I’ve been riding a Raleigh Tamland 1 for the last several days and although I typically don’t review bikes I wanted to share my observations on this little beauty because it’s a whole lot of fun to ride and you can still find them around if you’re so inclined.
We purchased this bike for Jan at Skunk River Cycles in Ames last year. We paid about $1,100 for it, which was a deep discount from the $1,700 list. She never really took to it, and so it sat hanging from the living room wall like a Picasso or Monet. I know, I know. Some people hang paintings. We hang bikes. Anyway, when she got her Surly Bridge Club earlier this year, she did so with the idea that this bike would replace my Kona Rove as a (relatively) light weight gravel bike.
As it turns out, we’ll have to find something else for the wall. I finally got out on it earlier this week and wow, what a ride. I love this bike. It’s fast and responsive and forgiving and moving it forward is pretty much effortless. The frame is Reynolds 631 chromoly steel. The fork is carbon. With the exception of the front crank, the group set is all Shimano 105. Wheels are made by Weinmann especially for gravel. They’re tubeless ready and the bike comes with Clement Strada USH tires…a very nice choice for the road, although I would have preferred something a little larger than 32mm. I’ll swap them out with Panaracer Gravel Kings (38 mm, there’s plenty of clearance) before racing.
I’ll also have to swap out that crank. I’ve read some posts that refer to it as Sunrace, but it’s clearly not. I don’t know what it is. It’s no name and cheap and not the kind of thing you want to take out into the wilds unless you’re okay with the idea of walking home. Ditto the bottom bracket. We’ll see how it holds up. I don’t really understand this sort of thinking where manufacturers outfit a bike with relatively pricy components throughout and then go cheap in one area. I guess they figure most people won’t notice or care. I wouldn’t if I was using it around town. For 100 miles of gravel, I care.
This bike is positioned by Raleigh as an adventure bike… a daily commuter that can hold its own on weekend gravel. I love this segment of the market. The way I look at it, these are road bikes for the kind of roads you’ll find across most of America these days. By that, I mean crumbling and full of potholes. I also like that it’s steel. With the carbon fork, the weight is comparable to a full aluminum bike but the ride is so much better.
I also like the TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes. I’ve read some reviews that complain that the bike doesn’t have hydraulic discs, but I wouldn’t want those on this kind of bike. For one thing, you’re not going to take it down mountain singletrack so you don’t need that kind of stopping power. For another, you don’t want to have a hydraulic problem 50 miles from home because those are almost always not something you’re going to fix on the side of the road. The TRP brakes get the job done, are easy to adjust and very reliable.
From my perspective, this is an all around better bike than the Rove. That’s not an easy thing for me to admit because I love Kona. It is, though. It comes with greater tire clearance and the carbon fork makes it cut through the miles like butter. This bike just feels effortless to pedal.
Raleigh has since come out with the 2018 model and the 2019 is soon to follow, but you can still find this bike around if you’d like one. Expect to pay somewhere around $1,000 if you can find it in your size. That’s a real bargain for what you get in return.