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Amy Dombroski's Primus Mootry custom

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The round top tube is supplied by Edge Composites and bonded into aluminum ends.

The round top tube is supplied by Edge Composites and bonded into aluminum ends.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Like most pro 'cross riders, Dombroski runs her levers high on the bars.

Like most pro 'cross riders, Dombroski runs her levers high on the bars.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The bottom bracket area is built without a chain stay bridge for better mud clearance.

The bottom bracket area is built without a chain stay bridge for better mud clearance.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Doh! Dombroski's Rotor Q-Ring was actually installed backwards when we shot these images but she corrected it before heading out to the Mercer Cup in New Jersey.

Doh! Dombroski's Rotor Q-Ring was actually installed backwards when we shot these images but she corrected it before heading out to the Mercer Cup in New Jersey.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Stopping power is provided by TRP's featherweight EuroX Magnesium cantilevers.

Stopping power is provided by TRP's featherweight EuroX Magnesium cantilevers.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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A carbon FSA K-Force Compact bar is clamped into an OS-99 forged alloy stem.

A carbon FSA K-Force Compact bar is clamped into an OS-99 forged alloy stem.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The one-piece alloy dropouts are simple and light.

The one-piece alloy dropouts are simple and light.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski says her Ritchey WCS Carbon 'cross fork offers lots of mud clearance and runs chatter-free.

Dombroski says her Ritchey WCS Carbon 'cross fork offers lots of mud clearance and runs chatter-free.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Primus Mootry builder Joe DePaemelaere swaps in a carbon fiber top tube and down tube to save weight and soften the ride.

Primus Mootry builder Joe DePaemelaere swaps in a carbon fiber top tube and down tube to save weight and soften the ride.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Amy Dombroski (Schlamm p/b Clement and Primus Mootry) will finish out the 'cross season on a custom-built Primus Mootry.

Amy Dombroski (Schlamm p/b Clement and Primus Mootry) will finish out the 'cross season on a custom-built Primus Mootry.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Gore sealed derailleur cables help maintain shift performance in adverse conditions and decrease service intervals even with frequent washing.

Gore sealed derailleur cables help maintain shift performance in adverse conditions and decrease service intervals even with frequent washing.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The head tube houses a straight, non-tapered 1 1/8" carbon steerer.

The head tube houses a straight, non-tapered 1 1/8" carbon steerer.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Nothing to see in here: the left-hand lever is devoid of internals as Dombroski prefers to run a single chainring.

Nothing to see in here: the left-hand lever is devoid of internals as Dombroski prefers to run a single chainring.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The SRAM Force DoubleTap levers are wrapped with Hudz aftermarket brake hoods.

The SRAM Force DoubleTap levers are wrapped with Hudz aftermarket brake hoods.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski hails from Vermont and pays homage with the state flag on her top tube.

Dombroski hails from Vermont and pays homage with the state flag on her top tube.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Crankbrothers' Candy 4ti pedals are a popular choice in the 'cross scene for their superior mud shedding ability.

Crankbrothers' Candy 4ti pedals are a popular choice in the 'cross scene for their superior mud shedding ability.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The SRAM Force rear derailleur technical sits second-fiddle in the line but differs little from Red in practice.

The SRAM Force rear derailleur technical sits second-fiddle in the line but differs little from Red in practice.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The rear triangle is purposefully shaped to lend more compliance to the rear end.

The rear triangle is purposefully shaped to lend more compliance to the rear end.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski uses a single-ring setup exclusively so the frame is only fitted with two sets of cable stops.

Dombroski uses a single-ring setup exclusively so the frame is only fitted with two sets of cable stops.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The FSA K-Force SB0 carbon post is presumably cut to length and is topped with a fi'zi:k Antares saddle.

The FSA K-Force SB0 carbon post is presumably cut to length and is topped with a fi'zi:k Antares saddle.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The S-bend seat stays are ovalized below the brake posts to add a bit of vertical flex for better traction and comfort.

The S-bend seat stays are ovalized below the brake posts to add a bit of vertical flex for better traction and comfort.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The clean and purposeful frame design uses carbon fiber only for the top tube and down tube.

The clean and purposeful frame design uses carbon fiber only for the top tube and down tube.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The seat tube is perfectly round from end to end.

The seat tube is perfectly round from end to end.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski is officially sponsored by Clement tires but the Reynolds carbon tubulars are wrapped with Challenge rubber for now.

Dombroski is officially sponsored by Clement tires but the Reynolds carbon tubulars are wrapped with Challenge rubber for now.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski's SRAM Force BB30 crankarms measure just 170mm in length. For the sake of reference, Katie Compton stands 14cm taller and runs 175mm arms.

Dombroski's SRAM Force BB30 crankarms measure just 170mm in length. For the sake of reference, Katie Compton stands 14cm taller and runs 175mm arms.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski likes the SRAM Red cassette for its light weight but acknowledges that it's a fair weather-only bit.

Dombroski likes the SRAM Red cassette for its light weight but acknowledges that it's a fair weather-only bit.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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The tall and narrow chain stays taper to a more rounded shaped before being welded to the aluminum dropouts.

The tall and narrow chain stays taper to a more rounded shaped before being welded to the aluminum dropouts.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)
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Dombroski's bike is fitted with a prototype K-Edge inner chain watcher but production units are now available to the public.

Dombroski's bike is fitted with a prototype K-Edge inner chain watcher but production units are now available to the public.
(Image credit: Emily Wren/www.emilywren.com)

Up-and-coming cycling superstar Amy 'without a 'w' Dombroski (Schlamm p/b Clement and Primus Mootry) made an unusual move in late October by walking away from an existing agreement with then-sponsor Richard Sachs just six weeks into the terms of their contract, thus putting her on unfamiliar equipment – and unsure financial backing – right as the some of the biggest races were coming up.

Whichever side of the story you wish to believe (Sachs says Dombroski wouldn't honor her verbal and written contract commitments; she claims she couldn't be competitive on the sponsor-supplied equipment), Dombroski will now finish out the rest of the year on an aluminum and carbon fiber frame custom made for her by local builder Joe DePaemelaere of Primus Mootry and dressed for success with a host of gear sponsors she lined up after the break with Sachs.

Dombroski may pack a lot of power into her legs but she is also one of the smallest and lightest racers on the pro circuit at just 1.55m (5' 1") tall and weighing only 48.5kg (107lb). As such, she considers bike weight to be of prime importance and her new rig certainly fits the bill at a barely UCI-legal race-ready weight of just 6.88kg (15.2lb). Frame weight is just 1,340g (2.95lb).

"Lightness is a huge thing because you are picking it up and so much of 'cross is acceleration," said Dombroski.

Lying at the bike's core is a TIG-welded butted 7005 aluminum frame punctuated with a carbon fiber top tube and down tube from Edge Composites to both shave grams and soften the ride. The front triangle is devoid of fancy shaping with round cross-sections throughout; DePaemelaere instead relies on the carbon tube's directional lay-up to get the desired performance characteristics.

It's a different story out back as the S-bend stays are more dramatically massaged. The Dedacciai SC61.10A seat stays are flattened out below the brake bosses to ameliorate the pounding of rough courses and help maintain drive and cornering traction while the tapered chain stays are very tall and thin for drivetrain stiffness and mud clearance.

Up front, a standard non-tapered head tube surrounds a Ritchey WCS Carbon fork while DePaelemaere fits the special machine with an oversized BB30 bottom bracket shell. In total, Dombroski says her new machine is over two kilograms lighter than her previous setup and yet is still as rigid as she wants it to be.

"It's snappy and responsive when I accelerate and sprint on it and it's wicked smooth as well," she said. "There's also no fork chatter."

Also contributing to the bike's feathery weight is the premium build kit. SRAM provides its Force drivetrain and transmission (though technically second-tier it's virtually the same weight as Red), Reynolds supplies its MV32T UL carbon tubular wheels, FSA and fi'zi:k the seating and cockpit components, and TRP lends its ultralight EuroX Magnesium wide-profile cantilevers.

Interestingly, Dombroski's tire sponsor is Clement – a brand that just recently came back into the limelight but still doesn't actually have product to supply. As such, her bike was fitted with Challenge Grifo tubulars when we caught up with her a few weeks ago.

Two notable breaks from the standard Force group include a Red Powerdome cassette – which Dombroski says she only uses for dry conditions – and the crank set-up, which includes a single elliptical Rotor Q-Ring and secure-looking outer and inner guides from AceCo. Of course, the left-hand DoubleTap lever is also free of shifting internals to save weight.

Dombroski's unusual circumstances also necessitated an accelerated timeline. DePaemelaere reportedly built her two frames in the span of about a week and mechanical sponsor Excel Sports bolted them together in even less time than that, using fit numbers from the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and the measurements off of her outgoing Richard Sachs bikes to make the switch as seamless as possible. Dombroski says she received the bikes on Friday, November 6 at 5pm and her first ride was her warm-up lap for a local race the next day – which she won.

Dombroski has in fact gone on to win more since then, taking the top step both days at the recent Super Cross Cup in Southampton, New York. Earlier in the year – and before the break with Sachs – she had hoped to make a trip to the UCI world championships in Tabor, Czech Republic, too, but that's now out of the question as her next sponsorship agreement with the Luna squad will kick in January 1 and she says they've asked her to back off of 'cross to prepare for the following mountain bike season.

Dombroski is understandably disappointed but at the same time realistic. Even at the ripe young age of 22, contending a full road, 'cross, and mountain bike season takes its toll.

"Worlds was my goal. But at the same time, presumably next year I'll hopefully be going even faster and will be able to do that much better in Europe and everything. They'll be plenty more times to go there."

The revised list of goals now focuses on the upcoming US national championships in Bend, Oregon, and the previous weekend's races in nearby Portland.

As for her chances at another stars-and-stripes jersey – Dombroski currently holds the US U23 title in both road and cross-country – she's hopeful but realistic. After all, also planning to attend is none other than current 'cross queen Katie Compton (Planet Bike).

"It's clear that Katie's on a different level," Dombroski admitted. "It was awesome to be able to race with her in Boulder and even for the short period that we were actually racing with her, it was cool to try and stay on her wheel. I lasted not very long – a lap or something like that – but it was very similar to Providence when I was trying to stay on Katerina's [Nash] wheel. They have the power and finesse down to an art. Out of every corner they're just so powerful but they go into it and don't even touch their brakes. It's just so effortless and efficient and that's something I've been working on. She's the best rider in the world right now. She's phenomenal."

Complete bike specifications: