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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
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
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
Without a doubt, the most pervasive excuse we hear from people who want to try cyclocross is, “I don’t have a cyclocross bike.”
Well, we’re here to make things easy for you. We have dedicated a fleet of brand-new Kona Jake the Snake CX Bikes just to cover that “convenient” excuse of not having a CX bike to use. Here are the awesome details:
Price: $65 per day/race $100 per weekend
Other Info: customers provide their own MTB pedals and shoes. The $65 covers cleaning and tuning of bikes, but customers are responsible for damage (you break, you buy).
Here’s a nice touch: 50% of the rental charge on a CX bike can be applied towards the purchase of a new Cyclocross bike at NYC Velo!
And because we’re a sponsor and love the race, rental fees will be waived for Staten CX.
If you’re wondering about the quality of the Kona Jake the Snakes, let’s just say they’re awesome looking, durable, feature-rich, and at a great price point. With a 105/ultegra mix, BB30 bottom bracket, tapered headtube and a carbon fork, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything similar at this price.
So give us a call and reserve a bike for whatever race strikes your fancy- there are some good ones coming up.
See you at the races.Bike Rentals, cx, Cyclocross, kona, staten cx
Photo By Marco Quezada
We are firmly in the wake of what we consider to be the best non-UCI CX race in the Northeast: Staten CX. Run by our very own CJ, we were proud be a major sponsor of the event. In our eyes is was the best representation of everything we love about cyclocross all rolled into one. People enjoyed themselves to the max, regardless of whether they were competing, watching, eating waffles, or all of the above. We had the fortune of working with our friends at Kona, who not only decided to step up as the bike sponsor, but even flew out the “Cave man” himself, Erik Tonkin. Below is a recap of Erik’s experience at our race (Stolen from the Kona Cog Blog). We were stoked that he came all the way over here to experience our scene, and we hope he comes back for more next year!
Cross in Shaolin!
I didn’t know quite what to expect of the Staten Island Cyclocross. It turns out the least understood burough wasn’t exactly the rest of the city’s dumping zone, and Wu Tang Clan was nowhere to be seen in the place called Shaolin. In fact, the race venue was gorgeous—Wolfes Pond Park is right on the water, a smaller, more suburban version of Gloucester’s iconic cyclocross stronghold Stage Fort Park. And like Stage Fort, war history is celebrated at Wolfes Pond: the park is home to a memorial for men lost in The Battle of the Bulge. Without that American victory, there would probably be no modern Belgium. And without modern Belgium, there would be no ‘cross.
I was most excited to be racing in a new setting with a strong scene. The course was dry, the sun was warm, and we raced at 1pm instead of, say, 4pm, so I knew there’s be some post-race waffles and coffee leftover…for once. On the other hand, the red-eye flight from the day before followed by my personal one-day record for beer and meat consumption was not totally in harmony with the goal of victory. Of course, my habit is to be ready to race, no matter what, where, or when and without excuses—it’s what qualifies me as a professional, I guess.
And I needed to be a bit pro because there was competition. The Swiss kid Valentin Scherz might’ve been at the USGPs in Fort Collins, but he instead chose to defend his Wu Tang title. After an acceptable start I moved to 4th wheel in the course’s fast grass chicanes and, by the end of the beach run, stayed there to the course’s next feature, a truly tricky downhill dismount followed by a short run-up. At the top of the run-up, there was a choice to be made: remount and attempt to ride the technical, off-camber traverse followed by a very steep and lose on-the-bike climb, or run like an idiot. Scherz and another had gapped 3rd wheel, and then that rider made a mistake, trying to remount and ride at the top of the run-up. The choice was made for me: I ran like an idiot through the entire section and quickly got across to the leaders. Stupider like a fox, I guess. Now there were three.
On lap two I hit the sand as 3rd wheel, but I attacked hard, running inside all the way to the short staircase that took us up and off the beach. Only Scherz matched it, so it was down to two as we remounted and clipped in. He was quicker, and he countered with a surge that resulted in a 3-5 second gap on me for the next five laps. The loop was short and fast at about 5 minutes, so when I finally reeled him in there were still four to go. I followed for a lap—we seemed to take a break, and I was fine with that. Plus, it gave me a chance to finally come around him. I didn’t waste time: I led into the technical section, and instead of remounting and riding at the top of the short down-and-up, I put my head down and ran like I had early on.
I knew he was more fit, and he seemed fundamentally ‘cross strong. I figured my only chance was to put him on defense and then hope for a panic-induced mistake. Basically, I was trying to do to him what I always try to do to Kona’s new riders Sean Babcock and Spencer Paxson. They say I ride around at a “slug’s pace” and then pull them back with a sort of tractor beam that unwittingly slows them down. They claim I then manage to somehow mind-screw them and proceed to ride away very slowly, thus stealing the victory. (I take it as a compliment, even though it doesn’t sound like one.)
At this point I was pretty confident in what I could do to the end: I mean, I knew I could do my old man ride. The hard running sharply gapped him, but much to his credit he stayed calm. On a course like Wolfes Pond, a 10 second gap can be as good as a mile. However, he never let it open up, and he was good enough to not make a basic mistake.
Scherz told me afterward that he’d been a bit worried: the longer I stayed with him, the more chance there’d be of him blowing up. But he shouldn’t have doubted: he got back to me quickly, and right at two to go he attacked and held a 5 second gap into the sand. It was 10 when I finally remounted. So it was over, and I started looking for the dollar bill and beer hand-ups. I was happy to have made a race out of it with this Swiss kid. Valentin is actually quite good, and he should go well at Espoir worlds this winter.
There was then the podium ceremony and, with it, prizes and photos. I was able to use my sweet cash winnings to pay for waffles, coffee and chocolate-covered bacon for some fellow ‘cross racers and fans…and for myself. Best, I did walk away with the Pyrrhic victory of the day: one guy called me the least smug Portlander he’d ever met. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s one for the Caveman and Kona.
Photo by Eloy Anzolacx, Cyclocross, kona, staten cx
It’s that time of the year again. The road season is coming to a burnt-out end, the weather (hopefully soon) gets cooler, and we start to long for mud and cowbells. the 2010 cyclocross season is set to kick off with Nittany Lion ‘Cross on September 11th. The season will be chock full of barriers, caution tape, and screaming fans.
In celebration of our favorite racing season, We’re throwing another season kickoff party. The event will take place at the shop on Thursday, September 23rd, from 7-9PM. We will be showing some epic CX movies, drinking delicious Kelso Beer, and its rumored that Wafels & Dinges‘ new waffle cart might unexpectedly show up.
We will have our CX bikes and equipment out and ready to go. We’ll have some excellent embrocation from Mad Alchemy and Sportique for you to try out. We’ve also got some fun schwag to give out courtesy of our friends at Embrocation Cycling Journal. If you’re interested in trying out this awesome sport, then stop by. We’ve got all the equipment an awkward roadie needs to transform into a barrier hopping, beer-guzzling machine.
Hup Hup Hup!cx, Cyclocross, embrocation, staten cx
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