Posts in the category Cyclocross

Exclusive: Sneak Peek at the Pan American Continental CX Championship Course + Interview with Race Director Mitch Graham

Pan AM Jersey

If you need proof of the growing popularity of cyclocross on this side of the Atlantic, look no further than the upcoming Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championships. For the first time ever, cyclocross will will be included in the Pan Am Continental races and it’s all going down just two hours north of the 2013 Cyclocross World Championship venue.

Already established for road, track, and cross country racing, the Pan Am series is a competition between the 43 nations in the Pan American Cycling Confederation or COPACI. The confederation includes any country with a recognized cycling program from North or South America as well as any island nations.

The stage is set and the first ever Pan American Continental Cyclocross Championship looks like it will take place on one of the most challenging ‘cross courses we’ve seen. We got a sneak preview of the course and interviewed Race Director Mitch Graham next…

READ MORE ->

EU CX Test: Campagnolo Shamal Ultra tubular wheels – Weighed & First Impressions

Campagnolo_Campy_Shamal_Ultra_Tubular_aluminum_race_wheelset_wheels_Tufo_Flexus_Primus_tires_Gunnar_Verca_sandy_dirt_road_riding

Our season long cyclocross test got underway a few weeks ago with a mix of bikes, components, and clothes. Over the next few weeks we will introduce the items that came in from the start with our first impressions from the first few races and last minute bits of preseason training.  As wheels and tires seem to have one of the biggest impacts on cross and offer great bang for your upgrade buck, we thought we would start there.

We wanted to build up a steel project bike with a lower cost groupset that our readers could actually afford, so we agreed with Campagnolo to test their Athena 11 speed gruppo. With that Campy sent us a set of Shamal Ultra aluminum tubular wheels to glue up some cyclocross tires. They were so nice and shiny looking when we pulled them out off the box, that even before we had the chance to build the bike up we quickly glued some of Tufo’s new Flexus Primus tubulars on and put the wheels to dirt on a couple of 10 speed Campagnolo-equipped bikes.

Roll on past the break for some more detail pics, specs, actual weights, and our first thoughts on the wheels…

READ MORE ->

EB14: Konstructive Weaves A Brand from High End Carbon

konstructive  bikes carbon berlin (34)

While the big brands have mass produced carbon bikes on lock down, there is one area where the smaller brands will always have an edge – custom frames. If you’re spending big bucks on a carbon frame it should be to your liking, right? That’s where companies like Konstructive come in with the ability to offer extremely light carbon frames tailored to an individual rider.

Based out of Berlin, all of the Konstructive frames are designed in Germany and then produced inside of Europe. Utilizing a tube to tube construction method, the company is able to offer truly custom geometry with the expense of producing individual molds. Add to that a custom paint program on some extremely light frames and Konstructive’s edge begins to take shape.

Check out their impressive carbon construction plus a number of new frames next…

READ MORE ->

IB14: Wheels Manufacturing Eccentric Bottom Bracket Gets Official

We spotted the new Wheels Manufacturing eccentric bottom bracket in prototype form this summer, and now it’s official. The precision milled part will fit BB30 and PFBB30 frames, converting any into a singlespeed bike.

The Enduro ABEC5 angular contact bearings fit a 24mm spindle, with versions for Shimano definitely and SRAM GXP. The outer pieces are machined from aluminum and use steel bolts to snug it into the frame and hold position. It’ll fit both 68mm and 73mm BB shells.

Around $125 retail, price will be finalized and production started for November delivery. More pics below…

READ MORE ->

Lizard Skins Announces New Colors of DSP Bar Tape

Lizard_Skins_Bar_Tape

Lizard Skins has announced 5 new colors in their DSP handlebar tape line.  DSP, standing for “Durasoft Polymer”, is a grippy, yet soft bar tape that we reviewed in the 2.5mm thickness. The company had one of the most unique marketing approaches I have seen, wrapping all of the door handles of the Eurobike venue for the past several years, so I can attest, it feels pretty grippy.

The tape is available in 2 thicknesses, 2.5mm and 3.2mm, and one pretty cool feature is that in the 2.5mm thickness, you can select a dual-color transition that has one color below the hoods, and a different color above the hoods. In the 2.5mm thickness, the new colors are Neon Yellow, Brown and Cobalt Blue, in 3,2mm the new color is Green, and in dual-color, there is Black and Neon Yellow.

First Impressions: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group

2015 SRAM Force CX1 first impressions ride review

After weighing and installing the SRAM Force CX1 group, I put it through a couple “get to know ya” rides before heading to Asheville for the final race in the AVLCX series at Pisgah Brewing.

With a good bit of rain the day before and a little sprinkling during the race, the course went from a little damp to downright slip-n-slide like during our 45 minute race. Fortunately, the CX1 group held up to the mud, grass and a few slips and spills with zero problems. The bike even sat outside, unwashed and unloved for a few days after the race before getting a bath, but things still worked just fine.

Here’s how things worked out during my first race week with CX1 and the Force Hydro-RD disc brakes…

READ MORE ->

Unboxed, Weighed & Installed: SRAM Force CX1 Cyclocross Group & Hydraulic Disc Brakes

2015 SRAM CX1 1x11 cyclocross component group with hydraulic disc brakes install notes and actual weights

SRAM’s Force CX1 group with hydraulic disc brakes had no sooner showed up then we threw it on the scale, installed and took it to a very muddy race at Pisgah Brewing near Asheville, NC.

Introduced in March, the group just started aftermarket shipping en masse around August, with hydraulic brake versions following in September. For those upgrading their current rig, it meant a nick-of-time delivery before the season gets too far underway. Fortunately, installation is pretty straightforward, even if you have to run hydraulic disc brakes through a frame. Heck, even if you don’t, they ship with very long hoses, so chances are high you’ll need to at least trim the length and re-bleed them.

Here’s the run down of individual component weights, including a comparison to the mechanical brake counterparts, and install notes…

READ MORE ->

Hands On with the Fezzari Forè Cyx Cyclocross Bike

Fezzari Fore Cyx cyclocross cross bike carbon disc (2)

To Fezzari, Forè means the best. Out in front. Top of the line. In the case of the Forè Cyx (siKs) it means cross. Technically, Cyx is the model name while Forè is being introduced as Fezzari’s top tier brand. Think of Forè as Fezzari’s S-Works if you will. Along with their Forè Cyx cross bikes Fezzari currently has a number of Forè road bikes as well with more on the way.

Based out of Utah, Fezzari is a consumer direct company that specializes in high end bikes with the service to match. As for the name? After founding the company the owner asked his son to come up with the craziest name he could think of, something unique that would stick. The name Fezzari also plays on Utah’s penchant for double Zs for their sports team with the Jazz, Grizzlies, Starzz and many other now retired names.

Representing one of the newest models for 2015, the Forè Cyx was introduced just in time for the start of cyclocross season and brings with it the latest in equipment and frame technology. If you’re looking for a cross bike with disc brakes and thru axles, the Forè Cyx is worth a look…

READ MORE ->

Just In: Bontrager Affinity Elite TLR Road/CX Disc Wheels & CX0 and CX3 Tubeless Tires

Bontrager Affinity TLR cx 0 3 tires tubeless cyclocross cross  (4)

Bontrager’s Affinity Elite TLR wheel set is listed as Road disc, but this time of year for us that means they double as a cyclocross wheelset. Bontrager seems to think so to as the wheels were shipped with their new tubeless CX0 and CX3 cyclocross tires.

A lot has changed in the world of cyclocross technology recently which means buying a new wheel set can be a tricky proposition if you want them to have any chance of being future proof. Fortunately the Affinity wheels are a versatile design that are equally at home on your bike or in the pits…

READ MORE ->