So we’ve been hearing a ton of great things about the Urban Fitness bikes of Raleigh Cadent 2 and decided to do a review. Indeed, after scouring through the online reviews of the Raleigh Cadent 2, we can confirm that the bike does have a lot of happy customers.The bike is fantastic for its price, offering durability, functionality, ease of use, and, well, just about anything the urban rider needs, in a nice and clean package. It’s one of those, how shall we say, balanced bikes that are great for all kinds of riders, whether they’re beginners, casual riders or experienced cyclists.
Well, let’s cut to the chase and delve into exactly what makes this bike stand out among the rest. In this review, we’ll try to delve into the details so you can decide for yourself if this is a bike you can get into, so read on!
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The Aluminum Frame
One thing—one major thing—people look for in a bike is durability. And we can tell you right now that the Raleigh Cadent 2 Urban Fitness bike has got that in spades. The bike’s heat-treated aluminum frame can take a real beating.
The fact that it’s been formed from “aged” heat-treated aluminum guarantees strength and durability. It’s also incredibly lightweight, which makes it incredibly responsive and easy to use.
The frame comes in different sizes, so your height really won’t matter, just find the frame that’s perfect for you. In fact, below are the different frame sizes that buyers can choose from.
Small 5’3” to 5’6” height 15” inseam
Medium 5’6” to 5’9” height 17” inseam
Large 5’9” to 6” height 19” inseam
Extra-large 6’ to 6’4” height 21” inseam
The Raleigh Cadent 2 comes with 2 700c wheels that are perfect for the urban environment. It has a relatively high inflation rate that’s all kept within a thin profile. The contact on the road is minimal, giving out less rolling resistance, better maneuverability, all of which, again, are perfect for both urban riding and daily commuting.
But the low rolling resistance doesn’t mean the tires aren’t efficient when it comes to gripping the road—because it is. We’ve ridden the Raleigh Cadent 2 on a number of weather conditions, and found that the tires are able to handle slippery and loose surfaces as good as anything.
Flat Handlebar Design
The handlebars are placed at a good angle. Hands position is in line with the stem, which, to us at least, made it very comfortable.
The angle as opposed to the frame was great, too. They’re not too low, allowing for a more leisurely ride, but low enough that riders can lean forward in a somewhat racing position. It’s kind of the best of both worlds here, and the angle of the handlebars is something we really did appreciate when we were reviewing the bike.
Powerful Braking System
Braking power, especially in an urban setting, is immensely important. You want the brake to stop when you need it to. You also want to be able to modulate your speed in a very granular manner, especially since there will be instances when you’ll need to weave around road paraphernalia during your daily commute.
The powerful mechanical disk braking system, coupled with the Shimano 4-finger braking lever, gives out a great braking experience, in terms of power and brake modulation, you can’t go wrong purchasing a Raleigh Cadent 2 as an all-around urban rider.
Assembling a bike isn’t actually something we have difficulty with here since we have a sizable garage and assemble a lot of bikes on a regular basis. But no matter your skill level, whether you’re a novice or an experienced bike assembler (like we are), the Raleigh Cadent 2 will be a breeze to put together. Indeed, the bike was delivered to use with all the tools needed for the assembly. All we really needed to do was put the pedals, handlebars, and the headset, which took us less than an hour to do.
A Few Issues
But hey, it’s not all praises. We’d be remiss not to mention a few—we should say minor—issues with the Raleigh Cadent 2.
And one such issue we had was that the handlebar stem was… not adjustable. Why Raleigh, why?! This means taller people will need a very narrow body to be able to rock this bike. In fact, if one is over 6’3″, well, we’d simply advise that you have a look at the bike first and test it out if it’s something you can still be comfortable with.
I’m 5’10” and had absolutely no problem the height of the handlebar stem. We also have a buddy on our squad who was 6’2″, and he said the stem was fine for him too. So, this issue won’t necessarily be a problem for, how shall we say, normal-sized people, but those who are a little more than average (like 6’4″ above), well, it might be different for you.
Another issue we noticed is that there are too many gears for someone who’ll be riding this bike in a predominantly urban setting. One of the drawbacks of having too many gears is that, well, you don’t need much when riding over the flat tarmac. On flat roads, it is simply the case that fewer gears are more preferable. But, hey, if you’re using this bike on a moderately hilly environment, or if there’s a section of your commuting trail that’s a bit mountainous, then the number of gears will be fine.