Tech feature: Andy Jaques-Maynes' Specialized TriCross frameset, October
Working weekends - every weekend
By Steve Medcroft
Photo ©: Steve Medcroft
For the 21,000 attendees and media, Interbike
is a bike-geek's Disneyland. We cruise the aisles oohing and aahing
and compiling mental lists of all the neat new things we just have to
try next year. But behind the scenes are a couple thousand workers, the
industry employed, there to serve and sell us. Everyone from cycling dignitaries
(Eddy Merckx), company presidents (Gary Erickson; Clif Bar) and sales
people (David Agapito, DT Swiss) spend a tiring week talking, demonstrating,
hyping and entertaining.
Among the two-score contingent of red-shirted Specialized workers was
road-bike product manager and Webcor pro cycling team-member Andy Jaques-Maynes.
We pulled the California-based cyclocross specialist aside to talk about
his new S-Works Tricross frameset, life on the US cyclocross circuit and
his job at Specialized.
Cyclingnews: Where did the inspiration for the Tricross come from?
Andy Jaques-Maynes: Chris Dalusio (a fellow Specialized
product manager) and I developed the design of the frame and fork. We
both spent most of last winter racing 'cross; travelling all over doing
the USGP (US Gran Prix of Cyclocross) series. We've known each other since
I was racing on the Clif Bar pro cyclocross team. His wife, (Carmen Dalusio)
and I were teammates, so he'd come along with us, do the master's races
then pit for us afterwards. Between the two of us we have years of experience.
Last season, we won almost ten races trying to develop the bike.
CN: What are some of the race-inspired features that made it into
the final frame?
AJM: We put in a lot of features you can only get
by looking at design from a rider's perspective. The tube shaping is flattened
out. The top tube, for example, has a straight top and a smooth, steady
arc on the bottom. We also shaped the down tube so when you put the bike
on your shoulder and grab the handlebar, every part of the bike you touch
is smoothed out. It eliminates injury and bruising. My girlfriend has
a ('cross) bike with a standard round top tube. I put it on my shoulder
just to bring it up the stairs to our apartment and it dug in; I'm so
used to riding with a flattened top tube now.
CN: The stays look widened?
AJM: We wanted to increase the mud clearance to maximum
so the seat stays look more like a mountain bike than a road bike and
can fit up to 38mm tyres. We also wanted to place the extra width at just
the right spot - outside where the edge of the tyre ends, where the mud
is going to be.
CN: The fork looks up to the job?
The 2006 TriCross frame
Photo ©: Specialized
AJM: The fork is our signature piece. It's custom
made for Specialized, has carbon legs, an aluminum steerer and a huge
crown. With a good-sized cyclocross tyre in here, you still have a huge
amount of clearance. We use Speed Zertz (vibration-dampers) on the fork
legs. They're the same thing you see on our Tarmac and Transition bikes;
a rubber bumper wound tightly around the carbon fibre leg. The whole idea
around the Zertz is that it's a material that doesn't like to vibrate;
a soft, elastic rubber. Any surface that it's touching also doesn't vibrate.
All the bumps and vibrations coming through the fork from the wheel are
minimised. Also placing the Zertz right at the brake bosses eliminates
the chatter you can get in a cyclocross fork.
CN: This bike is sold as a frame, how do you build yours up for
AJM: For the 'cross season, I'll put on Dura-Ace 10-speed,
Shimano brakes and I'll probably be running the FACT Classique Rapide
wheels you see on our Tarmac SL bike.
CN: Webcor doesn't field a cyclocross team. Who are you racing
for in the USGP?
AJM: California Giant Strawberries; a local dairy
producer based in Watsonville, California. I ride past them every day
when I go from my home in Capitola to Morgan Hill. They've had an amateur
powerhouse road team for several years now. They came to me and said they
were doing a 'cross program. I've raced against them, knew the team management
and knew they would take care of me.
CN: How ambitious is your 2005 'cross program?
AJM: I'm doing all the USGP's. I'm leaving directly
from Interbike for Star Crossed (in Seattle, October 1st). I might do
a double-race weekend in Salt Lake City. I may also go out to Massachusetts
for another race weekend. Then I'll be doing Nationals in December.
CN: How long have you been working at Specialized?
AJM: About two years now. I originally interviewed
for an engineering position and they said I could have the job but there
was this other job in product management for road bikes. It made a lot
of sense to me. I have the engineering degree so I can geek out with everybody
- I can talk in his or her language - but I like to think of myself as
a rider's proponent. Any bike that I put out there, and any component
that I put on one, I've ridden. We put our bikes together the way we do
not only because I think it's a great product because of the weight, the
price and the features, but I personally like how it rides.
CN: Sounds like a dream job. Have a great season.
Specialized S-Works Tricross frameset
Frame: S-Works E5 SLX, fully manipulated tubing, semi-compact
cyclo-cross race design
Fork: Specialized FACT carbon cyclocross, carbon legs, aluminum
steerer, Speed Zertz inserts
Headset: S-Works Mindset, 1 1/8" integrated threadless, sealed
stainless steel cartridge bearings, carbon 20mm cone with two 5mm carbon
Seatpost: Specialized Pavé, FACT carbon seatpost with Zertz insert,
Seat Binder: Specialized CNC, alloy