Raleigh launched the RXC carbon cyclocross frameset and bikes three years ago, with the Raleigh-Clement team racing the frame in cantilever and disc brake configurations to countless victories on two continents. After revamping its aluminum RX cyclocross bikes (including the Editors’ Choice Award-winning 2014 RX 2.0 cyclocross bike), the cyclocross-crazy company has followed up with similar changes to the carbon models.
For 2015, the RXC Pro Disc and RXC Pro get lower, dropping from its near top-of-the-class bottom bracket drop of just 5.5cm to a middle-of-the-road 6.5cm (in a 56cm). This change should appease many cyclocross racers with a lower center of gravity and lower saddle to hop back on to, but should also make the RXC models more attractive to the gravel grinder and dirt road crowd (who probably don’t have to worry about pedal clearance on sharp, slippery off-camber corners). Bottom bracket height was our one complaint after test riding the previous RXC generations, and we’re excited to fully test the new model.
Raleigh didn’t stop there with the frame updates. The seatstays, which were already quite thin for rear wheel vertical compliance, now are even thinner to smooth out the rough spots in your ride (or life). The move seems consistent with the trend of bike companies looking for more compliance (through seatposts or seat masts as seen in the Trek Boone, or rear wheel travel on the Calfee Manta) for rough road and mixed terrain rides.
Worried about that rear wheel getting squirrely on you with the thinner seatstays? Raleigh helps keep that rear wheel aligned with a new 142mm thru axle for the rear wheel. Yes, rear wheel changes may get a bit slower, and your 135mm disc wheels will need to be adapted (if possible) to fit the new 2015 RXC frames.
As further proof Raleigh has been listening to our feedback, the mud-catching chainstay bridge on the carbon frame is gone, and there’s more clearance at the front of the rear tire. There’s still a small flat shelf behind the bottom bracket, but overall it looks like mudders will be happy with the changes.
Up front, the Raleigh RXC Disc and RXC Pro Disc naturally pair the rear thru axle with a new thru axle front fork exclusive to Raleigh. The fork replaces the ENVE model on the RXC Pro Disc from 2014, but now the RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc feature the same full carbon fork.
The flagship RXC Pro Disc, as raced by the Raleigh-Clement team (in modified form), returns with American Classic Hurricane wheels and Di2, but Ultegra 10-speed 6670 Di2 and TRP Brakes are traded in favor for Shimano’s R785 integrated Di2 hydraulic 11-speed STI levers and R785 hydraulic disc brake levers. We expect the R785 calipers to be swapped to the newer RS785 calipers as a running change when the R785 calipers supply runs out.
The more affordable RXC Disc retains Shimano 105 componentry, but should get another cog in-form of the just-released Shimano 105 5800 component group. It features the exact same frame and fork of the RXC Pro Disc, making it a great candidate for the upgrade-later, budget-conscious crowd.
Prices? Raleigh’s Brian Fornes expects them to be nearly the same as the 2014 models, but didn’t have final pricing yet as the bikes just arrived.
More info: www.raleighusa.com