|The 2016 Raleigh Superbe. Courtesy: Raleigh USA|
The 2016 Raleigh Superbe is a 7-speed that comes with fenders, a chainguard, and a rear rack and has an MSRP of $450.
Last we checked, the Raleigh brand was owned by a Dutch conglomerate after being sold and resold several times. So it’s not the same company that was founded in Nottingham, England in 1887 and once dominated the bicycle industry in terms of quality and performance. The old Raleighs, like our friend old Binnie, have held up to the test of time. If you’re feeling nostalgic, you should check out this promotional film made at the Nottingham factory.
Nevertheless, the Raleigh brand rides on, and the names of the most famous old Raleigh models are being recycled: first, with the Clubman model and now Superbe.
According to the late, great Sheldon Brown, the Raleigh Superbe model “was always the super-deluxe version of [Raleigh’s] top-of-the-line bike.” Sheldon Brown’s Superbe looked like this:
|Sheldon Brown’s 1954 Raleigh Superbe. Courtesy: sheldonbrown.com|
The 2016 Superbe is a poor imitation of the real thing. That sounds harsh, but compare the 2016 model with Sheldon’s 1954 model:
The 1954 model came with a dynohub light system. The 2016 model does not include lights.
The 1954 model had an internal gear hub, protecting those gears from rainy English weather. The 2016 model comes with a plastic derailer.
The 1954 model had a full chaincase, shielding the chain from moisture and the rider’s pants from the drivetrain. The 2016 model has a chainguard.
The 1954 model came standard with a leather Brooks B-66 sprung saddle. The 2016 model has a synthetic sprung saddle.
The 1954 model came with a pump and pump holder. The 2016 model comes with neither.
There was a time when a bicycle came standard with a pump, along with a pump peg or holder.
And it still should. pic.twitter.com/ltn2HphtDr
— Bikes4TheRestOfUs (@Bikes4RestOfUs) January 4, 2016
The 2016 Superbe is a useful, functional bike. It’s just not superb, like the Superbe of yore.
|Bike Wheel Size||700c|
|Frame||Raleigh Classic Steel, Twin Tube Low Step-thru|
|Fork||Steel 1″ Threaded w/ Brake Bosses|
|Cranks||Forged Alloy, 170mm w/ 42t Heron Chain Ring|
|Bottom Bracket||Cartridge Steel w/ Oversize Bearings, Chromoly Spindle|
|Rear Derailleur||Shimano Tourney 7spd|
|Shifter||Shimano 7spd Revo Shifter|
|Brake Levers||Promax Alloy|
|Brakes||Promax Alloy V Brake, Silver|
|Cogset||Shimano Tourney 7spd 14-28|
|Rims||Weinmann 700c Alloy 36h|
|Tires||Kenda 700×35 Skin Side Wall|
|Pedals||VP Classic Steel Cage|
|Handlebar||Alloy Silver 640 Width 60mm Sweep|
|Stem||Silver Anodized 1″ Quill|
|Seatpost||Alloy Micro Adjust 25.4x300mm|
|Seat||Raleigh Comfort Saddle w/ Springs|
|Headset||Silver, 1″ Threaded|
|Front Hub||36h Nutted|
|Rear Hub||36h Nutted,|
|Spokes||14g Zinc Plated Steel|
|Grips||Velo Black Cork|
|Extras||Rack w/ bungee cords, Metal Fenders, Silver Kick Stand|