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Bike of the Week: Vigo Cycles CX002
In the framebuilder’s words:
The second bike from Vigo Cycles is another cyclocross model, this time commissioned by Nicholas Simon. Nicholas and I went to high school together; he was two years ahead of me, and although I never got to know him then, he got maximum respect from me for racing on the school cycling team on a pink Bruce Gordon. We became friends when we were both undergrads at Columbia College. After college, Nicholas lived in Vietnam for several years where he began his career as a film and TV producer. He is one of the founders of Indochina Productions (http://www.indochinaproductions.com), and his Vigo CX002 is an homage to the Asian countries where he forged his career. Nicholas, who raced as a junior in Wisconsin, including in the US Nationals held in Milwaukee back in the 80s, wants to get back into racing, and he requested a dedicated race cross bike (hence, no bottle cage mounts) that he could put through the motions in the Northeast cross circuit (he now lives with his wife and daughter in the Berkshires).
Nicholas deliberately chose as many US-made components as possible for the build. The only directions on the look was that it should be all business, black, and bear Indochina’s logo and the flags of the countries where the company operates—Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. I built the bike under the tutelage of Toby Stanton of Hot Tubes at his shop in Shirley, MA. We used Columbus Life and Zona tubes, Llewellyn rear dropouts (kudos to Mike Zanconato for lending them to us) and a cast bottom bracket shell. The frame is a mixture of TIG welding and brazing. Toby and I conceived of the paint scheme together, but it was all him in the stellar execution—matte black base, Indochina logo on the headtube, and the four flags placed on the top tube which really pop against the stark background. Prior to the bike being built up, I received word that Indochina had expanded into four new markets and a request that the flags of these countries be on the bike as well. So the flags of Myanmar, Philippines, Maldives and Sri Lanka went on the Enve cross fork.
My plan is to make just three more bikes this year, renting shop space while still looking for a place of my own. I’m still working on the Vigo Cycles website, but enquiries can be sent to me email@example.com.
Photos by Ian Rutter of Haute Capture (www.hautecapture.net).
Vigo CX002 Build
Paul cross levers
Paul MiniMoto brakes
Crank Bros Eggbeater 1 pedals
White Industries VBC road crank, 175, 46/36
Wipperman 10 SO chain
Campagnolo Chorus 10 Ergolevers
Campagnolo seatpost collar
Campagnolo Chorus 10 front derailleur
Campagnolo Chorus 10 rear derailleur
Campagnolo Centaur 12-25 10sp cassette
Schwalbe CX Pro tires
White Industries T11 hubs
Sapim CX Ray spokes
H Plus Son Archetype rims 28/32
Phil Wood steel bottom bracket & cups
Chris King headset
3T Rotundo Pro bars
SRAM cork bar tape
Thomson X2 Stem
Thomson Elite seatpost
Selle Italia Flight 1990 saddle
Enve cross forkBike of the Week, Campagnolo, custom, cx, Cyclocross, Hot Tubes, Llewellyn, Racing, staten cx, vigo cycles, White Industries, Zanconato
A crew from NYC Velo will be heading down to Lambertville, NJ for this event (a 79 mile course filled consisting of 15% unpaved surfaces and lotso early-season hills). For those out there who are looking for a pre-Battenkill warm-up (or for a stellar break from winter NYC riding) should put this on the calendar!
Contact us here at NYC Velo for transportation details.
cx, Cyclocross, gravel road riding, Hell Of Hunterdon, jersey proud, l'enfer d'hunterdon, Racing, rando, Road Biking, roubaix, Search and State
The Fizik Antares (as reviewed by Harold):
One of our “go-to” parts and accessories companies, Fizik has been making high-quality bicycle saddles by hand in the Veneto region of Italy for more than 15 years. The Antares model is Fizik’s “Chameleon” shape in their performance road line. While it unfortunately doesn’t change colors at will, it is intended for riders who adopt multiple positions on the saddle while riding and whose flexibility falls between “very” and “not-so-much” (referred to as the Snake and Bull, respectively).
The Chameleon designation refers to the amount of spinal flex the rider has, according to Fizik’s “Spine Concept”. The Spine Concept is Fizik’s approach to guiding riders to choosing (and using) the the most appropriate saddle for them based on their flexibility. In Fizik parlance, the Snake saddles are for the most flexible riders who can place their palms the floor when bending over, the Chameleon saddles are for riders able to touch their toes, and the Bull saddles are for the rest of us with little flexibility.
On the bike, the Antares’s flat profile allows for plenty of movement on the saddle, which I really appreciate on longer rides. The nose of the saddle is also a little bit wider, allowing me to drop down a little bit, which came in super handy in the tristate-area headwinds. Along with the agreeable ride qualities, the saddle’s weight (or lack thereof) puts the Antares squarely in the top group of performance saddles. The heaviest of the saddles in the line, the K:ium, tips the scales at 189 grams, while the 00 comes in at a svelte 135 grams. Fizik also offers a convenient saddle demo program, available at NYC Velo, that allows cyclists to test ride saddles (both men’s and women’s models) prior to purchase. Stop by the shop or give us a ring to learn more about Fizik’s saddle line, tell ‘em Harold sent ya!
accessories, City, cx, Cyclocross, Fizik, Italian, Racing, road riding, saddle
NYC Velo’s latest Bike of the Week (BOTW) catapulted itself into the limelight after a strong showing at last week’s Crazy Train *Race* in Philly.
The BOTW is a Planet X cyclocross bike from Independent Fabrication, in steel. This Indy Fab was built for its owner in 2002, along with the steel fork, of (mostly) Reynolds 853 air-hardened tubes. Underneath its current cloak of sand/salt/mud/train sweat, this Made-in-Somerville, Mass cross frame wears an eclectic mix of SRAM Force shifters & derailleurs, Shimano Ultegra 6600 Single-ring cranks, Mavic R-SYS wheels (the replacement version) with Maxxis 700 x 33mm mud knobbies, Paul cantilever brakes, and Chris King headset and bottom bracket.
As has been written, the Crazy Train course was a mix of riding surfaces (sounds like cross, no?), including muddy singletrack, snowy singletrack, icy bike paths (that seemed like riding on cornmeal), railroad ties, piles of cinderblocks, and both improved and unimproved roads. This Planet X (Tim Johnson rode a similar bike to win the USA’s first podium spot ever at a CX World Championship event in 1999) has seen a lot in it’s 10 years on the Mid-Atlantic-New England CX racing circuit, but the adventure along the tracks in Philly last week was the one to beat.
Bike of the Week, crazy train, cx, Cyclocross, events, independent fabrication, NAHBS, philadelphia, Racing, shop rides
Human error, it happens. It can lead to the tragic and terrible, though sometimes amazing things can happen.
In 1921, two trains collided head-on at the Bryn Athyn cut, a narrow section of railroad track that threads through a rocky outcrop about a mile East of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia. It was a disaster, reported to be one of the worst of it’s kind in American history and human error was decided to be the cause.
Bear with us here. You are here today, Alive, blessed to be able to go out and explore and reflect. Human error is just something I was thinking about while riding Lone Wolf Cycling’s “Crazy Train” event (race?) this past Sunday, January 6.
According to the promoting bike club, the inspiration for the ride was when club members intentionally took a wrong turn down some abandoned railroad tracks. What took place there 90 years ago inspired the name. The wrong turn down those abandoned tracks, the flyer reads,”inspired a ride about exploration and the experiences a bicycle can give you.”
It was such a hot (or cold) mess of a ride. Icy mud bogs, piles of rubble, abandoned railways , singletrack, suburban bike paths and roads, soft pretzels… someone’s driveway… it was almost unadulterated joy (almost); like… Little-Kid-Out-Getting-Away-
I couldn’t not think about human error because, I confess, I almost didn’t go. I felt a bit tired from the ‘cross racing season, maybe something like an old house with a few broken windows, and wasn’t relishing the idea of another pre-dawn wake-up, ride to meet someone with a car, pile into said car, and drive to a ride a couple hours away in potentially foul weather. As the day approached, some close cycling friends stoked the fire a bit (thank you) so Sunday morning I found myself riding almost everything a bike can be ridden over, under or through, in a winding, somewhat disorienting and thoroughly silly 40 miles.
And that’s when the amazing part happens; you drag yourself out – to some snowy place in this case – where it’s just possible something may have been lurking along the railroad tracks. You beat up on your friends and yourself a little bit, beat up on your bike, have some laughs, watch your buddies do some dumb stuff, and you do dumb stuff yourself.
At the end you are sore, muddied, rattle-brained and grinning ’cause you got away with it. You were given a chance to celebrate being alive and exploring, and you didn’t make the mistake of not riding your bike. You balanced something tragic with something brilliant.
It was a mess doing it, but it’s done.
crazy train, cx, Cyclocross, philly, Trips
The Super Cross race this Saturday has been postponed, so we have taken this opportunity to extend the raffle in an endeavor to raise more money for the residents of Staten Island. The drawing will be held on Saturday night, December 8th, at the Cannibal Beer & Butcher.
Tickets may be purchased in person at the shop or online at http://cyclocrossframeraffle.brownpapertickets.com
CJ, cx, Cyclocross, kona, staten cx
I should have submitted this report a long time ago, back when I placed in the money in my first race of the season. Instead, I’m going to give you a wrap-up of the last three weekends, where I got smashed, so we can all get up to speed. In case you didn’t read one of my reports from last year, my name is Evan Murphy, I’m 24, and I race cyclocross for NYC Velo, the best shop ever (and I’m not contractually obligated to say so), in the UCI Elite category, all over New England.
Beginning with Charm City Cross, on September 22 & 23 in Baltimore, MD. I took the bus down to Baltimore and began my weekend by leaving my brand-new sunglasses on the bus, sweet! I glumly built-up my bike and headed over to Druid Hill Park for my first race of the season. The first race actually turned out pretty well. I was in no shape and under prepared but still placed 25th, last on the money and began what I assumed to be a great season.
Photo courtesy of E.M.
Placing 25th in a UCI race, albeit a small one, is no small feat and I was stoked. The next day, however, would prove otherwise as I crashed on the first lap going into the pavement and almost abandoned the race. I luckily had a change of attitude and continued on, finishing on the lead lap. My wounds will heal, of course, and receiving affirmation that my fitness and handling are (sort of) on track made continuing the race a worthy decision.
The following weekend I headed to Gloucester, MA for the Great Brewers Grand Prix of Gloucester and I figured my chances for success were decent. I decided that if I was going to spend the entire race weekend trying not to get lapped by Jeremy Powers, the US national champion, I should try to actually go fast. As luck would have it, I lost my chain catcher on a practice lap because I hadn’t tightened the bolt (and I neglected to have my bike serviced by my sponsor….). This would prove to be my downfall for the weekend. A borrowed catcher was not enough to prevent my chain dropping five times on the first lap on Saturday. All hope lost, I could only spend the rest of my race chasing the back of the field and goofing off; taking dollabill hand-ups and beer feeds. You’ve got to have fun at cross, otherwise you’re doing it wrong, right?
Photo by Lukas Bentel of me giving up, and running the off camber straightaway in providence.
As if my luck could get no worse, on Sunday the rain was pouring, it was windy the whole time, and my rear wheel freehub failed during a practice lap. I crashed every single lap. Any five-minute stretch of time where I kept my bike upright was a win. It wasn’t necessarily hard fitness-wise, but it was becoming clearer to me that my mud handling skills were not up to par. I placed again at the back of the race, frustrated, wet and cold.
Unfortunately, the Providence Cyclocross Festival in Roger Williams Park (Providence, RI) would be no different. Although the first day was dry, the second day was a mudfest. In Saturday’s race, I went go down hard after slotting myself in at 30th place behind New England legend Mark McCormick. The crash and subsequent mechanical bled so many places that I nearly gave up and finished in the back third. The remainder of my Saturday afternoon was spent recuperating from the crash and getting ready for Sunday’s contest.
Sunday’s race was insanity as rain turned the entire course to mud and caused race organizers to add traction to the flyover in order to prevent accidents. As the race went on, I crashed almost every single lap and nearly lost my mind trying to ride the off-camber straightaway. Again, I’m having great starts but I just can’t seem to keep the bike upright in the mud. Is this something other people practice??
Clearly I needed a break, so the following weekend I traveled to Milan, not for a cyclocross race but for a fixed gear crit. You might’ve heard of it; the Red Hook Crit Milano. I won the race, even after crashing on the first lap, and it was the serious boost of confidence that I needed. Coming back I hope to compete in this weekend’s race to the best of my abilities, I just need to stop crashing!
Photo by Team Sixcycle
Thanks for reading and thank you so much to my sponsors for their support, as well as the organizers of all the above mentioned races. I will continue my reports for the rest of the season, and hope you follow me along.cx, Cyclocross, kona, Racing, staten cx
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