WATERLOO, Wisconsin – Custom-painted bikes have become de rigueur in the sport of professional cycling, as riders and their sponsors look to make the most of their victories and attract prospective customers by making bikes pop. And while we’ve seen a number of good-looking custom jobs over the years, reigning US cyclocross national champion Stephen Hyde’s Cannondale SuperX takes the bacon. (Cyclocross combines elements of mountain biking and road cycling but is really its own sport.)
We got up close with Hyde’s American glory at Sunday’s World Cup Waterloo, the second round of the 2017-2018 Telenet UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup nine-race series. Check out the US champ’s bike below, and stay tuned for a full review of the SuperX.
Hyde rides for the Connecticut-based Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team.
Hyde, 30, is a native of Pensacola, Florida, and the reigning US cyclocross champion, having won the title in Connecticut in January. Formerly a BMXer, mountain biker, and road racer, he now races cyclocross professionally and lives in Western Massachusetts.
Hyde’s SuperX features a custom paint job and graphics that celebrate his national title.
The 54 cm bike features a lightweight carbon frame and fork, carbon wheels, tubular tires, disc brakes, and mechanical shifting with a single chainring. It weighs 16 1/4 pounds. The geometry is specific to ‘cross riders’ needs, including short chainstays for traction, a slack head angle, a high bottom bracket for clearing logs and barriers, and a flat-ish top tube for shouldering the bike.
The custom graphics, by VCGraphix.com, give Hyde’s SuperX lots of personality.
The SuperX is all around state of the art, but this graphic near the bottom bracket gives a nod to Hyde’s fondness for vinyl.
The custom Cannondale C is a nice touch for the American champ.
Hyde races a custom-designed Fabric Scoop Ultimate saddle. Fabric separates the cover, base, and rail into three discrete pieces, which it says eliminates stretch and tension and allows it to use a softer foam.
A look under the 182-gram Fabric Scoop Ultimate and its carbon rails.
Hyde rides a ZIPP handlebar and stem and a SRAM Force 1 component group. (ZIPP is the wheel and parts group of Chicago-based SRAM, a sponsor of Hyde’s team.) Like a lot of cyclocrossers, Hyde positions his brake hoods at a high angle for better control.
The super-stiff Service Course SL stem from ZIPP helps transfer power effectively.
Hyde opts for a Tange Seiki Terious headset.
The UCI sticker indicates that the Cannondale SuperX frame meets the technical regulations of the governing body of world cycling.
There’s plenty of mud clearance through the fork for when the muddy races come in late fall and winter.
And there’s lots of mud clearance in the back — something every cyclocrosser wants.
For the fast, dry course at Waterloo, Hyde chose to race on Challenge Dune 33 mm tires with a file tread.
The team rides ZIPP’s 303 Firecrest wheelset, which has become a popular choice for both road and cyclocross riders. ZIPP claims the dimple pattern on the side of the rim improves airflow. These wheels are fast and light — 605 grams up front and 785 in back.
The 303s and Challenge Dunes make for a very fast pairing.
At Waterloo, Hyde had a SRAM Force 1 11-speed cassette, with cogs ranging from 11 to 28 teeth, and a SRAM Red chain.
On the fast Wisconsin track, Hyde ran a 42-tooth single chainring — aka SRAM 1x — while SRAM’s top-of-the-line 170 mm Red cranks helped transfer power effectively.
Hyde rides the popular Shimano XTR PD-M9000 pedals.
Hyde’s disc brakes of choice feature SRAM’s 140 mm rotors. Thru-axles in front and back add stiffness under heavy braking.
Hyde has six identical bikes, four of which were on display at Waterloo, including one with road tires.
Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team director Stu Thorne told Business Insider that Hyde’s bike would retail for about $8,000.