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Pro Bike: Sven Nys's Trek Boones

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Sven Nys has both cantilever and disc options of his new Trek Boone, here's the disc version

Sven Nys has both cantilever and disc options of his new Trek Boone, here's the disc version
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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As highlighted by the half green, half black bar tape, the frame uses contrasting colours on each side

As highlighted by the half green, half black bar tape, the frame uses contrasting colours on each side
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano's new road hydraulic brakes provide the stopping power, and the curved fork is derived from that on the Domane

Shimano's new road hydraulic brakes provide the stopping power, and the curved fork is derived from that on the Domane
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Shimano R785 Di2 hydraulic brake and shift levers have very clean, neat lines

The Shimano R785 Di2 hydraulic brake and shift levers have very clean, neat lines
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Nys uses a 120mm Bontrager XXX stem and only 7mm of spacers beneath it

Sven Nys uses a 120mm Bontrager XXX stem and only 7mm of spacers beneath it
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Exactly the same bar and stem combination, as you'd expect, but the cables leave it looking much busier

Exactly the same bar and stem combination, as you'd expect, but the cables leave it looking much busier
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A fork crown mounted front brake cable hanger should prevent fork judder

A fork crown mounted front brake cable hanger should prevent fork judder
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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As reigning World Cyclo Cross Champion, this disc Boone 9 bore the rainbow stripes. We wonder if they'll remain on the bike now

As reigning World Cyclo Cross Champion, this disc Boone 9 bore the rainbow stripes. We wonder if they'll remain on the bike now
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The rear view shows how the IsoSpeed seat tube decoupler looks as the seat tube crosses the top tube and chain stays. Trek's innovative externally telescoping seatpost is a practical solution for adjustment and keeping filth out of the frame

The rear view shows how the IsoSpeed seat tube decoupler looks as the seat tube crosses the top tube and chain stays. Trek's innovative externally telescoping seatpost is a practical solution for adjustment and keeping filth out of the frame
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Nys's saddle of choice is Bontrager's Serano RXL, with carbon rails

Sven Nys's saddle of choice is Bontrager's Serano RXL, with carbon rails
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Nys's palmares and his mantra adorn the right side seat stay. We have no words.

Sven Nys's palmares and his mantra adorn the right side seat stay. We have no words.
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A Dura Ace Di2 rear mech, Dura Ace 11-28 cassette, and still, Trek's hidden fender mounts, for when you just need mudguards

A Dura Ace Di2 rear mech, Dura Ace 11-28 cassette, and still, Trek's hidden fender mounts, for when you just need mudguards
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano 140mm Ice Tech rotors, and the rear caliper, mounted between the stays

Shimano 140mm Ice Tech rotors, and the rear caliper, mounted between the stays
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Aeolus 3 disc wheelset has polished, unbranded hubs, presumably by DT Swiss, using white straight pull spokes

The Aeolus 3 disc wheelset has polished, unbranded hubs, presumably by DT Swiss, using white straight pull spokes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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So called because of his serial winning habit, Sven Nys continues to live up to his nickname

So called because of his serial winning habit, Sven Nys continues to live up to his nickname
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Side view of the E2 head tube and cable hanger

Side view of the E2 head tube and cable hanger
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano's CX70 cantilevers are neat and very adjustable

Shimano's CX70 cantilevers are neat and very adjustable
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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With cable operated brakes, this bike uses Shimano's Dura Ace Di2 levers

With cable operated brakes, this bike uses Shimano's Dura Ace Di2 levers
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The cantilever-equipped Boone maintains similar lines, but with a couple of notable changes

The cantilever-equipped Boone maintains similar lines, but with a couple of notable changes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Sven Nys's other Boone 9 is the version he raced to second place in the 2014 Worlds

Sven Nys's other Boone 9 is the version he raced to second place in the 2014 Worlds
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Built specifically for disc use, the Aeolus carbon tubular rims are wider than average, and use external nipples, which are a definite bonus for tubular users

Built specifically for disc use, the Aeolus carbon tubular rims are wider than average, and use external nipples, which are a definite bonus for tubular users
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Boone's curved fork blades and offset dropout design from the Domane induce extra flex and stability

The Boone's curved fork blades and offset dropout design from the Domane induce extra flex and stability
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The canti bike's front hub has just 18 radial straight pull spokes

The canti bike's front hub has just 18 radial straight pull spokes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Aeolus 3 rear hub has 24 holes, with radial spokes on the non drive side and crossed spokes on the drie side

The Aeolus 3 rear hub has 24 holes, with radial spokes on the non drive side and crossed spokes on the drie side
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Shimano's M980 pedals are a common choice amongst professional cyclo cross racers. This one has an axle that appears to be stamped as 'prototype'.

Shimano's M980 pedals are a common choice amongst professional cyclo cross racers. This one has an axle that appears to be stamped as 'prototype'.
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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There's no bridge, or shelf behind the bottom bracket, whose 90mm width keeps the chain stays well apart

There's no bridge, or shelf behind the bottom bracket, whose 90mm width keeps the chain stays well apart
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Alternate view of the Boone's chain catcher

Alternate view of the Boone's chain catcher
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Driveside view of the chainset, Di2 front mech, and bottle cage bosses on the frame

Driveside view of the chainset, Di2 front mech, and bottle cage bosses on the frame
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Bontrager's Serano RXL carbon railed saddle

Bontrager's Serano RXL carbon railed saddle
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The Isospeed decoupler and externally-sliding carbon seatpost atop the canti bike's taller seat tube

The Isospeed decoupler and externally-sliding carbon seatpost atop the canti bike's taller seat tube
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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This Boone doesn't have the disc version's rainbow stripes

This Boone doesn't have the disc version's rainbow stripes
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The front disc hub has crossed straight pull spokes on the disc side, but radial on the other

The front disc hub has crossed straight pull spokes on the disc side, but radial on the other
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Another set of M980 pedals with much of the surface coating seemingly rubbed or brushed away

Another set of M980 pedals with much of the surface coating seemingly rubbed or brushed away
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Bontrager's carbon Isozone bar includes gel inserts to reduce vibration

Bontrager's carbon Isozone bar includes gel inserts to reduce vibration
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Trek's E2 head tube for Sven's 56cm frame is 16cm, and the slightly higher position is ideal for cyclo cross. The fork also has good clearance for 33mm tyres

Trek's E2 head tube for Sven's 56cm frame is 16cm, and the slightly higher position is ideal for cyclo cross. The fork also has good clearance for 33mm tyres
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Two external bolts secure the Di2 internal battery within the seat tube

Two external bolts secure the Di2 internal battery within the seat tube
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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The UCI certification sticker for the Boone Disc frameset

The UCI certification sticker for the Boone Disc frameset
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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Trek's tidy proprietry chain catcher neatly fits on the side of the seat tube

Trek's tidy proprietry chain catcher neatly fits on the side of the seat tube
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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A standard Dura Ace 9000 chainset with 172.5mm cranks and 39/46 tooth rings

A standard Dura Ace 9000 chainset with 172.5mm cranks and 39/46 tooth rings
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)
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New Dugast Rhinos for the 'cross master

New Dugast Rhinos for the 'cross master
(Image credit: Robin Wilmott)

One out of two isn't bad. After we featured Marianne Vos's bike before she rode it to victory in the elite women's cyclo-cross world championships, we wondered if our presence might do the same for Sven Nys in the elite men's race. Alas, it wasn't to be, even though for much of the race Nys looked to have the edge, a small mistake on the final lap allowed Zdenek Stybar to escape to his third title.

Since becoming a Trek-sponsored rider at the start of the year, there has been plenty of interest in the new Boone 'cross machine, and on his first outing, Nys won aboard the disc version. He's since almost exclusively used the cantilever model, so we were torn trying to decide which to feature here. Thanks to arriving early, and some helpful mechanics, we decided to go for two out of two, so here are both Boones to compare and contrast.

First up, the Boone 9 disc, which maintains the same frame geometry and shaping as the non-disc version, but obviously with different brakes. The frame is an obvious evolution of the excellent Domane road frame, taking the IsoSpeed fork and frame decoupler designs, and adding some tyre clearance. The fork uses a conventional looking curved shape, but continues the curve slightly forward of the dropout, which is tucked in underneath, creating a small amount of extra shock absorption and stability. The steerer tube has a 1.5" lower bearing, tapering to 1 1/8", turning inside Trek's E2 geometry head tube, which offers a less aggressive position that is ideal for cyclo-cross. Although outwardly similar, the disc bike's fork will be substantially strengthened around the calliper mounting, a weight increase possibly offset by omitting the cantilever post mounts.

The innovative IsoSpeed seat tube decoupler would be easy to overlook on this bike, but on the road, the huge amount of extra flex and comfort it generates over rough surfaces is mind-blowing, and it must surely increase the ability to continue to pedal more effectively when the ground is bumpy off-road too. Where it is a clear advantage is impossible to say, but we're sure it's no disadvantage, especially when combined with possibly the sport's finest technician.

Out back, there's no need for a brake bridge, and so the seat stays remain independent of each other until the seat tube, removing a potential clogging point. The rear disc calliper is neatly tucked in between the stays, and Trek have retained another feature that adds practicality, namely the hidden fender mounts on the fork and rear dropouts. With double bottle bosses and convertible cable routing, the Boone has potential to be as versatile as you could wish. There's also the built-in, adjustable chain catcher, sitting unobtrusively against the base of the seat tube to hopefully prevent chain jams.

But this is Nys's race bike, and he has remained with Shimano components, using the company's R785 Di2 hydraulic shifters here, matched with Dura-Ace Di2 derailleurs, and a Dura-Ace chainset with 39/46 rings spinning in a BB90 bottom bracket and turning an 11-28T cassette. The workmanlike setup is completed with some Shimano M980 pedals, which, like those of other riders we've seen, appear to have had some of the surface coating lightly filed or sanded away, leaving a shiny, bare finish. Whether this is to gain some extra mud clearance, no one would let on.

Bontrager continue their relationship with DT Swiss, with the disc version of the Aeolus 3. The shiny, polished hubs bear no branding, but closely resemble other DT Swiss units, and are designed with 24 holes front and rear, which is a minimum requirement for disc brakes, and while laced two cross at the back, the front wheel uses radial spokes on the non-disc side. The Bontrager tubular carbon rims are 35mm in depth, and wider than average, with external nipples for ease of maintenance.

Tyre choice for the world championships was simplified following Saturday morning's rain, as even though the course did dry considerably, the sections that were still wet and muddy were too sticky and deeply rutted through soft mud for anything other than a mud tyre. Nys had these brand new customised 33mm Dugast Rhinos with rainbow stripes and his name on the sidewall, which his mechanic estimated he'd race at 1.35 bar front and rear - that's 19.5psi - for a 71kg rider.

Bontrager supply the finishing kit, a 120mm XXX aluminium stem clamping the 44cm RXL IsoZone carbon bars, which have gel strips recessed in to them under the main hand holds for increased vibration reduction, along with Bontrager's cork tape, applied in green and black to match the colours on each side of the front end. The seat post is Trek's Ride Tuned seatmast, which cleverly avoids the need for cutting by having an externally sliding post slotted over the frame's extended seat tube. It's available in different lengths, with the added bonus of sealing the seat tube against dirt ingress, and clamps Nys's preferred carbon-railed Bontrager Serano RXL saddle.

This 56cm bike is no sized down special, but a well-fitted tool for a job, so we were impressed by a total weight, as pictured, of 7.75kg / 17.08lb (56cm), which compares very favourably with Marianne Vos's much smaller bike with a nearly identical drivetrain. Even though the disc bike has been raced less, the fact that it's here, and Nys has it in his arsenal is a sign of things to come.

Boone 9 cantilever

As expected, Sven chose to race the cantilever version of the Boone 9 for the Worlds, bringing three of them along with two disc versions, and a whole lot of wheels and tyres! The cantilever bike is outwardly very similar, sharing the frame geometry, but dispensing with the disc calliper mounts and necessary frame reinforcements they require. It also gains a fork crown mounted front brake cable hanger, which should prevent fork judder under braking, and at the back there's a bridge to brace the stays against the braking force, and a cable hanger mounted above that, but the universal cable routing is the same.

Shimano's CX70 cantlievers have great adjustment and an attractive minimal design, and are controlled by Dura-Ace Di2 levers, keeping identical shifting across the bikes. The drivetrain too is understandably identical, with the same chainset, mechs, cassette and pedals, although the chains were a CN9000 on the canti bike, and a Dura-Ace ON9000 on the disc machine.

The wheels have similar looking Bontrager carbon tubular rims, but with a braking track included, and 24 holes at the rear and 18 up front. These are laced in a more common pattern, radial at the front, and two cross on the rear drive side, with radial spokes on the other. Hubs are DT Swiss Aeolus, with straight pull bladed white DT Swiss spokes holding it all together. Tyre choice was Dugast Rhino again.

Identical Bontrager finishing kit tops the bike off, although the Ride Tuned seatmast fitted on this bike is 40mm shorter than that on the disc bike we measured. There is sufficient adjustment there that it doesn't matter, and all it means is more of the seat post is exposed. Whether the white Serano saddle was fitted deliberately to differentiate between disc and canti bikes in a hurry, we can't be sure, and although this frame doesn't feature the world champion's rainbow bands, as the disc bike does, at least one of the canti bikes he raced did.

Regarding the performance of the Boone, Nys finds it far more stable generally, and more predictable in the corners than his old Colnago. Where before his front hub was hidden behind the handlebars when he was in the saddle, now he can see it ahead of them, suggesting that the 72 degree head angle is more relaxed, and the 102cm wheelbase longer than his previous machines.

It was no surprise to find that the cantilever-equipped bike was lighter, at just 7.17kg / 15.8lb, which is very impressive when allowing for Di2, pedals and mud tyres, meaning a sub 7kg weight would easily be achievable. Nys had stated before coming to Trek that the added weight of his disc bike was still too much, but now the difference is under 600g, and will decrease in time, it will be interesting to see what happens throughout the next season. What are the chances of a Belgian Champion themed bike, now the world title has escaped?

Sven Nys's Trek Boone 9 Disc
Frame: Trek Boone 9 disc
Fork: Trek IsoSpeed Cross carbon disc, E2
Headset: Cane Creek
Stem: Bontrager XXX 120mm
Handlebar: Bontrager RXL Isozone 44mm, 125mm drop, 85mm reach
Tape: Bontrager cork, black and green
Front brake: Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic caliper, RT99-SS 140mm rotor
Rear brake: Shimano BR-R785 hydraulic caliper, RT99-SS 140mm rotor
Brake levers: Shimano ST-R785 Di2 hydraulic
Front mech: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Rear mech: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Shift levers: Shimano ST-R785 Di2 hydraulic
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 6900 11-28 11 speed
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace HG ON9000 11 speed
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 172.5mm cranks with 39/46 rings
Bottom bracket: Shimano BB90
Pedals: Shimano PD M980
Rims: Bontrager Aeolus 3, 24 hole
Front hub: DT Swiss disc
Rear hub: DT Swiss disc
Spokes: DT Swiss straight pull, white
Front tyre: Dugast Rhino 33mm 1.35 bar
Rear tye: Dugast Rhino 33mm 1.35 bar
Saddle: Bontrager Serano RXL with carbon rails
Seatpost: Trek Boone Ride Tuned carbon post

Critical measurements
Height: 1.82m / 5'11 1/2"
Weight: 71kg / 156.5lb
Saddle height BB centre to top: 765mm
Saddle setback: 60mm
Seat tube centre to top: 533mm
Seat tube centre to centre: 510mm
Saddle to bar centre: 572mm
Saddle to bar drop: 105mm
Head tube length: 157mm
Top tube length: 558mm actual
Total weight: 7.75kg / 17.08lb

Sven Nys's Trek Boone 9 cantilever
Frame: Trek Boone 9
Fork: Trek Boone 9
Headset: Cane Creek
Stem: Bontrager XXX 120mm
Handlebar: Bontrager RXL Isozone 44mm, 125mm drop, 85mm reach
Tape: Bontrager cork, black and green
Front brake: Shimano CX70
Rear brake: Shimano CX70
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Front mech: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Rear mech: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace 6900 11-28 11 speed
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace HG CN9000 11 speed
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, 172.5mm cranks with 39/46 rings
Bottom bracket: Shimano BB90
Pedals: Shimano PD M980
Rims: Bontrager Aeolus 3, 24 hole rear, 18 hole front
Front hub: DT Swiss Aeolus
Rear hub: DT Swiss Aeolus
Spokes: DT Swiss straight pull, white
Front tyre: Dugast Rhino 33mm 1.35 bar
Rear tye: Dugast Rhino 33mm 1.35 bar
Saddle: Bontrager Serano RXL with carbon rails
Seatpost: Trek Boone Ride Tuned carbon post

Critical measurements
Height: 1.82m / 5'11 1/2"
Weight: 71kg / 156.5lb
Saddle height BB centre to top: 765mm
Saddle setback: 60mm
Seat tube centre to top: 533mm
Seat tube centre to centre: 510mm
Saddle to bar centre: 572mm
Saddle to bar drop: 105mm
Head tube length: 157mm
Top tube length: 558mm actual
Total weight: 7.17kg / 15.8lb