With less than two weeks until the final round of the Rapha Super Cross series, here’s the bike – the Trek Cronus CX Pro – I’ll be riding at Alexandra Palace.
Trek’s cyclo-cross range is split into three ranges, with two bikes in each of the entry-level CrossRip, mid-range Ion CX and top-of-the-range Cronus CX collection.
Cronus CX is Trek’s race-ready range, and the American firm describe it as an “ultra-tough, pure-bred cyclo-cross racer”. The Cronus CX Pro is the cheaper of the two builds at £2,000 and is equipped with Shimano 105 shifters/front derailleur/rear derailleur, FSA Energy Cross 46-36t chainset, Avid Shorty 6 cantilever brakes and Bontrager finishing kit. The Bontrager Race tubeless ready wheels are wrapped in Bontrager’s CX0 clincher; a tyre for dry and hard conditions which I might swap out come race day.
The top-of-the-range Cronus CX Ultimate, which costs £3,000, gets Shimano Ultegra wheels, Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes and SRAM Force shifters/derailleurs.
The Cronus CX Pro is part of the Gary Fisher Collection and wears the eccentric American bike designer’s signature on the downtube, close to the chunky BB90 bottom bracket (the widest available on the market).
The bike is based around a 500 Series OCLV carbon fibre frame (the same grade of carbon fibre as used on the 5 Series Madone and Domane road bikes) which is beefy in its proportions, with a super-wide downtube and deep chainstays, which, combined with the bottom bracket, promise plenty of stiffness.
At the back end, the bridge-less chainstays means there’s bags of mud clearance between the tyre and bottom bracket, while at the front the head tube tapers from a 1.5″ lower bearing to a 1-1/8″ upper bearing. Trek use a crown-mounted brake hanger with a built in barrel adjuster to try and reduce the brake judder that can plague cyclo-cross bikes with cantilever brakes. Internal routing helps protect the cables from the elements, and from the rider when shouldering the bike.
The Cronus CX Pro is designed as a race-ready machine but it has the versatility to be ridden away from the race track. Hidden in the rear dropouts are ‘vanishing’ mudguard mounts and, while most riders ditch bottles for a short hour-long ‘cross race, the twin bottle cage bosses provide means to carry a couple of bidons should you want to ride the Cronus CX Pro for longer.