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I’m proudly racing this sub 16-lb Asylum Meuse and am even earning the occasional podium in the MFG series race and at STARCROSSED. I was reluctant to get disk brake bike as it would make my tubular wheel sets obsolete.  However, after the first couple races this season, I’ve concluded the cost and weight of a disk brake bike is worth every dollar and every gram.

 

I wanted hydraulics, 1x10 gearing but didn’t’ want to break the bank so I bought TRP’s Hylex single speed brakes, a used Ultegra DI2 right shifter and used DI2 rear derailleur.  I removed the CAN module and switch from the DI2 shifter, soldered in my own remote switches and mounted them on each hood.  The left button goes up the cassette, the right button goes down the cassette.  I wrapped the Ultegra 10-speed chain around a 11-28 Dura-Ace cassette and an FSA narrow-wide 42t chainring.  I’m running the chain tighter than typically recommended and still, I’ve dropped the chain in really fast and bumpy conditions.  I have a K-Edge keeper on its way now.  I picked up the S-Works BB30 cranks (with worn out chainrings) on e-Bay for about $120. I wet sanded the Specialized graphics off and installed them in Wheels MFG bearings with eggbeaters pedals (also slightly used on e-Bay). 

 

Cyclocross is hard on wheels and rim brakes are especially hard on carbon wheels with mud and grit wearing down the brake tracks.  I’ve used generic carbon tubulars for the last several years and get about two seasons on a set of rims before the brake tracks are worn out.  I’m experimenting with a set of 1,100-gram foam filled carbon tubulars from a US-based e-Bay seller (Cycling-go-go); he, of course, sources them from China.  After four races and lots of practice hours, the wheels remain true and very fast.  The wheels have Clement MXPs glued on with some Belgium method help from CX Tape.  The pictures show a scandium seat post but I recently changed it to a Thompson to get a little more set-back.  The Fizik saddle and FSA short and shallow bars are my favorites.

 

The bike is stiff under power and explodes out of corners.  There is some compliance designed into the frame and it does a good job smoothing out rough terrain.  The bottom bracket is slightly higher than I’m used to, but the geometry is  typical for today’s CX bikes.  I’m delighted to find myself not hitting my pedals on the ground coming out of corners.   I love the way this bike looks and I love how it helps me get through an hour in the paincave.

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This is really cool to see, in a world where off the shelf bikes have really taken over and customization is minimal. This reminds me of fifteen years ago and piecing bikes together albeit now with much more modern technology. I guess you could make your same shifting setup by buying just the shimano climbing harness and soldering in your own buttons? Could you touch a bit more on your process making the shifters? Any idea on the estimated cost of the rig?

Thanks! It was fun to put together.  I think you could use the climbing buttons but you would still need the switch/CAN module from the shifter.  The CAN module is a small component with a printed circuit board inside.  It's looking for switch inputs - in my case from the Cat Eye switches - to output a CAN message to the derailleur.  So the term "Hack" is really an overstatement.  I'm really just moving or extending the switches from the right hand lever to two remote locations.  The beauty is that the CAN system easily and seamlessly continues to work.  I didn't take pictures during the install but this guy did almost the same thing.  As far as the cost goes...I don't know and I don't really want to know! I had a blast putting it together and the bike is helping find podiums almost every weekend.

here's a link to an image of the bike in action. The MFG series photographer does an outstanding job.

Cool setup!!

Could I ask what wheel set you are using..  I want to make the switch to disc next season and I have been running some Chinese carbon cantilever wheels that i have had great luck with..  I am finding it somewhat difficult to find a disc set of wheels that wont break the bank or the scale..  yours look similar to what i have been running but the disc setup i have been looking for..  

Thanks,

Bret

Thanks!  So far the wheels have been great and I run very low tire pressures so they occasionally get smacked about.  I got them on eBay from Cycling-go-go.  He's based in Brooklyn but sources them from China, of course. These are the 32mm deep carbon tubulars with a foam core andh Novatec disk hubs (seach for "foam core carbon tubular") If you don't see them on eBay, send him a note.  I know these are the niceset wheels and hubs but I'm racing and training in the rain and mud every weekend and I have to buy my own equipment.  I'm planning to get another set next year and trade in my Stan's Iron Cross tubless wheels.

thanks for the feedback on the wheels!  greatly appreciated!  I have been impressed with the Chinese carbon wheels that i have been running the last couple of seasons also..  can't wait to go to disc tho..

This is great! Love it. I've looked into the Di2 1x10 option a lot and I have the Hylex brakes, BEER eccentric BB so can easily swap from geared to SS. Instead I went with an XT 11-36 cassette, Zee RD, MTB thumb shifter (to be replaced with Retroshift/Gevenalle MTB when it's ready) and 38T narrow-wide ring. I ended up going with all MTB components to get good adjustable clutch RD and very compact (the Zee is really tucked out of the way but has super range for up to 11-42T). Now when the XT Di2 RD is out then I might just go back to my original plan.

Regarding the frameset - looks great too. My current alum Crux is not the most comfortable for long rides and I want to do some 3-4hr gravel races this year (hence the 11-42T cassette option). This would be a great upgrade. I bought some Grail wheels so I could mount some road-ish 28c tires for the mixed adventure races. What's your opinion of the frame for longer rides?

Hi Mike - your bike sounds great, let me know when you get the MTB Di2 systems...

I love the Meuse frame but honestly haven't ridden it longer than a 60 minute CX race.  I have it set up more upright than my road bike and it's compliant and stiff at the same time so I imagine it would be great for long gravel grinders.  The frames are on a super sale at cyclocross.com....check it out.  I highly recommend the frame and the guys at Asylum are great to deal with.  I, unfortunately, had to take advantage of their generous crash replacement program when I hit the deck pretty hard in a race.  They turned the frame around lightning fast and I didn't miss a weekend of racing. 

I ordered my frame from Western Bike Works - should've arrived Friday - but xmas season so coming Monday now... excited. Yes - unbeatable price!

I saw an older Asylum Rogue frame today in Lodi (Sacramento CX). Guy like his a lot too. I keep thinking about getting "better" brakes, shifters etc but my MTB shifter hack worked well today in thick thick mud. Actually getting used to it as long as I'm on the hoods and will keep it until there's a good electronic MTB solution whether that is SRAM wireless or XTR. 

Am attaching a pic to show what I am working with (!) right now...

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