We always advise bike buyers to make sure they get the best frame possible for their money and worry about upgrading components later. That’s definitely the approach Raleigh’s taken with its Criterium Elite – but sadly the complete bike suffers noticeably as a result.

  • Highs: Responsive, fast handling and power-friendly frame and fork
  • Lows: Nine-speed Sora gears, muffled brakes and wooden tyres
  • Buy If: You want a lively handling upgradeable machine and can’t afford the Crit Comp straightaway

Starting on a positive note, a sculpted carbon fork leads into a similarly artful head tube, which includes internal gear cable insertion points on the front face to avoid paint damage. The gradually expanding down tube constantly changes cross section on its way down to the traditional threaded bottom bracket.

The large diameter seat tube pushes through the top tube, which curves down into the seemingly obligatory skinny seatstays for damping rear wheel

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