Steel has returned with great force thanks to gravel. The result, as I have commented on some occasion, is that they are bicycles that mix a timeless style with modern solutions or components. This is the case of the Ragley Trig, a not very well-known brand but one that enriches the market for gravel bikes.
It has two different mounts: one with Shimano Tiagra and the other with hydraulic Sram Apex 1. Below, I detail this last option because I consider it somewhat more versatile and, above all, remarkably interesting.
The Ragley Trig is a bicycle built under a steel frame. Specifically, 4130 Chromoly has been used. It is a medium quality alloy steel, but quite resistant to corrosion and light enough.
« The Ragley Trig is a bicycle built in steel, using the 4130 Chromoly alloy»
The bicycle weighs about 11.6 kilos. Not bad at all compared to other steel or aluminum bikes, the latter being a kilo lighter. But I insist, in gravel other priorities must prevail (comfort, sensations, tire thickness, etc.).
« The Ragley Trig weighs just over 11 kilos. Compared to other steel bikes it is average»
Another thing that strikes us is that it has a modern and wide carbon fork. It has a completely straight design and has three eyelets for the installation of bikepacking solutions. This is appreciated because many bikes of this level usually mount the fork in steel. Certainly, forks made of this material looks much more classic than the Ragley Trig´s carbon fork.
«Another thing that strikes us is that it has a fairly modern and wide carbon fork. It has three eyelets for the installation of bikepacking solutions»
Despite having at first glance a “timeless” frame feels with round tubes, if you look closely, this model has some sloping or moderate top tube drop. This allows for a more relaxed ride relative to a totally straight frame. Also, the seatstays are somewhat curved and look quite modern and well worked. And do not forget the green color of the frame, which is attractive and aligned with the colors of nature, which means adventure.
«The frame is built with round tubes, characteristic of steel bicycles. The upper tube has a moderate drop»
There are more details that make it a bicycle with very current aspects. For example, it comes with 12mm thru-axles. Something that really pleases both for the feeling of security and the ease of removing the wheels.
As for the space for the wheels, the frame allows to locate 700c wheels with a maximum of 40c. An ideal measure for gravel, since with a greater thickness we lose some efficiency when rolling on asphalt. The frame also allows the installation of 650b wheels with a maximum width of up to 2.1”. With this feature, the bicycle allows us to have greater versatility and be able to cover any type of terrain.
« The frame allows to install 700c wheels with a maximum width of 40c or 650b and up to 2.1 »
Finally, you have various frame sizes, S, M, L and XL.
The brand offers us two different groupset options. One with Shimano Tiagra 10-speed and with mechanical brakes and another choice, with Sram Apex 1 11-speed and hydraulic disc brakes.
« The brand includes two entry level groupsets options; Shimano Tiagra and Sram Apex 1, which helps to contain the price»
I have nothing against Tiagra, but after the appearance of the GRX 400 that would equal its level, I think it is a group somewhat more focused on road cycling. For this reason, the Sram single chainring option may be the most convincing choice. In fact, I usually go with a 1x groupset and I do not miss two chainrings.
The Sram option with single chainring features a 40t chainring and a large 11-42t cassette. As I always add, if you come from road bikes, the initial feeling is that you may lack some development. But we are talking about gravel and not about fast cycling.
«Single plate choice is 40t and complemented by a large 11-42t cassette»
Este tipo de transmisión se adaptará excelentemente por distintos tipos de terreno. Tal vez, con un plato de 44t ganaríamos algo más de velocidad por pista forestales en buenas condiciones. Pero esto es una elección personal.
The components of this bicycle (handlebars, stem, seatpost and saddle) are provided by the same brand. Little to say about these serial peripherals and I understand that they are of acceptable quality (let us trust the brand). In fact, betting on assemblies of this type, what causes is that the price is not excessively high.
Over time, and if they do not convince you, you can replace them with something better. I personally, in my Merida Silex I have serial peripherals and after many years, I do not miss something higher. The only thing is that I like to change seats looking for something more comfortable.
Tires and rims
The Ragley Trig Apex 1 has the WTB Serra as its rims. I honestly do not know how they roll. It is obvious that they are suitable for any type of cycling since it is a gravel bike. Furthermore, the WTB brand is well-known in the gravel world.
Finally, regarding the tires, the WTB Resolute was chosen with a measurement of 650b and a thickness of 42c. They are very versatile tires for any type of climate and terrain. They have widely spaced blocks that prevent mud from accumulating.
« As for the tires, the WTB Resolute has been chosen with a size of 650b and a thickness of 42c»
Personally, I like to wear tires with a size up to 40c, but an option with more width will not hurt, since you will go somewhat safer and more comfortable on tracks with some difficulty. Rolling fast will also depend on your legs.
Summary table; Ragley Trig Apex 1
|Model: Ragley Trig Apex 1. |
Modality: Gravel and bikepacking.
Frame: steel Fork: carbon.
Groupset: Sram Apex 1 11 speed.
Chainring: one with 40t Cassette: 11 / 42t.
Components: aluminum series.
Tires: WTB Resolute 650b x c.
Wheels: WTB Serra 650b. Compatibility: 700c or 650b.
It has an excellent price of € 1,499.99 in ChainReactionCycles.
Well, this steel gravel bike is not bad in terms of components and groupset for a somewhat contained price.
This model looks very modern, like other higher-level steel bikes (Niner RLT or Specialized Sequoia). I am a user of the Sram Apex 1 and I find it a groupset with a particularly good performance. Maybe it lacks the smoothness of a two chainring groupset, but this is gravel and not road cycling.
I would frame the Ragley Trig 2020 as a good-looking bike and suitable for adventure cycling or even bikepacking.
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