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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
Most cyclists who ride in the city have appropriately prepared their bikes and hardware for the weather, yet the most important question still stands unanswered: how to save our faces and ears from Old Man Winter?
Some wrap themselves in scarves and don their regular winter caps (a ski cap, for example). While these are viable options, proper fit and comfort will most certainly be compromised. Cold air has a nasty tendency to rip right through that knit scarf (or pashmina if you’re fancy) and your helmet will most likely not fit correctly over a traditional bulky winter cap. No surprise, the bike shop stocks options designed to effectively cure these problems.
To keep the ears and head warm (and to rock some biker style) Giro developed the Merino Winter Cap. Made with merino wool (and a micro brim) , the Winter Cap will definitely keep the wearer’s head nice and toasty warm. Along with the natural fibers there, the Winter Cap incorporated a surprising tech feature: the inclusion of X-Static. X-Static is silver that is bonded to textile fabrics (Merino in this case) and acts as an antimicrobial agent, meaning (in layman’s terms) that if you sweat a lot your fancy wool cap won’t stink.
To cover the face for rides after the mercury plummets, Gore developed the Facewarmer (which also covers the ears). The biggest plus of the facewarmer is that it is offered with WindStopper fabric. WindStopper is a product developed by DuPont Industries under their Gore label and can be found in various articles of active clothing, including pants, gloves, and jackets, and is designed to act (as the name suggests) as a windproof barrier. The Facewarmer also incorporates an opening for the nose and several holes for the mouth to allow for unencumbered breathing.
Winter Storm Nemo (thanks TWC) says, “stop by today to check out our winter gear and show old man winter who’s boss.”
apparel, Cyclocross, facewarmer, Giro, merino, Road Biking, Style, Wool
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
Imagine rescheduling a 2-day UCI C2 race weekend by 3 weeks. Then imagine the property owners requiring a course change to an entirely different location at the last minute. Even though both of these things happened to the Super Cross Cup organizers, it was still one of the best race weekends that I had all year. Race promoter Myles Romanow, who’s been promoting top-quality events along Long Island for well over a decade, had to make do with what he had. Granted, the course didn’t have many features, but the it proved to be fast, fun, and more importantly, represented the resilient spirit of cyclocross.
I was excited to finally have a race sponsored by the shop I ride for (the SICX race was cancelled by #Sandy), and a UCI C2 event at that. I was hoping for a good performance, to say the least. It’s kind of nice to have a smaller race where I literally lined up with 25 dudes knowing that if I finished I would, at the very least, receive the minimum $18 UCI payout (the top 25 always finish in the money), my reward for a season of getting slammed by the pros. I had a decent start but started to fade early on in the race. This course certainly favored riders with lotso power as the long grassy sections wreaked havoc on my legs. The next few laps went as follows: get in a group of four, slip in a corner, lose contact, repeat. With three to go, I crashed on my front brake lever, smashing it to pieces. I spent the remainder going into every turn with only my rear brakes, fishtailing everywhere, and bleeding minutes to the competition. I finished in 21st place on the day, just happy to survive.
That night, we drew the raffle tickets (to Benefit Hurricane Sandy Relief) for some of Seth Rosko’s custom cyclocross frames at Cannibal (restaurant) with some of the guys from NYC Velo and some of the raffle ticket holders. I was reminded again about the spirit of cyclocross; going out and cheering or supporting each other as we participate in this ridiculous sport is the same thing as having some beers over discussions about how to use bikes in a positive way to change our city. After finishing the last few gulps of Belgian Sessions (beer), I headed home to try and get some sleep for the next days race.
When I showed up for day two at the Super Cross I watched the Category 2/3/4 race commence on what looked like perfect course conditions: the corners were tacky (thanks to the rainfall) but not sloppy yet, so you could still ride pretty fast on some of the longer sections. By the time the Elite race started, however, the temperature had dropped and the course was trashed by all of the rainy races leading up to it. I slogged it out with 21 other starters, watching as they, one by one, pulled out of the race due to the dramatically worsening conditions. Every off camber section was like trying to ride slick tires up a wall of pudding. The course suddenly went from a grassy back-and-forth to a total mudfest requiring every ounce of concentration and technical skill that I had. At some point I got dropped from the group I was with and was eventually caught by NYC local Zoltan Tisza. Zoltan agreed to help me out so we wouldn’t get let lapped, though I botched a corner, and lost his wheel. I still rolled in at 16th place, my best finish in a UCI event all year.
After my event was done I watched the remaining races go off and consumed more than my share of waffles standing on the sidelines, meeting new people, and cheering on the Category 4 race (which turned out to be incredibly exciting). I felt like I was really soaking up the good vibes of the New York City cyclocross scene. To me, this race represented not only the can-do spirit of the region’s populace as it rebuilds and adjusts to post-hurricane life, but what cyclocross has always been about: taping off some fun obstacles and going out to get rad with some friends. I’m so proud to be a part of this community and I have gotten so much out of representing New York City all over New England. Although it’s time to hunker down and get ready for the coming road season, I already can’t wait for next fall. Thank you again to NYC Velo (I can’t stress it enough that I would not be able do these races without their support), to Myles for figuring out how to throw one heck of a race (weekend), and to everybody I’ve met out there this season, thanks for making it a rad one!Cyclocross, Racing, staten cx
In case you haven’t read one of my reports before, my name is Evan Murphy, I’m 24, and I race cyclocross for NYC Velo, in the UCI Elite category, all over New England.
This past weekend I headed north to Warwick RI for the NBX Grand Prix of Cyclocross. One of my favorite races on the calender, NBX always serves up a great variety of terrain and course features (and it’s only a few hours from the city!). By this point in the season, elite racers are often either trying to peak for the National Championship races or are about to hang up the bike for a much needed break, so you never know who is going to show up to any given event or the shape they’ll be in if they do. I was hoping, tentatively, for a good result.
Day one’s race would see 30 degree overcast weather conditions and my (now familiar) excellent start followed by slide back down the leader board. I went into the holeshot sitting foolishly at tenth wheel before getting passed in every corner. I was straight-up redlining my body just to be able to sit-in the field and try to hold position. At one point in the first lap, a gap was opened up by the rider in front of me (to the group in front of him), and after the sand run (of death) we would never recover the deficit. Sometime around lap four, as I was leading a four-man group around the tricky ride-up section, I washed out my front wheel in the sandy, off-camber, left turn descent. Unfortunately, the rider behind me got tangled up in my bike. We took our time getting our bikes apart as I assumed something was broken, the other guy’s hand was pretty banged up, and we were just simply frustrated. As we got back on our bikes, assuming we would get lapped, we slow pedaled for a while in DFL. after a half lap of this, we just couldn’t resist and picked up the pace. Somehow I actually passed a few riders on my way to getting pulled at the finish line just as Shawn Milne would solo in for the win. Ok, not that bad considering nothing turned out to be wrong with my bike. After “losing” three minutes (thanks to the soft-pedalling), I ended up 38th out of 48.
I’m not gonna lie, I had a few beers with dinner that night. There’s something that happens in your mind when you spend an entire season either crashing or experiencing mechanicals every race, you lose spirit and motivation can be hard to find. With that being said, for Day two’s race, I pulled the best number all year and lined up in the third row, right behind the heavy hitters. My start was so good that I made it into cyclingnews.com‘s photo, dead center!
see it? ok…
During the first part of the race, a Van Dessel rider flipped over his bike right in front of me going into the sand run, but I hung in there and rode for most of my race right around 20th-25th place (I was even catching air over the flyover). No crashes, no mechanicals; I was holding my own in a group with some fast dudes. I eventually got dropped in the sand run on the second to last lap, and slid a few spots to finish in 30th place. This, for me, was monumental. Crossresults.com predicted 39th, I had a virtually error free race, and I had fun. I was absolutely C.R.A.C.K.E.D. after 1:07:35 of all-out effort, but enjoyed the drive back to the city knowing that I’d had a good race.
This weekend is SUPERCROSS!! (apologies for the late News Page update, ed.) and I am superexcited to wrap-up my season with the ‘local’ race here in New York City. NYC Velo is sponsoring this event, and I am tuned-up and ready to go. I’ll be taking the train out to long island for this UCI event – come cheer, come race! Hopefully, I’ll see you out there.Cycling News, Cyclocross, Cyclocross Racing, Evan Murphy, NBX Grand Prix, NYC Velo Team
In case you haven’t read one of my reports before, 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.
What’s to say about the Cyclesmart International Cyclocross event that hasn’t already been said? I mean, stop me if you don’t like catching air off of an elevated rail road track, or dropping into a twenty percent grade rutted downhill, or free iced tea. No doubt, CSIcx was awesome, and one you should add to your calendar without a doubt.
Sure, the course was made up of mostly flat grass switchbacks, but also included a run up through a super-gnarly patch of roots and gravel to some pretty sweet, albeit extremely rooty, singletrack-esque dirt turns, before descending back down the hill to hit the tallest barriers I have ever had to lift a leg over in my life. Oh yeah, did I mention (Rapha/Focus pro rider) Jeremy Powers was there? Oh yeah did I mention (Rabobank/Giant pro rider) Adam Craig was bunny hopping the three foot high barriers?? (exaggeration, they really weren’t that bad) After the barriers, a few slippery corners on what appeared to be baseball-diamond sand turned into the home stretch of the course.
Day one was no good for me, even though I drew a third row call up (not a bad starting position in a field of this stature). My good fortune was immediately reversed as a fellow competitor’s pedal went into my gears on the first lap run-up. I was unable to correctly fix the issue at the time, and it led to some super awesome chain suck later in the race. I ended the race by crashing after sliding out into one of the railroad track overpasses. Days like this have me convinced that pit bikes are a cool idea. Unfortunately, there is nothing else positive to say about day one.
Day two, however, was like a reboot. I started poorly but found myself around thirtieth position for the first few laps. I was riding great, right behind another fellow New Yorker, Nick Van Winkle, and, just like last week at HPCX, I simply ran out of gas. Talking to some truely fast men after the race, one pointed out to me to “double your fitness, which is really hard,” in order to stay with the groups I start with. I didn’t know it was that simple…Done! In all seriousness, CSI promoters posted the lap times online, and I was surprised to see my times were about even on all laps until the last, where I gained two minutes, woah! Looks like I’ll be hitting some intervals right after I finish this report…
All in all, an excellent course, though I would never ever want to do this race if it was wet, ever. The atmosphere was dialed in and there were several delicious vendor booths as well as a tent selling sausages in support of sending super fast guy Jeremy Durrin to Europe. Richard Fries, New England race announcer extraordinaire (and one of the guys behind Bikes Belong and the Ride on Washington) was on the mic, there were plenty of awesome dogs to hang out with, and world class racin to be had; all the right ingredients. I will definitely be there next year. I love ripping it up NYC style at these races, and I couldn’t do it without the support of my team and sponsors back in NYC, thanks guys! Also big thanks to Alan Atwood for letting me pull my UCI number five minutes late, you rock Alan! (I won’t tell anyone you let me do that!)Bikes Belong, Bikes Belong Foundation, Cyclocross, Cyclocross Racing, Evan Murphy, NYC Velo Team, ride on Washington
NYC Velo helps cyclists of all types find their perfect ride.