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squak

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Reply with quote  #1 

I only have about 200 miles on my 2017 Roker Comp, but here are my initial impressions:

Purchase – The Raleigh corporate discount was too good to pass up (I could not find a similarly spec’d carbon gravel/adventure bike for less than $2000).  I received the bike about a week after ordering.  My bike had a bent rear derailleur hanger because the derailleur was resting unprotected directly against the side of box.  A simple fix would be to ship bikes with the rear derailleur unattached.  Raleigh sent a new hanger, but it took them 3 weeks.

Assembly – Easy for anyone with a little bit of experience working on bikes.

Fit and Contact Points – No issues with fit, just the usual fine-tuning.  I’m 6’ tall with “normal” proportions and got the 58cm.  The Raleigh saddle was OK, but I swapped it out for my personal favorite (Specialized Toupe).  I didn’t like the shape of the drops on the Raleigh handlebar and replaced it with the same FSA compact that I have on my other bikes.  I like the grippy bar tape.

Frame/Fork – Finish and construction appear to be excellent.  Having an otherwise internally routed shifter cable exposed below the bottom bracket is an odd design decision and I’ll be curious to see if this leads to shifting issues over time.  I like that Raleigh spec’d a standard threaded bottom bracket.  Tire clearance is excellent, but not without limits.  Out of curiosity, I tried a 29x1.95 Specialized Renegade and 29x2.0 Maxxis Beaver—neither tire would fit.  45mm (1.8) seems to be the limit for 700c tires.  Eventually I’ll pick up a 27.5 wheelset and experiment with wider mountain bike tires.  The Roker frame isn’t specifically designed for a dropper post, but you could easily repurpose the front derailleur cable route and the Di2 hole in the seat tube for a stealth dropper post installation.  I like that the fork is 15mm thru axle because if you want to use different wheels there are lots more 15mm mtb options to choose from than 12mm road. 

Wheelset and Tires – No complaints about the wheelset.  The confirmed weight is 1860 grams (1000 rear, 860 front).  The unbranded hubs (Novatec?) spin smoothly.  The rims are tubeless ready and come pre-taped so you just need valve stems.  I have a nice set of Hope/Stan’s Crest wheels I’ll put on the Roker eventually, but the stock wheels are good enough that I’m not in a hurry.  The “non-tubeless” Clement MSO tires have been a pleasant surprise.  I set them up tubeless without any trouble and they hold air better than most of the actual tubeless tires I’ve owned.  My typical ride on the Roker includes a mix of road, gravel and single track so there’s no perfect tire, but the MSO’s have been outstanding for most surfaces.  I’ve been running 35 psi front and 38 psi rear for mixed surface rides.

Drivetrain – 1x vs 2x was not a big factor in my purchase.  They both have their advantages/disadvantages and I would have been fine with either.  I’ve been riding Shimano STI equipped road and cyclocross bikes for 15+ years and the Roker is my first experience with a SRAM road groupset.  I’m still getting used to the Double Tap shifters, but so far I’d give a slight edge to Shimano STI (more precise and less prone to miss shifts).  The 42x11-42 combo was OK, but most of my rides include long and relatively steep climbs so I replaced the 11-42 with an 11-46.  So far, the 11-46 is low enough, but I might pick up a 38T or 40T chainring for special occasions.

Brakes – Hydraulic brakes were a prerequisite for any gravel bike I was considering.  The SRAM HydroR brakes are awesome.  The Roker uses post mount vs the newer flat mount road standard.  I'm not aware of flat mount having any real advantage except they are more "future-proof".

Ride and Handling – In general I’m happy if a bike fits well and works for its intended purpose(s)—the Roker does both.  My last “gravel” bike was an old aluminum cyclocross bike and the Roker is a big improvement in pretty much every way.  It should come as no surprise that the Roker excels on gravel.  The long wheelbase, thin seat stays and wide tires add up to a comfortable ride on rough surfaces.  On the road it rides like, well, a road bike with 40mm tires.  Heavier, but not unlike my Cervelo R5, i.e. classic road bike handling.  With a nice set of road tires I would be perfectly happy using the Roker for rides that are 100% road.  The frame is plenty stiff where you want it to be, i.e. bottom bracket area, and feels responsive pedaling out of the saddle.  On single track it rides like a drop bar 29er with skinny tires.  The Roker is fun on easy single track, but obviously no substitute for an actual mountain bike when conditions get rough/technical.  Although, with a dropper post and 27.5 wheels I think you could push the envelope.  If you're familiar with the PNW I've ridden the Roker on the Grand Ridge, Tiger Mtn and Olallie trails without feeling too underbiked.
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for this great review! I ended up ordering the same bike and hopefully will see it here by the end of the week. I found a better price than the Corporate discount so I decided to buy the bike from Raleigh and then price match using my credit card. I’ll hold onto the bike in the box for a bit in case the price match doesn’t go through...
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Bentpushrod

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the review. I just ordered the Roker Sport today. I wanted a 2x drivetrain, and prefer Shimano, though I have other bikes with SRAM. I usually ride a Salsa El Mariachi on gravel rides. Occasionally if the gravel isn't too chunky I will ride my Specialized Roubaix. I have 32mm tires shoehorned into the Roubaix, not ideal, basically no clearance, been lusting over a Roker for quite some time, and with the corporate discount, and being this is the last run of bikes, I figured I better get one while I still could.
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Fishman

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Reply with quote  #4 
Interesting Roker review. Custom build of Roker Sport by JOM of Gravel Cyclist

http://www.gravelcyclist.com/training-rides/video-photo-feature-ultimate-carbon-gravel-bike/


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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fishman
Interesting Roker review. Custom build of Roker Sport by JOM of Gravel Cyclist

http://www.gravelcyclist.com/training-rides/video-photo-feature-ultimate-carbon-gravel-bike/




After today's first ride on my 2017 Roker Comp I would say I am not super impressed with the bike. The bike is fine. Soaks up the washboard nasty bumps I was riding on the downhill. Climbs well and does everything well except for one thing. I really hate the 1x Sram Rival gearing. Having Shimano all my life I couldn't get use to the shifting today. 1 click to go down the gears and 2 clicks to go up the gears. Going down was no problem. Going up the gears was a major problem. The gears seemed too far spaced apart and it seem like I was always in the wrong gear even when I did seem to have it in the right gear. I will ride it some more to see if I can get use to it but might be shifting it to 2x shifting.


Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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squak

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Reply with quote  #6 

I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate the SRAM shifting/gearing, but after about 15 rides I'm pretty much convinced that Shimano STI is better than Double Tap.  I've experienced more missed shifts in 2 months with SRAM than I did in 15+ years with Shimano.  Although, I'm not really bothered by the big gaps between gears since my "gravel" rides tend to be more like mountain bike rides than road rides.

Interesting that the Gravel Cyclist guy says 29x2.0 tires fit the Roker.  1.95 Specialized Renegades and 2.0 Maxxis Beavers wouldn't fit my frame.

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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak

I wouldn't go so far as to say I hate the SRAM shifting/gearing, but after about 15 rides I'm pretty much convinced that Shimano STI is better than Double Tap.  I've experienced more missed shifts in 2 months with SRAM than I did in 15+ years with Shimano.  Although, I'm not really bothered by the big gaps between gears since my "gravel" rides tend to be more like mountain bike rides than road rides.

Interesting that the Gravel Cyclist guy says 29x2.0 tires fit the Roker.  1.95 Specialized Renegades and 2.0 Maxxis Beavers wouldn't fit my frame.



squak he bought the Roker Sport which might have more tire clearance. What I am worried at my end is I plan on racing this bike. With the big gaps and not knowing what gear your are in or the feeling of always being in the wrong gear I might not be able to keep up with the riders around me or will always be shifting gears. The other thought process is if I can't shift right when I am at full strength what will it be like towards the end of a race when the thinking process is quite 100% or worse yet during the night


Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #8 
Squat I probably stop counting last night but guessing I missed around 20 - 30 shifts on that 30 mile ride. 20 is probably on the light side.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #9 
I just received my Roker Comp and I seem to have a bent derailleur hanger also. It’s in the way they ship it. I can bend it back so not too worried. I am having trouble finding the bolts for the front brake posts. Not on the bike and cannot seem to find a “baggie” with some extra bolts. To you guys that just got the same bike, any hints on where the bolts may be in box so I can mount the caliper?
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakswak
I just received my Roker Comp and I seem to have a bent derailleur hanger also. It’s in the way they ship it. I can bend it back so not too worried. I am having trouble finding the bolts for the front brake posts. Not on the bike and cannot seem to find a “baggie” with some extra bolts. To you guys that just got the same bike, any hints on where the bolts may be in box so I can mount the caliper?


I think Fedew handles them wrong.

I put my bike together except for the front wheel and caliper. There was a big bag that had lots of bolts and hardware in it. I am guessing it was in there. There was also a small bag tape to something. It's been a couple of weeks claiming Senior Moment here.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #11 
Thanks for the quick reply. Ok no bag of hardware to be found although those two bolts are the only things I’m missing. I guess I’ll have to call them after the holiday weekend.

I don’t think FEDEX handled the bike wrong. Raleigh should unattach the rear derrailuer when shipping.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakswak
Thanks for the quick reply. Ok no bag of hardware to be found although those two bolts are the only things I’m missing. I guess I’ll have to call them after the holiday weekend. I don’t think FEDEX handled the bike wrong. Raleigh should unattach the rear derrailuer when shipping.


I work at Lowes and in our hardware dept. we would have those bolts. All you need to find out is like

metric 6 8 etc and what length 20mm etc.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #13 
I feel stupid. Found a box with some hardware which included the brake mount bolts. Duh! Calipers adjusted, RD adjusted and it’s ready to go.

Weight as measured on my digital scale was 20.57lbs for my size 58cm. This is without pedals.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yakswak
I feel stupid. Found a box with some hardware which included the brake mount bolts. Duh! Calipers adjusted, RD adjusted and it’s ready to go. Weight as measured on my digital scale was 20.57lbs for my size 58cm. This is without pedals.


Congrats is this with the front and rear reflectors off and the wheel reflectors? Would be interested in hearing your first ride report. I have to work today but planning on riding mine in the cold tonight.

Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #15 
Yes this is sans reflectors and the spoke protector also off.
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Yakswak

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman


Congrats is this with the front and rear reflectors off and the wheel reflectors? Would be interested in hearing your first ride report. I have to work today but planning on riding mine in the cold tonight.

Zman


I did my first ride yesterday in the hills across town. Cold and dry until I got to the gravel roads which was muddy and wet. Total 22mi,12mi of which was off asphalt and total about 1000’ of climbing.

Very smooth riding. Reminds me of my old Fuji carbon road bike I sold a while ago..this is a good thing. Good power transfer on the climbs. Tires were fast rolling on the road (at least fast enough), felt sure on gravel and mud. Predictable when drifting in turns.

Brakes need better bedding by me although it felt good overall. More screeching than I’m used to when wet/muddy compared to my Mountain bike brakes (Shimano XT, Formula, etc).

Didn’t find the ride less chattery on this ride than my Van Dessel cross bike but I have 35’s on that bike too, and there are a lot of exposed rocks on the road that only suspension forks would ease the pain. I would need to go on longer rides more often to form an opinion on that front.

No issues with components overall. Will need to work on saddle position a bit more. I’ll be getting full fenders soon.

Overall I’m happy with the bike and it’s great to get updated components for the price paid.
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jerrduford

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Reply with quote  #17 
Squak - Were you able to change to 46T on the Roker Comp without any additional parts? Just tighten the b-limit screw and the stock rear mech will take the 46?
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squak

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Reply with quote  #18 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrduford
Squak - Were you able to change to 46T on the Roker Comp without any additional parts? Just tighten the b-limit screw and the stock rear mech will take the 46?


Good question.  Apparently the freehub body on the stock wheelset is 11-speed road (1.8mm wider than typical 9/10/11 speed freehub body). When I installed the 11-46 SunRace cassette there was some play, but adding a thin spacer solved the problem.  Interesting that the stock SRAM cassette fit tight without a spacer.  You’ll need to adjust the b-screw and your high/low stops.  The Rival rear derailleur handles 46T no problem and I read somewhere that you can go up to 50T.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #19 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak


Good question.  Apparently the freehub body on the stock wheelset is 11-speed road (1.8mm wider than typical 9/10/11 speed freehub body). When I installed the 11-46 SunRace cassette there was some play, but adding a thin spacer solved the problem.  Interesting that the stock SRAM cassette fit tight without a spacer.  You’ll need to adjust the b-screw and your high/low stops.  The Rival rear derailleur handles 46T no problem and I read somewhere that you can go up to 50T.


squak not being the techy guy here you are talking about the 1x Sram Rival that came stock on it. I am not sure even what came stock on it. When you switch out to 1 x46 or 1 x 50 on the rear I know you are getting better/lower climbing gear. What are you giving up in gaps between gears or on the top for this switch?

Thanks
Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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jjbnum3

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak

I only have about 200 miles on my 2017 Roker Comp, but here are my initial impressions:

Purchase – The Raleigh corporate discount was too good to pass up (I could not find a similarly spec’d carbon gravel/adventure bike for less than $2000).  I received the bike about a week after ordering.  My bike had a bent rear derailleur hanger because the derailleur was resting unprotected directly against the side of box.  A simple fix would be to ship bikes with the rear derailleur unattached.  Raleigh sent a new hanger, but it took them 3 weeks.



Thanks for the review. Sucks about the derailleur hanger.When I bought from Raleigh corp over A year ago,the rear derailleur was not attached to any of bikes they sent me.

But I bought A discount Raleigh Tamland on Amazon and the derailleur  was sticking out of the box and pushed into the wheel.They did give me A extra discount or I might have sent back.I have had good luck with Amazon in my few damage goods.

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squak

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Reply with quote  #21 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zurichman


squak not being the techy guy here you are talking about the 1x Sram Rival that came stock on it. I am not sure even what came stock on it. When you switch out to 1 x46 or 1 x 50 on the rear I know you are getting better/lower climbing gear. What are you giving up in gaps between gears or on the top for this switch?

Thanks
Zman


The stock cassette is a SRAM PG-1130 11-42.  I replaced it with a SunRace 11-46 to get an easier climbing gear.  Everything else stayed the same.  Wider range means you get wider gaps between gears--I'm OK with that.
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Zurichman

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Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak


The stock cassette is a SRAM PG-1130 11-42.  I replaced it with a SunRace 11-46 to get an easier climbing gear.  Everything else stayed the same.  Wider range means you get wider gaps between gears--I'm OK with that.


Squak thanks very much for this info. I have entered 3 what I would call major or guess nice gravel races so far this year

Dirty Pecan in Fl. in March
Bootlegger 100 in Lenoir NC in April
plan on doing Funks Bottom in Ohio also

from what I am reading Bootlegger has some really nasty and major climbing in it. What I might do is get have 2 different sets of rear  wheel for the bike with the one having the 11-46 set up. Does Sram make the 11-46? Last question did you have to change the chain length when you went to put on the 11-46 or just adjust what they call the B screw?

Thanks
Zman

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If it was easy it wouldn't be a memory. You just hope you don't have all your memories in the same ride. been there dun that Zman
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jerrduford

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by squak


The stock cassette is a SRAM PG-1130 11-42.  I replaced it with a SunRace 11-46 to get an easier climbing gear.  Everything else stayed the same.  Wider range means you get wider gaps between gears--I'm OK with that.


Thanks for the info here and above Squak. I haven't needed the range yet but I might once I load it up and go bikepacking. 

Has shifting been good with the Sunrace cassette? I've been having issues with mine on the low (smaller) cogs but adjusting to compensate makes me have issues on the high (bigger) cogs. I've spent a fair bit of time trying to get it perfect and can't seem to. Next step might be to pull out the cable and lube it myself then re-install.. could be excess friction I suppose
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squak

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Reply with quote  #24 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerrduford


Thanks for the info here and above Squak. I haven't needed the range yet but I might once I load it up and go bikepacking. 

Has shifting been good with the Sunrace cassette? I've been having issues with mine on the low (smaller) cogs but adjusting to compensate makes me have issues on the high (bigger) cogs. I've spent a fair bit of time trying to get it perfect and can't seem to. Next step might be to pull out the cable and lube it myself then re-install.. could be excess friction I suppose


No noticeable difference in shifting performance between the SRAM and SunRace cassettes. Shifting is good, but not great.

I've been thinking about replacing the shifter cable too. Mostly because I don't like how it's routed into the right side of the downtube. Looks weird and results in an extra bend (that may or may not affect shifting).
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canuckystan

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Reply with quote  #25 
Does it say where it was built?  I had a Tamland built in China and didn't care for it at all.  Not sure what the culprit was, but I suspect the tubes were lower quality steel and too fat/stiff for what the bike was supposed to be.  I have a Surly now and a world of difference and it's only 4130.  
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