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
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
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)