Specialized Crux E5

I bought the Crux frameset while I was at VeloNews. I wanted a disc brake bike to test certain products and the Specialized was a great value. It has seen the rounds. I've done cross races on it, gravel races, lots of winter miles. Kristen raced it for a couple seasons. Recently I got it back after KP got a new cross bike. This build is one of my favorites to grace the frame. It's nice, functional and reliable. As pictured, the bike is accessorized for the Land Run 100 in early March. I have some travels before I go there and I like to have my bikes dialed before toeing a start line. So far so good!

The Crux in Land Run 100 trim

The Crux in Land Run 100 trim

Gravel appropriate gearing (for me) thanks to a Sugino OX801D crank with 44/30 rings.  

Gravel appropriate gearing (for me) thanks to a Sugino OX801D crank with 44/30 rings.  

10 spd Shimano derailleurs and shifters with a fancy SRAM Red 11x32 cassette. It's not supposed to work but it does.  

10 spd Shimano derailleurs and shifters with a fancy SRAM Red 11x32 cassette. It's not supposed to work but it does.  

It's a mess of a cockpit, but it's everything you need for an unsupported 100-mile gravel race. I'll wrap the aerobars with some tape before I go. 

It's a mess of a cockpit, but it's everything you need for an unsupported 100-mile gravel race. I'll wrap the aerobars with some tape before I go. 

Specialized Trigger 2Bliss tires are pretty great. Roll fast and corner well. They are the limit on width for the rear of the Crux while still allowing for some mud clearance.  

Specialized Trigger 2Bliss tires are pretty great. Roll fast and corner well. They are the limit on width for the rear of the Crux while still allowing for some mud clearance.  

Harvey Cycle Works Randonneur Adventure

When I decided to go back to Banff, Alberta for another try at Tour Divide, one of my first calls was to Kevin Harvey of Harvey Cycle Works. He has built a lot of randonneur bikes that include dynamo hubs, custom lighting and clearance for two-inch tires (or space for 650b x 42mm tires and fenders). We worked together on a gravel bike inspired by his rando bikes for NAHBS one year and it served as a test bed for the bike detailed here, even down to the paint. 

I knew that I wanted a bike that provided a high level of compliance. Lightweight, small diameter tubing accomplished that. Harvey also included extra bottle mounts on the fork legs and underside of the down tube. Di2 and mechanical routing were both installed. The Rando Adventure is a super versatile bike. With slick tires, fenders and a road gearing it's a super comfortable bike for day-long rides. I can also outfit it for gravel events with Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Roads, or Surly Knards, or even Soma B-Line tires (what I used at Trans Iowa). If gnarlier terrain is ahead, 27.5 x 2" tires also fit. 

The HCW in Adventure trim, photographed near sunset in Ovando, Montana on the 4th of July 2015. It was a great bike for Tour Divide. I ran a Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road rear tire and a Maxxis Crossmark front, Di2 shifting and mechanical disc brakes. The JPaks frame bag is custom, with internal pockets, dividers and space for a one liter bottle on the seat tube. 

The HCW in Adventure trim, photographed near sunset in Ovando, Montana on the 4th of July 2015. It was a great bike for Tour Divide. I ran a Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road rear tire and a Maxxis Crossmark front, Di2 shifting and mechanical disc brakes. The JPaks frame bag is custom, with internal pockets, dividers and space for a one liter bottle on the seat tube. 

After 30 of the most brutal gravel miles I've ever ridden. Trans Iowa 2015

After 30 of the most brutal gravel miles I've ever ridden. Trans Iowa 2015

Harvey Cycle Works S&S Rapha Continental bike

I love bikes. I can find something to like about almost any bicycle. Here are the bikes in my personal fleet. They're a constantly changing collection of bikes, most of them a bit weird. I'm a tinkerer by nature, but not a wholesale adopter of the latest, greatest. I ride road (where my cycling began when I was 12 years old), dirt/gravel road, and love to mountain bike. I'm no shredder. Long days in the saddle are my usual priority. With all that in mind, here is the first installment:

Harvey Cycle Works S&S Rapha Continental bike

photo credit: Brad Kaminski, VeloNews Photo Editor

photo credit: Brad Kaminski, VeloNews Photo Editor

Kevin Harvey, a longtime friend from my home state of Indiana, built me this bike in 2011 when I worked at VeloNews. I was a temporary member of Rapha's Continental team and we rode the US Pro Challenge route in Colorado that year. I built the bike late in the process and climbed aboard for only the second or third time to start the ride only a day after flying home from my first Dirty Kanza 200. To say I was shattered is an understatement. Pictured above is its first build and as I used it for the Continental. 

Since then, it has served as a test bed bike and a great travel companion. It's seen duty in Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Belgium, France (where I got to ride hot laps on the Roubaix Velodrome with James Huang) and all over the U.S. I did Tim Johnson's Ride on Washington on it and took it to several races when I was covering tech. It was also used as a baseline for aero bike testing at the A2 tunnel for a VeloNews article. It's a well-traveled bike that has never let me down. 

On the A2 Wind Tunnel balance

On the A2 Wind Tunnel balance

Another iteration, testing SRAM's then new Red group and Shimano C35 tubulars

Another iteration, testing SRAM's then new Red group and Shimano C35 tubulars

Drying out after a rainy day in Germany and Switzerland. Rode with Lennard Zinn and Morgan Nicol from Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany to Lugano, Switzerland over the course of a few days.

Drying out after a rainy day in Germany and Switzerland. Rode with Lennard Zinn and Morgan Nicol from Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, Germany to Lugano, Switzerland over the course of a few days.

Heading up Pikes Peak on a chilly day in 2012. Photo credit: Chris Case

Heading up Pikes Peak on a chilly day in 2012. Photo credit: Chris Case