The perfect bike for the day…
The multi-terrain surface of the Hornsea Rail Trail made it an ideal opportunity for me to also test and review the Mustang Sport gravel bike that Raleigh had provided me with. A gravel bike [often called an adventure road bike in the UK] is a long amble focused version of a cyclocross bike, which bridges the gap between road and mountain bike territory – giving you the perfect steed for mixed terrain and light off road use.
Marketing Spiel Aside: What is an Adventure Road Bike For?
This fairly new breed of bike is great for those wanting something that can perform on and off-road, whilst providing more comfort than most cyclocross bikes which are geared towards an hour of va va voom at the expense of comfort. So the geometry of the Mustang Sport is more relaxed and provides comfort even if you are on it for hours. Furthermore, mounts for a rack and mudguards on the frame allow you to carry all that you need for a long excursion.
On the quiet roads and paths through the urban districts around Hull, the Mustang Sport was fairly unchallenged and rolled along smoothly. However, on a couple of cobbled sections through Hull Old Town the bike had to step up, and it made my ride comfortable enough thanks to dampening of the Schwalbe CX Comp tyres and the carbon fork.
The more aerodynamic position of a road bike obviously meant I could speed along much more quickly than I would on a hybrid, too – which meant my ice cream stop came around more quickly.
When I got to the muddier, boggier sections through the country, the Mustang knew how to get through it, and having disc brakes meant that there was very good clearance between the frame and the tyres. So I had no worries about the bike getting clogged up. I just had to worry about the big clean-up when I got home!
Tubeless tyres are standard on the Mustang Sport, which I must admit worried me a little as I was not familiar with them. But in fact these are great as they are less likely to suffer punctures than the traditional clincher tyres. They also hold their pressure well and you don’t have to carry a spare inner tube.
In my opinion the Raleigh Mustang Sport is a good option for multi-terrain rides particularly if you are not a speed merchant. It is heavier than some cyclocross bikes, but that makes it a sturdy option on all surfaces.
Looking for more lost railway rides?
Lost Railway Rides: Forest Way Family Friendly Traffic Free Ride in Sussex
Lost Railway Rides: The Peak District’s Tissington Trail
Lost Railway Rides: Alban Way Traffic Free Route for any Bike
Lost Railway Rides: Macclesfield to Marple on Middlewood Way