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Sea Otter 2013: Raleigh revamps its cyclocross range

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Raleigh's RXC Disc uses the same carbon fiber frame as on the RXC Pro Disc flagship but with a heavier build kit. Raleigh has switched to wide-profile TCX Disc wheels to give amateur racers better grip. Claimed weight is 8.85kg (19.5lb, 55cm) and retail price is US$2,700.

Raleigh's RXC Disc uses the same carbon fiber frame as on the RXC Pro Disc flagship but with a heavier build kit. Raleigh has switched to wide-profile TCX Disc wheels to give amateur racers better grip. Claimed weight is 8.85kg (19.5lb, 55cm) and retail price is US$2,700. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The paint will be more cleanly masked off on production bikes but note the color coordinated hubs and rims.

The paint will be more cleanly masked off on production bikes but note the color coordinated hubs and rims. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh has done a great job with the detail work on the new 'cross bikes with lots of colored-to-match componentry.

Raleigh has done a great job with the detail work on the new 'cross bikes with lots of colored-to-match componentry. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Alloy frames get new tapered head tubes across the board.

Alloy frames get new tapered head tubes across the board. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The revamped RX 1.0 is now Raleigh's top rim brake-equipped 'cross bike for 2014. Claimed weight is 9.75kg (21.5lb, 55cm) and like other bikes in the range, the graphics scheme looks much richer than the US$1,550 price tag would normally suggest.

The revamped RX 1.0 is now Raleigh's top rim brake-equipped 'cross bike for 2014. Claimed weight is 9.75kg (21.5lb, 55cm) and like other bikes in the range, the graphics scheme looks much richer than the US$1,550 price tag would normally suggest. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Raleigh RX 2.0 gets a new tapered carbon fork with post mount disc tabs to replace last year's IS alloy fork.

The Raleigh RX 2.0 gets a new tapered carbon fork with post mount disc tabs to replace last year's IS alloy fork. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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PressFit30 bottom brackets with machined shells are used across the board on Raleigh's new aluminum 'cross bikes for 2014.

PressFit30 bottom brackets with machined shells are used across the board on Raleigh's new aluminum 'cross bikes for 2014. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The new alloy frames get tapered seat tubes and slimmer 27.2mm-diameter seatposts.

The new alloy frames get tapered seat tubes and slimmer 27.2mm-diameter seatposts. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh's new RX 2.0 aluminum 'cross bike may only be US$1,750 but it's a reasonable weight at 10.12kg (22.3lb, 56cm) and looks far more expensive than it is.

Raleigh's new RX 2.0 aluminum 'cross bike may only be US$1,750 but it's a reasonable weight at 10.12kg (22.3lb, 56cm) and looks far more expensive than it is. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The curved top tube provides a little more room to reach your arm through for run-ups while the flattened surface should be a little less painful on your shoulder.

The curved top tube provides a little more room to reach your arm through for run-ups while the flattened surface should be a little less painful on your shoulder. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The chain stays and seat stays are both flattened to help smooth out the ride on the new Raleigh aluminum CX frames.

The chain stays and seat stays are both flattened to help smooth out the ride on the new Raleigh aluminum CX frames. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh's aluminum 'cross range gets all-new frames for 2014 that not only trim weight but supposedly provide a smoother ride quality that nearly matches the carbon models.

Raleigh's aluminum 'cross range gets all-new frames for 2014 that not only trim weight but supposedly provide a smoother ride quality that nearly matches the carbon models. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Clement Crusade PDX clinchers are labeled as 33mm-wide but when mounted to the stock wide-profile American Classic wheels on the updated Raleigh RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc, they measure closer to 36mm across.

The Clement Crusade PDX clinchers are labeled as 33mm-wide but when mounted to the stock wide-profile American Classic wheels on the updated Raleigh RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc, they measure closer to 36mm across. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh has moved the exit port on carbon 'cross frames' internally routed rear derailleur cable to the top of the chain stay for a cleaner line.

Raleigh has moved the exit port on carbon 'cross frames' internally routed rear derailleur cable to the top of the chain stay for a cleaner line. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh's flagship RXC Pro Disc 'cross racer gets minor refinements for 2014 - namely cleaner internal cable routing on the chain stay and a move to wider-profile American Classic Hurricane Disc wheels for a bigger tire contact patch. Retail price is US$5,000 and claimed weight is 8.57kg (18.9lb, 55cm) as pictured.

Raleigh's flagship RXC Pro Disc 'cross racer gets minor refinements for 2014 - namely cleaner internal cable routing on the chain stay and a move to wider-profile American Classic Hurricane Disc wheels for a bigger tire contact patch. Retail price is US$5,000 and claimed weight is 8.57kg (18.9lb, 55cm) as pictured. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The Clement Crusade PDX clinchers are labeled as 33mm-wide but when mounted to the stock wide-profile American Classic wheels on the updated Raleigh RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc, they measure closer to 36mm across.

The Clement Crusade PDX clinchers are labeled as 33mm-wide but when mounted to the stock wide-profile American Classic wheels on the updated Raleigh RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc, they measure closer to 36mm across. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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Raleigh has moved the exit port on carbon 'cross frames' internally routed rear derailleur cable to the top of the chain stay for a cleaner line.

Raleigh has moved the exit port on carbon 'cross frames' internally routed rear derailleur cable to the top of the chain stay for a cleaner line. (Image credit: BikeRadar)
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The women's-specific Raleigh RX 1.0 features a dedicated geometry with a shorter reach and more standover clearance than the standard version. Retail price is US$1,550 and claimed weight is 9.66kg (21.3lb) for a 52cm size.

The women's-specific Raleigh RX 1.0 features a dedicated geometry with a shorter reach and more standover clearance than the standard version. Retail price is US$1,550 and claimed weight is 9.66kg (21.3lb) for a 52cm size. (Image credit: BikeRadar)

This article first appeared on Bikeradar

Raleigh has dedicated an amount of resources to its 'cross range for the coming season with subtle refinements to the carbon bikes but a wholesale redesign of its alloy range. Not only are the frames supposedly lighter and more efficient but also more comfortable – and new wheel specs across the board will greatly increase traction, too.

Alloy frames have been thoroughly modernized for the coming season with a new hydroformed and double butted 6061 aluminum tubeset. The down tube has a more profound ovalized shape, the seat tube gains a tapered profile with a softer-riding 27.2mm seatpost, chain stays and seat stays are flattened for comfort, and Raleigh has ditched last year's straight 1 1/8-inch head tube for a 1 1/8-to-1 ½-inch tapered one.

Accompanying the newly tapered front end are lighter-weight carbon forks, too, while the geometry has been adjusted to better suit US-style courses with lower bottom brackets to provide a more stable feel through corners.

Changes to the RXC carbon frames aren't quite as dramatic. The internal and convertible rear derailleur routing now exits on top of the chain stay instead of underneath it for a cleaner run while the new RXC Disc model gets an all-new monocoque carbon fiber fork with post mount tabs.

All of the bikes get significant improvements in spec, however, particularly in terms of wheelsets. Raleigh now equips the top-end RXC Pro Disc and RXC Disc with wide-profile tubeless-compatible aluminum clinchers from American Classic while other bikes get house-brand rims with far more generous 18mm internal widths – a massive improvement over the strangely narrow 12.4mm-wide ones we noted in our review of last year's RXC Pro Disc.

The wider footprints that result may not always make the UCI happy – Raleigh's Brian Fornes says the stock Clement tires on the RXC models end up close to 36mm-wide – but just about everyone else should appreciate the increased grip, reduced chance of pinch flats, and lower operating pressures.

For all our Sea Otter 2013 coverage, click here.