Saturday, November 24, 2007

CX Bikes 07

I hope everyone has had a great Thanksgiving. With just a few race weekends left in the season, I thought I would list the gear I have been using for the 2007 CX campaign. Basically I have been using stock Cannondale CX 4 s with a few modifications to suit my needs.
The stock bikes are awesome and I have 2 x 52 cm bikes to race this season. I had a cannondale cx bike I loved back in 1999-2001....but these new rides are so much more advanced than the one I rode back then. The drive trains are sram rival (shifters, derailleurs), and the fork is Easton's carbon cross. The stock brakes are TRP carbon and are really nice. The black bike has cannondale's carbon si cranks (172.5mm) and comes stock with a control tech bar.
Ok, now for my mods: The bikes came speced with 170 cranks. I was able to get 172.5 si for the one bike, but put in an adapter sleeve and good old dura ace cranks on the other. The rings are 46 x 36 and 46 x 38 (dura ace). I use 12-26 or 12-27 on the back. One of the bikes came with a really wide bar, so I put on a deda 42 c to c. the Other has the stock Control Tech which I love. The Control Tech is 44cm outside to outside, so it is just slightly bigger than the deda and feels really nice. It also has a shallow drop and I find myself riding in the drops more because of that. The stems are 120mm, one cannondale the other deda. I put Thomson posts and WTB saddles on both rigs. After breaking a carbon seat post on the last lap at nationals last year I like the solid aluminum post now. Pedals are Crank Brother's candy, but you will notice I have eggbeaters on one bike in the picture. I am trying them for the first time and really like them.
The red bike has top mount brake levers that I call my "Iron Cross" levers. They are necessary for the IC race and for technical trail riding.....but for regular cross racing I find they really just get in the way. I would have taken them off after Iron Cross...but I am too lazy :)
Now the fun part: wheels and tires. The team was slated to get HED wheels, but they are lost in transit or something and I haven't seen them I am using the old cane creek carbon wheels circa 1999. I bought these 2 sets of wheels when I was on the Cane Creek road team years ago. These are not the new lightweight carbon wheels of today...but the solid old (read "heavier") wheels of yesteryear. For cross they are great. In fact, I rode at least one of these wheels to my win in the 35+ road national championship in 2001.....and I rode both sets at my two 2nd place finishes at cross nats in 2002 & 2003. Needless to say I have an affinity for these particular wheels. My new favorite tires are Dugast Rhinos. I went out on a limb and bought the big 34mm tires at the beginning of the year....thinking they would be great for bad weather. Of course we have not had one bad weather race yet this season! ...but that may change soon. These tires rock. Even though I give up a little with increased rolling resistance on pavement or smooth, hard surfaces, I gain all that back by having a tire that soaks up more bumps and grabs the corners much better than any tire I have used before....and for me...who is not exactly the best at cornering.....this gives me more confidence to get through the turns faster....which leads to less energy expended in the long run. The other set of wheels was supposed to be my "fast course" set. I couldn't spend the $$ for a 2nd set of new tires, so I have a 2 year old Challenge Griffo 32 on the back and an old Dugast 34 with a michelin mud tread on the front.
I think that is about it. These bikes are fantastic and I love them. They are light and fast with a great geometry. I will do another post about cx bike fit and positioning in relation to road or MTB in the near future.
I owe a huge thanks to the Landrover / Cannondale team and in particular Mark Hekman and Charles Stanley for getting it together for me....along with Paceline Bikes and all the other team sponsors. Thanks Guys !!!


Alan said...

that's great info...interested in hearing more about how you like the eggbeaters. I was reading on roadbikereview's cross forums that a lot of people like them better than candies and the platform doesn't make much difference.

Mandy said...

great info. i didn't understand much but assume bike folk would be pleased and get all stoked.
now, post pictures of your hot wife to keep other readers interested.