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Pro bike: Joachim Parbo's KCH-Leopard Cycles JPX Prototype

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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) uses Zipp's Short&Shallow-bend Service Course SL bar with the levers mounted high.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) uses Zipp's Short&Shallow-bend Service Course SL bar with the levers mounted high. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Woodman Components continues as a Joachim Parbo sponsor for the 2010-11 season.

Woodman Components continues as a Joachim Parbo sponsor for the 2010-11 season. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Gold end caps are used on the Zipp 303 Cyclocross hubs.

Gold end caps are used on the Zipp 303 Cyclocross hubs. (Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM Force DoubleTap levers show the marks of a crash.

SRAM Force DoubleTap levers show the marks of a crash. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Exustar's E-PM215 pedals use forged aluminum bodies and are claimed to weigh just 143g each.

Exustar's E-PM215 pedals use forged aluminum bodies and are claimed to weigh just 143g each. (Image credit: James Huang)
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According to Joachim Parbo, the new Leopard Cycles JPX frame uses shorter chain stays than the CX-1 for snappier handling.

According to Joachim Parbo, the new Leopard Cycles JPX frame uses shorter chain stays than the CX-1 for snappier handling. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Top tube cable routing is used to help protect the lines from mud.

Top tube cable routing is used to help protect the lines from mud. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) plants himself atop this well-worn Selle San Marco saddle.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) plants himself atop this well-worn Selle San Marco saddle. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Clearance is generous at the seat stay wishbone.

Clearance is generous at the seat stay wishbone. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) says he would normally use a Zipp seatpost to complete the ensemble but as there's no zero-offset option currently available, he's gone with a Truvativ post instead.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) says he would normally use a Zipp seatpost to complete the ensemble but as there's no zero-offset option currently available, he's gone with a Truvativ post instead. (Image credit: James Huang)
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In addition to his exploits on the race course, Joachim Parbo is also a staunch advocate of commuting by bicycle and even works part-time in his native Denmark as a 'bike path inspector'.

In addition to his exploits on the race course, Joachim Parbo is also a staunch advocate of commuting by bicycle and even works part-time in his native Denmark as a 'bike path inspector'. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Danish national cyclo-cross champion Joachim Parbo gets his own signature model this year from sponsor Leopard Cycles.

Danish national cyclo-cross champion Joachim Parbo gets his own signature model this year from sponsor Leopard Cycles. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Leopard Cycles has beefed up the fork relative to the CX-1 for better steering performance.

Leopard Cycles has beefed up the fork relative to the CX-1 for better steering performance. (Image credit: James Huang)
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A 12-26T SRAM PG-1070 cassette provides plenty of range for most 'cross courses.

A 12-26T SRAM PG-1070 cassette provides plenty of range for most 'cross courses. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The bottom bracket works with standard threaded cups.

The bottom bracket works with standard threaded cups. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) gets his gold on.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) gets his gold on. (Image credit: James Huang)
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The ultralight TRP EuroX Carbon cantilevers are fitted with TRP's own carbon-specific compound up front.

The ultralight TRP EuroX Carbon cantilevers are fitted with TRP's own carbon-specific compound up front. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Meanwhile, Kool-Stop carbon-specific blocks are used out back for a different feel.

Meanwhile, Kool-Stop carbon-specific blocks are used out back for a different feel. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Clearance is a bit tight down below.

Clearance is a bit tight down below. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Clearance is generous up front.

Clearance is generous up front. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Zipp's alloy Service Course SL bars and stems have quickly found their way on to pro 'cross rigs this season.

Zipp's alloy Service Course SL bars and stems have quickly found their way on to pro 'cross rigs this season. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) has switched from SRAM to Rotor cranks this year.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) has switched from SRAM to Rotor cranks this year. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) says this signature model is still in development but details should be finalized soon.

Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) says this signature model is still in development but details should be finalized soon. (Image credit: James Huang)
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SRAM Force derailleurs are fitted front and rear.

SRAM Force derailleurs are fitted front and rear. (Image credit: James Huang)
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Cotton is generally considered a more supple casing material than nylon but silk is said to be even better.

Cotton is generally considered a more supple casing material than nylon but silk is said to be even better. (Image credit: James Huang)

Danish national cyclo-cross champion Joachim Parbo (KCH-Leopard Cycles) has been sponsored for the past few years by Leopard Cycles and the cooperation has now yielded a prototype signature model for the 2010-11 season called the JPX.

Parbo says one of the biggest differences from his old CX-1 is the beefed-up front end. Though the steerer is still 1 1/8" in diameter from top to bottom instead of the increasingly popular tapered format, the legs and crown are much bigger for more precise handling and better braking. That extra material has also brought along with it a few extra grams but given his 1.89m height and 78kg weight, Parbo says he's happy with the trade-off.

Geometry has also changed significantly with the chain stays shortened by a substantial 15mm – from 440mm to a more reasonable 425mm – making for a nimbler overall feel that's better suited to tight corners and quick transitions.

Major components haven't changed much from last year with SRAM still providing its Force transmission and DoubleTap levers, Zipp and Challenge providing the rolling stock, and stopping duties handled by TRP's ultralight EuroX Carbon cantilevers. Gone are the matching Force carbon cranks, though, in favor of CNC-machined aluminum Rotor 3D arms and matching elliptical Q-Rings.

According to Parbo, the move to Q-Rings came right before the start of the season so he's still getting used to them but he was immediately happy with the increased ankle clearance afforded by the narrower and less bowed arms as well as the stiffness provided by the clever hollow-drilled construction.

Cockpit components have also switched for the new season. Up front, Parbo is now using Zipp's newly introduced Service Course SL aluminum bar and stem in place of his old Selcof gear while a Truvativ Stylo Team alloy post stands in for the equivalent Service Course SL piece as there's currently no zero-offset model available.

Lastly, there's a pedal swap to Exustar's latest E-PM215 model. Though not quite as fancy looking as the cast titanium model Parbo used last year, the tidy forged aluminum bodies still keep the claimed weight to just 143g each.

Parbo has made his career on the racecourse but back at home in Denmark, he adopts a decidedly slower outlook as a part-time 'bicycle path inspector' for the city of Arhus. Among the job responsibilities are surveying the 560km (350mi) of paved paths, reporting any damage, and generally acting as an ambassador for the fellow commuters he encounters, offering up riding and bike maintenance tips.

Sound like a dream job? Parbo seems to think so.

"I have to oversee 350 miles of bike paths and other infrastructure so I have a lot of ground to cover," he told us just a few hours before leaving the US to head back to Europe. "I can actually train while I'm working!"


Exustar's E-PM215 pedals use forged aluminum bodies and are claimed to weigh just 143g each.

Parbo takes the role quite seriously, though, using his extensive travels to bolster his job qualifications and also giving presentations in host towns and cities on what can be done to improve infrastructure and attitudes for commuting by bicycle.

"It makes it totally more interesting to go out training and see the differences between different areas in the US," he said. "Even when I'm traveling in Europe I look at the different solutions that are made. I guess it takes my mind off of racing which is a good thing but also it gives me an opportunity to talk to people who are engaged in the bike infrastructure so I can learn more about my job."

Parbo even entertains the possibility of transitioning to that role full-time once he retires from racing.

"It would be easy to go [to Arhus] and stay there," he said. "I'm pretty well qualified and public service employees in Denmark are pretty secure. In that sense it could be tempting but on the other hand I might miss racing and traveling. Right now I'm mixing all of them – the urban planning, the bike racing, and even some marketing."

Complete bike specifications: