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Raleigh Gran Sport 2014

Written by Josh Mott.

A retro styled commuter that is sure to turn heads and stand up to the rigors of urban cycling.

Price: £519.99

What they say: The Raleigh Gran Sport features a classic design with a Reynolds 520 chrome-alloy steel frame, full chromo forks, as well as all the trimmings of a modern commuter in a Shimano 2300 groupset and Tektro R359 brakes.

What it is: The Gran Sport oozes class. Classic details adorn what is a beautiful frame design and paint job, giving the bike a retro bespoke feeling without the price to match. The crowned forks cut-a-dash, as do the white wrap-around mudguards, an especially nice touch for those all to frequent rainy days.

The white paint job will have riders wanting to keep the bike a clean as possible. The polished steel finish on the handlebars and seat post are also rather eye catching. What is clear is that the Gran Sport is not just a cash-in on nostalgia for the classic bikes of yesteryear, but a genuinely good all round road bike.

It rides well too. Shimano’s 2300 16-gear groupset provides the smooth shifting usually associated with higher end derailleurs. The gear range and quality also make the Gran Sport perfectly acceptable for longer rides too and not just commuting.

One factor that riders may find slightly cumbersome is the bike’s weight (11.8kg approximately), which is especially noticeable when switching from an aluminium or carbon frame to the steel.  This does have its upsides though. The Gran Sport feels very sturdy and is more than capable of standing up to the often rough and tumble nature of commuting.

The grey chain rings and crank arms would have fit better with the overall aesthetic if they too where in the polished steel style of handlebars but this doesn’t detract from the overall beauty of the bike.

Who it’s for: While retro purists will likely turn their noses up at the Gran Sports pretender status, its stunning looks, reasonable price and all round ride quality make it ideal for anyone looking for something outside the ordinary fixie or hybrid standards.

*Pictured pedals and grip tape are not included.

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