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“Rad” Ross Schnell’s Rad Singlespeed Racer

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By dangling a few salacious photos of his new Trek Top Fuel one-gear wonderbike, Rad Ross Schnell got us all lusty and nostalgic for 1980’s BMX racing, Vans shoes and mag wheels.

Just a few days before departing Colorado and heading south of the equator to Rotorua, New Zealand for the 2010 Singlespeed World Championships, Schnell launched the photos across our virtual desk like long-forgotten Polaroids of an elementary school crush dug from the recesses of a box of childhood mementos.

But there’s something different this time. Yeah, it’s got one gear, Oakley grips with foam donuts, and a checkered red “Rad Ross” pad on the top tube. But those aren’t mag wheels; they’re Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels. And instead of chromed steel it’s Trek OCLV carbon fiber, molded into the shape of a Top Fuel full-suspension bike.

So it’s not the moto BMXer of our long-repressed dreams after all. And it won’t be launching gaps across tree trunks in a lumber yard, a la the venerable 1980s film Rad. But it’s a sick beast nonetheless.

Rad gave us a rundown on his custom spec, chosen carefully to augment his upcoming SSWC title defense.

“Oh yeah! It weighs 19.8 lbs with five inches of travel!” said Rad Ross. “New Sid 120, 15mm thru-axle, carbon tapered steerer tube. Right now I’m running 2:1, 32-16t but that might change once I ride the course.”

Add to the mix XO brakes, crankset, Fizik Tundra Saddle, Crank Brothers Cobalt wheels, CB Carbon handlebar, 70mm World Cup Truvativ stem and Bontrager XR1 tires.

Last year Schnell piloted a similar rig all the way to the SSWC tattoo chair in Durango, Colorado. This year he’s again hoping that the full suspension will help him stay smooth and sailing all the way to another shot of ink.

“Thanks to all that helped get the new SS rolling for New Zealand!” said Schnell, shouting out to his sponsors at Trek, Crank Brothers, SRAM, and Oakley. “It’s a bonus that I’m actually in shape now to defend the title proper-like. And thanks for all your support this season, it’s been really fun.”

Check out Singletrack.com in the next couple of days for 2009 SSWC women’s champ Heather Irmiger’s SS rig, and the bike that her husband, Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski will race.

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