In the continental scene teams tend to ride bikes from slightly lesser known brands or brands making headway in the US Market. Now the name Eddy Merckx is well known to most cyclists in the US, but the bikes that don his name are still just beginning to make their impact. It's been really fun to work with a company that is invested in the team and utilizing the team to make an impact on the US market. They've been amazing to us all year to make sure the bikes are dialed, ready, and performing their best. I have nothing but positive things to say about the SanRemo76 race bike I've been riding this year, it does everything you'd expect from a high end carbon frame. It's light, handles well, and is stiff while still being comfortable. That being said, I'm not here to talk about the road bike.
I've been flirting with the idea of a cyclocross bike for a long time, not so much I'm interested in cyclocross but I love testing the limits of where I can get on skinny tires but I get nervous of breaking frames, wheels, and shredding tires on the single track, double track, and gravel I like to explore. When I signed up for the Crusher in the Tushars gravel race my Mechanic Zack Foley reached out to Merckx about a cross bike for the race, a week later this awesome ride was built up. Light Carbon frame and Ultegra disc hydro, there wasn't much to complain about. In the gravel race it was amazing! The power transfer was almost identical to my road bike and it dealt with all the road crud like a gem. More comfortable in part to the bigger tires (Clement LAS) and the frame built for tackling bumpy cyclocross courses. The disc brakes were super nice as we tackled some seriously high speed gravel descents dropping from 9,000ft to the valley floor in only 5 short miles. Full gas, 70km/h on gravel and the bike felt stable. Can't say enough about that!
After the Tour of Utah I had 3 days to explore and enjoy Park City, to say the least I didn't touch the road bike and took this guy out on all the single track and gnarly gravel I could find. High in the mountains the bike brought more smiles to my face than you can imagine. Taking on the single track of Park City was a blast on the bike. I found some incredible views and just got to relax after a long week of racing. In terms of riding the bike kept a smile on my face the entire time. I may be weird that I really enjoy taking on the single track on a cross bike, but I think it's a ton of fun. You really have to focus on the lines and really focus/be careful in the technical sections. Sometimes on a FS mountain bike it's just gotten to easy. The bike always had solid traction in the corners, held it's line, and was super predictable and stable. Ripping through the tree's, across the ridgeline, and through the canyons in Utah was a great way to end my time in Utah. Super fortunate to get such an awesome gift and looking forward to many more adventures on this bike in the future. Maybe I'm crazy but I love the skinnier tires and road based geometry for anywhere I go. Thanks Merckx for being an awesome sponsor and for making a bike that really is incredible! Now go out there and rip it up!