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333 FAB Cross Bike
Can we say that Cyclocross is in full swing? I don't know about out here on the West Coast (I rode my road bike this morning) but back East they can't stop talking about it. And from what I can tell the MFG Series Starcrossed Race is the de-facto kickoff for Cross racing on the West Coast, and that is about to happen this weekend. So, I guess at that point it will be full throttle right on through the winter.
With the change in seasons comes a different style of bike racing (cyclocross) and with that comes the departure in bikes that we ride to work. And when I say 'we', I mean Carey, Slate and I. Right now our cyclocross bikes have become the steeds of choice around the Rapha US office. Not only that, but all three of us are getting new cross bikes, so I figured before that happens I should profile what we're currently riding.
First up is Slate Olson. I have no idea how he got into Cyclocross only that we share a similar view in loving the sport. Quite possibly it could have something to do with an appreciation for all things Belgian. Which is a good place to start because you'll notice that his custom 333 FAB (pronounced triple three fab) has not only the Belgian National Stripes, but also his "Belgian Counterpart" name on it. Stijn de Girls.
When I asked him what this meant he stated "its Belgian." Not entirely sure what that means, but he and his H.U.P. United counterparts all have these cryptic names. And from what I can tell they all mean something special known only to them. It makes it something of a special little family for that crew, for even Max and Bernard, the duo behind 333 FAB race for this mythical beast that is H.U.P. United.
The other thing about this colorway on his 333 FAB is that it will go nicely with his new Rapha Cross Jersey. should be interesting to note that while one year H.U.P. united printed "place top tube here" on the right shoulder of their race kit, Rapha took that concept a step further by padding the same shoulder. Great for those long mornings of practicing shouldering your bike. Don't sweat the technique.
H.U.P has permeated the cycling culture here in more than a few ways. This bike was in fact, built by two of their finest members. Bernard and Max have been flying the Blue flag as long as I've heard the guttural war cry that their members so love. Read more about them here.
And then, when you are finished with that, let me break down a few of Stijn de Girls best characteristics:
-The matte black powdercoat finish. Usually I'm not a fan of this technique, but these guys have done a great job perfecting it.
-Speaking of the powdercoat the Lion of Flanders and Belgian stripes on the seattube are awesome.
-Integrated seattube. The new Pro.
- Chris King Wheels laced with Mavic Open Pro's and Grey Vittoria Cross XG 32's.
- Match those with the CK bottom bracket and Sotto Voce headset. Not too shabby.
- Edge carbon cross fork paired with Ritchey WCS Carbon Bars and stem with TRP carbon Cantilever Brakes make for a pretty light bike (the fact that it is 52cm frame probably helps).
This is Slate's go to bike for the popular Single Speed category out here in the Northwest. He also has a geared bike, which he uses for the Elite A Category races. What is it you ask? Well, let me just say that this 333 FAB and his geared bike have more than just the rider in common.
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