Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Why is the weight of a cyclocross bike a big deal?

First off, consider this an editorial piece, not a letter of fact. It is the result of my opinions.

The weight of a bike matters for a few reasons:

1. Lighter bikes are theoretically faster to accelerate. Because cyclocross racing involves lots of turns and dismounts to accelerate out of, this makes accelerating back to “race speed” easier.

2. Related to the above, because cyclocross racing requires the carrying and lifting of the bike, a lighter bike takes less energy to move up a mud hill or a set of stairs.

3. It could be said that the above are the fake reasons and that #3 is the truth behind the madness: Light bikes are cooler. Especially for cyclocross. They showcase more specialized technologies, carbon fiber, titanium this and that etc. Lighter bikes are rarer bikes. Heavy/Stock bikes arent as fun because anyone can go down and purchase or ride or lift them. Whereas lighter bikes, like those featured on this blog, have been built from the frame up with hard to find, expensive or boutique bike parts.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Complete World Champ 2006 video

Thanks to Nathan Spear the 2006 Cyclocross World Championships can be viewed here. Nathans site is here: http://www.nathanspear.com/movie/default.htm

Light Cyclocross Bike: #4 Josh's Rock Lobster

The first American made frame to hit Plus One Lap is none other than Josh's Rock Lobster made in Santa Cruz California. Weighing in at approximately 17.1 lbs he reports and looking pretty bad ass.

Here's the breakdown:

Frame- Easton scandium Rock Lobster, custom for me w/ 53cm c-c tt and 53cm
c-t st.
Fork- Easton EC90X
Wheels- Zipp 404 Pave
Tires- Dugast 30 cotton
QR- Dura Ace
BB- Phil Ti, Campy taper, 102mm
Cranks- Interloc Carbon 172.5, Campy brankarm bolts
Pedals- Crank Brothers Triple Ti Eggbeaters
Chainrings- Specialties TA 39-46, alloy cr bolts
Brakes- Paul Neo-Retro front, Touring rear
Brakepads- Koolstop black w/ "wedge" trimmed off
F Der.- Dura Ace 7700 brz-on w/ shimano alloy clamp
RDer.- Ultegra 7800
Shifters- 105 7800
Cassette- Dura Ace 7800 12-25
Bars- Easton EC90 Equipe Pro
Bartape- Soma
Seatpost- Easton EC-70
Saddle- Fizik Arione
Stem- Easton EA-50 w/ small alloy brake hanger
Headset- Chris King

It's sweet to have a sub 18lb gallery, there's some cool bikes up there
already! -josh (wunlap on RBR)

If you have a sub 18lb (8.16 kg) cyclocross bike, email it to me at

Other bikes in the gallery:
LightBike #1: John's Morati
LightBike #2: Elmar's Excel-Carbon
LightBike #3: Martin's Moots

Tag: LightBike Gallery: Sub 18lb cyclocross bikes

World Champs video...

Well my goal is, an Anonymous poster requested, to put some Euro Cyclocross videos up on this site. i'm working on the logistics of that operation at the moment. But until then, here's a link to a clip of the World Champs in which Nys goes down. The actual website where this clip is located is here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Congrats to JP and a look at his Cervelo CX bike.

Johnathan Page pulled out a pretty awesome result finishing 10th place in the World Championships today. More info about the race can be read over at cyclingnews.com
Also, a picture of Johnathan Page shows the new Cervelo he received. Reports are that its carbon and i'd guess pretty light and pretty stiff. The pic also shows him on an Alpha Q fork and Ksyrium wheels.

Other Americans included:
Barry Wicks 33rd
Jeremy Powers 36th
Eric Tonkin 48th
Johnathan Baker 49th

Another photo added:

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Light Cyclocross Bike #3: Martin's Moots

Martin’s Moots titanium cyclo-cross rig is the 3rd “light bike” on the site. Martin reports that the frame is about 7600 grams or 16.75 lbs. See below for more info, specs and pictures.

Frame: Moots Psychlo-X 1642 grams
Fork: Kocmo titanium 592 grams
Crankset: FRM integrated (bb and cranks) 740 grams
Handlebars: FRM 240 grams
Headset: Chris King
Brakes: Paul Neo Retro
Pedals: Crank Bros Eggbeater triple ti 180 grams
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR 135 grams
Computer: Sigma
Wheelset: Zipp 404 1360 grams
Quick releases: FRM ti 72 grams
Tires: Wolber 680 grams
Campagnolo Record Drivetrain

If you have a sub 18 lb (8.16 kg) cyclocross bike, email it to me at

Other bikes in the gallery:
Lightbike #1: John's Morati
Lightbike #2: Elmar's Excel-Carbon

Friday, January 27, 2006

World Champs this weekend

This weekend is the Cyclocross World Championships. I got my Giganews account this morning, just in time I think. Im hoping that I will be able to load the race onto this website for all to view. (note: if you want your own Giga News account so that you can watch the World Champs and all the other Euro-CX races of the season, click on the link and you get a 3 day free trial). So because I've got GigaNews now, I'm downloading the Hoogeheide race from 1/22. A member on weight weenies said that Johnathan Page was finally riding the carbon Cervelo thats been talked about for a long time now. I havent seen a picture make it to the internet yet. I contacted Cervelo and their reply was:

Hello Jeremy,

We have not gone public with any information about a Cervelo cross bike
at this point in time. If a bike does develop it would undoubtedly be a
tremendous bike that will rock the cross world and would probably
warrant an entire E news newsletter on it.

If that happens and one is interested one might sign up for our
newsletter to get new news first hand.


Thank you for your interest in Cervelo.


Chris, customer service
Cervelo Cycles Inc.

Im hoping by downloading the video of the race, I might catch a glimpse of the new frame. If I do, ill be sure to post a vidcap of the bike.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Light Cyclocross Bike #2: Elmar's Excel-Carbon

Following yesterday's post of the pretty sweet Ti rig, today is Elmar's carbon cx bike. Elmar reports this bike is a very light 7 kilos----for the American's, thats 15.4 lbs, lighter than most people's road bike for sure. Very nice.

Frame:Excel-Carbon 1360g
Fork : Kuota-Sintema -Mud 520g
Headset: No-Name 52g
Saddle: Flite tuned 148g
Seatpost: Ritchey WCS 198g
Pedals: Eggbeater Triple ti Short spindels 178g
Crankset: thm clavicula inc bb 420g
Frontwheel: tune , martix rim ,24 spokes,alloynipples, 520g
Rearwheel: americanclassic hub,zipp 280 rim 698g
Tires: tufo 310g + 340g
quickrelease: tune front 22g, shimano rear 67g
Cassette: shimano dura-ace 12-27 , 178g
Stem: syntace f99 109g
Handlebar: Ritchey wcs 240g
Front derailleur: Dura-ace ~82g
Chain: kmc x 9 sl
weight ~7,0 kilo=15.54 lbs

Planned upgrades:
Saddle: slr tuned ~ 110 gramm (save 38g)
Seatpost: new ultimate 100 gr. (saves 98 grams),
Handlebar: schmolke 160-170 gramm (saves 80 grams)
which would give him a bike thats about .47 lbs lighter or 216 grams.

If you have a sub 18 lb cyclocross bike, email it to me at

Other LightBikes in the gallery:
Light Bike #: John's Morati

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Light Cyclocross Bike #1: John's Morati

So, I think there are some bikes out there that deserve a little more
bandwidth because theyre pretty bad ass. And seeing as how I have this
thing with light cross bikes, Im going to start featuring cyclocross
bikes on this site that are under 18 lbs or 8.17kg. If you have a bike
thats under this limit, drop me an email at

Bike #1: John's Morati

A really sweet Euro-titanium rig with matching Morati fork. John
reports that he had a custom steel (read: high end Norcal framebuilder)
fork on there before and that the bike's ride quality improved
dramatically with the addition of the Morati ti fork.

Other totally bling so bright it hurts (bsbih) components are the no longer in production
Sweetwings cranks.

Lastly, John previously rode on carbon Zipp rims and Tune hubs but recently
ordered the Reynolds Stratus DV wheelset. Pretty nice. Build spec and
additional pics below.

Some might argue that the AX Lightness saddle and the EC90 bars would
be too weak for the rugged abuse a cross bike endures, but John being
at 140 lbs doesn't put too much stress on these components.

For more information about some of the components on this bike check out the following:
Write Up about Sweetwings Cranks
Morati Website

Build Spec:
52 cm Morati Frame (1525 grams)
Morati Fork (570 grams with cut steerer)
Sweet Parts Sweet Wings crankset w/TA Specialites rings (38t-46t)
Dura-Ace STI shift/brake levers
Dura-Ace Front Derailleur
XTR Rear Derailleur
Dura-Ace cassette (12-27)
Spooky brakeset
959 pedals
Sram PC-89R chain
Avocet O2 saddle (switched to AX Lightness for racing)
Salsa Shaft seatpost (difficult to find a good 27.0mm one with setback)
Ritchey WCS Stem
Ritchey Bio-Max Pro handlebar (soon to be switched to Easton EC90)
Tires-----Tufo Elite 34mm, Dugast Typhoon 34mm, Schwalbe CX Pro Lite
mud clinchers
Mavic Reflex Ceramic laced 32h to King hubs,
Velocity Aeroheads laced 28h to DT Hugi 240 hubs (for mud),
and soon....Reynolds Stratus DV 20h-24h

Total bike weight: 7893 grams with zipp/tune wheels and 7923 grams projected
with the Reynolds wheelset.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Tuesday Ramblings

1/23/06 So im jobless now and sitting at home searching ebay and the web for all things cyclocross related as well as playing my PS2 here and there. Im developing a build list for my A bike which is going to be the single ring bike.

Because the Trek frame is black, I'm going to run with the black colors but with a gold accent theme. Items im thinking that will be gold are: headset, hubs, handlebar tape, and maybe gold aluminum bolts here and there. Originally I wanted to put on gold Nokon brake and shift housing, but after doing some more reading, it doesnt seem like Nokons are worth their price, with corrosion issues some people have had with them. And because this bike is going to get ultra wet and muddy, corrosion could easily be possible. I already have Nokons on my road bike, but it doesnt see much foul weather. Im looking into the Jagwire Ripcord housing as a lighter weight alternative.

A bike spec list:
Frame: Trek X01 56c (1550 grams)
Fork: Woundup (590 grams)---for right now as I already have it
Bars: Prima 199 42cm (192 grams)
Stem: Syntace F99 with ti bolts (96 grams)
Cranks: FSA Carbonpro 172.5mm (~420 grams)
Chain ring: 42t (52)
Chainring guard: FSA Carbon (19 grams)
Derailleur: Dura Ace (196)
Front Derailleur: none, will use NGear Jumpstop (26 grams)
Bottom Bracket: American Classic 113mm with aluminum FSA bolts (172 grams)
Seatpost: Thompson--want it strong (210? grams)
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR (140 grams)
Pedals: Candy Ti (253 grams)--the candy 4ti's would look sweet but too much $$$
Right Brifter: Ultegra STI (246 grams)
Left brake lever:
Brakes: Paul Neo Retro/Touring combo (266 grams)
Handlebar tape: not sure brand, either black or gold (~60 grams)
Wheels: will be the V1.1 build im planning. Mavic OR-10's pictured in another post as well as maybe King hubs or American Classic Front micro hub and King rear.
Skewers: control tech bolt on ti (48.6 grams)
Computer: Sigma 1200 (37 grams)
Headset: Orbit X (113 grams)

Items I'm still needing for this bike are: Thompson post, handlebar tape, Cranks, Headset, wheelset/hubset, and SLR saddle.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Specialized Frame 56cm on RBR classifieds!

I've decided to sell my white and red Specialized cyclocross frame on the Road bike review classifieds. Click here to go right to the RBR ad. It has been a really good frame to me, and was my first "real" cyclocross frame, but I've decided to let her go, off you go baby, dont be scared. Ill include some more pictures here (mostly because I said i would in the RBR ad.

I'm selling some of cyclocross stuff on Road bike Review Classifieds such as my FSA carbon cranks, 2 Ultegra cranks with bottom brackets, cane creek rear brake and a stem. Also I will be putting up my Specialized 56cm M4 CX frame later today. Just click on the link above to go right to my ad.

Edit: The stem, one set of Shimano Ultegra cranks and the rear Cane Creek brake have been sold for $90.

Then I turned around and spent $104.89 on an FSA Carbon chainguard, 42 and 40 tooth chainring and a Kelly Take Off mount.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

What am I going to use to shift the front Derailleur?

So ive been doing some more thinking about my cx bike build for 2006. And on my double ringed bike I was going to use STI for the RD and a barcon for the FD but now im thinking that

I might use a Kelly take off lever instead of the barcon. I havent heard of anyone ever actually using them on any of the CX forums, but im willing to throw down $25 and give them a try. The advantages would be that they are closer to the hoods (where i spend 99% of my time in a race and they are gunk/mud proof (like the barcons).

Here's a theorestical (because ive never used the Takeoffs) shootout between my other options:

STI for FD: Pros---easy to use, conventional, can shift from multiple hand postions. Cons---heavier, pricey, wont work well in mud.

Barcons: Pros---mudproof, crash proof, light, not very expensive
Cons---Hand must travel a distance to make the shift, cannot shift from the hoods

Take offs: Pros---mudproof, crash proof, (dont know weight but probably lighter than STI's), can shift from the hoods Cons----require some getting used to, shifts might be a little slower than with well working STI's.

I'm willing to give them a try though, could always sell them on ebay or at a cx race if i dont like the way the handle.
So I just figured out a cool feature so that a long post (like the weight weenie weights post wont take up the entire... Front page! I think I like this!

1/18/06: Okay so this is the deal. For the last few years or so, I've maintained a personal weight weenie list. All the weights below were actually weighed by myself (these are not claimed or reported weights) on a gram scale. I know weightweenies.starbike.com has a ton of weights, but sometimes ive found that theyre off from what ive weighed on my own. Some of these items below might be useless to other people because the description is not good enough, but hopefully it will have some use to people out there. As you will see, the weights are arranged by category.

item weight (grams)
Aluminum chainring 5 pair 10
2 aluminum BB bolts ISIS 18
2 steel BB bolts ISIS 38

Bottle Cages
Tacx Tao cage 45.8
Pedros Milk cage 36

Bottom Brackets
FSA Platinum Pro ISIS w/ Al bolts 217.2
Am Classic Split Ring ISIS w/ Al bolts 160.8
Am Classic ISIS 73/113 no bolts 154
BB-un72 sq. Taper 113mm 255.4
BB-6500 109.5mm 233
Truvativ Giga pipe 113mm 251

Cane Creek BRS 200sl 241.3
Cane Creek BRS 200sl Front OEM 122.2
Cane Creek BRS 200sl Rear OEM 119.1
Cane Creek BRS 200sl front w/ Al brake bolts 116.3
Cane Creek BRS 200sl rear w/ Al brake bolts 112.1
Empella Frogglegs w/ pads (pair) 260
Paul Neo Retro + Touring complete bike 272
Avid Shorty 6 complete bike 328

Brake Levers
Tektro top mount levers (pair) 86
Shimano exage levers(pair) 302
Modolo Krono brake lever (one) 65
CLB brake lever (one) 87

Campy Chorus 12-25 w/o lockring 230.2
Shimano 11/30 generic steel 365
Shimano m737 11/28 w/ Al SRP lockring 254
Ultegra 12/27 228
Sram R9 12/26 220
Dura Ace 12/27 178.6

Wipperman Connex Hollowpin complete chain 283
Sram 295

Chain Rings
FSA 130 bcd 48t 79
FSA 130 bcd 38t 31
Sugino 42t 52

Schwinn no magnet 53
sigma 1200 no magnet 37

FSA carbonpro crankarms only 175mm 429
Fsa Gossamer 172.5 cranks only 470

FSA team cranks w/o crank bolts 583
Ultegra 175 w/ Al 44t ring and Al ring guard 610
FSA Gossamer 172.5 48/38 590
FSA Gossamer w/ 42T w/ Al bash ring 575
fsa carbon pro 175 w/ 48,38 fsa rings 550
ultegra 175mm w/ salsa 48,38 rings 666

Record 2004 Rear Der short cage carbon 185.8
record rear der 2003 189.5g
record front der 2003 89.9
record 2004 Front der w/ 31.8 clamp 85.3
Deore Xt 8 spd 238
Dura Ace 7402 8spd w/ Al and ti kit 201.4
Deore LX 9spd 289
ultegra 9spd rear tuned 214
DA 9spd rear 196

Look HSC 4 with topcap assembly 260mm 460
Slice fork w/ topcap 235 mm tube 359.4
Specialized CX fork 229 mm steer tube 732
Aerus CX fork uncut carbon 650
Aerus CX fork cut down 9.25 steerer 631
Woundup CX 9.25 steerer w/ starnut 590
Trek CX al/steel 8.25(209mm) 852

Look 60cm KG381i with integrated seat collar 1590
Cannondale Caad7 58cm with seat collar 1330
Cannondale Caad7 58cm without seat collar 1300
Specialized M4 CX 56c 1640
Trek X01 cx 56c 1550
2006 Conquest Pro 56c (claimed weight) 1530

TTT Prima 199 42 199
TTT Prima 199 42 Trimmed 191.6
Easton EC90 bars 31.8 42mm 205.3
ITM Pro 260 336
TTT Prima 199 CX bike 206

Headsets (do not include top caps, star nut or bolt)
FSA Carbon headset integrated 57.3
FSA non integrated 97
FSA orbit 1 1/8 113
GT OEM std 105
Cane Creek Aheadset (stock on Trek CX) 130

Hershey Naked Front hub 32H 80.5
Am Classic Rear 32H hub 235.4

Homemade Al bash ring 52
42 t chainring 51
Al chainring bolts set 7
Steel chainring bolts 26
1 Al BB bolt 9
1 Steel BB bolt 17.5
42 T chainring shimano 44
2 nylon waterbottle plug/bolts 0.5
3rd Eye chain watcher w/ 2 zip ties 8.3
15mm Carbon Headset spacers 6.1
PowerTap PC and harness 95
Deda bar tape total w/ plugs 40
NGEAR jumpstop w/ al bolt 26
Red transverse straddle carriers 2 piece 7
rohloff chain guide 68
rear canti brake stop tuned brake hanger 3.2

Dura Ace spd-sl pedals w/o cleats 277.5
Speedplay X1's w/ Al plates 134.6
Time ATAC carbon body 403
Candy Sl 304
Candy ti 254

Matrix Iso 32h non machined/no grommets tub 404, 413
Mavic Gel 280 32h tubular 303
Sun rims m19AII 700c tubular 32h (383 and 386) 383,386
Araya Aero 1 World Champ 32h tubular 700c 335, 336
Mavic OR-10 32h gold rims (339, 338) 339

Velox cotton 17mm one wheel 16

SLR Tuned 111.8
Flite TT saddle 179.1
Advent Ti 236

Seat binder
Cannondale Seat collar w/ steel bolt 23.3
Specialized cx seat collar w/ ti bolt 17.4
Colorado rear brake stop 33

USE 25 mm seatpost carbon 133.9
New Ultimate 27.2 Al 94
Woodman carbon 197
Kuota Carbon 232

Control Tech Skewers Ti non QR 48.6
Steel non QR skewers 64.7
Woodman ti Quick releases pair 92.9g
Campy Skewer set 131.1

Zepp xl 100mm stem 157.9
Syntace F99 w/ ti bolts 105mm 96.1
Ritchey pro 100mm 147

STI/ Integrated brifters
Campy Record 2004 ERGO pair 326
Chorus 8 speed pair 429
Ultegra 6500 right rear 9 spd 246
Shimano 105 right 8 spd tuned with Al bolt 260
dura Ace Left brifter 9 speed 219.6

Michelin Pro Race avg'd 2 tires 208.5
Michelin Mud 2 700x30 1 tire 336
Michelin Sprint 700x30 1 tire 327
Vittoria Mastercross 700x27 302
Tufo CX Prestige 32mm (2 tires avg'd) 377
Tufo Elite LPS 32mm tubular (315, 336 in plastic) 315,336

Generic cyclocross tube 237
Performance Ultralite 26x1.95-2.1 124.5 avg

Campy Eurus Front wheel w/ rimstrip 750
Campy Eurus Rear wheel w/ rimstrip 918
AM Classic 350 Front w/o rimstrip 560
Am Classic 350 Rear w/o rimstrip 761
AM Classic 350 Front w/ rimstrip 576
AM Classic 350 Rear w/ rimstrip 777
Mavic Gel 280 laced to a Mavic front hub 628
Mavic CXP 21 w/ Ultegra hub front 845
Mavic CXP 21 w/ Ultegra hub rear 1065
Sun M19aII 32h rim, Hershey naked hub sew-up 712
Matrix iso 32 h rim, AM Classic rear hub sew-up


So last night I tore down my two cx bikes with the intention of weighing them, swapping some parts around and cleaning them up.

What I found was that on one of my bikes, the removable rear derailleur hanger was very loose. I was having problems shifting in my last race and this is probably why, originally I thought it was all of the straw stuck in my rear dearilleur that was lodged mid-race.

Also I discovered that my Trek X01 56cm weighs 1550 grams and my 56c 2001 Specialized weighs 1640 grams. Just for a reference my Optimo Cannondale road bike in a 58c weighs 1330 grams. All other weights were recorded after the parts were lying on the ground. Originally, I was going to try and find another Specialized from that era (no cash for the new Specialized frames) but now that the weight of the Trek is lighter I may try and find one of those. Another alternative is I'm looking into the Redline Conquest Pro's which can be had new for $400 each. I figure after I sell my two frames, that price isnt so bad.

On the other hand, if I just buy a new Trek X01, the money I save could be applied to two carbon matching forks. We'll see. Money is a factor, but I have a mtn bike in my garage (in pieces) that I want to sell---which I could maybe get $400- $500 for.

I figured today that by going single ring I could save 297 grams (.65 lbs) over the double ring setup I have now. The only question is, thats using my super high tech 1980's technology of Modolo Kronos brake levers (hint: the levers are completely plastic-esqe and only weigh 65 grams a lever) As a comparison, my Dura Ace STI shifter weighs 220 grams and my Ultegra weighs 246 grams. We'll see how they do, and I'll let you know. This might sound slightly egotistical, but it MAY be the first time a Modolo Kronos lever has pulled on a Paul's Neo Retro cantilever brake.

I'll also be using the NGear Jumpstop.

As well as a Carbon chainring guard. Or I might just grind down an old Chainring and apply drillium technology to it. It'll depend on how cool it looks and how much it weighs. For sure it'll be cheaper than $70.

Monday, January 16, 2006


So the 2005 cyclocross season is long gone and im beginning to think forward to 2006. This year i took a gear head jump and had a pit bike. The advantages of this helped me several times when my "race" bike had issues. However, I'm going to pursue the pit bike mentality even more in 2006.

First, both frames will be identical. And all measurements will be identical as well as the other important stuff. Such as saddles, stems and stem lengths, pedals, crank length, bar width and front forks.

However, the two bikes wont be identical. One is planned for a jungle cross type race course. And the other will be built for flatter and faster races.

During the 2005 season, my bike was primarily set up for the latter racing conditions (flat and fast courses) and as a result I felt overgeared with too narrow of tires.

So the bikes will be set up as follows:

A bike: Single chainring 42 tooth. gearing a 12/26 rear cog.

B bike: Double chainring 46/39. With Cross top brake levers. 34c tubular tires.

As a result, I will have two bikes that feel very similiar, however, they will be built with differing intentions which will hopefully give me more comfort and security in race conditions.