Indigenous Wheel Co. Factory Rider: Kelsey Cohan and Her Custom Women’s Raleigh RXW

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Kelsey Cohan has been racing cyclocross for three seasons now on her franken-bike of a race machine. What began as a touring frame capable of running 50c tires was given a serious upgrade with White Industries eno cranks, a wide range mountain cassette paired to a Shimano 105 9 speed shifter, and an XT rear derailleur. Needless to say, it is a durable, Swiss-army bike. However, if your equipment is okay at everything, it doesn’t necessarily excel at anything.

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This upcoming 2016-2017 season, she will be the first rider for Indigenous Wheel Co.’s Factory Team. With a full season of racing ahead of her, she will be found at the MFG Cyclocross series, Cross-Revolution series, and an assortment of single day races.

To celebrate her third year of racing and her first year of sponsorship (yes, this is blatant favoritism), she has a new bike and 2 wheelsets to propel her from her previous overall win in the beginner category to a great season of racing in the cat. 4’s. The bike started out as as a stock 2016 RXW women’s bike, but with a few key upgrades, it’s gone from a mid-level alloy cyclocross bike to a podium go-getter.

Frame Material Aluminum
Bike Wheel Size 700c
Frame Superlight Butted 6061 Alloy, Women-Specific Geometry, w/PF30, Tapered Headtube, Canti Specific
Fork Carbon/Alloy Tapered Steer, Canti Specific
Cranks Cannondale SI with 38t Wolftooth Direct Mount Chainring
Bottom Bracket FSA PF30
Front Derailleur N/A
Rear Derailleur Shimano Ultegra 6800
Shifter Shimano Ultegra 6800
Brake Levers Shimano Ultegra 6800
Brakes TRP Revox Alloy
Cogset Shimano Ultegra 6800 11-28t
Rims Velocity Escape 20/24H
Tires Clement PDX Tubular 33mm
Pedals Shimano PD-M520
Handlebar Raleigh 100 Series 31.8 Women’s Short Drop, Widths:38mm
Stem FSA 60mm / +-6 Deg.
Seatpost Thomson Elite Zero-Offsett 27.2x330mm
Seat Prologo Kappa Evo Dea Women-Specific, 147mm wide
Headset FSA Integrated Cartridge Bearings w/Cable Guide
Chain Sram PC1130 11spd
Front Hub I.W.C. Wide Front Hub
Rear Hub I.W.C. Superlight Rear Hub
Spokes Sapim Laser
Grips CX Specific Bar Tape
Extras Salsa Cross-Top Levers

A lot of thought was put into this build, and the biggest influencing factor was fit. When you are 5’2-3/4″, bikes with 700 c wheels have the tendency to fit like a borrowed pair of pants: they work, not well. We chose the Raleigh RXW frame for it’s durability and initial price-point, but for the biggest reason of all, they claim that they are the best fit for women riders.

As for contact point, we changed the shifters out to Shimano Ultegra as they offer a considerable amount of reach-adjust in the brake lever for smaller hands. When paired with a modern, short-reach handlebar and Salsa cross-top levers, the cockpit setup gives the rider the feeling of more control for descents and sprints.

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The Cannondale SI crankset option was a choice made to shed weight from the stock FSA Gossamer. Not only did the bike lose a full pound, the drive-train was simplified to offer mud clearance, and a more secure chain, while maintaining a wide range of gears. The chain is held on by a  Wolftooth Direct Mount Chainring, something that I have become very familiar with in my own recent cyclocross build. Knowing that you won’t ever drop a chain on the worst of course conditions will keep you pedaling without hesitation.

A lot should be taken into consideration when preparing a bike to be raced seriously for a full season. You can’t get first place if you don’t finish the race, so QC and regular maintenance are key.

I know Kelsey will do a great job racing this season, and Indigenous Wheel Co will be proud to help her edge up in the cat 4’s. Congratulations Kelsey, and good luck this season!

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