Naturally, Raleigh is keen no comprehensive details or pix are leaked
before the official launch but here are a few headline items.
[Imagine the preview taking place in a room full of bikes with bold, vivid colours: blocks of reds and yellows with black front ends.]
Series One and Series Two bikes have been developed to make it easier for consumers to understand the Raleigh 'starter' ranges.
Series One bikes (£149-229) are MTB-looking leisure bikes, typically for weekend users, and are painted in more conservative colours than Series Two bikes (£229-£350) which are brighter, more colourful and for "semi-enthusiasts". Some Series Two bikes come equipped with disc brakes and are more suitable for "daily users" such as commuter cyclists.
The Raleigh BOB project - to create a women-specific bicycle - has now been extended to take in men. The Ride 100, 200, and 300 bikes all benefit from BOB-type features that were designed to be women-friendly but were liked by men too. Such as? Platform pedals; wide, comfort gel saddles; and adjustability of handlebars.
The Spirit S260 (£500) will be the first UK bike to sport the SRAM Smartbar futuristic handlebar. Raleigh has a six month lead over other potential speccers of the Smartbar. The Spirit bikes also feature futuristic Shimano-design-competition-type frames, with elastomer Moulton-style rear suspension.
Road but no touring or electric bikes
A five bike road bike range starts at £300 and tops out at £1000.
However, the £1200 Randonneur has been dropped. Raleigh only sold around 20 or so last year and the touring market was felt to be static and too niche.
"The Randonneur market may be stable for ever but will not grow. We
agonised over letting it go but have decided to concentrate on the Spirit
bikes for that market," said Simon Schofield, one of Raleigh's product managers.
And there's no electric bike either. "It's on our list for looking at.
We need to understand where the market is going," said Xavier Redois,