Pro bike: Ben Berden’s Raleigh RXC Pro Disc

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Ben Berden is one of the more colourful racers in the North American cyclo-cross scene. The 2013/2014 'cross season is the Belgian’s third full season of racing in the States. Like the man, Berden’s race bike is one of a kind.

Berden rides a stock 55cm Raleigh RXC Pro frameset. This is Raleigh’s flagship cyclo-cross bike, and it remains largely unchanged from last season. The RXC Pro bucks the low and slack trend, sticking to more traditional cyclo-cross geometry with a 72-degree head tube and bottom bracket with only 55mm of drop.

Cranked up to 11

Ben Berden may ride an off-the-shelf frameset, but his components are far from stock. Berden has long been a fan of single-chainring drivetrains for cyclo-cross. Last season the Belgian ran a 1x10 Shimano Ultegra Di2 setup. This season Berden adds one more cog to his drivetrain by upgrading to 6800 series Ultegra. He still favors electronic shifting—both the right and left STI levers are programmed to operate the rear derailleur.

Berden runs a single 42T FSA chainring with a K-Edge braze-on mounted Chain Keeper paired with K-Edge Cross Ring Guard for chain retention. At the rear he runs an 11-28T Dura-Ace CS-9000 cassette.

Raleigh-Clement team mechanic James Sullivan notes that the team has also been experimenting with Wolf Tooth Components’ stepped chainrings. Much like the dedicated 1x chainrings offered by SRAM and RaceFace, the alternating width of the teeth aids chain retention.

Last season Berden ran TRP’s Parabox cable-hydraulic hybrid braking system, which uses a pair of master cylinders that mount to the bike’s steerer tube much like a spacer. TRP has developed a lighter system (that does not interfere with stack height) in the new HY/RD. TRP’s latest cable-hydraulic hybrid braking system moves the master cylinder to the braking caliper itself.

Other significant changes to Berden’s setup include switching to FSA SL-K crankarms from Dura-Ace and the addition of a stock Vision Metron 40 Disc tubular wheelset in place of the custom wheelset (24-hole White Industries hubs laced to FSA SL-K carbon rims) he ran last season.

Berden has also traded his Fi’zi:k Tundra for a Pro Prologo Zero—still with a rather nose-up position. “He doesn’t run his saddle quite as nose-up as last season,” mused Sullivan.

The Vision Metron 40 Disc wheels replace the custom wheelset Berden ran last season

Complete bike specification

Frame: Raleigh RXC Pro, 55cm
Fork: ENVE CX Disc, 1.125in to 1.5in tapered steerer
Headset: FSA Ceramic Integrated
Stem: FSA SL-K 110mm, -6 degrees
Handlebar: FSA SL-K Compact 44cm
Tape/grips: Prologo Onetouch
Front brake caliper: TRP HY/RD w/160mm TRP rotor
Rear brake caliper: TRP HY/RD w/160mm TRP rotor
Shift/brake levers: Shimano Ultegra Di2 ST-6870
Front derailleur: K-Edge braze-on mounted Chain Keeper paired with K-Edge Cross Ring Guard
Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra Di2 RD-6870
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-9000 11-28T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-9000
Crankset: FSA SLK (172.5mm crankarms) w/42T FSA chainring
Bottom bracket: FSA
Pedals: Shimano XTR
Wheelset: Vision Metron 40 Disc tubular
Front tire: Clement MXP tubular, 700x33c
Rear tire: Clement MXP tubular, 700x33c
Saddle: Prologo Zero
Seatpost: FSA SL-K, 31.6mm diameter

Critical measurements

Rider height: 1.78m / 5'10"
Rider weight: 68kg / 150lb
Saddle height: 755mm
Saddle setback: 20mm
Tip of saddle nose to center of bar: 550mm
Saddle to bar drop: 110mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 540mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 530mm
Head tube length: 130mm
Top tube length: 540mm (horizontal)
Head angle: 72 degrees
Seat tube angle: 73.5 degrees
Wheelbase: 1005mm
Chainstay length: 425mm
Fork offset: 45mm
BB drop: 55mm
Total bike weight: 8.19kg/18.06lb

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