IcySmooth52

After a month with my new RXS, I thought I'd share my thoughts.
Roxane with Rock Art (4).jpg
http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes-open-road-cyclocross-rxs

WOW, it can handle!  So confident in a turn you have to remember what surface you're riding on so you don't take the turn too fast! Very impressed with the stiff bottom bracket when sprinting too. But it's not so twitchy you can't ride with no hands on pavement going straight.

The Gates belt drive is eerily smooth at first, but that's one major reason I chose this steed. Simple and perfect for winter with no chain attention and corrosion with the conditions and road salt. The only downside to it (besides the lack of shifting obviously) is you need a new cog and belt for a different gear ratio. The stock setup is a good balance for the typical terrain you'd be on. But on single track it's a touch too high when going up a hill.

My only complaints are the lack of clearance for bigger tires with fenders in the back (comes with 33c), and no bottle cages! I realize the relatively short chainstays are the reason for less clearance but also the phenomenal handling. But no bottle cage for simplicity is a bit much. I've put a seatpost clamp holder to keep a bottle for when I'm on a short ride, but I usually use a hydration pack anyways.

One positive feature that isn't pointed out much on Raleigh's website is the wheelset. I don't think I'll ever upgrade the rims, even though it's not of a label like Mavic or American Classic. They are surprisingly light for such deep rims and I've yet to need to true them despite even seeing singletrack every once in awhile with pinch flats.

I'll sum it up by saying it's one fun ride that's perfectly at home on gravel or mud and it won't mind being hosed off when it's so dirty you can't see what color it is.

The bikes currently in my life:

'16 Raleigh RXS - '15 Lapierre Xelius EFi - '13 Marin Palisades Trail 29er - '83 Holdsworth Mistral

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