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We test if the entry level Raleigh RX Elite could be ready to take newbies into the 'cross racing scene in style.

Best for...
Entry level cyclocross racing and everyday workhorse duties
RX butted hydroformed aluminium alloy AL6061
Raleigh RX alloy
Shimano Sora
Tektro CR710 cartridge pads
Finishing kit
Overall Score
A great value entry level unisex 'crosser
Would have liked to see disc brake mounts for future upgrade

If you are considering an entrance to the cyclocross scene, or simply want a road bike more capable of tackling rough roads and a potholed daily commute, this entry level machine from Raleigh might just be the ticket. With an alloy frame,

Cyclocross machines dedicated and designed for racing tend to be very low on bolt-on options such as bottle cages or mudguard eyes - they just aren't useful on a one hour, eyeballs out race. That is where the RX Elite wins for the everyday punter, sporting 2 sets of bottle bosses, mudguard and rack mounts this is a bike you could buy to cover all your bases. Screw on the racks and go touring, drop everything and wheel it up to a 'cross startline.

Getting used to hydraulic discs on 'cross bikes means we are always loathed to go back to cantilever brakes, but the price has to dictate some specification. It would have been nice to see brake mounts available on the fork and frame should you wish to upgrade in the future, but again, something has to give to get the bike in at £800. A nice touch is the bar-top levers which give a confidence boost both offroad and in traffic where you can confidently stay on the tops, yet in control should you need to pull up quickly.

Fitting into the budget has also resulted in speccing the Sora groupset, one of Shimano's more entry level offerings. Although cheap it is most definitely cheerful, with a robust reputation and decent performance that has bled down from their top line groupsets over the years.

The result of all this is an excellent all round bike, suited to cyclocross competition at the weekends, while more than happy to pitch in for the weekly chores of commuting or training between. A solid groupset should carry out its duties through many miles, with the only minor gripe being an inability to upgrade to disc brakes in the future.


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