Or, more preciesly, new FRAME day. Joining Charlie's stable is this fresh new S-Works Crux, just arrived from Specialized yesterday. We built it up using parts from his old Crux, with a few brand new flourishes. The bike's guts are Shimano 6700 (shifters) and 6600 (front & rear derailleurs). These bits have weathered abuse for the past several years on Charlie's two previous cross builds, which speaks well for Ultegra's status as the real workhorse of the Shimano componentry line: These parts don't show any sign of giving up anytime soon. Which brings me to the wheelset. Being a giant in an industry that caters mostly to the smaller of stature, a significant amount of attention is paid to finding that sweet spot where performance and durability intersect. I've had nothing but incredible experience with the Mavic wheelsets that I've owned, particularly the various wheels in the Ksyrium line. Now, I'm only 145-150lbs, so that's not saying as much as it is that Charlie also has gone the Ksyrium route. The Ksyrium SL - now, as of the 2013 line, known as the Ksyrium SLS - is one of those do-everything wheelsets: While perfectly comfortable in a crit, they're also feathery enough to use on long, steep climbs & robust enough to use as your everyday training wheels. Bar none, they are the best pre-built aluminum-rimmed wheel systems available. A new addition to Charlie's bike this year are the TRP CX9 cyclocross-specific V-brakes. We went with these over your more traditional canti brakes because of the increased stopping power that a linear pull brake can provide. There was also an aesthetic benefit: We were able to remove both cable hangers, giving the bike a more streamlined, clean look. Beyond all that, from a mechanical standpoint, the setup on the CX9s was ridiculously easy. All told, the bike comes in at 17lbs - remarkable for a 61cm big boy bike, extra remarkable because of the bomber tires that Charlie is riding through the melty, sandy part of the spring. I suspect that a lighter pair of tires - be they more performance-oriented cross tires or 23-28mm road - will shave off an extra pound. Truly, this bike can do it all: Long road rides through the hilltowns, singletrack over at Earl's Trails, or the CSI cross race at Look Park. Stop on in if you want to see for yourself!
- Tags: Bike