Bought a new old stock Raleigh Team frameset and built it with a full SRAM Red 50/34 build, Vuelta Corsa Superlite wheels, Vittoria Diamanté Pro tires, Ritchey carbon seat post and Selle Italia SLR Team seat. It weighs in at 15lbs 6oz. It shifts smoothly, accelerates quickly and eats hills. Stable at speeds in excess of 30mph. Haven't yet gone over 12 miles yet but looking forward to a half century in May.
If you want a great frameset to start with, whatever your skill level, if you can find a Raleigh Team frameset, buy it.
a Recreational Rider
Date Reviewed: January 17, 2010
Strengths: Nice ride, looks good. The 57cm fits nice where some other companys go from 56 to 58.
Weaknesses: Paint, customer service.
Good bike for the money. The clear coat started peeling around the seat clamp, by the time it stopped peeling it was about 1 inch below the seat clamp. I contacted a Raleigh sales rep and he told me it wasn't structural problem so they could not do anything for me. I have seen other company's warranty their stuff for far less of a problem.
I purchased mine from the a domestic race squad when they changed sponsors. It was a team spare and had never been out of the box. I built it over the winter and began riding it in the spring of 09. Let me just say if you can find one of these buy it. I built it up with SuperRecord-11, Thomson, Fizik, and DT-Swiss components. As built, it is aprox 16 lbs. Not being a racer I was a little concerned that it might be too stiff for my riding. However, that has not been an issue. I'm not saying that the frame isn't stiff - it is. But only as far as pedalling efficiency goes. Century rides are no issue on this frame. Road chatter is muted. This isn't as plush as my Ridley but I didn't want or expect it to be.
Climbing is as you would expect on a bike this light, it just goes. Fast decending proves to be very stable with no head shake at all.
Finish is very nice. Plus, you won't be running in to 5 other guys riding the same thing on your next group ride.
Strengths: handling, bb stiffness, weight, customer support
Weaknesses: poorly tuned ride,frame durability (one fatigued and cracked on me), chipping paint, lack of size-adjusted geometry or tubing.
2nd to the Caad9, this has got to be the best value race/sporty feeling frame currently available. Well-done carbon for $1100 is rare. That said, you get what you pay for. It's still a mass produced Chinese frame that lacks the perks of top grade carbon, vibration-tuning, size specific tubing and geometry, good paint, etc. Playing the weight game at a price point, it's not as stiff through the steerer tube and top tube as I'd like. Nor does it ride as nicely as the $3,500 frames out there, or even as well as my much stiffer and older aluminum Klein. It's no noodle though either, and you'll never be able to blame out of saddle efforts on this bike, but it just doesn't feel quite as substantial as a more expensive frame at the same weight - it gives the feeling of brittleness. Frames aren't meant to withstand strange forces, but some are better than others and I would expect this one to crack easily in a crash. I had stress cracks on the downtube of one frame, quickly rectified by the Seattle manager and no problems on the new frame. Again, you get what you pay for. Best thing is probably the handling. The 57cm is a good stage race frame, with truly neutral handling that allows you to take off rain coats mid pack but still cut tight lines in off camber corners. High speed descents on rough roads while trying to drink, etc can be a little interesting and wobbly due to the lack of torsional stiffness though. I'm not trying to bash the frame because I've ridden far worse for more money and it really is great for the price. The best measure is that although it may just be a budget race tool that meets a price point, it's still a bike I enjoy taking out for short evening spins.
Strengths: Stiff and light, which makes very good acceleration. Also Aero - you can feel it on the flats.
Weaknesses: None so far
This is by far the best bicycle I've ever ridden. And it was a fanominal deal for everything you get, too! It comes with some of easton's best items (fork, seatpost, and headset). My build comes in at around 15.5 lbs, but it can easily be built to under 13 lbs. I think i only paid $1,000 for it, but it may have been $1,100.
When i took it outside for the first time, i was chased by a dog at the bottom of a steep hill. I couldn't beleive it when i looked down and saw i was going 25 mph! This is one super efficient frame!