Paul's Cyclocross Bike

Paul wanted a cyclocross bike in its purest form; for flat out, muddy racing.  The size was a bit of a challenge in this case:  In an ideal world we would have put together a frame based on 650b wheels but with good ‘cross tyres not being readily available in that format a bit more head scratching was needed to pack in all of the right characteristics and clearances on the frame. 

In order to get the right performance for the type of events that Paul does and to compliment his riding style I put together an extremely stiff frame using a mixture of shaped tubes from Columbus, as well as some custom shaped bits.  Paul was keen to use the thru axle format so we opted to use a carbon thru axle fork from TRP which gives great clearance and excellent rigidity without being heavy. On the rear I used the Syntace x-12 142x12mm format via some beautiful dropouts made by Bentley components.  As thru axles go this is a great format with a very strong yet replaceable rear mech hanger and critically there is no ‘handle’ on the axle which would almost certainly have caused heel clearance issues in Paul’s case.

I opted to use a carbon fibre integrated seat mast with custom made topper.  with the mast cut to the correct height for Paul’s biomechanics he can jump on and off it all day long without any risk of slippage or damaged seat posts: The layup used for the mast is an extremely tough one that still affords just enough give to take out the worst of the bumps.

The frame has been assembled with some Shimano's hydraulic disc brakes and electronic shifting in a 1x11 format.  I re-programmed the levers so that both buttons on one side shift the rear mech one way and visa versa on the opposite lever. This means that there is no fumbling buttons in a cold, muddy, bumpy race.  The ENVE carbon stem, bars and rims help keep the total weight competitive.  We opted for some MTB tubular rims to give improved tyre contact vs a cyclocross tub on a skinnier road rim.  Chris King finishes the build off with a beautiful set of components in the really eye catching ‘mango’ finish.

Paul was kind enough to leave the paint theme largely up to me other than requesting ‘orange and red’.  I opted for a candy red-orange fade to complement the Chris King parts and then a highly pearlescent ‘black’ for the middle section of the frame to contrast the really bright candy colours. I managed to get this one together just in time for the 2015 ‘cross season and by all accounts its first ride (a race!!) was a great success. I look forward to seeing this one plastered in mud over the next few months and wish Paul all the best for the season.