A Crux with CX-1, Zipps, and Sammy Slicks
Another Crux is in with CX-1 and the updated Hydro. First impression: don’t know what you got ‘till it’s gone and the Hydro is def improved with less deadstroke at the lever before the pads hit the rotor. At the same time, there are less ting-ting sounds from the rotor while riding because the new pad spreader gives the pads a little more clearance. The CX-1 also improves what privateers had done themselves in Cross with hacked single chainrings and MTB derailleurs, by trimming all the fat and kludges from the equation. The X-Horizon’s non-slanting parallelogram design eliminates ghost shifts due to chain bounce while the X-Sync is the narrow-wide tooth profile on the chainring which, in conjunction with the roller clutch in the derailleur’s pulley cage, allows the CX-1 drivetrain to operate on a single chainring without the use of chain deflectors, guides, or guards. Rather than taking a modern, integrated drivetrain and then subtracting half, CX-1 is optimized for being more from less.
That’s a lot of X this and that from SRAM, as King Crimson would say, some Elephant talk
I’ll decode the X terminology to mean CX-1 is a one-by drivetrain for road/cross with a chain that doesn’t slap around or fall off. As long as you shift like you mean it, with a quick stab, it’s precise and tight too. As a big-ring roleur, I was skeptical when JP from SRAM told me to run a 40-tooth ring, but the setup was perfect for the Kermesse yesterday that featured a mile of rocky service roads and another of chipseal.
In that race, what I know is, I made the 1st-lap fast split, felt great, and then had breathing difficulties. Lost a lap to get the rescue inhaler, back in, and then a rock kicked up into my shin. With much cursing, I was another lap down. Rode it out at tempo, and finished, probably 3 down. Then I drank a Rainer beer with Mt. Rainer in sight.
Racing is often like algebra and fire…a complicated interplay of structures with starts and finishes, confusion; it’s unpredictable yet inevitable and often combustible.
What you do is prepare as best you can and put your bets down on the table. Considering neutral wheels are no longer available for this course (cause of all the flats) I ran Sammy Slicks at 45 PSI in the front and 43 for the back. That meant I bounced across some of the rocks, but also didn’t pinch flat and carried momentum into the paved section. As slicks, I kept the bike upright in the tight, gravel turns.
The Mashel Nisqually Kermesse kicked of the 14/15 Cross season for us. As the promoter, Prudog said
Kermesse are the only road-esque races where you get dropped and finishing still feels great. Beer helps.
For more on CX-1, see Mark’s review and for the Crux, this tag.