Monday, March 9, 2015

Sunny Gilbert's on-the-podium-finishing Giant TCX bike, both of them.

I've been wanting to do this review of my trusty two-wheeled Giant TCX Advanced cyclocross conveyances all-season! Handling like they were on rails around tight turns, and boasting a lower-center of gravity than any other CX bike I have ridden, I couldn't help but be fast on these bike. And now that I have time on my hands (not really), I thought I would do them some justice.

The tread on my Clemente PDX tires still boast the muddy remnants of the National Championships course. You can also see some of the mud that was ground into the Fizik handlebar tape as I fought for control on the muddy slip 'n slide descents. Gives it a little character, don't you think? Pictured here is the "A" bike, but seriously, the "B" bike is almost identical!

2014-2015 was the first year that I have ever had two matching race bikes (actually, it was also the first year I had two race bikes, period). You can see we decided to go with cantilever brakes, a financial as well as riding style decision. My long, point fingers, which would make the Wicked Witch of the West jealous (I'll get you, my pretty!), translate to a fairly strong and fast reaction grip on the brake, and I haven't quite yet learned how to feather disc brakes.

Want to know the only way I could tell which bike I was on during the race? The "A" bike has an orange AmyD sticker and the "B" bike has a blue one!

Another similarity between the set-up I ran in my break out year last year and this year - the one-by. In 2013-2014, Doug and realized that I just don't get up into that big chain ring much after the opening sprint. And by going to a single chain ring in the front, I could eliminate weight as well as complication. SRAM CX1 was still in development at the time, so my brilliant mechanic boyfriend  "Macgyvered a single cyclocross system" with an XO 10-speed 11x34 rear cassette... enough gears to drop it like it's hot off the starting line and grind it like a peppermill up the backside of Mt. Krumpet at Jingle Cross.

That's also a good-looking boxwood lining the side of my driveway.
Add in some SRAM Red and a Fizik saddle, and there you have it. The two most beautiful bikes any 6'0", high-center of gravity CX racer could want.

Did I mention they are for sale? Austin mud from my 10th place finish in the Women's Elite race at Nationals included, or I could wash it off for you...your choice.

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