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Pro bike: Jeremy Powers' Focus Mares CX Disc

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Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) Focus Mares CX Disc certainly is one of the more stylish looking bikes on the cyclocross circuit

Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) Focus Mares CX Disc certainly is one of the more stylish looking bikes on the cyclocross circuit (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cross-specific 46/36T chainrings are mounted to the SRAM Red 22 BB30 crankset

Cross-specific 46/36T chainrings are mounted to the SRAM Red 22 BB30 crankset (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) has long preferred Crank Brothers pedals. These gold-and-black anodized Candy 11s are made especially for him

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) has long preferred Crank Brothers pedals. These gold-and-black anodized Candy 11s are made especially for him (Image credit: James Huang)
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The fi'zi:k Aliante VS saddle is more heavily padded than most race saddles for a softer landing on remounts

The fi'zi:k Aliante VS saddle is more heavily padded than most race saddles for a softer landing on remounts (Image credit: James Huang)
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Before you chide Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) for his stack of headset spacers, remember that the Focus Mares CX frame has a rather short head tube

Before you chide Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) for his stack of headset spacers, remember that the Focus Mares CX frame has a rather short head tube (Image credit: James Huang)
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The SRAM chain watcher provides some insurance against dropped chains

The SRAM chain watcher provides some insurance against dropped chains (Image credit: James Huang)
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Yes, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) not only has his own nickname (J-Pow!) but his own logo, too

Yes, Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) not only has his own nickname (J-Pow!) but his own logo, too (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, crosses the derailleur cables around the head tube so they have to cross back over back by the seat tube

Jeremy Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, crosses the derailleur cables around the head tube so they have to cross back over back by the seat tube (Image credit: James Huang)
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The giant BB30 bottom bracket shell and tall chain stays provide plenty of real estate for extra decals. The 'Dialed By T-Hop' sticker pays homage to Jeremy Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, while the '4' on the down tube helps Hopper keep track of Powers' five race bikes

The giant BB30 bottom bracket shell and tall chain stays provide plenty of real estate for extra decals. The 'Dialed By T-Hop' sticker pays homage to Jeremy Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, while the '4' on the down tube helps Hopper keep track of Powers' five race bikes (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers is now running SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes full-time. He uses organic-compound pads in all conditions but switches rotors, preferring the Avid G2 ones pictured here for mud and the newer HS1 variant for dry courses

Jeremy Powers is now running SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes full-time. He uses organic-compound pads in all conditions but switches rotors, preferring the Avid G2 ones pictured here for mud and the newer HS1 variant for dry courses (Image credit: James Huang)
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The bow-legged fork is stout under braking and provides excellent tire clearance

The bow-legged fork is stout under braking and provides excellent tire clearance (Image credit: James Huang)
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The SRAM Red 22 rear derailleur pushes the chain across a SRAM PG-1170 cassette

The SRAM Red 22 rear derailleur pushes the chain across a SRAM PG-1170 cassette (Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM doesn't offer a top-pull Red 22 front derailleur so Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) Focus Mares CX requires a cable pulley mounted on the seat tube

SRAM doesn't offer a top-pull Red 22 front derailleur so Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) Focus Mares CX requires a cable pulley mounted on the seat tube (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was among a huge number of racers sporting memorial stickers for recently fallen cyclocrosser Amy Dombroski

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was among a huge number of racers sporting memorial stickers for recently fallen cyclocrosser Amy Dombroski (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was an early converter to disc brakes

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was an early converter to disc brakes (Image credit: James Huang)
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The Focus Mares CX was already one of the more progressive frames on the market with its low and slack geometry but now it's even more with its disc compatibility

The Focus Mares CX was already one of the more progressive frames on the market with its low and slack geometry but now it's even more with its disc compatibility (Image credit: James Huang)
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A heavily shaped seat tube contributes to the frame's excellent pedaling efficiency

A heavily shaped seat tube contributes to the frame's excellent pedaling efficiency (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) brought five race bikes and three different Dugast treads to the Boulder Reservoir on Saturday. This bike is pictured with the most aggressive Rhino pattern but Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, said he would more likely go with the all-purpose Typhoon

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) brought five race bikes and three different Dugast treads to the Boulder Reservoir on Saturday. This bike is pictured with the most aggressive Rhino pattern but Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, said he would more likely go with the all-purpose Typhoon (Image credit: James Huang)
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Easton doesn't currently offer a disc-compatible carbon tubular so these are custom built using M1 hubs borrowed from the company's mountain bike range

Easton doesn't currently offer a disc-compatible carbon tubular so these are custom built using M1 hubs borrowed from the company's mountain bike range (Image credit: James Huang)
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The stout seat stays on the Focus Mares CX don't yield a particularly cushy ride but they do contribute to the bike's very precise handling

The stout seat stays on the Focus Mares CX don't yield a particularly cushy ride but they do contribute to the bike's very precise handling (Image credit: James Huang)
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Gore Ride-On sealed cables are still enormously popular on the pro cyclocross circuit, despite the fact that the company discontinued their production last year

Gore Ride-On sealed cables are still enormously popular on the pro cyclocross circuit, despite the fact that the company discontinued their production last year (Image credit: James Huang)
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As is typical for cyclocross, Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) SRAM Red 22 HRD levers are mounted relatively high

As is typical for cyclocross, Jeremy Powers' (Rapha-Focus) SRAM Red 22 HRD levers are mounted relatively high (Image credit: James Huang)
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Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) uses an Easton EC90 SLX3 carbon bar mated to an Easton EA90 forged aluminum stem

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) uses an Easton EC90 SLX3 carbon bar mated to an Easton EA90 forged aluminum stem (Image credit: James Huang)
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Crown stickers on the seat tube mark each of Jeremy Powers' wins for the season. He won three times on the bike at left and twice on the one at right

Crown stickers on the seat tube mark each of Jeremy Powers' wins for the season. He won three times on the bike at left and twice on the one at right (Image credit: James Huang)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) was an early convert to disc brakes in cyclo-cross having made the switch full-time last year. He's now moved from his old cable actuated Avid BB7 Road SL calipers to SRAM's new full-hydraulic Red 22 HRD set-up and with a full season of disc under his belt, he and his mechanic continue to figure out ways to extract the most out of the technology.

Disc brakes can offer some advantages over rim brakes, particularly when using carbon rims or when conditions get sloppy. Accelerated pad wear in extremely wet and muddy conditions proved to be an issue last year for some but Powers' mechanic, Tom Hopper, says that SRAM has made some improvements in that area.

"[SRAM has] improved the durability of the organic pads this year but they're still not quite as harsh feeling as the metallic ones."

Hopper says Powers also prefers to run different rotors depending on the conditions. He uses the current Avid HS1 option in the dry but the older G2 rotors when it's wet. Naturally, those rotors are matched to the corresponding wheels and tires for a particular set of conditions, too, making for easy all-in-one swaps on race day.

"We found that [the G2 rotors] perform better in the mud so those are the rotors we're running with the [Dugast] Rhinos," said Hopper. "With the Typhoons, we're going with the slightly lighter HS1. I think it's just the surface area of the rotor contacting the pad. Jeremy just likes the feel he gets from the brake."

Either way, team wheel sponsor Easton doesn't actually offer a disc-compatible carbon tubular so Powers' wheels are custom made, using deep-section EC90 Aero rims paired with six-bolt M1 hubs borrowed from the company's mountain bike parts bin. Hopper said new wheels built with Easton's recently announced wide-format carbon rims should be replacing these within a few weeks. Though Powers isn't likely to enjoy any of that new model's claimed aero gains, we expect the wider tire bed to provide better casing support at low pressures, which could boost cornering performance.

Aside from the specially etched headset top caps ('J-Pow!'), the custom gold-and-black Crankbrothers Candy 4ti pedals, and the special team paint job, Hopper says the rest of Powers' rig is standard-issue, off-the-shelf gear. The carbon Focus Mares CX Disc frame is unchanged from what Power ran last year and features the same new-school, low-and-slack geometry as before – impressive given the fact that the canti-equipped Mares CX frame on which it's based is actually several years old.

Components have been upgraded from last year to SRAM's latest Red 22 HRD group but a few CX-specific tweaks have been carried over. Derailleur cables and housing are fully sealed setups from Gore Ride-On despite the fact that the company discontinued their after market availability last year. As with most 'crossers, Powers has also passed on the standard Red cassette in favor of the more conventional PG-1170 model, which is heavier but less likely to clog with debris.

Interestingly, Powers has switched from his usual 46/39T chainrings to slightly smaller 46/36T ones and he's also moved his saddle several millimeters further forward than before. Whereas last year's bike used an all-alloy cockpit, he's now integrated more carbon fiber with an Easton EC90 SLX3 handlebar and EC90 Zero seatpost – perhaps in a bid to shave a few extra grams.

Fi'zi:k finishes off the build with its grippy bar tape and a cushy Aliante VS k:ium saddle.

Total weight as pictured is 7.81kg (17.22lb) – about 460g heavier than last year's bike.

Complete bike specifications

Frame: Focus Mares CX Disc, 54cm
Fork: Focus Mares Cyclocross Carbon Disc
Headset: Cane Creek 1 1/8-to-1 1/4" tapered
Stem: Easton EA90, 110mm x -10°
Handlebars: Easton EC90 SLX3, 44cm (c-c)
Tape/grips: fi'zi:k bar:tape
Front brake: SRAM Red 22 HRD, 160mm rotor
Rear brake: SRAM Red 22 HRD, 140mm rotor
Brake levers: SRAM Red 22 Hydro Shifter
Front derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red 22
Shift levers: SRAM Red 22 Hydro Shifter
Cassette: SRAM PG-1170, 11-26T
Chain: SRAM Red 22
Crankset: SRAM Red 22 BB30, 172.5mm, 46/36T
Bottom bracket: Truvativ BB30
Pedals: Crankbrothers Candy 4Ti
Rims: Easton EC90 Aero tubular
Front hub: Easton M1
Rear hub: Easton M1
Spokes: Easton butted stainless steel
Front tire: Dugast Rhino tubular, 32mm, 28 psi
Rear tire: Dugast Rhino tubular, 32mm, 28.5 psi
Saddle: fi'zi:k Aliante VS k:ium
Seat post: Easton EC90 Zero
Bottle cages: n/a
Computer: n/a
Other accessories: Gore Ride-On sealed derailleur cables and housing

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 1.8m (5' 11")
Rider's weight: 68kg (150lb)
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 737mm
Saddle setback: 40mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 540mm
Seat tube length, c-c: 500mm
Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 511mm
Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 83mm
Head tube length: 115mm
Top tube length: 540mm (horizontal)
Total bicycle weight: 7.81kg (17.22lb)