A women’s carbon bike that is happy on the all day century, yet stiff enough for trying your hand at criteriums.
Details: Performance carbon frameset with a taller headtube and a little more relaxed geometry
Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra 6770 Di2 with 6700 bits mixed in. A full Shimano groupset which is rare to find these days
Components: Handlebar, stem, seatpost and seat are all the Raleigh brand of Avenir. Not top level parts but competitive in durability and weight
Wheels: Weinman DP18 laced to Formula hubs
Full Spec on Raleigh USA
Out of the Box Thoughts
Raleigh did a great job with the aesthetics of this bike. The frame is mostly matte black with white and blue accents which is carried out on little things like rim decals, bottle cage bolts and headset spacers. The bike isn’t the lightest $4k review bike I’ve had in, but it sure is well spec’d. Finally, the electronic shifting of the Shimano Ultegra Di2 will win over many women’s hearts after the first test ride.
Riding the Raleigh Capri Carbon
I’ve always enjoyed the Raleigh women’s geometry as the 56cm out of the box fits me pretty perfectly! The endurance race geometry means that you have a taller headtube in the front and then more relaxed steering at the headtube angle. In my opinion these are great things for most riders. That is, unless you are used to a twitchy front end (crit racer) or really want to be low on the front end.
What does that even mean!?
It has the ability to become racer’d out but if your core isn’t up for the challenge, you’ll still find this bike will fit many women. As for the ride of the bike you’ll find that it has all day comfort but the stiff bottom bracket and chain stay junction makes the bike feel quick out of the saddle or off the line. With an upgrade to the wheels you’ll have a light weight, do almost everything, comfortable bike.
Gearing on the front is 50/34t, in the back cassette you have a 11-28t. The 50×11 should do most girls well on the top end but if you’re going head to head sprint with a girl that has a 53t in the front you may spin out.
Changes I Would Make
There are only a handful of things I would swap pretty immediately if this bike was my own.
The first would be to swap out to a nicer set of wheels. Even if it was to upgrade the rim to a HED Belgium or DT Swiss, it would lighten up the ride. The saddle doesn’t fit my girly parts perfectly, but more than that I’m not sure why they spec’d a carbon railed saddle on this bike and then an aluminum seatpost. I’ve never seen that combo on a stock bike before. Same for the handlebar/stem combo where you have a partial carbon stem to an aluminum handlebar. My personal preference would be all lightweight aluminum vs carbon. Finally, for this bike being touted as an endurance race bike I would have liked to see a 25c width tire on the bike.
Overall Review of the Raleigh Capri Carbon 4.0
The bike is a winner in my mind. Not too girly paint scheme, a matte black that you can dress up or down depending on your personality. The Shimano Ultegra Di2 is going to give many women a reason to try to upgrade. The electronic shifting adds something different and makes road shifting less intimidating to someone that hasn’t spent much time on a road bike. Many of my changes are personal preference of what I like on my bikes, so I would say Raleigh did a pretty darn good job hitting the $4,000 price point and staying competitive in the market. The best thing Raleigh could do is to get this bike under some faster riders or brand ambassadors in the field. The brand of Raleigh is really growing and shops are taking notice to bring more stock in, but many shops are still hesitant to bring in a women’s road bike over $2,500.
Find a local Raleigh dealer and check out the Capri Carbon for yourself!
Disclaimer: This bike was provided at no charge for review