Monday, 10 June 2013

Carl Strong travel cyclocross bike v 3.0

This has been one of my longest serving and favourite frames over the years.  Version 1 had a carbon 'cross fork and cantilever brakes front and back, version 2 traded those brakes in for long reach calipers that worked for up to 35mm 'cross tires and including fenders plus a ti fork, and now v3 has disc brakes and  Di2 internal wiring, inclusive of an internal battery.  Specifically, disc tabs welded on the front and rear fork, prior cable guides gone, full Di2 wiring internal to the frame, including a junction at the lower coupler so it's super easy to take apart and pack, and the battery in the seat post.  My goal with the internal is to draw the frame appreciater's eye more to the frame itself than the associated cable clutter.  In addition to the Di2 modifications, a new wheel set was added as well.  Lastly the rear triangle was widened to 135mm.  Charging is just done via the little junction under the stem, where there's a receptacle that takes the charger plug.  It's really all quite amazing.

Titanium frames, especially from custom builders, may appear expensive at first glance.  However, for a couple hundred dollars at a time, this has evolved well past its original spec, making it relevant and useful today, instead of becoming dated.

It's just as solid as the day it started.  The modifications are of excellent workmanship, it's impossible to tell for example where the cable guides used to be on the downtube.  You can point to where you think they'd be, but really there's no visible marking.

Di2 needs no further review, it's incomparable for exterior drive train shift performance.  I've learned the two tuning functions to set it up right, have the stops dialed in well, and it just bangs off flawless shifts in no time flat.  The overshift then bring the derailleur back to center is amazingly effective.

I had hoped for the Shimano CX disc brake calipers, but sounds like they're a bit on backorder over the summer, so here are the Avid BB7's.  They work, they adjust easy, yet I think the shimano has a cleaner look with the smaller, silver caliper and also they seem to have more stopping power.

1 comment:

  1. That is a ridiculously nice build - well done Bakke!