Out of my entire collection of bikes, the Raleigh Dynatech Diablo is probably my favourite. With essentially an identical frame to my M Trax 300 – a cromo steel rear triangle into which titanium top and down tubes are bonded – the Dynatech is fairly light for its era (25 lbs), and has a responsive, yet comfortable feel when ridden.
Added shock absorption, albeit nothing in comparison with a suspension fork, is provided by a titanium handlebar, cromo steel stem, and my favourite detail – a pair of lightweight and rather rare UGLI forks. UGLI stands for Uncle Gerald’s Latest Invention, after their inventor at Raleigh, Gerald O-Donovan. The crown unit was bulge-formed from aluminium by Japanese outfit Eisho Seisekusho, into which steel or titanium blades (depending on the Dynatech model) were bonded, and with aluminium dropouts from Spinner being bonded onto the blade ends. Their design gives them noticeably more flex than ordinary steel rigid forks (particularly the titanium-bladed variant), which becomes quite obvious under hard braking.
The STX groupset works well enough considering it’s 20 years old, with the only problem being the left hand shifter that occasionally misfires when shifting up to a larger ring. The STX cantilever brakes are surprisingly powerful when correctly set-up, and give more than enough stopping power in dry conditions (disc brakes would be better in wet conditions, naturally).
Is there anything I would change?
At various times I’ve been tempted to fit a suspension fork to gain some speed on technical and downhill sections, but I could never bring myself to retire the UGLI fork, because apart from its handling characteristics, it makes the bike stand out from the crowd. The colour of the frame is perhaps my only significant dislike. White with black does have a sort of modern classic look to it, but I really prefer the original 90s Dynatech paintwork. Colourful, ostentatious designs really made the Dynatechs stand out from the competition.