After 16 seasons of professional cyclo-cross racing, 15-time US champion Katie Compton and her partner, mechanic, photographer and cheerleader Mark Legg have dialled in the perfect build for her top of the line Trek Boone Disc bike, one that's replete with 18-Karat gold cable ties, a striking topographic paint job and carefully curated components.
The paint job of the carbon fibre Trek Boone frame is the most eye-catching aspect at first glance. The lighter blue lines represent the elevation of Pikes Peak in topographic format. 'America's Mountain', Legg says, is one "we see every day, and I thought it would be the ideal inspiration for America's cyclo-cross champion". Compton first rode the design before losing her title to Clara Honsinger in the 2019-2020 season.
The design, with its red accent representing the road to the summit, was inspired by the Mulholland Porsche 911 from the custom Porsche design shop Singer. Compton is probably the only rider with a Porsche as a team car, one painted to match her frame. Dutch designer Hans van der Maarel helped to create the graphics for the frame.
Speaking of the bike, like most of the cyclo-cross field, Compton uses a hydraulic disc brake setup but has eschewed the 1X trend. Instead, she uses a Shimano Di2 build with a double chainring made by Wickwërks - a boutique brand that uses an aggressive ramped tooth design to optimise front shifting.
The drivetrain gets a little bit of bling with the low-friction titanium nitride gold-coated KMC X11EL chain, which is designed for better mud shedding - something that has been particularly important this season with so many heavy courses.
Compton replaces the Dura-Ace rear derailleur for a clutched Shimano Ultegra RX-805 Di2 rear derailleur, which reduces the chain slap when racing on bumpy ground, while low-friction ceramic Enduro XD-15 bearings in the pulley wheels and bottom bracket reduce resistance so more power can go towards momentum in the race.
Moving up to the cockpit, several clever choices help keep the build super clean - which is important not only for aesthetics but for literally being clean, with fewer places for mud, sand and grass to get gunked up in. First, Legg puts the Di2 junction in the bar ends (using a Shimano Di2 EW-RS910 junction box). Next, he uses heat-shrink tubing to wrap the cables - a practice he pioneered years ago and which has been adopted by numerous other teams.
More recently, Compton has had custom heat shrink tubing made with her moniker 'Katie Fn Compton' emblazoned on it. "The custom heat shrink tubing is made in Canada," Legg explained to Cyclingnews. "Back in the Rabobank days when we had Di2 shifters, I didn't like the messiness of the Di2 electric cables on the hydro brake hoses held on by zip ties. It looked ugly, so I cut 2cm strips of heat string tubing and slid them over the cables.
"I later developed it into full-length heat shrink cables when we were riding for Trek Factory Racing. After a magazine profile on Katie's bikes from the Milton Keynes World Cup, I started to see other teams using the heat shrink cables. The first team was Christoph Roodhooft's BKCP when he brought one of the mechanics over to look at Katie's bike. The next weekend their bikes were using the heat shrink tubing."
A final touch on the bars is the presence of remote shifters for maintaining control while shifting on the tops.
Legg and Compton have experimented with alternatives to zip ties for securing the brake cables where they meet the frame. Long gone are the days of super glue and tape, now Compton's brakes are lovingly secured with 18-Karat gold wiring from Anemoni Jewelers in her native Delaware. More bling comes with some blue alloy bottle cage bolts to match the paint, with a button-top that doesn't detract from the look.
Also gone are the days of glue and sand on the shifter paddles, and Legg now uses anti-slip grip tape for the right shift lever and Bondic to create an outer lip on the other shift lever - all designed to help with shifting in adverse conditions.
The bars themselves are Bontrager's top of the line carbon Pro ISO Core VR-CF wrapped with their Gel Cork bar tape - either in blue or red, to tell the bikes apart - to reduce vibration.
The Bontrager Pro Blendr stem gets a special blue 'BikePure' spacer - a nod to her anti-doping stance - although the gold top cap that is adorned with her birthstone stayed home on this year's trip to Belgium.
Keeping with the Shimano set-up, Compton uses XT pedals with a perfectly adjusted Q factor - three washers on the right, two on the left - to keep her centred on the bike.
A bombproof Bontrager Montrose Comp saddle with steel rails, rather than their titanium or carbon options, and Knight Composites 35 tubular disc wheels with DT Swiss hubs and Challenge tires completes the build. For Worlds, she'll run Challenge Dunes if it's dry and Baby Limus tyres if there's mud.
Tech Specs: Katie Compton's Pikes Peak Trek Boone
- Frameset: Trek Boone 52cm custom painted in Pikes Peak Topographic artwork
- Front brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc calliper
- Rear brake: Shimano Dura-Ace R9170 Hydraulic Disc calliper
- Brake/shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9170 Dual Control Lever
- Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 R9150
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Ultegra RX 805-GS Di2
- Rear derailleur pulley wheels: Enduro Bearings XD-15
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace, 11-28T
- Chain: KMC X11EL-TI Nitride
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 175mm
- Chainrings: Wickwerks 34/42T
- Bottom bracket: Enduro Bearings XD-15 press-fit
- Wheelset: Knight Composites 35 Tubular disc with DT Swiss 240 TA hubs
- Tyres: Challenge tires (Baby Limus in photos)
- Handlebars: Bontrager Pro ISO Core VR-CF 42cm
- Handlebar tape: Bontrager Gel Cork
- Stem: Bontrager Pro Blendr 100mm
- Computer: Wahoo Elemnt Roam
- Pedals: Shimano XT with washers to adjust Q-factor - 3 washers right, 2 washers left
- Saddle: Bontrager Montrose Comp 148mm
- Seat post: Trek carbon seat mast cap
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news.
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