Fisher Outdoor recently supplied us with some SRAM Force componentry to fit to our project cyclo-cross bike, the Trigon XQC01. It may seem like an odd time of year to build up a ‘cross bike, but we think the next few months is the perfect time. Whether you are simply changing bike from last season or its your first time racing cyclo-cross, you can use, and more importantly get used to, your new bike throughout the summer in training, cyclo-cross sportive events and some summer ‘cross races, leaving you much better prepared for the rigours of a full winter’s ‘cross racing.
When we first broached the subject with our resident cyclo-cross experts there was the obvious wave of enthusiasm which then descended into chaos as they started to drone on about disc brakes and single front chainring set-up with a hugely varying rear cassette, dinner plate one end and a penny the other…
At the end of the day we were looking for a do-it-all bike that would be used for racing cyclo-cross racing, but also for perhaps training or maybe even commuting. Essentially, as this was about an introduction to ‘cross, we also wanted something which could be used with our existing stable of wheels without having to go out and spend a fortune on new disc compatible wheelsets. Discs may be the future of the sport but they do not represent the reality of our own here and now.
In the end it was decided that a more traditional cantilever braked frame with versatile double chainring set-up was preferable, despite the mumours of discontent in the background. The SRAM Force groupset seemed ideal for what we wanted. It is SRAM’s second tier groupset and whilst it would be nice to spec Red at all times, we have to be realistic and Force offers most of the performance benefits without the cost penalty.
SRAM Force comes with a beautiful carbon BB30 chainset so we can make the most of the frame’s spec, is a relatively lightweight groupset which should make shouldering the bike less arduous and is not overly expensive when we need to replace components come the inevitable crashes.
Obviously you need brakes to complete any ‘cross set-up and to that end we also have a pair of Avid Shorty Ulitmate brakes which we’ll cover in a separate article…(continued on page 2) >