Some bikes can do practically everything. From being perfect for competition to being excellent for road trips - these bikes can do it all.
The Raleigh Technium bikes are precisely that. Sadly, the company behind the Technium doesn’t make them anymore. Yet, you may be able to find one of these online.
Interested in getting one of these? Here is everything you need to know.
What is a Raleigh Technium Bike?
A bike that came out in 1983 as one of the most cost-efficient &exciting models in the market. Initially, there were only three models, but a few years later in 1988, the company announced the last model – the Technium Tri-Lite.
Each model of Technium had the purpose of providing versatility and smooth biking at all times. They were utterly comfortable and at the same time delivered excellent performance for those who loved speed& casual riding.
How was the Raleigh Technium Made?
Even though it was initially produced to resemble high-quality competition bikes, the Raleigh Technium bikes were not the most quality-oriented regarding construction.
It doesn’t mean that they were terrible. It’s just that the process of fabrication, especially on the frame, was not the most reliable back then, and even more by now.
The frame, for example, used steel and aluminum. But the steel was not only steel; it was thermal bonded steel. This meant the steel was swaged into the rest of the aluminum frame and other parts of the bike with different industrial epoxies.
The process sounds usual, yes, but it was not. This process using toughened epoxy was reliable enough for a wide variety of uses. It was resilient and highly flexible at the end. It was almost impossible to make it work alongside aluminum and other materials on a bike.
The aluminum, on the other hand, could vary according to the model. Some Raleigh Technium used 6061-T8 aluminum, while others used 6013-T6 aluminum. Both were resistant enough and reliable. Not as flexible as the epoxy-coated steel though.
The bonding between the steel and the aluminum, unsurprisingly, was not the best. Even though there are not many users left to comply with the fact that this bike was technically not the most reliable – it is still apparent how fragile it was.
The top, down, and seat tube of the frame were aluminum-made. The rest of the structure was epoxied to the head tube, the bracket, and the stays.
When you think of using this bike, it must have felt like riding a highly unstable bike for sure.
There were a few reports of the bike failing to absorb high impact and even holding on the side with weight. This is normal to experience if you consider the amount of temperature and stress the joints of a typical bike tend to suffer.
When it uses a low-quality bonding method like the Raleigh Technium, it is not a surprise in any way. But it doesn’t mean it was all that bad.
Actually, as a bike resembling competition models – it could provide the perfect flexibility for fast and dirt-free roads. The weight was also ideal for casual using so that it could become the perfect bike for casual bikers.
And thanks to a conventional 6-speed freewheel, very likely it was built for those all-road users who were expecting more versatility and flexibility than sturdy construction.
Raleigh Technium Models
1. Raleigh Technium 480
This model was available in four different sizes, from 19’’ up to 25’’. With the Raleigh high-performance rims, the bike was not the most stable in the market.
These rims were initially designed with Levanter or Maillard Alloy, and could reduce vibrations exponentially but were slightly too thin for most users. The added Skinwall tires, a single bike could last for years. But it could eventually become the most unstable as well.
The Selle Stratos was the saddle, at the perfect height and always comfortable for a wide variety of users.
What’s more, it came with Suntour LePree alloy derailers, and stainless spokes, an SR 100 crankset and SR 250 alloy pedals, the Raleigh Technium 480 was the most competition-driven of the bunch.
And all of this was even better when adding the 6-speed freewheels and the SunTour Thumb shifters. This made it the most reliable yet easy-to-use multiple-speed road bike on the market.
You could find this model with a Pearl White color and an Aqua metallic trim.
2. Raleigh Technium 460
The frame of the Raleigh Technium 460 was slightly more flexible than the 480 and the 440. The key objective of this unit was to provide even better performance for casual riders. But of course, it was all translated into a much more unstable experience.
The frame, alongside the SR SAC 310 crankset was outstandingly good. The alloy chainrings, also, made the bike slightly less reliable than other models.
The rims were the same rims from the Technium 480, and at the same sizes from 19’’, to 21’’, 23’’, up to 25’’.
What changed here was the Suntour SVX or LePree down-tube shifters. They added superior speed-changing methods and were highly comfortable to use as well.
Alongside the Weinmann 570 brakes, the Technium 460 was extremely easy to use. The 6-speed wheeler was also the same in this model.
In short, a slight advantage over the Technium 480 regarding reliability, yet somewhat less oriented towards speed& much less stable.
You could find the Technium 460 in Silver Metallic color with a Dark Violet trim.
3. Raleigh Technium 440
Remember the construction process of the Technium? Well, the Technium 440 was the last of the original Technium bikes to come to the market. It meant that the Technium 440 didn’t use the thermally-bonded aluminum & steel frame. However, it was still thermally bonded but only with aluminum.
This, of course, made the bike to be more stable than the other models.
The Technium 440 also came with SR CRH-310 sealed hubs, adding a little more strength to the Araya SP30 rims. These rims were also of the same size of the previous Technium models.
The design of this model was stronger than previous ones. With an investment-back cast stay design, it was more rigid and looked sturdier as well.For the shifter, you would receive a Suntour AR alongside a Shimano 6-speed freewheel.
Coming with two different color models, Blue Metallic with Aqua trim or Aqua Metallic with Quicksilver trim, the Technium 440 looked merely stronger than the other two. Yet, it was a lot heavier.
4. Raleigh Technium Tri-Lite
The Tri-Lite was initially produced by 1988 after trying to come with sturdier and more stable versions of the previous Technium models.
The frame, however, was the same the previous models had. The aluminum & steel thermally-bonded epoxy construction that made the Technium less stable than other bikes on the market.
However, the rest of the frame was crop-moly, including the fork. With Shimano 105 double and 52-42 alloy chainrings of Biopace, the Tri-Lite received a slight improvement in performance. Alongside the Shimano MF-Z012 freewheel, it could go at six different speeds without problems, and faster than previous models.
The pedals were the Sakae SX. The hubs were Maillard with loose-ball bearings. And the rims were Rigida Score 700cc – for smoother and much more stable performance.
It came with Shimano derailers, Shimano shifters, and Shimano brakes. It was practically a Shimano bike, with the Raleigh Technium model name.
It is essential to mention, however, that it was the most comfortable of them all. It came with a Selle San Marco saddle and was so smooth that it became the favorite among Raleigh fans.
This one came with Metallic red & Metallic white with Metallic Blue trims.
Is a Raleigh Technium Bike Worth It?
Yes. As long as it is in top shape, you may find a Raleigh Technium exceptional for casual use. And if you are a vintage-lover – then a Technium will quickly become your favorite model.
Note that these bikes were not made for competition or to be used in the dirt. If you want something more rugged and performance-oriented, Raleigh offers a wide variety of other models you could get the best from.
But overall, Raleigh Technium models are great. It won’t be the sturdiest bike you will ever ride, but very likely one of the smoother and most flexible.
So, are you eager to try one of these? Search for one online in sites like eBay, DickyP, and many others where you can buy used stuff and very likely you will find a Technium in a good state.