Cyclocross, Cyclocross, Cyclocross....
What a fun time. Cross bikes are cool for a whole bunch of different reasons. To start they are versatile. For me, road riding consists of gravel roads, and often times gravel roads have random trails, offshoots and single track the begs to be explored and a cross bike allows that. They're no mountain bike, but if adventure is your game and your going to have one bike, a "cross" rig is not a bad choice.
Corinne is a Bozemanite who wanted a bike for shoulder season road riding (which in MT can mean lots of rough and gravely stuff - prefect for a bike like this) and something to help her get into racing 'cross. She may be new to cycling but Corinne has seen her fair share of races in running and biathlon, so we wanted something stiff and light and shiny and purple.
I love this bike so much, I think we made some really great design decisions, so great that this is how I am going to build my cross bike next season, and how I plan on doing next Fall's batch of stock builds (whaaaaaat did he just say?).
The frame is built with mostly OX platinum, a curved and ovalized top tube for increased lateral stiffness, vertical compliance and shoulderability. The half-inch seat stays are perfect for a rider of this weight and the type of use the frame will see. A 142x12 rear end means efficient power transfer and an Ultegra 6800 build is reliable, light, and just a really great way to go. I'm not sure if I even need to mention the fact that it has disc brakes... All bikes should have those if they're going to have brakes. Anyhow, a killer frame that weights in right a 4lbs - not bad for steel.
Cable routing is something you might not think too much about, however it is something that I think a lot about. Creating a system that is efficient, low maintenance and elegant is not easy, but this bike does it well I believe. Internal top tube routing and full housing down tube routing make running with the bike pleasant (as pleasant as busting your lungs out in a cross race is!) it creates clean lines and the full housing keeps muck and gunk out.
Anyway to wrap things up, I am really happy with the way this build turned out and happy to say that Corinne is now addicted to Cyclocross! Yahoo!
Thanks for reading,