Pro Bike Check: Ben Berden’s Raleigh RXC Pro Disc

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In his third year riding in the US for team Raleigh Clement, Ben Berden is proving to be quite consistent. Placing fourth in all three races for the Cincy3 Cyclocross Festival, Ben went on to place third, and then second in the two races at the MudFund Derby City Cup a week later in Louisville. By placing fourth in the Lionheart International Cross after Dark race, Ben retains his place at the top of the leader board for Cross After Dark - a four race series that started with Cross Vegas, and ends with the CXLA.

Outfitted with hydraulic disc brakes and a modified Di2 drivetrain, Berden is gunning for the title of best cross racer in the light of day, and in the dark.

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Ben was putting in hard efforts each of the three days, managing fourth every time. Here he chases the back wheel of Ryan Trebon who ended up just out sprinting Berden to the line.

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One thing every bike at the Raleigh Clement pit had in common was a tribute to Amy Dombroski. The show of support was overwhelming with different stickers on all of the bikes. In addition to the Big Ben on the top tube, Berden’s bike had nearly every sticker for Amy we have seen.

Raleigh’s RXC Pro disc features their Direct Connect High Modulus carbon frame with a tapered steerer, PF30 BB, and Disc brake mounts only.

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Ben is running 10 speed Ultegra Di2 6770, but is running the new E Tube Junction box under the stem. Why? Since he is running a 1×10 set up, both shifters can be programed to shift the rear derailleur. It’s a little crazy at first, but we’re guessing once you’re used to it, it can come in handy depending on the situation. FSA SL-K carbon bars and the SL-K stem provide the cockpit that is finished off with Prologo Pro-OneTouch bar tape.

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A few K-edge bits are found on the bike including the handlebar Garmin mount and Cross Single Chain catcher.

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As a relatively new addition to the bike (it wasn’t there at Interbike) is the Wolf Tooth Components 42T narrow-wide chain ring. Even with the ring, Berden is still running the K-Edge bash guard along with the chain catcher. For now. The ring rides on an FSA SL-K carbon BB30 crank propelled by Shimano XTR M980 pedals.

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We didn’t get a chance to ask Ben about the significance of the beads, but they are hanging off a Prologo Zero II Pas on an FSA SL-K carbon seat post.

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We had a chance to ride some killer California roads with Ben at the launch of TRP’s HyRd and Spyre disc brakes, so it’s no surprise to see them on his bike. The mechanically actuated HyRd hydraulic disc brakes replace the TRP Parabox hydraulic converter Ben was using last year. These brakes use a standard brake cable that goes all the way to the brake caliper, while the hydraulic reservoir is contained within the brake. The clear benefit over the Spyre is the self adjusting nature of the pads. Berden is running 160mm rotors front and rear.

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Ben is riding the new FSA Metron 40 Tubular disc carbon wheels, with Clement tires. In this case it was the PDX in a 33 front and rear. In case you’re wondering, the Tubeless stamp doesn’t mean tubeless clincher, it means that the tubular has no tube on the inside. Instead the entire casing is air tight for better puncture resistance in a lightweight tubie.

Comments

ifbikes - 11/13/13 - 9:23am

glad you got the group right in this write up. bikeradar thought it was 11spd ultegra http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/article/pro-bike-ben-berdens-raleigh-rxc-pro-disc-38802/ though there are no close images of the rear derailleur or cassette, it looks more like 10spd. your and velonews review say 10spd.

Kurt the Mechanic - 11/13/13 - 10:51am

The bead is actually a little wooden doll. It is a Belgium tradition and it is supposed to bring you good luck. You will often see racers rubbing it right before the race starts.

bin judgin - 11/13/13 - 11:46am

this bike is the future.

Steve @ G4G - 11/13/13 - 12:00pm

The rear brake cable path between the chainstay exit and barrel adjuster looks kinda gnarly.

Pete - 11/13/13 - 12:15pm

Any idea on weight?

K11 - 11/13/13 - 12:34pm

i think he would have placed higher riding his aluminum stoemper, just a thought.

ED - 11/13/13 - 12:58pm

It would be nice if his chainring guard was on right!

Ck - 11/13/13 - 2:11pm

I love the look and setup of this bike. The RXC is a beautiful looking frameset in that blue color. 1×10/11 Di2 would be what i’d run given the proper funds. I agree that the rear brake cable path looks bad thanks to the odd entry angle for the cable in the caliper, but at least it’s on the rear brake where it doesn’t really matter as much. I think most other cable or hydro calipers have more accessible entry angles when mounted like they are on that frame.

nenbran - 11/14/13 - 2:40am

@K11 – Because bike choice actually has a measurable effect on placements at the pro level. Right.

Generalcuz - 11/18/13 - 11:15am

I ride a 2014 RXC disc. (The only below Bens) Love the bike. I am a 220 lb rider and this is the first carbon bike that feels sturdy enough for me to enjoy racing at my local CX series. I also bought a second set of wheels from American Classic to commute with to work and on road rides. It rides better than my Supersix which will be up for sale shortly.

As my one go to bike, I have no regrets with it. Ben’s bike looks sweet. Wish I could have afforded that version but it was a big jump in price.

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