looking for touring bike that can take heavy loads, then the points made in post 2 are spot on (fat tires help here) and you are better off looking for a different bike.

    I'm not in love with the low spoke count wheels (24 up front, 28 in the rear) for this bike. I would have preferred 32 hole wheels for a travel bike but that is no longer the norm in wheelsets. Again this is a road bike and not really designed for heavily loaded touring.

    Pricewise veloce is roughly the same price as tiagra which can help you figure out whether the price on this is reasonable. Here is a review of veloce which will help you with your cassette question:

    Campagnolo Veloce groupset review review - Cycling Weekly
    Last edited by bikemig; 04-29-15 at 06:42 AM.

  7. #7
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    If it has 47-57mm reach brakes you'll be able to run a 32 or larger in there without fenders.
    I was able to run 35 cross tires on my IF running Shimano long reach brakes...
    I was able to run 32s with plastic fenders.
    28s with Honjo fenders.
    You might be able to run a 32 with certain types of fenders... will take some experimenting.

    If you plan to travel, the break away frame is a pretty cool option. I wish I had my IF done with S+S couplers when I had it built.

    The Campy is a non starter for me. I had Chorus on my IF - worked great for rando / road riding.
    I moved to SRAM (integrated shifter for the rear) so that I can run a wider range of cassettes. I'm running a bar end friction on the front.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    DaHon also licensed Tom's Patented design .. the Tournado was the result..


    IMO you are looking at a road bike . not that people are not fine with a road bike lightly loaded on tours,

    And NB out here where we see hundreds of touring cyclists fancy Campag spares are not stocked .. Shimano mid line is more pragmatic,

    Often things that need replacement with Campag , the shop, here, calls the next one down the coast , they do the special order and overnight shipping ,

    And then the rider puts up with their, bike as is, for a couple days on the road between the 2 shops.



    A more travel packing convenient bike is Bike Friday's.. letting go of the big wheels , gets a suitcase sized pack.. in the suitcase. Optional trailer kit you tow the suitcase..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 04-29-15 at 08:01 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wnylogo View Post
    I came across the 2015 Raleigh Grand Prix. It has the Richey Break-Away system and comes with a travel bag. Campagnolo Veloce 10 speed group. The crank is 34/50t. Reynolds 530 butted steel frame includes rack and fender mounts, and is designed for 28mm tires. I can't find what the cassette is. One source states $2,300 MSRP, another has $2100.

    Raleigh Bicycles - Grand Prix

    Does anyone have any personal observations or opinions on it? This will be my first summer touring on a bike. Locally I can use my Rocky Mountain Sherpa, but the bike case I bought is cumbersome and will rack up $$ fees if I fly with it.
    It's a nice bike, no doubt. If you are going to lightly load for your tour(s) it's perfectly suited. If you are going to load more heavily I suggest using the Sherpa as $2100.00 can pay for many oversize luggage charges.

    Brad

  10. #10
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    You might want to check out the Ritchey Breakaway Cross, which is very similar to the Raleigh Grand Prix but has cantilever brakes and clearance for larger tires and fenders. I have the Ritchey Cross and it is a great bike. I'm not sure how the price compares with the Raleigh, but it is made with better steel and is probably lighter. It comes with a carbon fork, but I've installed a steel cross/touring fork on mine. It's only drawback for touring is the chain stays are not as long as ideal for touring, so your heels might strike the panniers, but there are work-arounds for this problem. (Eg, racks that mount further back)
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemig View Post

    I disagree or have a more nuanced of the cons in post no. 2. Parts don't fall apart that easily so I'm not too concerned with the choice of campy parts. These are good parts and will last. If you are thinking about touring with this bike in the less developed parts of the world, this could be an issue.

    I think comparing this bike to a soma doublecross or indeed any cross bike is an apples to oranges comparison. I love my soma doublecross with its fat tires and I love my salsa casseroll with its long reach brakes and 28c tires. They are designed a bit differently for somewhat different uses. The raleigh is a road bike and it has road bike parts; it is not a cross bike.
    I don't disagree. I have two opinions to add:

    1. I, personally, always buy good parts. And, I know how to properly maintain them. And things still happen, occasionally, where I break something on tour. A surprise pothole, too much dust/sand, even user error are all within the realm of possibility for me. Therefore, I prefer easier sourced groupsets for "touring" bikes (could care less for road bikes, not that I have one...)

    2. I do not see a performance difference between a bike with clearance for a 28c and a bike with clearance for a 41c or more. It's not like the extra 1/2 inch of steel in the frame and fork will be felt weight-wise, and with these bikes aerodynamics is negligible. Therefore, if I had one million dollars right now, and I could buy any road bike I wanted, I would likely still buy a cross bike because "why not?"

    I don't see a penalty for having bigger clearances at all.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    I don't disagree. I have two opinions to add:

    1. I, personally, always buy good parts. And, I know how to properly maintain them. And things still happen, occasionally, where I break something on tour. A surprise pothole, too much dust/sand, even user error are all within the realm of possibility for me. Therefore, I prefer easier sourced groupsets for "touring" bikes (could care less for road bikes, not that I have one...)

    2. I do not see a performance difference between a bike with clearance for a 28c and a bike with clearance for a 41c or more. It's not like the extra 1/2 inch of steel in the frame and fork will be felt weight-wise, and with these bikes aerodynamics is negligible. Therefore, if I had one million dollars right now, and I could buy any road bike I wanted, I would likely still buy a cross bike because "why not?"

    I don't see a penalty for having bigger clearances at all.
    I suspect we weren't really disagreeing so much as emphasizing different ways the OP might use the bike. As a touring bike designed to take a load or go on different surfaces, get the bike that takes fatter tires. For general purpose road riding, lighter rims and narrower tires have some advantages.

    But I'm a little skeptical about your claim that there is no penalty for bigger clearances. Racing bikes don't have larger tire clearances and the raleigh is built more like a racing bike that takes a bit fatter tire. I've always liked the sports touring model (a fast road bike that uses long reach brakes) which is what the Raleigh is.

    We are also sidestepping the issues of frame geometry and frame weight which come into play as well.

  13. #13
    djb
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    I admit I looked at the photos quickly, but I cant see where it breaks apart.

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    Does it accept a rear luggage rack?
    I have a steel bike of similar proportions with long-drop calipers and clearance for 32mm.
    It works very well for light-med touring. Heavier expedition touring will need fatter tyres.

  15. #15
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    Well, I wasted an hour each way driving to the closest Raleigh dealer. Of course no Grand Prix in stock, nor the bike shop owner available to look up any further info on this model. The store clerk was of no help. Had my Rocky Mountain in the car, so since the owner/wrench was a no show, drove to another bike shop to get help in adjusting my shifting (another story). Reading through this thread and reevaluating what my intentions are, it doesn't appear that the Raleigh will suit my needs. A lot of good points were considered.

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