Ian Field is Great Britain’s sole male representative on the cyclo-cross World Cup circuit. This, a Specialized Crux Pro Carbon, is his bike.
The British national champion switched from Scott to Specialized ahead of the 2011/12 season. The Hargroves-Specialized rider is currently ranked 32nd in the UCI’s world rankings and mixes it with the world’s best ‘cross riders week-in, week-out.
We caught up with Ian at the Zonhoven round of the Superprestige series to take a closer look at his machine.
Field rode an aluminium CruX Elite last season but has moved up to Specialized’s latest CruX Pro Carbon frame for the 2012/campaign.
“The carbon frame is a big step up from aluminium,” Field told us. “It’s more rigid, particularly when sprinting out of corners, which is important in cyclo-cross.”
The CruX Pro frame is something of a hybrid, with a top half which is tailored for ‘cross and a bottom half which mirrors that of the SL4 Tarmac road frame.
Field says that results in a machine which retains the “great handling of the original CruX”, with additional ‘cross specific features like internal cable routing, recessed water bottle bosses, and a flattened top tube and integrated ‘Love Handle’ down tube grip to make the bike easier to shoulder, while sharing the super-stiff qualities of the SL4.
Field’s machine is equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace throughout, except for the Specialized S-Works carbon cranks, saving weight over the Ultegra derailleurs and crankset used for the 2011/12 season. Field uses ‘cross-specific 46-39t chainrings and, like most professional riders, still prefers to use Shimano CX70 cantilever brakes over disc brakes.
Pedals are from Shimano’s top-of-the-range XTR range (the mountain bike equivalent to Dura-Ace) – a popular choice among professional cyclo-cross riders.
All of Field’s wheels are supplied by Shimano, with a choice of C24 and C35 hoops depending on the conditions. Challenge have signed up as Field’s tyre sponsor and in Zonhoven his wheels were wrapped in team edition Challenge Grifo XS 33 tubs which are not yet available in the shops.
Field uses pretty much the same bike setup for all races, with tyre choice and pressure the big change from course to course. For the sandy Zonhoven course, Field opted for the ‘file tread’ of the Challenge tubs pictured. Field typically pumps the tyres up to 25psi then adjusts downwards from there depending on the conditions, going as low as 17psi for this year’s super-muddy Koppenburgcross.
Field is from Ashford, Kent, but moved to Belgium in 2010 in pursuit of a career on the international cyclo-cross circuit. Field could, by his own admission, podium at pretty much any cyclo-cross race in the UK but upped sticks to Belgium in order to immerse himself in a racing scene with the best riders in the world.
Field, who is based in Oudenaarde, where the Tour of Flanders finishes, now has a small but growing fan club in Belgium, where he is nicknamed ‘Field de Brit’. Field’s Specialized sports a custom Selle San Marco Concor saddle in the colours of his adopted country’s flag.
Field fulfilled a lifetime ambition by becoming national champion last season and now he wears a custom Specialized S-Works Prevail helmet to match his national champion’s jersey.