It’s winter in full, and the cyclocross season is over and done in most parts of the U.S. But one CX setup we saw earlier this year at the Interbike trade show is still worth some ink. The bike is called the SSCXWC, and it comes from Raleigh. The name is taken in honor of the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship Race, held outside Seattle this year, where the bike debuted in full glory.
Why all the fuss? The SSCXWC is, according to Raleigh, the first ever production carbon singlespeed racing cyclocross frameset. It costs $1,200. Only 40 will be made. Frameset weight is a feathery 1,020 grams!
If you hadn’t heard of the SSCXWC frame before, don’t feel bad. Raleigh kept the whole thing a bit underground, save for a few mentions on the SSCXWC blog, as the frame was a prototype and a special edition. It was also a precursor: Raleigh says a full carbon ‘cross bike will be in its official product line in 2011.
If limited availability and carbon weren’t enough to set the hook, you should also know that this beauty has CNC’d drop-outs that are keyed for a Gates Carbon Belt Drive, features thinned brake stays to smooth the bumps and, of course, a flat top-tube for shoulder comfort on the run-ups.
The Single Speed World Championship Race itself is held in a different city each year and, like a lot of CX races, it puts a heavy emphasis on having fun on your bike, not just trying to go fast on your one-speed. Take a spin through the gallery on the 2010 race page and you’ll know what I mean. There are also some great pics and more context to the event on Bike mag’s blog here. If you want a part in this craziness, and have the want for what is one of the best bikes for the job, the eponymous Raleigh would not do you wrong.
—T.C. Worley is a Minneapolis-based freelance photographer and unashamed cyclocross fanatic.