The USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships were contested in frigid conditions in Hartford, Connecticut on Sunday, and the racers took some very different approaches to their bike set-ups. Katie Compton won her 13th straight elite women's title over Amanda Miller, while Stephen Hyde claimed his first elite men's stars and stripes jersey. Jamey Driscoll narrowly missed out on passing Hyde at the line and took second, while Jeremy Powers had a dismal title defence.
Compton's Trek Boone was equipped with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic group and hydraulic disc brakes, with Knight Composite carbon wheels and a mix of Clement tires - the tall-knobbed BOS mud tyre and the more versatile PDX.
"I rode a PDX on the front and a BOS on the back," Compton told Cyclingnews. "I rode I think around 19 or 20 pounds in there. It was good, I had some Horsetooth spikes in my shoes. Those have been great, I was able to run the run-ups really well."
While some riders opted for single front chainrings, Compton said her double 44/34 setup was key to her victory.
"I have a two-by set up, so I used all my gears today. It's nice to have a little ring to accelerate quickly on some of those steep, slippery hill sections. Pretty basic technical setup."
Stephen Hyde's Cannondale SuperX, on the other hand, was set up with the SRAM Force 1 single chainring group with an 11-32 cassette, hydraulic disc brakes and Challenge tyres. He switched midway through the race from the all-around Baby Limus to file treads.
Joe Devera, Cannondale mechanic, explains: "He changed tires kind of midway through the race. He started on Baby Limuses at a pressure of 23 and a half front, 24 rear... Then he went to the Challenge Dunes at the same pressure."
There was plenty of debate as to what tyre and gear options would be best, but after much testing, Hyde settled on these options just before the race.
"As the weather started getting worse we started talking about different tire choices and what not. Actually today we decided two hours before the race," Devera said.
Click through the gallery above to get more details on these bikes and on those of runners-up Jamey Driscoll and Amanda Miller, and Jeremy Powers.