Raleigh RX Race Review
Our test bike arrived as the UK ‘cross season was in full swing, providing plenty of opportunity to give it a thorough testing in the local London Cross League races, as well as thrashing around Sussex’s bridleways and lanes – remember a versatile ‘cross bike isn’t just for an hour of muddy fun.
The RX Race has a soft matt finish to it’s high modulus carbon frame, which has stood up well to half a cross season of racing and riding, with all the washing and scrubbing, and being carted about in or on-top of cars to races.
The RX Race sports a press fit 30 bottom bracket and tapered head tube, both items promising improved stiffness over previous standards. A SRAM Apex groupset with 36-46 chainrings gets you going and Tektro CR 720 cantilever brakes with cartridge pads slows you down. As such the frame is ripe for upgrading at a later date, and there are even cable routing options for electronic groupsets if you fancy running Di2 on the RX at any point.
Wheels are Cole Rollen CX and are shod with Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. Seating and steering are handled by a colour co-ordinated Selle Royal Seta S1 saddle and FSA Omega bar, stem and seatpost. Weight is a respectable, though not especially light, 8.7 Kg; until it’s covered in several kilos of finest English mud that is!
Taking the RX Race out of the box, the matt, black and orange finish looks sharp and as mentioned has proven to be pretty tough after three months of racing and riding. It covers a fairly traditional looking carbon frame with, though there are some minor sculpted details on the seatstays and chainstays, generally round and muscular tube shapes. There are a couple of points on the back end of the RX that did cause it to be more susceptible to catching mud; the wishbone seatstays and chainstay bridge proved to be ‘collecting places’ in early season races when the races tend to be on leaf strewn courses. Throw in some mud and the rear end would start to clog with leaves. On one particularly leaf blown, ‘cross ride through some forest lanes, the RX did actually come to a complete stop…
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