This past weekend’s NCGP UCI race is our state’s biggest cyclocross race, and a chance for pros to pick up a few UCI points without (usually) racing against all the biggest names in the field. This year, it was also a chance to plow through 10+ inches of fresh powder for my 8:30am start on Saturday, then fight through frozen ruts on Sunday. By the time I was warmed up, the pro’s bikes were being pulled out of the trailers. Here’s what we found…
Shown at top and above, Carpe Diem CX (American Classic/Xpedo) team rider Robert Marion had his bike set up for the snow pack with modified Rotor chainrings. Between the teeth, he ground down the metal to an almost blade-like point to help shed snow. He says thick snow can build up under the chain sometimes, lifting it off the teeth. That’s no bueno, so this hack gives the snow a smoother path off the ring, letting the chain sink fully onto each tooth for maximum engagement.
He and teammate Jen Malik have both drilled out the cable stops on their Raleigh cyclocross bikes to allow full length cable housing to be run. Marion says this no only meant they were able to run almost a full season without having to change things out, but that when they do, it’s very quick and easy. The electrical tape “gasket” keeps water and crud from getting into the frame.
Having custom stickers made ups your game. Unless you’ve got a knee injury, which Robert does, and has sidelined him most of this season. At least his bike looks sick, and he’s got an insane new 4WD Dodge Diesel cab RV that I should have taken photos of.
Privateer pro Eric Thompson swapped out his stock disc brake rotors for this solid surface Carver Mud Runner rotors. He says when conditions are snowy-then-muddy, these keep extra grit from cycling through the pads, which helps everything last longer and work better. Formerly in Minneapolis (he used to work for HED, where it’s very, very cold and snowy in the winter) and now living in NC, we’re guessing he knows what he’s doing. Carver’s site says the rotors are meant only for CX where heat dissipation is not an issue, so definitely not for road or mountain bikes, and that they take longer to bed in properly.
Thompson was running Jagwire semi-metallic pads with them, saying they offer solid performance in all conditions.