Stephen Hyde Bike Check
If you haven’t heard of Stephen Hyde yet, you’ll get to know him real soon. After winning both days of the Derby Cup in Louisville, beating out his mentor and US National Champ, Jeremy Powers, he’s the fastest rising star in the US cyclocross galaxy.
Although Stephen worked for years as a professional bike mechanic, as a member of the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld.com squad, Stephen has the benefit of collaborating with some of the most renowned mechanics on the cyclocross circuit including Joe Devera, Rawny Semba, and team manager, Stu Thorne. Much of the magic behind Stephen’s race bike goes beyond the bike itself and gets into the preparations that Stu, Joe, and Rawny make to ensure consistent operation and fast turnaround when changes need to be made.
Although Hyde rarely deviates from his SRAM Force 1 42-tooth chainring/PG-1170 11-28t cassette combo, mechanics can change it at a moment’s notice. A pole with chain lengths for every gear combination is marked so that when a chain is laid out on top, it is clear how many links need to be removed without having to do a test fit on the bike. A corresponding chart below is available in the pits for when the pole isn't available. Various cassette sizes are color-coded with anodized spacers so that mechanics know at a glance which cassette to grab.
When it comes to chainrings, Thorne’s team is prepared there too. Rather than remove chainrings from crank spiders, the team uses spare spiders with pre-mounted rings so that mechanics only have to remove and reinstall the three Force 1 crank spider bolts rather than an assembly consisting of five chainring bolts, nuts, and spacers (15 total parts). In situations where the whole crankset is swapped, Thorne has a custom made extra long 10mm Allen wrench for removing cranks with as little effort as possible.
Stephen also has three complete race bikes at his disposal so when he rolls through the pits with a flat tire or after a crash, he can grab one of the other two bikes and charge back to the front of the race. In fact, he did just that in Louisville, twice on day one alone.
Another notable component highlight on Hyde’s bike are his 46cm wide Zipp Service Course SL 80 handlebars. Although Hyde is the shortest rider on the team, his handlebar choice was influenced by his BMX background. The added width provides confidence through technical portions of the course and helps Hyde to expend a little less effort when tracking a fast rider or making an attack on a rough section of the course.
When it comes to cyclocross racing, physical preparation can only take you so far. Without a reliable bike and a solid team, it can all be for naught. The hard work and preparation from Hyde and his mechanics on the bike end of the equation has clearly paid off in Louisville. We’re looking forward to seeing more great results from Stephen as the season progresses.
Complete bike weight: 6.8kg/15lbs
Frameset: Cannondale Super X size 52cm
Shifter/Brake Levers: SRAM Force 1
Brakes: SRAM Force 1 HRD
Crankset: SRAM Force 1 BB30 170mm
Chainring: SRAM Force 1 42-tooth
Bottom Bracket: SRAM RED BB30 Ceramic
Chain: SRAM PC-1170
Cassette: SRAM PG 1170 11-28t
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force 1 mid cage
Wheelset: Zipp 303 Tubular Disc Brake
Tires: Challenge Grifo 33mm
Handlebar: Zipp Service Course SL80 46cm
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL 120mm -6 degree rise
Seatpost: Zipp Service Course SL 20mm offset
Saddle: Fabric Scoop Shallow Elite