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Pro bike: Jeremy Powers’ prototype Focus Mares Disc

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Powers is riding a prototype disc-specific version of Focus's carbon Mares.

Powers is riding a prototype disc-specific version of Focus's carbon Mares. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Focus uses the BB30 system for their carbon road and cyclo-cross bikes. Aluminum versions of the Mares use a threaded bottom bracket shell.

Focus uses the BB30 system for their carbon road and cyclo-cross bikes. Aluminum versions of the Mares use a threaded bottom bracket shell. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Powers was running Dugast Typhoons when we caught up with him at the USGP Smartwool Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Powers was running Dugast Typhoons when we caught up with him at the USGP Smartwool Cup in Fort Collins, Colorado. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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No carbon bits here: a 110mm Easton EA90 stem and 44cm-wide EA70 bar are light enough to get the job done.

No carbon bits here: a 110mm Easton EA90 stem and 44cm-wide EA70 bar are light enough to get the job done. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Powers saddle of choice is a Fizik Aliante mounted to an aluminum Easton EA70 seatpost.

Powers saddle of choice is a Fizik Aliante mounted to an aluminum Easton EA70 seatpost. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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A Red rear derailleur handles rear shifting duties. Like many other SRAM-sponsored cylo-cross racers, Powers prefers to run a PG1070 cassette, due to its ability to shed mud better than the Red model.

A Red rear derailleur handles rear shifting duties. Like many other SRAM-sponsored cylo-cross racers, Powers prefers to run a PG1070 cassette, due to its ability to shed mud better than the Red model. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Crankbrothers Candy 11 pedals use 6/4 Ti spindles and springs to save weight. Powers's pair come in custom red, white (silver), and blue livery for the 2012 U.S. cyclo-cross national champ.

Crankbrothers Candy 11 pedals use 6/4 Ti spindles and springs to save weight. Powers's pair come in custom red, white (silver), and blue livery for the 2012 U.S. cyclo-cross national champ. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Front shifting duties are handled by a 2013 Red front derailleur with an inner chain spotter. Powers runs 46/39T chainrings.

Front shifting duties are handled by a 2013 Red front derailleur with an inner chain spotter. Powers runs 46/39T chainrings. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Both the disc and cantilever versions of the carbon Mares use forks with a smaller 1.125" to 1.25" tapered steerer—versus the more common 1.125" to 1.5" version—to add a bit of compliance on rough terrain.

Both the disc and cantilever versions of the carbon Mares use forks with a smaller 1.125" to 1.25" tapered steerer—versus the more common 1.125" to 1.5" version—to add a bit of compliance on rough terrain. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Sharp looking paint scheme on the front of Powers's bike.

Sharp looking paint scheme on the front of Powers's bike. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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The latest iteration of SRAM Red is much more 'cross friendly: The taller hoods and textured surface make the levers much easier to hold onto when covered in mud.

The latest iteration of SRAM Red is much more 'cross friendly: The taller hoods and textured surface make the levers much easier to hold onto when covered in mud. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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SRAM's hydraulic dropbar systems are coming. Until then, Powers will be running Avid's BB7 Road SL disc brakes.

SRAM's hydraulic dropbar systems are coming. Until then, Powers will be running Avid's BB7 Road SL disc brakes. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)
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Powers's custom wheels use tubular Easton EC90 laced to 24-hole Easton M1 disc hubs.

Powers's custom wheels use tubular Easton EC90 laced to 24-hole Easton M1 disc hubs. (Image credit: Josh Patterson)

This article originally published on BikeRadar

Reigning US cyclo-cross champion Jeremy Powers has been on a tear this season, winning US event CrossVegas, racking up numerous USGP (US Gran Prix of Cyclocross) wins and finishing seventh at the first stop on this season’s UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Tábor, Czech Republic. That's the best World Cup finish for an American men's elite cyclo-cross racer to date.

Powers is one of a growing number of elite riders making the switch to disc brakes this season. The 29-year-old, from Niantic, Connecticut, first raced his prototype Focus Mares Disc at the USGP in Fort Collins, Colorado, where he won in both the Saturday and Sunday races.

The bike’s geometry is identical to that of its cantilever counterpart. Focus breaks from the cookie-cutter geometry of many other ’cross bikes with a slack 70-degree head tube angle, a low bottom bracket with 70mm of drop, and short, 425mm chainstays. You can read more about Jeremy Powers’ cantilever-equipped race bike here.

Component spec is identical between the disc and cantilever bikes, save for the brakes and wheels. Avid’s recently released BB7 Road SL brakes replace Avid’s extremely capable – by cantilever standards – Shorty Ultimate brakes.

Powers’ wheels are a mash-up of top-shelf Easton road and mountain parts. The rims are custom 38mm-deep, 24-hole EA90 tubular rims laced to the M1 disc hubs found on the company’s EC90 XC wheelset.

As for tires, Powers alternates between various Dugast treads, depending on conditions. When we caught up with Powers in Fort Collins his wheels were clad in Typhoon rubber for the relatively dry, hardpacked course.

Race mechanic Thomas Hopper noted that Powers generally runs 26psi at the front and 27psi on the rear for dry conditions, and drops the pressure ever so slightly to 25.5psi on the front and 26psi at the rear for wet races.

While the carbon frameset and wheels are certainly lightweight and lust worthy, the cockpit is a no-frills combination of EA70 handlebar and seatpost with EA90 stem. “We spend a lot of time traveling across the United States and Europe,” said Hopper. “The reliability and durability of aluminum components is very important.”

No word yet on pricing or availability of the production version of the carbon Mares Disc.

The latest iteration of SRAM Red is more cyclo-cross friendly

Complete bike specification

Frame: Focus Mares Disc, medium
Fork: Focus Mares carbon, tapered 1.125in to 1.25in
Headset: Cane Creek integrated
Stem: Easton EA90, 110mm, -6 degrees
Handlebars: Easton EA70, 44cm
Tape/grips: Fizik
Front brake: Avid BB7 Road SL with 160mm rotor
Rear brake: Avid BB7 Road SL with 140mm rotor
Brake levers: SRAM Red
Front derailleur: SRAM Red, steel cage
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Shift levers: SRAM Red
Cassette: SRAM PG1070, 11-26t
Chain: SRAM PC1090R
Crankset: SRAM Red, 172.5mm, 46/39t
Bottom bracket: SRAM Red BB30 ceramic
Pedals: CrankBrothers Candy 11 with special National Champion colors
Wheelset: Custom Easton blend
Rims: Easton EC90 tubulars
Front hub: Easton M1, 24-hole, 100 OLD
Rear hub: Eason M1, 24-hole, 135mm OLD
Spokes: Sapim straight pull 2.0/1.7/2.0
Front tire: Dugast Typhoon 700x32
Rear tire: Dugast Typhoon 700x32
Saddle: Fizik Aliante
Seatpost: Easton EA70, 27.2mm

 

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 5ft10in / 177.8cm
Rider's weight: 68.03kg (150lb)
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 730mm
Tip of saddle to center of bar: 518mm
Head tube length: 115mm
Top tube length (effective): 540mm
Total bicycle weight: 7.35kg (16.6lb)