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Pro bike: Georgia Gould's Luna Orbea Lobular Cross

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Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross rests peacefully in the sun atop the 'green monster' one day before the start of the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross rests peacefully in the sun atop the 'green monster' one day before the start of the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Image credit: James Huang)
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While many racers opt for deep-section rims, Georgia Gould (Luna) instead prefers the lighter weight of shallow-section wheels.

While many racers opt for deep-section rims, Georgia Gould (Luna) instead prefers the lighter weight of shallow-section wheels. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross machine is fitted with an Easton EC90X carbon fork up front but as Easton isn't an official team sponsor, the brand name and model are blacked out.

Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross machine is fitted with an Easton EC90X carbon fork up front but as Easton isn't an official team sponsor, the brand name and model are blacked out. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross uses a straight 1 1/8" head tube and a separate front brake housing stop instead of FSA's 'cross-specific integrated setup.

Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross uses a straight 1 1/8" head tube and a separate front brake housing stop instead of FSA's 'cross-specific integrated setup. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic's R-Sys Premium wheels are suitably light for 'cross racing's frequent accelerations.

Mavic's R-Sys Premium wheels are suitably light for 'cross racing's frequent accelerations. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical levers adorn the front end of Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross.

Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 mechanical levers adorn the front end of Georgia Gould's (Luna) Orbea Lobular Cross. (Image credit: James Huang)
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These Shimano XTR PD-M970 pedals look like they haven't seen much use yet.

These Shimano XTR PD-M970 pedals look like they haven't seen much use yet. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Additional sheaths in between the top tube stops helps keep mud and water from getting sucked into the housing.

Additional sheaths in between the top tube stops helps keep mud and water from getting sucked into the housing. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Keeping the cable housing on the same side of the head tube - instead of crossing them around - makes for a tidier front end that's less likely to snag when portaging.

Keeping the cable housing on the same side of the head tube - instead of crossing them around - makes for a tidier front end that's less likely to snag when portaging. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) uses a carbon-railed Selle Italia SLR saddle.

Georgia Gould (Luna) uses a carbon-railed Selle Italia SLR saddle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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There's nothing fancy going on with the twin S-bend seat stays but as Georgia Gould (Luna) has shown on multiple occasions, it certainly gets the job done.

There's nothing fancy going on with the twin S-bend seat stays but as Georgia Gould (Luna) has shown on multiple occasions, it certainly gets the job done. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mavic seems to have quieted the early demons of its R-Sys wheels with these stronger, spiral-wrapped carbon spokes.

Mavic seems to have quieted the early demons of its R-Sys wheels with these stronger, spiral-wrapped carbon spokes. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Replaceable dropout faces can be replaced as needed.

Replaceable dropout faces can be replaced as needed. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Orbea's Lobular tubeset features a down tube that morphs from vertically ovalized at the head tube to horizontally ovalized at the bottom bracket - with a unique four-lobed shape in the middle.

Orbea's Lobular tubeset features a down tube that morphs from vertically ovalized at the head tube to horizontally ovalized at the bottom bracket - with a unique four-lobed shape in the middle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Rather than go with a dedicated band-type front derailleur, Georgia Gould's (Luna) bike is fitted with a braze-on derailleur and separate clamp.

Rather than go with a dedicated band-type front derailleur, Georgia Gould's (Luna) bike is fitted with a braze-on derailleur and separate clamp. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) opts for PRO's anatomic bend handlebar.

Georgia Gould (Luna) opts for PRO's anatomic bend handlebar. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Doing without the chain stay bridge leaves fewer places for mud to collect.

Doing without the chain stay bridge leaves fewer places for mud to collect. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Straddle hangers are set high on the KORE wide-profile cantilevers.

Straddle hangers are set high on the KORE wide-profile cantilevers. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The barrel adjuster integrated into the arm makes up for the lack of one on the housing stop.

The barrel adjuster integrated into the arm makes up for the lack of one on the housing stop. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Drivetrains are barely this clean when new, let alone halfway through a US domestic 'cross season.

Drivetrains are barely this clean when new, let alone halfway through a US domestic 'cross season. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Medium-sized stays make for a neither too-stiff nor too-soft ride quality and drivetrain response.

Medium-sized stays make for a neither too-stiff nor too-soft ride quality and drivetrain response. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The outer chainring comes courtesy of Stu Thorne, proprietor of Cyclocrossworld.com.

The outer chainring comes courtesy of Stu Thorne, proprietor of Cyclocrossworld.com. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Mud clearance is good up front.

Mud clearance is good up front. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Note the over-and-around front brake cable routing to minimize friction.

Note the over-and-around front brake cable routing to minimize friction. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Shimano doesn't currently offer dedicated Dura-Ace 7900 outer chainrings in 'cross-specific sizes so the usual seamless look is somewhat interrupted here.

Shimano doesn't currently offer dedicated Dura-Ace 7900 outer chainrings in 'cross-specific sizes so the usual seamless look is somewhat interrupted here. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 rear derailleur is bolted to a replaceable hanger.

The Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 rear derailleur is bolted to a replaceable hanger. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Georgia Gould (Luna) says these Maxxis Mud Wrestler clinchers offer excellent grip in the wet - and that she's able to run as little as 20psi up front.

Georgia Gould (Luna) says these Maxxis Mud Wrestler clinchers offer excellent grip in the wet - and that she's able to run as little as 20psi up front. (Image credit: James Huang)

Bicycle company marketing folk love to push the latest and greatest technologies on the consuming public but when it comes to racing, it's still the rider that does the work and few examples demonstrate that old adage better than Luna's Georgia Gould.

Gould's Orbea Lobular Cross does without most of the current buzzwords with its straight 1 1/8" head tube, threaded bottom bracket, and normal-sized tubing throughout - not to mention the full alloy construction - and yet the US mountain bike and 'cross pro has still nabbed wins at two USGP races and the Boulder Cup plus numerous podiums against other competitors on more technologically advanced hardware.

In fact, barring the different paint job it's the same frame model as what she used last year.

"It's pretty straightforward but this sucker gets it done!" she told us just before the New Belgium Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado. "I get what I get and everything works well and it's quality - that's for me the biggest thing, to have stuff that works and lasts."

Despite the lack of carbon fibre, Gould's all-alloy Lobular Cross frame is still competitively light at around 1,400g; in fact, it weighs less than some composite chassis we've tested in-house. Moreover, the modestly massaged tube profiles - especially the lobed down tube by which the frame gets its name - helps eke more performance out of the triple butted 6000-series alloy.

The build kit is straightforward as well, with a Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 drivetrain, carbon-spoked Mavic R-Sys Premium wheels wrapped in Maxxis clincher tyres, KORE wide-profile cantilevers, an Easton EC90X carbon 'cross fork, and a Selle Italia SLR saddle. Changes from previous season include the new PRO carbon seatpost and alloy bar and stem. Total bike weight as pictured here is a respectable 7.88kg (17.37lb).

Gould was running a two-ring setup when we caught up with her in Colorado but she says she's done it both ways and doesn't have a strong preference in most cases.

"I've done the double and I've done the single in the front," she said. "There are some courses where I haven't even ridden that much in my big ring but the double in the front is definitely great, especially for Europe where you have a 200-metre paved start. When I was running a single 42T at the front I'd be a little spun out."

Experienced 'crossers will quickly deem Gould's clinchers to be inferior to most of her competitors' more supple tubulars and while that might be true for most racers, the gap isn't quite as wide here. Gould successfully runs her Maxxis tires at shockingly low pressures - as low as 23psi up front and 25psi out back - and says the company's latest Mud Wrestler tread offers excellent traction.

"I raced these at the Boulder Reservoir and they were awesome in that loose, sandy stuff."

Gould says her main goal for the rest of the season is to the win the US cyclo-cross national championship in Bend, Oregon, and depending on the outcome her season may simply end there - or not.

"Winning nationals is a big goal of mine," she said. "If I win nationals I have to go to worlds and definitely, if you have a chance of getting on the podium or winning the world championships, you should probably go! I'm definitely open to it but I'm not going for Christmas week or Koksijde so if I do end up going it'll probably right before or maybe ten days before."

Complete bike specifications

* Frame: Orbea Lobular Cross, 54cm
* Fork: Easton EC90X
* Headset: FSA Orbit IS
* Stem: PRO Vibe 7 OS, 90mm x -6°
* Handlebar: PRO Vibe 7 OS, 42cm (c-c)
* Tape: cork
* Front brake: KORE Race+
* Rear brake: KORE Race+
* Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
* Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7900-F
* Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7900-SS
* Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7900
* Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7900, 12-27T
* Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7900
* Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace FC-7900, 172.5mm, 39/46T w/ Thorne outer chainring
* Bottom bracket: Shimano SM-BB7900
* Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M970
* Wheelset: Mavic R-Sys Premium clincher
* Front tire: Maxxis Mud Wrestler, 700x35mm
* Rear tire: Maxxis Mud Wrestler, 700x35mm
* Saddle: Selle Italia SLR Kit Carbonio
* Seatpost: PRO PLT

Critical measurements

* Rider's height: 1.75m (5ft 9in)
* Rider's weight: 61kg (135lb)
* Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 748mm
* Saddle setback: 55mm
* Seat tube length, c-t: 585mm
* Seat tube length, c-c: 545mm
* Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 515mm
* Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 60mm
* Head tube length: 155mm
* Top tube length: 550mm
* Total bicycle weight: 7.88kg (17.37lb)