Raleigh & Reynolds steel go together like Peaches & Herb. The new Stuntman from Raleigh uses a new tubing from Reynolds: 631 butted chromoly. At first, we felt the bike was more style than substance. The brown-on-tan color scheme, echoed in the bar tape and saddle (a knock-off of a classic Brooks), the dropper post and the massive 50c Clement tires, had us wondering if this handsome bike was less stuntman and more stand-in. In fact, it was initially just a special-edition show bike.

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Upon closer inspection, the build is truly no-nonsense: SRAM Rival 1x with hydraulic disc brakes on 160mm rotors and a 40-tooth front ring with 11–42 cassette turning those massive 50c Clement X’Plor MSO knobbies give the bike a go-anywhere appeal. That appeal is enhanced by the dropper post and the geometry. The Stuntman creates tire clearance the old-fashioned way: crazy-long (450mm) chain stays. With an 80-plus-mm bottom-bracket drop and 71.25-degree head angle, the bike is incredibly stable. It wants to go in a straight line and stay upright in almost any situation. Deep gravel with loaded panniers? No problem for the Stuntman. The dropper post—an item still quite rare in the mixed-surface/adventure world—makes even technical MTB trails feasible, which is fitting, since in many ways the bike reminds us of an old-school rigid MTB.
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The position is upright, dialed for the rider wanting a healthy dose of back and neck relief with that stability, adding to the MTB feel. We’d love to say we felt the magic ride of Reynolds steel, but the reality is, 50c tires create all the comfort any rider could want. Riders searching for race performance—gravel, ’cross, or otherwise—will want to look elsewhere. The long wheelbase and relaxed position damp its reactivity, as does the heft—it hits 26.8 pounds on the scale in 58cm. But riders wanting a reliable companion for bike packing or gravel survival will find a good friend in this Stuntman—and it’s a handsome one, with fender and rack mounts to boot. We have only two concerns. The dropper is a bit finicky when it comes to cable tension and we’d hate to have it give up the ghost deep in the backcountry; also, we’d love to see the rear derailleur cable get full housing or be routed internally for a bit of extra protection.

$2,500; raleighusa.com