It’s exciting to watch the current explosion of cyclocross, it’s nearly getting as many bums on saddles as the ‘fixed gear’ phenomenon did a few years ago. It’s a community sport, and custom frame builders and designers are also finding fertile foundations in the mud between the bunting. Single speed cyclocross is proving to be a popular category, as mud and grass are the derailleur’s mortal enemy. This titanium weapon hails from the muddy fields of Winnipeg, Canada.
Dark Red Racing is a ‘cross club in Winnipeg, made up of highly passionate riders who also dabble in road and mountain biking. Larry Klassen is a member who had been working on his own titanium fat bike designs for several years before being approached by Mark Reimer, a fellow Red River Racer. Mark tells us: “I created a frame design based on the geometry of my current geared ‘cross bike, with a few small tweaks – Chain stays that were a hair longer and a seat tube that was one degree steeper.
“I opted for titanium S&S couplers as I travel fairly often for work and always wished I could bring my bike along with me. I wanted a bike that would be versatile – something I could race competitively with during the ‘cross season, pack up and use to explore while traveling, and also ride daily during winter. In Winnipeg there is usually snow on the ground more than half the year, so (a ti) SS ‘cross bike is the perfect choice for everyday riding… without worrying about it turning to rust by the spring.”
“I’m sure I could drop a few pounds off this bike with a full carbon fork, different wheels and dumping the square taper bb, but building a super lightweight bike was never the point. The bike already accelerates like crazy with the low gearing, making it awesome for ‘cross, and the ti frame gives it a really smooth and enjoyable ride. It feels really lively, like its jumping out of any dip or bump I hit.”
The components were chosen to balance durability and weight:
Thomson Masterpiece post
Phil Wood hubs: 32 spoke / DT Swiss Revolution spokes / H+Son TB14 rims
Challenge Grifo XS tires
Phil Wood BB
White Industries cranks: 32t ring
White Industries freewheel: 18t
Deda Newton bars
SRAM S500 levers
TRP cx8.4 brakes
Chris King headset
Easton EC70X fork
“Oh, and one last thing. The fenders were custom made by a local guy here named Lyle Wiens. He built them specifically to the frame dimensions and stained them a beautiful ebony color to match the components. If you look close the grain still shows through. They have great clearance so I can still ride 32’s in the winter without snow building up. The fenders probably get more compliments than the frame does!” Big thanks to Mark for the story and photos, stay tuned for more from Red River Racing.