Thanks to some extra effort on the part of our shop's Raliegh rep, it showed up yesterday.That would be the XXIX. Here we see the placement of the downtube decal, which I think is pretty cool. The paint job is called "Dirty Red", which is an earthy toned red. A bit of a brownish tint to it, I'd say, which is complimented by the black with gold outlined decals. The fork is a straight legged affair that is disc specific. (Sorry you retro-grouches out there; no canti studs!)
Here we see how not to run your excess cable from your Avid BB-5 disc brakes! (Thanks to Carlos the Jackal for that display of weaving ability) I had an issue with the forks drop out spacing, which is somewhat wider than 100mm and requires alot of extra effort to secure the wheel in the drop outs safely. I'll have to see about cold setting that fork, or go to a bolt on skewer to get it secured to my liking. You may want to check on this if you get an XXIX.
Here's a veiw of the "S" bend seat stays and the cassette rear single speed hub. The cog that comes with the XXIX is a 20T steel cog. The cassette hub along with the front hub both roll on sealed bearings and look to be pretty decent quality.
Other component highlights include a Truvativ Firex single speed crank with a 32 tooth gear and a chainguard. The wheels have WTB rims and tires, along with a WTB saddle on top of an Easton seat post. Also from Easton are the 31.8mm stem and handlebar that are mounted up with Avid levers and Raleigh's grips. All in all, a pretty decent spec for a $750.00 bike.
The frame features a double butted ChroMo tube set with an eccentric bottom bracket secured by set screws. The frame, like the fork, is disc specific. The welds looked nice and tidy and the finish was pretty nice for a production bike.
I'm going to suffer from the trend towards super sloping top tubes on this one because I need a longer seatpost to accomodate my saddle height. The 350mm Easton post won't cut it. Other than that, the frame fits nicely. The reach to the handle bars was spot on, and I'll be able to dial this bike in pretty quickly once I get the proper seat post.
Look for a detailed ride report at a later date. I can say that during my quick test ride that the bike handles slow speed cornering rather well. No "wheel flop" or strange tendencies jumped out at me, but remember, I was weaving in and out around the display islands in the shop! Not a real good test, but hey.........this is a first impressions post, okay?