Component on the Raleigh RXW Race Women’s Cyclocross Bike
- The Raleigh RXW range
- Race: £1850. Carbon, SRAM Rival groupset, TRP Revox rim brakes, American Classic TCX Tubeless wheels with Schwalbe x1 tyres. 8.1kg.
- Pro: £1500. Aliminum. SRAM Rival plus SRAM Rival Hydraulic Discs, Cole Rollen CX Tubeless wheels with Schwalbe X1 tyres. 9kg.
- Elite: £800. Aliminum. Shimano Sora groupset, Tektro CR710 rim brakes, RSP CX2.0 23mm wide section profile wheels, Schwalbe Rapid Rob tyres. 9.8kg.
Stem and seatpost Of course, you can make the best frame in the world – but when retailing a built bike, a brand needs to offer decent spec for the price of shoppers will look elsewhere. The Raleigh RXW Race comes well dressed – but if you want to spend a little less, there are other models with the same frame and altered components.
The stem and seatpost are both Raleigh RSP+ components, the seatpost being carbon and the stem alloy. The carbon seat post only added to the comfort levels over the rough stuff.
The bike came with the standard as sold groupset, SRAM Rival 1x, 11-32 meaning a single 40t chainring on the front and an 11 speed cassette. No need to worry about only having 11 gears, over the handful of differing rides I used this bike for I rarely found myself undergeared. Keeping the gearing simple is often preferable, as you ride through the mucky stuff a mechanical is the last thing you need!
Many cross bikes come with disc brakes, but in order to keep the price point reasonable on a racey carbon frame, the RXW Race comes with cantilever TRP Revox brakes. Personally I have no problems with these – once upon a time these were the only option. The UCI have allowed disc-brakes in cyclocross races since 2010. It is undeniable that discs allow for a greater amount of mud clearance, therefore keeping the bike moving during a race, and discs can enable better braking control and modulation when the conditions get really tough. However, the cantis on the RXW Race were more than up to the job, not only in the confines of a taped cross race but also when being ridden across some real back country terrain in mid Wales. They are lightweight and effective, and ultimately cost saving.
The RXW Race comes standard with aluminium 700c American Classic tubeless ready wheels, and I found them to be lightweight and really good enough for the levels I ride and race at. Schwalbe X-one high performance racing tyres come with the bike, described by Schwalbe as ‘one of the fastest cross tyres ever’. These tyres are also tubeless ready, so you have the whole system ready to go should you wish to avoid the risk of getting pinch punctures.
There was great debate about the colour of this bike. It was undeniable that the paint work was immaculate and well – fast looking. But the purple divided opinions: some were of the view that it’s purple because it’s a women’s bike, others (including me) thought that actually it looked slick, stand out and pretty racey. I will admit that I found the decals on the forks and chainstay a little old school. Less is more in my opinion, but I’m really clutching at straws here.
The finish was excellent, and I really did give the bike a very good test over the Welsh hills, not holding back on putting it through its paces over very rough ground. I was anticipating some chips on the paintwork after that, but there was not a scratch. Seriously impressive, and more so than other very well known bike brands I have used for this sort of riding.