Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cysco Cycles CX Gravel Grinder Review

I have had this work of art built with love by Richie Moore, owner of Cysco Cycles and designed by Chris Williams for 4 months.  I have racked up several hundred miles, including one race.  I feel now that I can share my experiences with you about how well she rides.

Beautiful welds.

I wanted the frame as lightweight as possible, but still strong enough to minimize flex.  That being said, Richie ran with a 1 1/2" downtube and 1 3/8" top tube and seat tube.  Chainstays were 5/8".   Having PF bottom brackets on all my other bikes (and having no issues), I opted for the same.  It has an oversize tallish HT for comfort and I wanted thru axles front/rear so the rear is a Paragon Machine Works PolyDrop.

Paragon Machine Works eye candy!

3.6 pounds

I'll take the weight penalty for a real head badge.

I went with a Whiskey #9 Fork (475 grams), Cane Creek 110 headset, Stan's Ravens 700 x 35 mounted on Industry 9 UL CX wheels (1400 grams w/ tape and valve stems), SRAM Red 22 groupset (mechanicals now, but going back to hydraulics), Specialized CG-R seatpost, Specialized Toupe saddle, Thomson seat binder and stem, Specialized Women's carbon bar, King Ti bottle cages, and Xpedo M Force 8 Ti pedals.

As a basis for comparison, Lisa let me borrow her Cannondale Super X last fall.  In the two months that I had that amazing machine, I put a ton of miles and the Pisgah Monster Cross on it.  I loved how it handled and so based my Cysco off it.

With a wheelbase of 1013mm, HT angle of 69 degrees and a BB height of 270mm, she is stable!  I feel very at ease descending and cornering on the steepest of fire roads.  The only time I get a little rattled (both mind and body) is on stutter bumps.  Or descending Pisgah forest service road 2250 in fog so thick visibility is only 20-30 feet!

It is stiff enough for me.  Probably not as big an issue for me as a more heavily muscled, powerful rider, I don't feel any flex when hammering out of the saddle.

The compliance is unreal.  I was worried that the Whiskey fork might be too stiff being a thru axle, but I have been very comfortable on rides/races in the 4-5 hour range.  When I initially had the SRAM hydraulic brakes (pre-recall), I felt comfortable and in control descending on the hoods (unless I encountered long sections of deep stutter bumps).  During the HardFord 50, I descended mainly in the drops due to weather conditions and the mechanical brakes.  Couple the frame to the "cobble gobble" seat post and my tush was very happy ... no "jack-assage."  I also experienced no hand/finger numbness or shoulder/upper back achiness.

S-Bend Seatstays make for a forgiving ride.

Funky yet functional.

My only dislike is that on occasion, like when I am trying to manhandle her out of the saddle on 20% grades or turn around in a tight space, my foot will tap the front tire.  Not a fault of the creator, but due to how I run my cleats so far back on my shoes.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have had a slightly longer top tube.  But ... this has had no negative effects on my rides and race.

I am very pleased with my new steed.  Custom may not be for everyone, but I think everyone ought to try a titanium frame.  It's all about carbon right now, but everyone forgets how nice a ride titanium can be.  Richie has been building frames for 19 years, starting out with Litespeed and for the past 5 years via his own company.

Richie has standard geometry as well as custom.  Chris is the best and most patient person I know when it comes to the design.  He was always available to talk, no matter what hour of the day. And Cysco Cycles offers a lifetime warranty!

The big question is:  had I not been a sponsored racer, would I still purchase a Cysco?  The answer is undoubtedly YES!  I just would have had to wait a little longer while I worked some additional shifts.

1 comment:

Chris Ready said...

Carey, I rode Avid BB7's on my cx bike for over a year and they were ok but hard to adjust etc. I changed to the TRP HY/RD cable actuated hydro brakes and they are awesome! Totally superior to the BB7's and very close to the feel of a full hydro brake + you get to keep using existing SRAM shifters.