by Chance Noble
The future is now for Caroline Mani, who recently won the quick and brutally paced 2015 Sea Otter Cyclocross Race. Having raced some of last season’s opening events on a fractured wrist, including a win at Day Two of the Rapha Super Cross in Gloucester, she continued her winning ways after her cast was removed, taking the overall win in the American PRO CX Series, and then placing 11th at the 2015 Cyclocross World Championship in Tabor. With another cyclocross win in the offseason, she has made her presence clear for 2015-16.
She rode to victory on Raleigh’s new women-specific RXW Elite (which we captured in an earlier Sea Otter First Look slideshow); the model was an appropriate pairing considering that Mani also influenced the design. The geometry differs from Raleigh’s RX, making the RXW Elite the first women’s specific carbon fiber production cyclocross bike. The cantilever brake arrangement was chosen by Mani for its weight advantage over discs, and is perhaps more in line with European sensibilities. Interestingly, the cantilever arrangement will only be available in Raleigh’s women-specific top-level bike offering.
Mani’s setup is straight-forward. FSA components are widely used, with the SL-K brand employed on her 40cm bars, stem, and seatpost. Of these, the seat post clamp and stem are the only components made of aluminum (and for the latter, only the body is aluminum as the stem’s faceplate is carbon).
Mani uses a FSA K-Force Light crankset and internally routed Di2 shifters and derailleurs. Crank Brothers Eggbeater 11 pedals keep the weight down at 174g per pair. The Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio is her saddle of choice. Mani is using Clement LAS tubulars rolling under TRP Revox carbon cantilever brakes. Finally, she is using a K-Edge Garmin mount.
Although Mani’s bike is officially a prototype model, the frame will be available to the public with different components as the RXW Elite model later this year.
Use the slider below to navigate through the photos and full bike specs, and don’t miss the rest of our 2015 Sea Otter coverage.