Skip to main content

Pro bike: Katie Compton’s Rabobank Giant TCX Advanced SL

Image 1 of 20

Katie Compton’s Rabobank issue Giant TCX Advanced SL

Katie Compton’s Rabobank issue Giant TCX Advanced SL (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 2 of 20

More silicone to seal the rear brake cable’s frame exit

More silicone to seal the rear brake cable’s frame exit (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 3 of 20

The Vredestein tires are made by Dugast; and another rendition of Compton’s KfC logo made by Victory Circle Graphix

The Vredestein tires are made by Dugast; and another rendition of Compton’s KfC logo made by Victory Circle Graphix (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 4 of 20

Compton rides 175mm cranks, which is possible without dragging her pedals on the ground due to the Giant TCX Advanced SL’s shallow 5.5cm bottom bracket drop

Compton rides 175mm cranks, which is possible without dragging her pedals on the ground due to the Giant TCX Advanced SL’s shallow 5.5cm bottom bracket drop (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 5 of 20

Thomson’s Elite X4 stem has a 0° rise, which is imperative to Compton’s fit, but isn’t offered by component sponsors PRO

Thomson’s Elite X4 stem has a 0° rise, which is imperative to Compton’s fit, but isn’t offered by component sponsors PRO (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 6 of 20

Compton’s zero offset seatmast top is a custom item. The standard production piece offers 25mm of offset

Compton’s zero offset seatmast top is a custom item. The standard production piece offers 25mm of offset (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 7 of 20

Shimano’s Di2 sprint shifters are installed for both front and rear derailleurs

Shimano’s Di2 sprint shifters are installed for both front and rear derailleurs (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 8 of 20

Legg-Compton has textured the Di2 levers with superglue and sand for better grip and feel on bumpy courses

Legg-Compton has textured the Di2 levers with superglue and sand for better grip and feel on bumpy courses (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 9 of 20

A better look at the custom sand texturing

A better look at the custom sand texturing (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 10 of 20

Vredestein ‘Rhinos’

Vredestein ‘Rhinos’ (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 11 of 20

Fi’zi:k’s Vesta women’s saddle

Fi’zi:k’s Vesta women’s saddle (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 12 of 20

Compton uses Shimano’s Dura-Ace 7900 compact crank with 34/44 rings; since Shimano doesn’t make a 44-tooth outer ring, Legg-Compton sourced it from Thorne Components

Compton uses Shimano’s Dura-Ace 7900 compact crank with 34/44 rings; since Shimano doesn’t make a 44-tooth outer ring, Legg-Compton sourced it from Thorne Components (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 13 of 20

Compton supports Bike Pure’s promotion of honest and ethical sport

Compton supports Bike Pure’s promotion of honest and ethical sport (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 14 of 20

Katie f-ing Compton

Katie f-ing Compton (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 15 of 20

Enduro Bearings’ logo peeks through the chainrings

Enduro Bearings’ logo peeks through the chainrings (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 16 of 20

Compton is testing a prototype K-Edge braze-on mounted chain watcher

Compton is testing a prototype K-Edge braze-on mounted chain watcher (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 17 of 20

The rear derailleur's silicone connection is easily broken if needed but offers insurance in mucky conditions

The rear derailleur's silicone connection is easily broken if needed but offers insurance in mucky conditions (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 18 of 20

Legg-Compton has sealed all of the Di2 wire connections and cable contamination points with silicone

Legg-Compton has sealed all of the Di2 wire connections and cable contamination points with silicone (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 19 of 20

Compton uses a custom Rabobank colored cantilever brakeset

Compton uses a custom Rabobank colored cantilever brakeset (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)
Image 20 of 20

Silicone plugs the one unused internal cable guide

Silicone plugs the one unused internal cable guide (Image credit: Matt Pacocha)

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Katie Compton made the jump from her small private program last year to Giant's massive, Rabobank-sponsored Dutch off-road team. The switch hasn't been without challenge, but it hasn't slowed America's queen of 'cross, who notched up her eighth consecutive national championship title this past weekend at Badger Prairie Park near Madison, Wisconsin.

The American racer rode to a solo victory in the opening round of the 2011/12 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup season, and she's followed that performance with a string of domestic wins including three rounds of the Exergy US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross, as well as World Cup podiums in Koksijde and Namur, in Belgium.

Compton's Giant is a small sized TCX Advanced SL, which has been highly customized both to accommodate Shimano's Dura-Ace Di2 electric transmission and also to meet her specific needs. Compton's husband and mechanic, Mark Legg-Compton, has modified or massaged parts all over the bike from his ‘superglue and sand' texture on the Di2 levers to the silicone sealing of all of the Di2 wire connections on the bike.

Compton uses both top-mount brake levers and Shimano's satellite sprint shifters on her handlebar, allowing multiple shifting and braking options for the demanding conditions of cyclo-cross. Her brakes are also custom made, and she uses SwissStop GHP metal pads on her carbon rims. Legg-Compton says the green compound works better in colder conditions.

Legg-Compton has textured the Di2 levers with superglue and sand for better grip and feel on bumpy courses

When a rider changes bikes, there's always an adjustment period, and there was no exception in Compton's switch to her Giant. The small bike is still relatively large, with a 52.5cmtop tube, and this has forced the use of a custom zero offset seatmast clamp and a stem 1cm shorter than she might otherwise prefer.

Compton also ended up switching crank length after the first month or so of the season, from 172.5cm to 175cm, to better her power output. "After [the USGP in] Fort Collins, she decided to go back to the 175s," Legg-Compton told Cyclingnews. She rides a compact crank with 34-/44-tooth chainring combination; the inner ring is Dura-Ace and the outer is from Thorne Components.

Wheels come in the form of Shimano's Dura-Ace WH-7900-C35-TU carbon tubular wheels. Compton, once sponsored by Dugast, still relies on the Dutch company's tires. Although they're branded as Vredesteins, she still has access to all of the standard tread patterns, as well as the new 33mm width, that's just becoming available for sale.

"We've got some 33 Typhoons in Europe, which she'll run for Worlds," said Legg-Compton. "She's not going to run a file tread at Worlds. We were talking to [Dutch 'cross racer Richard] Groenendaal just before Koksijde, and he said the file tread is slower and there's a lot more rolling resistance. So Katie went out and rode, and she was like, ‘he's right'. I was really surprised at that, but the sand there is super-sticky. Even with a brush the stuff barely comes off."

Compton is testing a prototype K-Edge braze mounted chain watcher

Complete bike specification

Frame: Giant TCX Advanced SL
Fork: Giant TCX Advanced SL
Headset: Cane Creek 110 zero stack
Stem: Thomson Elite X4, 120mm, 0°
Handlebar: PRO Vibe Carbon compact, 40cm
Bar tape: PRO Smart Silicon
Front brake: Custom orange cantilever
Rear brake: Custom orange cantilever
Front derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, braze-on with prototype K-Edge chain watcher
Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Shifter: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2, with TRP RL950 top mount lever
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900, 12-27t
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900, 175mm, 34/44t compact
Bottom bracket: Press-fit BB86 with Enduro Zero ceramic bearings
Pedals: Shimano XTR M970
Wheelset: Shimano Dura-Ace WH-7900-C35-TU
Front tire: Vredestein by Dugast (Rhino tread), 32mm (33mm Typhoons in Europe)
Rear tire: Vredestein by Dugast (Rhino tread), 32mm (33mm Typhoons in Europe)
Saddle: Fi’zi:k Vesta
Seatpost: Giant TCX Advanced SL seatmast

Critical measurements

Rider's height: 167.6cm/5ft 5in
Rider's weight: 62kg/137lb
Saddle height from BB, c-t: 69.5cm
Saddle setback: 2.5cm
Seat tube length, c-c: 50cm
Tip of saddle to center bar: 50.5cm
Saddle-to-bar drop: 4.25cm
Head tube length: 130cm
Top tube length (virtual): 52.5cm
Total bicycle weight: 7.64kg/16.86lb