Tamland Two in its "natural habitat".

Tamland Two in its “natural habitat”.

Raleigh Tamland Two: On Test- by Guitar Ted

The cycling industry is now starting to pay more attention to gravel road riding and Raleigh has now produced the results of their “listening to the needs of gravel riders” in the Tamland range which consists of two models. This test/review will be centered on the range topping Tamland Two.

Background: Raleigh had purposed to build a gravel bike by 2012, and sometime during that year, Raleigh product managers and engineers reached out and spoke with yours truly about what I would do if I were to produce a gravel road bike for Raleigh. Keeping in mind that it had to fit Raleigh’s traditions and be a sellable product, I gave them my input on the proposed bike. Raleigh then went to work on the bike and by Summer 2013, they showed the Tamland at their Dealer Camp in Utah. Of course, we showed you the bike in our Interbike coverage, seen here. It’s been a long wait, but now the Tamland is here.

TAMLAND 2 013My input on the bike apparently was something that made an impression, since many of the suggestions I gave them made it though to the final product. In an effort to be transparent, I will list what things I suggested here that Raleigh ended up using:

  • Steel frame and fork
  • Slacker head angle, (71-ish degrees)
  • Big triangle for frame bags
  • Downtube routed cables to make using frame bags easier.
  • 430-ish mm chain stays
  • Clearance for up to 42mm tires.
  • Rack, fender, and chain hangar braze ons and fittings.
  • Lower than 70mm bottom bracket drop.
  • Disc Brakes
  • Clement MSO tires

I will also add that these have been my opinions for a minimum basic gravel set up. The basic differences from standard cyclo cross bikes are the bigger tire clearances, slacker head tube angles, (than many cross bikes), and lower bottom bracket, besides the frame material, which I suggested should be steel. Finally- I don’t know going in if this all would be the best thing since sliced bread, or a huge failure. I was basing my theories on my previous experiences observing riders on gravel, talking with them, riding in events myself, and from my experiences on several geometries used on gravel. One more thing to add…….

I purchased the bike here on review with my own money.

Features & Geometry:

TAMLAND 2 018The Tamland is made from steel, Reynolds 631, to be exact. Raleigh went to Reynolds when they were developing the Tamland with the intentions of using an 853 tube set. However; it was changed to 631 on the insistence of Reynolds when they learned it was to be a more vibration reducing design for gravel. 853 being deemed too stiff for the application. The tubes are tig welded into a frame with a slightly sloping top tube and a large opening in the main triangle for frame bag usage. The head angle on this 58cm test bike is 71.5° and the seat tube angle is a slackish 72.5° (Note: Smaller sizes use a 71° head angle with either 73 or 74 degree seat tube angles.) TAMLAND 2 009

The chain stays are 440mm in length and bottom bracket drop ranges from 77mm at the small end to 72.5mm at the largest sized end of the range. The intent of the geometry is to provide stability in the loosest gravel road conditions at high speeds and to give the rider the best comfort for the longer rides. The Reynolds 631 tube set was chosen to play into this, as stated.

The drive train is an Ultegra 11 speed affair which uses a “mid-compact” front chain ring set up consisting of a 52T/36T combination and an 11 speed cassette with an 11-32T spread. Shifters/brake levers are Ultegra 11′s as well. Novatech disc hubs spin 14 gauge stainless steel spokes, alloy nipples, Weinman KMax Pro single eyelet rims, and Clement MSO 40mm tires with tubes. (Plenty of clearance on those tires, by the way.) Stopping is by disc only and that by the new TRP Spyre dual piston mechanical brakes. (Both pistons move to contact the rotor unlike most mechanical disc brakes.)

TRP Spyre mech disc brakes

TRP Spyre mech disc brakes

 

The rear caliper is tucked neatly onto the chain stay, leaving clearance for a rear rack to be easily mounted. Also worth noting, the brake wire anchor on the actuation arm on the Spyre caliper is centered over the caliper body, so it is less likely to cause any clearance issues as well. The calipers also have a cable adjuster, which is a nice touch.

Cock pit parts are mostly an FSA affair with their Energy range being represented by the stem and handle bar. The bar is covered with some nice, grippy tape as well.  Using a traditional road drop, these bars should appeal to road bikers coming over to ride gravel. The head set is an external 1 1/8th FSA unit. The seat post is a Raleigh branded, two bolt style clamp with set back that is actually quite nice for a house branded component. The saddle on it is a Pro Logo Kappa Evo with a nice, grippy cover.

The front fork is a special 50mm offset, curved blade, uni-crown steel fork that was designed to work with the geometry to help mitigate gravel road vibrations.

Click on any of the following images to enlarge them;

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Stay tuned for a First Impressions post coming in a few days. For more on the Tamland Two, Click Here.

Note: Guitar Ted bought this bicycle and is not being paid nor bribed for this review by Raleigh, or any of the component manufacturers represented on the build. I will strive to give my honest thoughts and opinions throughout.