Cyclocross

We're so into Cyclocross that we made this special page for it. Also publish a Tumblr about Suffer Faces.

X01 10sp downhill derailleur for cyclocross

Cyclocross drivetrains with single chainrings (either 1x10 or 1x11) are certainly trending, and earlier this year SRAM delivered their CX-1 line as a single ring gruppo-in-box. The crucial elements of the CX-1 group are the narrow-wide chainring tooth design (which a multitude of boutique brands have copied in the last 9 months) and the non-slanting parallelogram rear derailleur, which optimizes shifting performance and manages chain tension. That CX-1 derailleur is heavily influenced by SRAM’s mtb designs. Or to be more accurate, the CX-1 derailleur is exactly identical to the 10sp version of the X01 DH (downhill) derailleur except for the cable routing. The CX-1 derailleur has a bolt-on interface for a barrel adjuster like other traditional road derailleurs, while the X01 DH/10sp has front entry for the cable and a bolted-on pulley assembly. I use the X01 DH derailleur because the more direct cable run leaves a less housing to catch mud, grass, or some else’s QR skewer. To tune the shiftering in the absence of a derailleur-mounted barrel adjuster, I’ve installed a Jagwire inline barrel adjuster on the housing between the handlebar and frame. Many frame designs have some sort of barrel adjuster where the housing joins near the head tube anyways. Normally SRAM road derailleurs work best with a fairly generous loop of housing, so using the X01 DH unit really cleans up that area on my Redline Conquest carbon. If you’re piecing together a cyclocross bike with a SRAM 1x drivetrain, this might be a good idea.

Before you drop the money on an X01 DH derailleur, there are a few things you should know first. Obviously, you can only use SRAM DoubleTap shifters (technically you could use the SRAM bar end shifters too, Mr Retro). It does not matter if you’re using 10 or 11sp DoubleTap levers, but you must choose the 10sp DH version of the X01 derailleur, not the 7sp DH version nor the 11sp standard version. This is because SRAM’s mtb drivetrains use different cable-pull ratios for 10 and 11sp, while SRAM’s road rear derailleurs, both 10 and 11sp, use the same ratio as the mtb 10sp. The 7sp DH derailleur is merely a short cage version of the 11sp standard X01 meant to work on a reduced range cassette with the same cog-to-cog spacing as the enormous 10-42tooth 11sp mtn cassette. The final issue is that not all cyclocross frames have a cable path for the rear derailleur that can line-up with mtb-style derailleurs. On my Redline, the path is almost perfect coming sideways out of the chainstay, but on Byron’s Specialized Crux the housing exits from behind the dropout, as is common for many bikes that are Di2 compatible.

SRAM X01 DH/10sp derailleur on Redline Conquest CX

Trail Running in Sitka Alaska


While in Sitka and with cross season mostly over tried trail running in shoes Scott Sports sent me. Not a subject-matter expert in running (besides with a bike), what I noticed was they gripped with confidence across a variety of surfaces and were comfortable. See what Scott’s running pros have to say about them like Ian Sharman, while I figure out what to do with my hands… and hey a good portion on what I do on the bike is running on trails with a bike on my shoulder up stairs, so there’s that!

On the trails I almost exclusively use the T2 Kinabalu and this has got me through multiple 100-milers really effectively. The tougher the terrain is, the better, since it’s got the perfect balance of cushioning, flexibility and grip for the trails. I feel like I can run over technical, sharp rocks without worrying about hurting my feet, but it’s also fine for running on the short road sections that most long races have to incorporate at some point. – Ian Sharman.

Ran

And I enjoyed running by the Russian Blockhouse, a graveyard, Totem Park, and with Mt. Edgecumbe always in sight. See the photos from this video on G+ and listen to the Afrobeat tunes from Ayetoro on Bandcamp.

Enumclaw: Tractor Pull of a CX Race

mud

Like a tractor pull in the slop

This is one CX race I was super upset to miss, but knew better with a nagging knee injury, and the expected conditions of MUD BOG. There’s a reason Enumclaw is nicknamed, the “claw” too. Cause it grabs at you, robbing speed, and sometimes throwing you down into the mud.

Peter from Woodinville Bicycle shared these photos and Michael Brazel had this to say on his Facebook:

The ENTIRE course was a slick, deep, muddy mess. ‘Tractor Pull’ conditions, 400 watts @ 4 mph. Any firm green grass that could be found was a blessing. I spent the entire hour searching for firm ground. Another small Single Speed A field. This time my start was not so good, last place chasing the group through the first lap. Then, as everybody settled in, I started pulling them back one by one. Midway through the race in 3rd place and the leaders still in sight I clipped a chain link fence and hit the deck hard. I took inventory to make sure all limbs were still pointing in the right direction, climbed back on continued my search for firm ground. Finished the race on the lead lap (thanks Russell Stevenson) and held onto my 3rd place for the day and series lead.

Well raced! I was icing my knee, while Brazel was searching for firm ground. The course was a two mile flat loop that I heard felt completely uphill with a 50+ft run up. Speeds ranged from 3 to 6.5 mph and in the elites, 10-min laps.

Epic as the claw always is. See the rest of the photos Peter shared on G+ and Flickr.

Urban Cyclocross Racing - Red Bull Velodux


Red Bull Velodux took CX racing to the next level, putting top notch racers against a technical off-road course, with an “all-things-go” attitude towards doing whatever it takes to inch past your opponent.

AND! A Lemans start. As we posted last month, it didn’t have the Red Bull sponsorship, but they were racing urban CX in 1943.

Another Weekend of Cross

Mark V single speed

Before racers pin their numbers on and line up, here’s a gallery of photos from Woodland, our fav race of the year in the Pacific Northwest. DBC Photography and Woodinville bike shop shared these with us, including Mark V and me racing single speeds. See the rest of the photos on G+ and Flickr.

This set up worked well. A 40T 130mm bcd ring swapped out for the 44T. 10sp rear wheels with SS spacer kits, and modified Salsa “Tuggnut” axle tug.

SSCX

Why is Woodland so good? I asked Matt from Crosssports…

It’s pretty simple. Location, atmosphere, course design, and occasionality are the essential elements for a special cross race, and WP scores pretty close to a 10 on all.

Indeed.

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