19 Aug Review: 2011 Raleigh Capri 4.0 Women’s Road Bike
I love steel bicycles, I know that isn’t a way you should start off a review of an aluminum bike but there is a reason…
SIZES: 45cm XS, 49cm SM, 52cm SM/MD, 54cm MD/LG, 56cm LG
FRAME: Atomic 13 SL Hydroformed, Butted Tubing, Women’s RE2P Geometry
FORK: Custom Carbon Composite w/Alloy Steerer
SHIFTER, F. DERAIL, R.DERAIL, GEAR, CRANKS: Shimano Ultegra with 34/50t cranks and 11-28t cassette
BRAKES: Shimano 105
WHEELS: Weinmann TR18 and
TIRES: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro 700x23c
HANDLEBAR: Avenir 200 Series Road, 31.8 Women’s Short Drop
SEAT/STEM/HANDLEBAR: Avenir 200 Series & Women’s Road Seat
EXTRAS: Rack and Fender Mounts, Cateye Reflector Set, Clear Coat, Owner’s Manual
Initial Impression of the Capri 4.0
Back in June I took delivery of a box with a large Raleigh logo on the side. Inside was a Raleigh Capri 4.0 to build up and push through the p
aces. While I have ridden several Raleigh bicycles over the years but I have never tried out their women’s geometry. Let’s see if Raleigh knows their women shall we?
Step 1: Build Bike. Step 2: Fix the creaking in the front wheels. Step 3: Change out Avenir saddle. Step 4: Ride bike for 600 miles over 5 weeks.
Key Details of the Capri 4.0
At the $1500 to $2000 level for aluminum bikes the details are really what speak. No longer are you looking at a bike on a budget, or trying to find the best entry level bike for starting out. At the $1,500 range you start looking for a bike that will last you for a good while, see a ton of miles and have a great parts line up.
The Shimano Ultegra 6700 had me at hello, and the fact that Raleigh finally got the message to not short change you at the shifters or cranks is another great thing. Normally bike manufactures will cut cost by giving you a certain level of components but cut costs but only giving you a derailleur at that level with the other parts a level down.
Ultegra 6700 shifters, cranks, chain, cassette, derailleurs (front and back!) The only thing that isn’t Ultegra is the 105 brakes, still great and great step up from most no-name/Tektro that other bike makers slap on.
Avenir stem, handlebar and seatpost are solid. The handlebars are comfortable and the handlebar tape feels like cloth at first but stays comfortable with use.
Raleigh Capri Women’s Bike Fit
The Raleigh Capri is the first road bike (ever) I didn’t need to change out the stem and/or handlebar. I am a great example of a true women’s fit but very tall. 5’10 wit ha 33″ inseam.
The only thing I swapped was the saddle as I need a “cooter hole or channel” but the Avenir saddle, that looks much like a Fi’zi:k, is on a friends bike and she loves it. In my photos their is a Crank Brothers seatpost installed but this is due to recently putting it on for review, not because the Avenir seatpost did anything wrong.
Overall Feelings of the Capri
I have spent many, many, many hours on the Capri. This is a swing price point type of bike and I wanted to make sure women that read this bike get the feedback they need as it’s either their first bike or their upgrade bike. The bike is stellar. For $1,650 the bike rides wonderful, the shaped aluminum felt like a entry level carbon bike or a mid-level steel bike. Yes, I said steel bike. The Ultegra will last for dozens of thousands of miles.
The downfall of this bike are two. First, the weight of 22 lbs for a 56cm road bike. Second, the wheels. The wheels creaked, popped and are squirmy. I rode the bike with a pair of Mavic Ksyrium SL for a few days on a bike tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The bike became a dream and it also lost three pounds. $1000 pair of wheels can do that to a lot of bikes, and it seems to be a common trend for that mid level bike. New wheels and a completely new bike.
Raleigh dealers said they would warranty my wheels if they continued to creak and pop. I spun up the tension on the spokes and it seemed to fix the problem, but that shouldn’t be done by a standard consumer without wheel building experience. Leave any creaking and popping to your dealer, it will be covered by warranty if you happen to have this problem.
I would certainly suggest this bike to friends and customers, other then the wheels and weight this bike is a stellar for the price.
Raleigh Capri 4.0 Bikes in Photos
This product was given to me at no charge for reviewing. I was not paid or bribed to give this review and it will have my honest opinion or thoughts through out.