Adam Craig's Giant Prototype

You've seen it all before already. Giant is in the process of testing and developing a carbon cyclocross bike. I was able to take a closer look at this bike in the pit at the Cycle-Smart International Cyclocross race in Northampton, MA.

On day 1, after starting in the last row and being stuck behind a crash, Adam was able to make it up to the front of the race and finished 5th. On day 2, Adam suffered another bout of bad luck as another crash at the start of the race slowed down half the field. Craig was on the ground for several minutes before getting up and continuing the race. He took a bike change on the first lap and finished the race the current TCX aluminum production model to 9th place.

Adam's legs and the aluminum Giant during post race interview. Note the MRP guide with a single chain ring setup.

While leap frogging the field in the elite race, the carbon Giant sat in the pit in case misfortune were to strike again. The bike is complete with Shimano's latest electronic Di2 Dura Ace 7970 gruppo along with several other PRO selections.

A closeup of the stem on Adam's bike.
This stem is very similar to the stem on Mark Cavendish's bike from the Tour. This one has a hole drilled right through the middle to make way for the front brake cable. If you take a closer look, there's no cable hanger attached to the head set.

Craig uses TRP Euro-X Carbon brakes to scrub speed. Take a look at Adam's straddle cable height, relative to the setup on Jeremy Power's CX9 or Katie Compton's Stevens Cross Carbon Team. You can see why this is important over here.
Craig is also rolling on Shimano Dura-Ace 24mm carbon tubular rims. The front tire is a Michelin Mud tread glued onto to a 30mm Dugast casing.

A close up of the electronic Dura Ace shifter.

The bottom bracket junction on the carbon prototype.

Shimano 7900 crankset mated to a custom 46 tooth Dura Ace chainring.

The battery pack at the heart of the Di2 system. It looks like the mount is bolted to the underside of the chain stay, with the battery pack sliding right on. I wonder if there's a chance that this could get knocked off during a crowded run up?

On his first lap mishap, Craig seems to have suffered a rear tire casualty. Here's a closer look at the tire that was originally on his A bike. This tread looks like Vittoria's new XM tread.

A look of the rear triangle. Take a look at Craig's rear tire, mounted to a Dura Ace 24 mm clincher wheel. He choses to run a Michelin Jet as a backup to the Vittoria. The most interesting thing about this tire is the way it's mounted. Michelin features arrows on their sidewalls for a front and rear specific rolling direction. Many chose to run the rear tire in reverse, with the REAR arrow pointing forward. Craig on the other hand decides to run the tire with the FRONT arrow point, and the same direction as a front tire would be mounted.

Another view of the rear triangle and brake caliper. I don't fully understand the reasoning behind the small rear triangle. Initial reports say that Giant was aiming to design a compliant bike, instead of focusing on stiffness. My thought is that the smaller rear triangles and shorter tubes would result in a stiffer ride. An independent bike testing consultant told me that the smallest "bendy" bike, is still stiffer than the largest stiffest bike out there.

Check out the detail on the machined ramp feature on the one off Dura Ace chainring. The plates on the chain also have excess material removed to reduce wait, saving 18 grams over the older 7800 incarnation.

Good luck the rest of the season Adam. I'll be rooting for you at Nationals.

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