Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) only recently started racing singlespeed cyclo-cross as a way to increase the 'fun factor' for...
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Bringing home a national championship on a repurposed old racer
This article originally published on BikeRadar
After a couple of tough seasons, Maureen Bruno-Roy (Bob's Red Mill p/b Seven Cycles) found herself at a crossroads. With the fire starting to dim in her belly – but a couple of new Seven Cycles Mudhoney Pro geared bikes on hand – the popular New Englander decided to take one of her original Mudhoney SLX frames back to its creator to turn it into a singlespeed.
"The last two seasons were so intense for me," Bruno-Roy told BikeRadar while riding the rollers and watching an old episode of Quantum Leap (her standard routine, apparently). "I was really fatigued and the fun factor was disappearing. Singlespeed has always been really rad people and really fun. I have a lot of mountain bike friends who ride singlespeed and they ride really, really hard but they're definitely having fun. I thought, 'how can I have more fun this year but still race seriously?' It's not something you can just do on the same bike. I can't just go into a race and say, 'today I'm just going to have fun'. You end up racing your heart out."
"Mo wanted to do a few singlespeed races this year so they cut the dropouts out and replaced them with track dropouts," added husband and mechanic Matt Roy. "It was a way to breathe new life into it. I hope to have time to come back to them and really get these little pieces knocked off and make it a true singlespeed but the number of races she's done on it, it's done the trick."
It sure has.
Bruno-Roy did have fun on the opening day of the US national cyclo-cross championships here in Boulder, Colorado, but she also raced her heart out, too – and now has a stars-and-stripes jersey to show for it.
Even better, she did so on a frameset that was six years old – well past the usual lifespan for modern full-composite 'cross race bikes. And while the frame might be a touch heavy by contemporary standards at about 1,400g, it still looks remarkably fresh, not to mention astonishingly pretty. The carbon fiber seat tube and top tube add to what Bruno-Roy says is an amazing ride quality, too, which would have paid big dividends on the bumpy course at Valmont Bike Park.
The rest of the build closely mimics that of her standard geared bikes but with the requisite modifications for singlespeed duty. Roy gutted a pair of old SRAM Red 2012 levers, there's a single 38-tooth TA Specialites chainring mounted to a SRAM Red 2012 GXP crankset, and stopping duties are handled by ultralight TRP RevoX Carbon cantilevers fitted with SwissStop GHP pads.
Rather than go with dedicated singlespeed rolling stock, Bruno-Roy instead sticks with her favorite Mavic Ksyrium SLS aluminum wheels wrapped in FMB Super Mud Pro tubulars and fitted with an anodized aluminum cog made by Endless Bike Company.
While a dedicated singlespeed rear wheel might in theory offer better stiffness with wider spoke flange spacing, Maureen Bruno-Roy instead prefers to stick with her tried-and-true Mavic Ksyrium SLS aluminum tubulars, fitted with an aluminum singlespeed cog and spacer kit from Endless Bike Company
"She loves this wheel and tire combination," said Roy. "The [Mavic Ksyrium] SLSes are so bomber, she loves the way the [FMB] Super Muds ride, and these Endless cogs are gorgeous."
Rounding out the build are a Zipp SL carbon bar, Zipp SLspeed carbon seatpost, Zipp Service Course SL stem, and Shimano XTR PD-M970 pedals, plus an Affinity RXL Carbon saddle and bar tape from new sponsor Bontrager – a connection that was forged through friends Katie Compton and Mark Legg-Compton.
Total weight is pictured is just 6.97kg (15.37lb).
Now that Bruno-Roy has been bitten by the singlespeed bug, though, what's next?
"I'm going to see how Sunday goes and then go forward from there," she said. "I'm not really planning anything too far out right now but there is a singlespeed series in New England so that could be something fun to play with next year. We'll see what happens."
Complete bike specifications
Frame: Custom Seven Cycles Mudhoney SLX SS
Fork: Seven CX
Headset: Chris King NoThreadset, 1 1/8in
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL, 90mm x -6°
Handlebar: Zipp SL, 40cm (c-c)
Tape: Bontrager cork
Front brake: TRP RevoX Carbon w/ SwissStop GHP pads
Rear brake: TRP RevoX Carbon w/ SwissStop GHP pads
Brake levers: SRAM Red 2012 w/ shifter internals removed
Cog: Endless Bike Company Kick Ass, 17T
Chain: 45NRTH Willful Neglect, 9spd
Crankset: SRAM Red 2012, 170mm, w/ 38T TA Specialites chainring
Bottom bracket: SRAM Red GXP
Pedals: Shimano PD-M970
Wheelset: Mavic Ksyrium SLS tubular
Front tire: FMB Super Mud Pro tubular, 33mm
Rear tire: FMB Super Mud Pro tubular, 33mm
Saddle: Bontrager Affinity RXL Carbon
Seatpost: Zipp SLSpeed 0
Other accessories: Modified Civia chain tensioners, Problem Solvers front brake hanger
Rider's height: 1.62m (5ft 4in)
Rider's weight: 49kg (108lb)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 666mm
Saddle setback: 30mm
Seat tube length (c-t): 510mm
Seat tube length (c-c): 465mm
Tip of saddle to center of bar: 462mm
Saddle-to-bar drop: 42mm
Head tube length: 87mm
Top tube length: 505mm (effective)
Total bike weight: 6.97kg (15.37lb)
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