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Wearing a baggy shirt, striped pirate pants, and a Giro Section skate-style helmet, Adam Craig (Giant Factory Off-Road) rode to his second single speed cyclocross world championship (SSCXWC) title last weekend. Though Craig dumbed down his apparel choices, his bike was anything but simple: he was aboard a brand new prototype, a singlespeed-specific Giant cyclocross bike he helped to design.
In years past, Craig’s mechanics have had to fit a single speed setup to Craig’s geared Giant TCX cyclocross bikes for SSCXWC. For 2013, Giant took input from Craig on what he wanted in a single speed cyclocross machine, developing a purpose-built aluminum single speed frame based off of its 2014 TCX SLR.
Not much is known about the prototype Craig raced, other than it bares a strong resemblance to the new 2014 TCX SLR, but it sports sliding rear dropouts. An aluminum main frame is matched with a carbon fiber, 15mm thru-axle compatible fork.
Craig opted for a SRAM XX1 crankset, which does a good job of keeping a single speed chain in place, even without a SRAM XX1 chain in use. Craig’s front wheel is held stable by the 15mm axle fork, likely borrowed from the existing TCX, while the rear relies on a quick release within those adjustable sliding dropouts. Craig ran a pair of customized SRAM Red hydraulic disc brakes with the shift paddles removed from the levers, which gives him more space to wrap his fingers around the hood between the handlebar and the brake lever.
After his dominating performance on the new steed, which included stopping on his final trip up the climb to enjoy a malt beverage, Craig stopped by the tattoo parlor to get his champion’s tattoo, cementing his victory.