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

Chris Cross

Another bike edit and this one is with Chris Akrigg on a Mongoose riding over pretty much everything a MTB would. What CX racers run over, he rode.

A lot to be learned technically from riding a cross bike, have to be on point 110% of the time, I had a lot of fun putting this together.

The 1x Cyclocross Drivetrain Refined, SRAM debuts CX1


Let me preface this article by explaining I’ve been sick all weekend….some kind of sore throat and massive all over body aches. And random involuntary sleeping. Apparently this weekend past was when we should have rolled clocks forward. My iPhone and Mac did this automatically, but the other clocks in the bedroom and kitchen don’t. In and out of sleep, I kept waking and trying to figure out how long I’d been out. Sometimes it seemed like I had woken before I actually went to bed; I’d thought I’d been dislodged from linear time flow. I didn’t discover the clock discrepancy until this morning. Why am I telling you this? Because I’m rather irritable, and thus I have little patience for bullshit. And to a certain extent, bullshit is the very currency of media releases. It’s all conceptual names and talk about “user experience”, when really it’s a bunch of parts that you’re gonna grind and sweat on. Marketing is like when you come home from a long day’s work, and the girlfriend asks you what role play do you want to do tonight: teacher/student, shipwreck survivors, or maybe princess/knave? And you’re like, how about we just f**k and then we can watch Doctor Who while I give you a back massage?

So to SRAM’s marketing department: I apologize for going through your CX1 media release with a chainsaw, but you’re the ones who choose to release it the morning of my agony, not me. And to readers: I’m going to try to answer all the really relevant questions before you can ask them, so read slowly so you don’t miss it.

SRAM CX1! It’s here…sorta…or rather, yes and no. If you’re a cyclocross techno-nutter, you may have already noticed riders like Ryan Trebon sporting the prototype gear at CX nationals and worlds, but SRAM is giving July 2014 as due for availability.

That’s all fine, Mark, but what is this CX1 and why should I care? CX1 is SRAM’s concept name for a group of products developed for single chainring/rear derailleur-only drivetrains, targeted (primarily) at cyclocross. The advantages to a single chainring setup include a more robust drivetrain (since front shifting can be dodgy during cx racing), lighter weight, and better mud clearance. Any moron can remove the front derailleur and one chainring from their bike, but it is another thing entirely to make that work consistently in the chaos of a cyclocross race without dropping the chain. SRAM does this by borrowing features from their groundbreaking XX1 mtb group, SRAM’s original 1x11 system.

The two key technologies for both CX1 and XX1 are the chainring and rear derailleur, both of which use tech-sounding acronyms with ALL CAPS: X-SYNC and X-HORIZON….because lower case just doesn’t suffice for SRAM.

SRAM Force CX1 X-SYNC Chainring - 42T

X-SYNC chainrings have a distinct profile with tall teeth that alternate in thickness between standard width and something rather thicker. The thicker teeth are too wide to fit the chain at the links formed by inner plates but exactly fit between the outer plate links. This reduces the chain’s lateral freedom of movement on the ring, keeping the chain from derailing from the ring without any sort of guide or deflector. Even though SRAM invented this narrow-wide tooth profile for their XX1 group, a ton of other manufacturers have straight up copied them. I mean, if X-SYNC was blink182 (circa Enema of The State), then last week’s Taipei Bike Show was the Warp Tour, 8 years later awash in pop-punk wannabe acts. Which tells me that SRAM’s patent department is slacking off compared to Shimano’s aggressive preemptive strike strategies. It is said that Shimano has obtained a patent for shift-by-thought technology just in case humans evolve to have another frontal lobe.

SRAM X-SYNC tooth detail

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10 Things Loved in 2013

Not subscribed to our Magazine yet? Well, we love you much as those that are too (well almost as much), so here’s an article about things that Matt Hill loved in 2013. Matt knows his stuff, so listen up…

10.) DI2 and disc brakes on my cross bike…

I only managed to get the darn thing built up in time for one race, but that race was the Bend Ice Bowl, and folks? When you can’t feel your hands, all the arguments against disc brakes & electronic shifting disappear. Quickly. A revelation.

9.) Flo Wheels

They aren’t light, but they’re aerodynamic as all get-out, and they’re bomb-proof. 
…and cheap. Holy cow, these things are inexpensive. You get to pick 3 out of 4, right?

8.) The new “light” drink mixes…

Eat your calories, drink your electrolytes. Makes sense to me. Makes sense to enough people that all the bigger players in the sport nutrition game are jumping on the bandwagon. Cliff’s new product in the category is pretty great, and that’s what I’m soaking in now.

7.) Rolling resistance testing of tires…

Thanks to folks like Al Morrison and Tom Ahnhalt, riders can now make informed decisions about gear that will actually make them faster. Better yet? The manufacturers have been paying attention, and have responded with better, faster products. The same thing is starting to happen with aerodynamic testing. Excellent.

6) The Castelli Gabba Jersey…

If you race bikes in the rain, you should buy one. Full-stop. The very rarest of things, an absolutely perfect product.

5) A ridiculous little bell on my bike…

Yup. I put a ridiculous little bell on my bike. 
It’s absolutely flabbergasting how effective a tiny little “ping” is at clearing a path through normally oblivious multi-use trail traffic. It sounds like Mary Poppins rolling through, but people clear out like you’re aiming a cannon their way. Who knew?

4) The Hola App for the Chrome browser…

The UCI has a YouTube page, and they live-stream a huge portion of the year’s race calendar on it, including all the Cyclocross World Cup races (Women’s races included!)
The problem, though?
They sold video rights in the US to a cable channel that isn’t available in my area. As a result, the YouTube feed is blocked, and there’s no way to watch on the TV.
What’s a desperate fan to do? Click the Hola button on the browser toolbar, and YouTube thinks you’re watching from the UK, or Denmark, or Belgium… wherever the feed originates. Problem solved.

3) Cyclocross Nationals are in Austin next year…

Yeah, this is a year away, but I already love it. Get ready for a weird time…

2) The rise of Enduro Racing…

People having FUN racing their bikes? Damn…

1) Pat McQuaid out on his ass…

‘Nuff said, eh?

2014 CX Worlds Edit

Was in NYC for the Super Bowl last weekend and missed watching CX Worlds. Did hear some of the drama, like Stybar showing up on a 2-yr old bike to win or it was cantis v. discs. The UCI’s race edit is above and that’s what CX racing is all about, just like the 13 Worlds in the States. It’s the best racing in the bike business.

Tl;DR? Scrub to the final lap and see them battle it out.

Issue 08: Disc Brake Rants

Red Recall

Hydro Bagged

Spiteful Mark V wrote TWO rants about road disc brakes in Issue 08 of our Magazine available now on iTunes. He’s installing mechanicals on the Crux this week and I haven’t seen him this agitated since I declared I’d worn out a Ti bike from the massive miles I ride. A recent text from him said, “I sliced it off like a cancer, doubled-bagged b/c the tumor is bleeding DOT.”

Immediately attempting to change the narrative, I responded with, “where we riding next week? Iron Horse Trail?”

If you’re not already subscribed, subscription revenues directly support the writing, editing, and production of Bike Hugger Magazine. That’s where you can read Mark’s take on disc brakes and how he’s recommitting to Cantis.

Our magazine is ad free and published monthly on iTunes for $1.99 per month or $3.99 an issue. Droid users you can find us on Google Play where we recently published an exclusive story about Stages.

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