Across the range, Raleigh’s ‘cross bikes get brighter, with a quite palatable orange and blue paint scheme. They also all get a bit lighter, mostly thanks to spec changes on the carbon bikes and frame mods for the alloy models.
Pro carbon model gets only minor tweaks in cable port placement. The rear derailleur wire/cable port moved to the top of the chainstay, which makes mechanical runs much cleaner. They switched to American Classic wheels, which dropped about half a pound.
For the RCX Pro, the blue color is new and will only be available as a complete bike with Ultrgra Di2, Hayes mechanicals and mostly FSA cockpit. Retail is $5,000, which is about a grand cheaper than last year! Available in July. Framesets will also be available, including a single speed and cantilever brake option.
But the big changes are on the alloy bikes…
Alloy cyclocross frames are updated with a 27.2 seatpost (versus 30.6) and ovalizes the downtube. It flares out at the BB and actually provides a bit more mud splatter protection in addition to making it stiffer.
They also added their own full carbon fork, which saves weight over the alloy-steerered Eastons of years past. House brand wheels all get wider rims, providing a better tire contact patch and sealed bearings, all wrapped in Schwalbe Racing Ralphs.
Overall, the alloy bikes stay the same price or jump $200, mainly thanks to better wheels, but weight goes down on both frame and spec for all, from about .5 to .9 pounds.
They also switched to a two bolt seatpost, which keeps the saddle securely positioned when hopping back on it during a race.
The orange and blue paint schemes were inspired by Gulf racing Porsches, and the women’s model (black) gets BMW M3 inspired stripes.
And yes, they looked at the new SRAM and TRP brakes, but delivery dates for those wouldn’t have allowed the bikes to be on the dealer’s floors in time.