This article originally published on BikeRadar
Like many of his fellow racers, last season was Ryan Trebon's (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com) first full season aboard a disc-equipped ‘cross bike. Trebon's race rig appears to be a bit more refined (and lighter) this season, as team sponsors introduce purpose-built, disc-specific components.
Trebon spent much of last season on Avid's mechanical BB7 Road SL disc brakes. This season, he's made the leap to SRAM's Red 22 group with full hydraulic disc brakes.
"The BB7 SLs were great last year, and I wondered how much of an improvement [SRAM] could make on the hydro," Trebon said.
"I am beyond happy with Red 22. The braking performance and feel is vastly smoother with better modulation. I have also come to like the lever shape of the hydro better as well," Trebon added.
Discs are steadily replacing cantilever brakes in cyclo-cross, though not without presenting their own set of challenges. Excessive pad wear in poor conditions has been a hurdle for professional and amateur racers alike. The Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com team experimented with different rotors and pad compounds last season with mixed results, but feel they have settled on a reliable set-up for this season.
"It was a bit of a learning curve for us last year to see what pad/rotor combo would work best in muddy races. Pad wear can be an issue, but if you know you are going to be racing in the mud why would you run organic pads? I think that was the major issue people were having—they just showed up to the race and rode what they had been riding all season. And of course they wore quickly," Trebon explained.
While some racers swap between organic and metallic pads depending on course conditions, Trebon tends to use metallic pads all the time, as he likes the harder bite.
"Even with some of the wear issues I still would always ride disc—the braking performance and control in all conditions is vastly superior," Trebon said.
Drivetrain and brakes were not the only components to get upgraded. Wheels, too, have been revamped. Last season Trebon raced on Zipp 303 Firecrest tubular rims laced to reliable but heavy SRAM Rise 60 hubs. This season Zipp has an off-the-shelf wheelset offering in the 303 Firecrest Disc.
These refinements bring the weight of Trebon's sizeable race bike down to 16.86lb (7.65kg), which is approximately 235g lighter than the bike Trebon raced last season.
While the drivetrain, brakes and wheels have changed, Trebon's frameset remains the same. The 6ft 5in racer is still riding a Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod Disc frame with custom geometry. Compared to the largest production SuperX Hi-Mod Disc (a 58cm frame), Trebon's bike has an effective top tube that's approximately 20mm longer, a 0.5-degree slacker seat tube, and a 9.3mm taller head tube.