As one of the oldest names in cycling, Raleigh has been a staple among two-wheeled enthusiasts since the late 1800s, but despite a short foray into the off-road world in the early ’90s (hinged upon a branding-style sponsorship of John Tomac), Raleigh primarily has been glued to the pavement side of the sport. Recently, Raleigh has again turned to applying its resources off the asphalt and into the grungier side of the sport. And it appears to be a much more honest effort than it was in the Tomac days.
Pulling together a top-notch rocket ship like the Talus Carbon Pro is exactly what the company needs to step right up to the forefront of the mountain bike game.
Since its first high-end 29er offering (the steel XXIX) back in 2007, Raleigh has approached the big-wheel revolution holistically, with geometry slanted at trail riding more so than the race circuit. A 69.5-degree head tube angle paired with a tapered head tube and Fox F100 RLC thru axle fork opens up the Talus’ trail capabilities by offering a predictable and stable feel at the front end of the bike—a rather rare feeling on a race machine, but it makes the bike much more appealing as a daily driver and for more technical race courses.
Raleigh’s Direct Connect carbon frame construction—technology comparable to other big players—reduces overall frame weight by eliminating the use of lugs and material overlap. This has resulted in a stylish and worthy race machine. The construction process also allows Raleigh’s engineers to create each carbon tube, including carbon dropouts, with a specific lay-up for each intended use, with optimal tube shape to improve overall ride characteristics. Integrated Kevlar reinforcements on the bottom of the down tube and chainstay provide added reassurance against damage from chain slap and trail debris.
With a full SRAM XO component spec and Easton EC90 accessories, the Talus Carbon Pro is a well-equipped race machine. For a race-worthy 29er, the wheelset is arguably the most important component of the bike, and Raleigh did not hold back when spec’ing an Easton EC90 XC carbon wheelset. My only disappointment with the build was the standard GXP bottom bracket and the 3x10 drive train. With so many gear options available with a 2x10, the quick-shifting simplicity would definitely complement this lightweight race rig.
Internally routed cables and brake housing offer a clean look while also keeping noise to a minimum. It was surprising to see the rear hydraulic hose routed through the down tube; it’s a stylish touch but could make brake maintenance a bit more of a chore. Strategically placed for aesthetics and function, the rear brake sits neatly between the seatstay and chainstay and out of harm’s way.
If racing or logging long, fast miles on relatively smooth trails is your primary motive for a new bike purchase, the Talus Carbon Pro offers the benefits of a race bike in a versatile package with stable handling. In fast, technical terrain the Talus is comfortable, and the frame geometry made for a surprisingly maneuverable 29er. (No doubt, the feathery carbon EC90 XC wheels help in the bike’s overall flickability and climbing prowess.) On wide-open trails and smooth steep climbs, the Talus inspires all-out speed.
At $6,500, the Talus Pro Carbon is upper-middle-class on the price spectrum, but taking into consideration that it comes stock with a $2,600 wheelset makes the Talus Carbon Pro a good value for a race-oriented rider looking to step into something a bit different than the norm with top-notch performance right out of the box.
Check out a few rides we logged on the Talus Carbon Pro 29er on STRAVA: