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Joachim Parbo's CCV-Leopard Cycles CX1

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The straight top tube does without a flattened underside.

The straight top tube does without a flattened underside.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Parbo's SRAM Force levers are set high on Selcof anatomic-bend handlebars.

Parbo's SRAM Force levers are set high on Selcof anatomic-bend handlebars.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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TRP's EuroX Magnesium cantilevers have quickly become a mainstay in the top ranks of 'cross.

TRP's EuroX Magnesium cantilevers have quickly become a mainstay in the top ranks of 'cross.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The chain stays widen through their mid-section.

The chain stays widen through their mid-section.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The chain stays start out tall at the bottom bracket but quickly transition to mostly round and stay that way through to the alloy dropouts.

The chain stays start out tall at the bottom bracket but quickly transition to mostly round and stay that way through to the alloy dropouts.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Parbo uses an alloy cockpit from Italian company Selcof.

Parbo uses an alloy cockpit from Italian company Selcof.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A Cateye Strada Wireless computer keeps track of Parbo's training; he removes it for racing, though.

A Cateye Strada Wireless computer keeps track of Parbo's training; he removes it for racing, though.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The 175mm-long SRAM Force crankarms are fitted with 'cross-specific 39/46T rings.

The 175mm-long SRAM Force crankarms are fitted with 'cross-specific 39/46T rings.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Parbo's Leopard Cycles CX1 is fitted with a SRAM Force group, not the top-end Red, though the latest redesign has narrowed the gap between the two to virtually nil.

Parbo's Leopard Cycles CX1 is fitted with a SRAM Force group, not the top-end Red, though the latest redesign has narrowed the gap between the two to virtually nil.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Zipp's new hubs feature a cleaner look and easily adjustable bearing preload.

Zipp's new hubs feature a cleaner look and easily adjustable bearing preload.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo's (CCV-Leopard Cycles) Leopard Cycles CX1 carbon 'cross bike gets a new paint job and a touch of gold for this season.

Joachim Parbo's (CCV-Leopard Cycles) Leopard Cycles CX1 carbon 'cross bike gets a new paint job and a touch of gold for this season.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The front end uses a straight 1 1/8" steerer tube.

The front end uses a straight 1 1/8" steerer tube.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The 20mm cone on the Woodman Components Axis IC Comp 20 headset means there are fewer spacers required to get the desired stack.

The 20mm cone on the Woodman Components Axis IC Comp 20 headset means there are fewer spacers required to get the desired stack.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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White hoods and bar tape on a 'cross bike? Yes, sir.

White hoods and bar tape on a 'cross bike? Yes, sir.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A cast titanium body with integrated bails and titanium spindles help keep the claimed weight of Parbo's Exustar pedals to just 120g per pair.

A cast titanium body with integrated bails and titanium spindles help keep the claimed weight of Parbo's Exustar pedals to just 120g per pair.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A SRAM Force rear derailleur handles gear changes across the cassette.

A SRAM Force rear derailleur handles gear changes across the cassette.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Zipp's updated 303 rim profile features a wider tire bed and more rounded edges for better tire support and fewer pinch flats.

Zipp's updated 303 rim profile features a wider tire bed and more rounded edges for better tire support and fewer pinch flats.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Cables are routed across the top tube to minimize mud build-up.

Cables are routed across the top tube to minimize mud build-up.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Parbo's well-used Selle San Marco Magma saddle is bolted atop a Woodman Components aluminum post.

Parbo's well-used Selle San Marco Magma saddle is bolted atop a Woodman Components aluminum post.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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A stout housing stop and integrated barrel adjuster are included on the seat stay wishbone.

A stout housing stop and integrated barrel adjuster are included on the seat stay wishbone.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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The slightly flattened seat stays presumably lend a touch of vertical flex to the back end.

The slightly flattened seat stays presumably lend a touch of vertical flex to the back end.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Woodman Components skewers feature brass washers for smooth operation.

Woodman Components skewers feature brass washers for smooth operation.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Pargo glues his fat 34mm-wide Challenge Grifo tubulars to the rims with his own blend of adhesive.

Pargo glues his fat 34mm-wide Challenge Grifo tubulars to the rims with his own blend of adhesive.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Tire clearance is fairly tight at the chain stays but at least there isn't much of a shelf to collect mud.

Tire clearance is fairly tight at the chain stays but at least there isn't much of a shelf to collect mud.
(Image credit: James Huang)
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Parbo says he prefers to race in muddy conditions and he's certainly seen plenty of it this year.

Parbo says he prefers to race in muddy conditions and he's certainly seen plenty of it this year.
(Image credit: Dave McElwaine/trailwatch.net)

Three-time Danish national cyclo-cross champion Joachim Parbo (CCV-Leopard Cycles) luckily hasn't had to adapt to a collection of new gear for this season, having carried over the bulk of his sponsors from last year. Instead, he's been able to focus on the primary task at hand – racing – and further refining his equipment and position setups.

Aside from the new paint scheme, Parbo's Leopard Cycles CX1 carbon frame is identical to the one he used in the '08-09 season, boasting the same T700 fiber content, tidy tube-to-tube construction, one-piece chain stays and bottom bracket shell, and 1,180g (2.6lb) claimed weight. Parbo had only recently taken delivery of the new bike when we caught up with him last year but after a year's time, he says his initial impressions of excellent overall stiffness, nimble handling and ample mud clearance have held true.

Parbo has also retained agreements with SRAM, Zipp, TRP, Challenge, Woodman Components and Selcof and while key touch points and features have stayed constant, some of the component models have changed.

Parbo ran a Force front derailleur last season but the rest of the component group also now matches in contrast to the Red package he used previously. Slight gains in weight, material changes and front shifter internal differences aside, though, the updated Force group feels and behaves identically to the top-tier version so there was little or no adjustment period required. Likewise, a switch from Zipp 404 to new 303 carbon tubulars has dictated no change in riding style and if anything, has only improved overall durability on account of the wider rim with its more generous gluing surface and more rounded edges for better pinch flat resistance.

Pedals have changed from Shimano XTR to lesser-known Exustar models, though, with cast titanium bodies, integrated bails, and titanium spindles for lighter weight. Parbo also made a saddle change, too, trading in the cushy BBB Ultrabase DTL model for a far firmer Selle San Marco Magma.

That saddle is now set atop a Woodman Components seatpost in place of the previous Selcof model though the change was the result of a positioning change as the Italian company doesn't offer a zero-offset head. Parbo says he always noticed a lack of power on pavement sections last year and after a fit consultation with Retul, he ended up shifting his saddle forward, raising the levers on his bars but also rotating the bars for a effectively lower overall position.

As is common amongst top 'cross racers, Parbo keeps a bevy of wheels at the ready to account for changing conditions – in his case, five sets of Zipp race wheels plus an extra set of road wheels for training and warming up. That obviously makes for lots of rolling stock to maintain and since he splits his time between three semi-permanent bases in Denmark, Belgium and Colorado, he also has to do most of his own maintenance, including gluing tires.

Rather than use an off-the-shelf glue, however, he's developed his own special blend using adhesives marketed outside the cycling world. According to Parbo, it's proven to be not only extremely secure but it virtually ensures that he can find it virtually anywhere in the world when needed.

"All I really do is pre-glue the tire one time and the rim one time, and when it dries up and before gluing it on, I put a quick coating of glue on the tire and another on the rim so both surfaces are wet and then mount it," he said. "I haven't rolled a tire in four years."

If anything, Parbo's gluing method may be a little too secure – he says on more than one occasion he's ended up tearing the base tape from the tire casing when trying to remove worn-out or punctured rubber.

Parbo says he's more old-school when it comes to choosing a tread design, though. Despite his stated role in helping Challenge develop its most recent Fango pattern with its more aggressive knobs, Parbo says he reserves it only for certain conditions.

"Maybe I'm a bit more of a traditionalist. I like to slide a little more through the corners. The Fango is good for some purposes but for me, the Grifo has a wider range of operation."

Complete bike specifications: