Raleigh Cadent 2 Review: Is It A Good Bicycle To Have?

Raleigh Cadent 2 Review
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9/10

Founded in the late 1880s, the Raleigh Bicycle Company has since become one of the nation’s most popular and professional bicycle companies. Raleigh bikes have been about everywhere, from biking hobbyists to experienced bikers in the Tour de France.

One of the Raleigh Bicycle Company’s more popular editions is the Raleigh Cadent 2. This bicycle promises to be the perfect mixture between a lightweight road bike and a stable mountain bike. This makes the Cadent 2 perfect for various hybrid biking purposes, whether you want to ride on a greenway or through the city.

The Cadent 2 is a bicycle within the Cadent line. It includes many improvements from the Cadent 1, but it is less updated and renovated than the Cadent 3. You might opt for the 2 due to its more affordable price and enhanced braking system.

Pros

  • Good starter bike
  • Offers easy hill climbing
  • Offers good brakes in rainy weather
  • Durable
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Non-adjustable handlebar system
  • Derailleur sometimes doesn’t shift into second gear
  • Tires not resistant to punctures
  • Brakes can rub and make noise
  • Many gears can make hybrid use difficult

Things to Consider Before Buying the Raleigh Cadent 2

The Raleigh Cadent 2 solves hybrid bike needs by offering a mountain bike’s stability and weight of a road bike. This makes the hybrid bike an excellent choice for beginners or casual riders. The Cadent 2 will be especially helpful if you want to bike in the city or on easy greenways and hills.

Here are some things to consider before buying this bicycle:

  • Intended Use: As a hybrid bike, the Cadent 2 is great for easy hills and flat surfaces. If you intend to use a bike on more strenuous terrain, this is not the bike for you. Similarly, you can save money by buying a cheaper bike if you only plan to ride on entirely flat surfaces.
  • Speed: This bike will make riding through the city much easier because of its many gears. If you want a fast commute option, then the Raleigh Cadent 2 might be for you.

Features & Benefits

Frame

Frame

The Raleigh Cadent 2 comes with a heat-treated aluminum frame and steel fork. The heat-treatment allows the bike to be both lightweight and strong, making it a leading contender where the frame is concerned.

In short, the frame withstands more bumps and use than other comparable models. Out of all the hybrid bikes, this is by far one of the more durable and lightweight frames, making it perfect for those who need a little extra care and support. Although it is not suitable for uneven terrain, it offers great durability.

Additionally, the frame is incredibly lightweight. Although marketed as a men’s bike, this bike is so lightweight that many women find it suitable for their needs. This will make it easier when riding for long periods and transporting it when necessary.

More: Best Hybrid Bikes Under 200 [Review and Buying Guide]

Final Verdict 

The Cadent 2 features one of the most lightweight and durable frames around. Since it is made from heat-treated aluminum, this frame is suitable for carrying heavy loads. However, it is still light enough for women riders as well.

Suspension System

The Cadent 2 lacks a suspension system. If you are new to bikes, suspension systems suspend the rider to insulate them from the ride’s roughness. Mountain bikes almost always include a suspension system, but it can be found in hybrid bikes.

Without a suspension system, the Cadent 2 does not suspend the rider from tough terrains. Since the Cadent 2 functions best in city riding, this shouldn’t impact your experience much.  

Final Verdict 

The Cadent 2 does not have a suspension system, which is fitting since it is designed for city riding.

Wheels

Wheels

The Candent 2 features 700 C with 35-millimeter wheels. These wheels provide excellent traction on the road, making it easier to ride this bike on slippery cement or other tricky terrains. Users who plan to use this bike in the city will especially find the wheels helpful since they avoid energy waste and absorb shock.

The bike also features QR17 Double Disc Rims. These rims allow the bike to respond faster in adverse weather and hold more weight from the rider. In other words, you don’t have to worry about the lightweight frame supporting your weight since the wheels are designed to withstand more.

The main downside of the wheels is that they are not the most puncture-resistant available. For this reason, abstain from riding this bicycle on more adverse terrain since the tires might pop or leak if driven over sharp surfaces.

More: The Best Schwinn Hybrid Bikes Reviews: Are They Good Hybrid Bike To Have

Final Verdict 

The wheels are excellent for city riding since they offer superior traction, avoid energy waste, and absorb shock. They also perform better in adverse weather due to the double-disc rims. With that being said, do not ride these wheels over more adverse terrain since they are more prone to damage or puncture.

Gears

Gears

As a hybrid bike, the Raleigh Cadent 2 comes with many gear options. It features 3 front gears and 8 rear gears, as well as Shimano Tourney EZ Fire Triggers. Together, these gears create 24-speed gear combinations that allow you to adapt your gears to whatever terrain you are riding on.

The gear system works smoothly due to both the trigger shifters and Shimano TX800 derailleur on the front and back. This gear system is what makes the Cadent 2 ideal for more intense commuting needs.

There are some issues with this gear system, though. For example, it can sometimes be challenging to go the speed you would like on certain surfaces due to shifting gears. This is a common issue of hybrid bikes.

One problem unique to the Cadent 2 is that it is sometimes difficult for the derailleur to shift into second gear.

More: Trek FX2 Review: Is It a Good Entry-Level Hybrid Bike To Buy?

Final Verdict 

As a hybrid bike, the Cadent 2 offers an extensive gear system, making it ideal for various riding needs. Like any other hybrid bike, the Cadent 2 comes with some gear problems, meaning you should be careful and attentive to the gear system when necessary.

Brakes

Breaks

One of the most notable ways that the Cadent 2 differs from the Cadent 1 is in the brake system. The Cadent 2 features mechanical disc brakes from the Tektro Novela, which is different from the Tektro V-brakes in the Cadent 1.

These brakes offer significant advantages. For example, they provide powerful and precise stopping. The brakes make the Cadent 2 more suitable for all weather types, such as rain or snow. They also improve safety features in that you can stop in the case of a passerby or oncoming traffic.

Another benefit of the mechanical disks is that they require less maintenance than other brake types. This increases the convenience and usability of the bike. In other words, you won’t have to spend excessive amounts of time or money on your bike, which is helpful for new bike owners or hobbyists. 

More: The Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000: the Best Entry-Level Gravel Bikes   

Final Verdict 

The brakes are a massive improvement from the Cadent 1. The Cadent 2 features brakes that are more precise and powerful, making it safer to ride in more slippery environments. These brakes also require less maintenance, which is ideal for most commuters.

Feature Type Feature Specs What This Means
Frame Heat-treated aluminum Incredibly lightweight and durable. Suitable for both male and female riders.
Suspension System None Only suitable for city or road riding. Do not take on adverse or mountainous terrain.
Wheel 700 C with 35 mm Provides ample traction in slippery conditions. Not puncture-proof.
Gears 3 front gears; 8 rear gears; Shimano Tourney EZ Fire Triggers Offers a variety of speed combinations; can make it difficult to go your intended speed if you are a new rider.
Brakes Tektro Novela mechanical discs Powerful and precise stopping power for slippery terrain.

Social Proof

In addition to our own experiences, we also wanted to know what other riders say about the Cadent 2. So, we scoured the internet for other people’s thoughts. Here are a few reviews that back up what we’re saying:

Social Proof
Social Proof 2
Social Proof 3

These reviews exemplify the rising powers of the Cadent 2. There are countless other positive reviews for this bike as well. Feel free to look at other reviews if you want to see more.

Alternatives

Raleigh Cadent 2 vs 3 vs 1

The Raleigh Cadent 2 is a vast improvement from the Cadent 1. The brakes showcase the vastest improvements. Using the Tektro Novela brakes, the Cadent 2 offers more precise and powerful stopping powers than the Cadent 1. This fact makes the Cadent 2 more ideal for those who intend to bike in rainy conditions.

Raleigh Biking Company improved upon the Cadent 2 with the Cadent 3. They added disc tabs to the bike’s frame, which allows better braking power. The Cadent 3 also offers 25-speed combinations, making it more suited for city riding. The main downside of this bike is that it is much more expensive than the 2, despite minimal changes.

Of the three bikes, we recommend the Cadent 2. It is better than the Cadent 1 and offers similar features as the Cadent 3. Still, it is notably more affordable than the 3. The Cadent 2 lets you ride the city without breaking the bank.

Feature Type Cadent 1 Cadent 2  Cadent 3
 Frame  AL-6061 Custom Formed Butted Tubing  AL-6061 Custom Formed Butted Tubing AL-6061 Custom Formed Butted Tubing with disc tabs 
 Wheels  Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x35c, 30TPI wire bead Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x35c, 30TPI wire bead   Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x35c, 30TPI wire bead
 Gear Combinations  21 speed 24 speed   25 speed
 Brakes  Tekrto Alloy Mini V-Brake Tektro Novela  Shimano BR-M375 Mechanical Disc w/160mm Center Lock Rotors 
 Handlebar  Steel Mid Rise, 25.4 Kalloy Alloy 15 mm Rise, 31.8  Kalloy Alloy 15 mm Rise, 31.8 
 Extras  Rack and fender mounts  Rack and fender mounts  Rack and fender mounts
 Weight  26.43 lbs. 26.59 lbs.  26 lbs.

To find out more about which Cadent you should get, research the Cadent 1 and 3 further. 

Raleigh Cadent 2 vs Trek FX 1

The Trek FX 1 is a comparable bike to the Cadent 2. It is a hybrid bike that is suitable for city riding. Like the Cadent 2, the Trek FX 1 features similar wheels that respond well to slick city environments.

The Trek FX 1 differs from the Cadent 2 in several ways, too. Notably, it offers far fewer speed combinations than the Cadent 1. This makes the bike less ideal for city riding that requires a variety of speed combinations. Check our review of Trek FX1 here

Feature Type Cadent 2 Trek FX 1
Frame AL-6061 Custom Formed Butted Tubing Alpha Gold Aluminum
Wheels Kenda Kwick Tendril 700x35c, 30TPI wire bead Bontrager H2, wire bead, 30TPI, 700x35c
Gear Combinations 24 speed 7 speed
Brakes Tektro Novela Tektro alloy linear-pull
Handlebar Kalloy Alloy 15 mm Rise, 31.8 Bontrager Riser, 25.4
Extras Rack and fender mounts Rack and mudguard mounts
Weight 26.43 lbs. 27.66

Research the Trek FX 1 on your own to make the final decision for yourself.

Conclusion

Riding in the city requires a bike that is both dexterous and powerful. The Raleigh Cadent 2 is designed with those needs in mind; it is lightweight but powerful enough to make it through steep cities.

Since the Cadent 2 includes a heat-treated aluminum frame, it is lightweight and dexterous for city roads. More so, the improved gears and 24-speed combinations allow you to make it to your location quickly and efficiently. All the while, the brakes ensure that you get to your location safely by offering precise stopping power. These features make it a great hybrid bike.

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