SOC14: Raleigh’s Cylocross Line Better than Ever w/ New RXC PRO, RXS Singlespeed Belt Drive Complete, More
Already known for their involvement in cyclocross with a number of competent race rigs, Raleigh is stepping it up for the 2014/15 cyclocross season with new mens’, womens’, and single speed offerings. Based partly on their sponsorship of the Raleigh Clement Cycling team and Raleigh’s own hodala style, the new bikes are better than ever and perfectly equipped for mud and cowbells. Now with 5 aluminum and 2 carbon models, the mens’ bikes are lighter, there is finally a complete single speed option, and women get another, better equipped model.
Ready for some racing? Get the details after the break…
At the top of the range, the RXC Pro gets updated thanks to the direct feedback of pro racers like Ben Berden. Nearly every inch of the frame has been changed with one of the biggest changes being the move to a 142x12mm rear thru axle dropout. One of the biggest concerns of going to a wider rear end has always been heel clearance of the frame, yet somehow Raleigh worked some of their magic to make the 142mm frame 7mm narrower than the comparable 135mm QR frame. So it’s wider, but it’s narrower. Got it? The front also stiffens up with a new proprietary 15mm thru axle post mount fork with captured hose routing along the back.
Other tweaks include a new lower chain stay bridge for much better mud clearance which prevents mud from accumulating behind the front derailleur. Raleigh felt the frame was already plenty stiff, so the PF30 equipped frame is only 2% stiffer than the previous version which is probably due to the through axle. What Raleigh really wanted to improve on was the vertical compliance at the seat so they dropped the post diameter to 27.2mm and thinned out the top tube and seat stays which resulted in a claimed 37% more compliance.
Cable routing has been slightly improved to keep things running cleaner and easier to replace while the system uses swappable housing stops for mechanical or Di2 drivetrains. The RXC and RXC Pro share the same frame, and differ only in spec with the Pro using Di2/hydraulic and the RXC using full mechanical.
Pricing is similar to the current models with the Pro retailing under $5000. Available in July – offering plenty of time to get your bike ready for the race season.
If you’re headed to Louisville for SSCXWC 2014, Raleigh finally has a bike for you. The company has offered single speed specific frames for a number of years, but never a complete bike. As their first full bike, the new RXS looks dialed.
Raleigh’s Brian Fornes tells us that they were so excited about the TRP Hylex single speed hydraulic brakes that they wanted to offer a full build around them so they did. The RXS is a true single speed frame with no shift cable braze ons, derailleur hangers, or otherwise – just a Gates Center Track belt drive system tensioned with an pressfit eccentric bottom bracket and a split seat stay to load the belt. The wheels use Raleigh’s own 23mm Impulse rims which are of course wrapped in Clement MXP 33mm tires. Unlike the RXC and RXC Pro, the RXS sticks with quick releases front and rear.
The RX 1.0 and 2.0 get a new coat of paint with the sweet Gulf Racing inspired colors, and the 2.0 also gets the upgrade to the excellent TRP Spyre mechanical discs.
Better turn out and better prize money for women means cyclocross is attracting more females to the sport, and Raleigh is responding by offering a new higher level womens’ specific build with the new RXW Comp. Using the same frame as the RXW, the comp receives and improved monocoque full carbon fork and an upgraded spec. Thanks to the American Classic Racing wheels, SRAM Force 22 group, and high end TRP cantis, the Comp is 2 pounds less than the RXW at 19 pounds, and retails for about $2,000.