Posts in the category Cyclocross

Long-term EU CX Test: handmade FMB SSC Slalom Pro 33 tubulars


courtesy Barbora Davidová

After having chatted with husband/mechanic Mark Legg and a local colleague helping Compton on the cyclocross World Cup circuit here in Europe last year, we were curious to know more about those pink sidewalled tires. Then this season when we heard that longtime Dugast fan Jeremy Powers had made the switch to the same tires, we were set on finding out more. So we got in touch with François Marie of FMB (that’s François Marie Boyaux which essentially means tubulars made by Marie), and he was happy to make us a pair of tires to test. That’s right in that pretty much all of FMBs tires are made-to-order, and that in a company with just a few employees the namesake of the company is still making tires in their very traditional methods. We had a set of the all-conditions SSC Slalom cross tubulars and race-testing them in our regional European races from the dry early season, through a bit of mud, and into the snow. Roll past the break to see how much they weighed, how they were to work with, and how they performed through the whole season… READ MORE ->

First Ride: Wraith’s new U.S. made Paycheck cyclocross bike


When it comes to nice steel bikes, there has always been a divide between the Asian-made frames at an affordable price point, and the USA made frames that typically cost three times more than the imports. Wraith is a new company that wants to challenge that standard, and offer good quality American made frames at a reasonable cost.

Offered at $1,350 including a full carbon fork, it brings the cost of an Ohio-welded Columbus Life and Zona steel within reach for most of the buyers that would typically choose an imported frame (without fork) around the $600-$700 price point.

The greatest part about the Paycheck is that while it is affordable, there are no cut corners. In fact there are even some pretty cool, unique features.  Take a look past the jump to see how it looks at first glance and first ride….


Second Coming: Santa Cruz Relaunches Stigmata Cyclocross Bike, Updates the HighBall with New Wheelsize Flavors


After a protracted absence from the road market, Santa Cruz has returned with the second coming of the Stigmata. This time, the model has been redesigned from the ground up from the company’s favorite space age material.

They’ve also dropped a completely refreshed Highball 29er and a 27.5 version into the mix as well.

Head past the break to learn all about the new models…


Video: Bombtrack’s Hook cyclocross bike proves itself on Transalp

Bombtrack unveiled their Hook cyclocross/gravel bike last August with some ambitious plans to enter it into the grueling 7-day mountain bike race called Transalp. Unconventional? Sure. Makings for something amazing if it worked out? Absolutely. Now, after months of filming and prepping and editing, they put together this little edit of the experience. Check the accompanying essay below…


Paragon Machine Works launches Syntace X12 thru-axle dropouts for custom framebuilders


We spotted some sketches of these at the Philly Bike Expo last year and now they’re official, bringing the sleek, adjustable Syntace X12 thru axle system to handmade bicycles.

Officially licensed by Syntace, the Paragon Machine Works dropouts will be offered in steel and titanium with an aluminum hanger, giving all manner of builders the ability to fit them into their frames. That’s a good thing since more and more wheel and parts are being built with thru axles in mind.

They’re already stocking concentric and eccentric inserts (one of the benefits of the Syntace system is the ability to adjust camber and “alignment” of the rear wheel using eccentric inserts inside the dropouts), the Shimano Direct Mount derailleur hanger, hanger bolt and axles from both Syntace and DT Swiss. And, they’re already working on additional compatible skewers for fat bikes (177mm and 197mm) AND an X12 compatible Boost 148mm model. Check the full details and options from Paragon below…


Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 2


We’re back for another roundup of tech details from last weekend’s Cyclocross Worlds in Tábor. Today we’ll start off with the bike of young Dutchman and new world champ Mathieu van der Poel, as he kept a couple of mechanics busy going over his four prototype bikes in prep for Sunday’s big race. The biggest secret we could weasel out of them was probably their heavy use of spray-on wax polish. Besides making frames, helmets, and shoes look sparkly and new, it also does a bit to keep mud from sticking and certainly makes it easier to quickly wash the mud off that does build-up on the bike.

Follow past the break again for part two, where we’ll look a bit more behind the scenes at the prep for the final elite men’s race…


Cyclocross Worlds Tech Finds: Prototypes and Pro Tips, Part 1


Women’s World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prevot’s muddy 140mm Freeza disc and Di2-equipped Liv-Giant Brava Advanced Pro

We spent last weekend standing out in the cold and snow flurries of Tábor, an hour south of Prague, screaming at cross racers riding around in circles. In between bourbon, beers, and cow bell ringing, we also sought out anything interesting from a tech perspective that we could pass on to you. There were several prototypes from tires to frames, that we’ll offer our guess as to whether they’ll make it to market.

We met with several professional mechanics and the odd directeur sportif to see what kind of special prep they were doing for bikes for a world championship. Some had worked dozens of worlds and had the wisdom to show for it, while a few were there for the first time and just happy to soak in the atmosphere. We also had a chance to get out on the course for a bit with some of the pros pre-riding the course to test out a couple of the bikes we have on test and to help some friends figure out which tires to ride for the changing frozen and muddy track.

So click on through for our first part, and we’ll try to give you a little behind the scenes insight into a bunch of things stood out for us…


Long Term Review: Volagi Viaje Ti Disc Adventure Road Bike

Volagi Viaje Ti Road Bike

Even without the disc brakes, Volagi bicycles stand out against the crowd. After starting with just a single model, the company now produces three distinctive endurance road bikes, all using their swooping Longbow FlexStays.  If you’re new to the Volagi story, the arching seatstays are about more than just looks. Bypassing the seat tube completely, the stays allow the seat cluster to flex under harsh impacts providing a more forgiving ride than your typical racing-inspired road bike.

Volagi first made the transition in to metal with their category defying Viaje XL. Built to accept a wide range of tires and ride over any surface you can find, the Viaje sits somewhere between a cross, gravel, and road bike. Now, Volagi has updated the Viaje, instead crafting it from titanium. The details are the same – disc brakes, Long Bow Flexstays, generous tire clearance, and a carbon fork. But the ride? It’s safe to say the Viaje Ti is a new beast…

4ZA Introduces New Line of Cirrus Pro Carbon Wheels, Includes Belgian Built Tubular, Clincher, Disc and Rim Brake Options

Ridley Oryx thru axle disc brake cyclocross fork Noah SL x-Night 4za carbon wheels (24)

Along with the launch of 4ZA’s new Cirrus Pro wheel line up, consumers will have a number of additional options when it comes to carbon. Much like their parent company Ridley Cycles, 4Za seems focused on high performance products that are just as happy on the race circuit as they are a fast ride with your friends. Representing the highest level of 4ZA wheels, the Cirrus Pro line use full carbon wheels almost exclusively and are all hand assembled in Belgium to offer a premium ride at an impressive price.

Combining options for tubular, clincher, disc, rim brake, and multiple rim depths, the 4ZA Cirrus Pros are worth a spin…