When you are two friends who works together, have the same type of bike it’s pretty fun to ride together. Or extra fun. Me and Jaime did a gravelride on our Crux bikes this morning before work. With blue sky, sunrise and a bit slow body.
Ended at Vivels before coming to work and Jaime to this great picture of me and our bikes:
Today me and Birjer left the big city life to go to a sandpit outside Västerås to join their traingrace. Sometimes it’s great to just discover new places and racing with friends is always a win.
Groopencross is about sand and goes on gravel in the forest and on beaches around a small lake.
And for the comparsion it’s all about the bike, about gearing and the biggest issue tires.
My Specialized Crux is the fastest CX I’ve ridden. Thought about it today, my Cannondale SuperX was a bit more comfortable but could never go as fast. Even trying my boss Crux last spring it was super fast so doesn’t have with all the cycling I’ve done this summer. It’s faster going straight and in corners. It’s just up to me how fast.
Then the gearing. Riding a single chainring demands a bit more knowledge than riding with two. Groopencross was an easy course and never used lowest or highest gear. The Nationals where harder but suits me really well doing CX with 40t in front and 11-32 cassette. Just changing to 46t when I ride gravel or road as 40-11 feels a bit too easy then.
Tires, hardest part in CX. As I’m working at Specialized Concepts Store Stockholm I’m getting good prices on Specialized tires. But I’m allowed to buy what ever I want. Specialized tires aren’t as supple as FMB or A. Dugast but they are the step under and lasts longer. Last year I used there middle tire Tracer but honestly I think a Grifo pattern would work better as allround. But what I’ve learned working with Specialized is to have different tires front and rear and not be locked to the same on both wheels. Today I like usual had a Terra (mud) in front and Tracer rear and for the first time I learnt about Tracer. It’s an awesome tire. Many small knobs giving you grip no matter how you lean the bike but still rolls good. A perfect tire for Groopencross with a lot of gravel and sand. Terra digged down in the sand so dreamt about a Tracer in front too today 😉 Funny to find the good things with parts you haven’t understood properly before.
So the summary of today it was really fun doing the trainingrace at Groopencross. (ending 6th of 20) and I really like my Crux. Like it so much that it will get upgraded with a new and better chain this week 🙂
That’s double the weight of my roadbike rear derailleur. But this is so much more quiet and keeps the chain still. But what if you get the possibility to sell it and get a better one for a good price? I did:
It’s almost the same, almost. But it’s better. But it won’t make me faster, so I mounted a 46t Force 1 chainring too instead of the 40t Rival 1 ring:
The look of the Force 1 chainring is just magic, makes the S-Works crankset look even better and more premium. As I’m riding on road tomorrow I thought I would give it a try with 46 – 11-32. The Crux got a pair of 26mm Specialized S-Works tires too, measures 28mm on the Axis 4.0 wheels 😉
There is something with this bike making it feels good. Nothing really special but just good. Like a good espresso compared to a regular cup of black coffee. Looking forward to ride it proper and not in jeans like home from work this evening 🙂
When you change some parts you do it for the fit and the weightsaving is just a bonus. My Sram Rival crankset is really good (you want to buy?) but it’s also really heavy for being a single chainring BB30 crankset:
A S-Works crankset 172,5mm long (2,5mm longer than the Rival1) including the same chainring and chainringbolts:
290g difference, A bigger weightsaving than measuring bikeweight without pedals 😉 But it’s not just light. It’s also the stiffest high-end crankset on the market according to Fairwheel Bikes 😀
I don’t know if I felt it or if it was placebo but it felt better riding home with it on. My Crux on the way down in weight:
40t chainring. Ordered a 46 for the most epic trip this autumn 😀
Some things in Stockholm is just great. The CX community is one of those things. To be able to train with friends and people you don’t know in an easy way that helps all of us get better. Every Tuesday it’s one of those times when it’s training in Sköndal on the CXtrack there.
Rode together with a friend there and met up the others. Around 10 riders this evening and the plan was to ride 2 laps 3 times with a bit of rest between.
First lap to get to know the course for me, second to be passed by one more guy and ended 5th.
Second round I was more prepared but hit my pedal in something in the first corner so my rear flew a bit but saved it and continued after dropping a couple of places. Chased and it felt hard but good so was able to pass a couple of guys. Passing and getting passed by others on a tight track is also great training. To find places to pass.
3rd round we got company by Alexander too who also got a new CX. Carbon and Sram Rival 1, but with a Force 1 rear derailleur. That derailleur seemed to be fast because after a slow start by him he passed me and two others and not so far after he got up in the lead. He was fast for real 😉 I rode as good as I could.
A great training season and got company by Birjer on the way home.
A pic of half of the riders afterwards:
Did I mention my Crux felt awesome? And after today it will be lighter and even better 🙂 hydraulic disc brakes is a huge improvement even in the dry, feels so easy and you can brake with one finger without so much effort, perfect 🙂
Sometimes bikes are so good you can’t resist. Sold my old cantilever cyclocross half a year ago and tried my boss Crux Pro with discs and Force CX1 a couple of months later. That bike was fast and Sram hydraulic disc brakes is like brakes should be.
And as I’m working in the worlds best bike store, Specialized Concept Store Stockholm, who sells Crux I was curious on 2016 Crux line up. For 2015 it was pretty boring and there wasn’t one single complete CX that I wanted. But for 2016 all the time since I saw the Elite X1 the first time I was in love. As good as it gets out of a box for under 30000kr.
I wanted a carbon frame as I didn’t want to go down from my Cannondale SuperX
I wanted Sram hydraulic disc brakes
I wanted Sram Rival 1
I thru axles (who doesn’t after riding mtb?)
And as you may now I love blue. And since the Tarmac SL3 came in yellow I always wanted a yellow bike. So blue and yellow in Sweden?
With a bike I love to think new outside the box but still want to be traditional. Can’t use black socks riding a roadbike for example and white bar tape looking so good 🙂
Still waiting for a package to make it ready for training but had to show it for you 🙂
Heaviest cyclocross in many many years and first time I will use clinchers on road/cx for over 5 years. But don’t worry, will get tubulars so I can race 😀
Love when manufactures doesn’t things as I think is right and really happy to work with cyclists in a store selling the best bikes 😀
So, are you race cyclocross this season and on which bike?
I thought it was summer but now the cyclocross preparations starts for real here in Stockholm. The track in Sköndal is fixed, Stockholms CXcup starts be shared on Facebook. People starts talking cyclocross and wheels and tires again. Customers come in at work asking about cyclocross. 2016 models starts to come.
All while I’m thinking how not spend a fortune on a light cyclocross that I won’t use 😉
My mind has a war between the stiffer thru axle versus the easier QR and in the middle is it thinking about what colours and which parts I should/have to change on:
I am thinking about it’s worth spending over 250€ on Sapim CX-Ray or if I should go with DT Revolution spokes, or maybe competition?
Not a single thought of cotton sidewalls because this season will be easy and fast. Specialized tires are good and cheaper than FMB. And is cotton really more attractive?
So many questions, so little time. CX is the dream for a guy interested in parts and tweaks. CX is also the sport which women and men compete on the same courses on the same days with drop bars going faster than possible and looking better than they usually do. The good looking sport with friendship, and maybe even more.
photo by Cyclephotos which gets the best pictures of cycling.
So what are you expectations for this season and dreams? Which bike is the coolest of 2015/2016?