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Pro bikes, December 18, 2008

Ryan Trebon's Kona-FSA Kona Major Jake

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Photo ©: Mitch Clinton

Turning orange into red, white and blue

By James Huang

A machined aluminum driveside chain stay stub
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Clean top tube routing offers a direct path
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This is no camera trick, folks;
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Socket-type dropouts offer more weld surface
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A stock Alpha Q CX20 fork takes care of business up front.
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Trebon's lengthy FSA FR-200 aluminum seatpost
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One look at the bike of newly crowned US national cyclo-cross champion Ryan Trebon is enough to give pause.

At a lanky 1.96m and 76kg (6' 5", 174lb), Trebon sets his saddle height at more than a full meter when measured from the pedal at bottom dead center and requires a 420mm seatpost even with the 63cm frame. There is a roughly 30cm differential from the saddle to the tops of the handlebar; add another 15cm or so to get to the drops. Though his frame uses a standard Alpha Q CX20 carbon 'cross fork, not much is taken off of the 300mm-long steerer tube to accommodate the 195mm-long head tube.

Thanks to rangy 177.5mm-long crankarms, Trebon's feet travel over 100m further than someone on more common 172.5mm arms over a typical one-hour 'cross race- and that's assuming a relatively sedate 60rpm. If a thief were bold enough to try and ride away with the thing, they'd have a better chance fitting inside the main triangle than straddling the top tube.

Talk about a dream to draft behind.

Not surprisingly, team sponsor Kona doesn't offer its all-aluminum Major Jake 'cross racer in a stock size to fit. However, its largest 62cm model is admirably close and Trebon's custom frame is stretched just a single centimeter in both height and length. According to Mark Matson of Kona, the frame is otherwise identical to production offerings save for the team-only paint job and omission of water bottle bosses on the seat tube. Conveniently, fellow 'Twin Towers' teammate Barry Wicks also uses the same frame geometry.

Matson says Trebon's Major Jake is built with "the same Race Light Scandium butted tubing material, shape and design as the production Major Jake." As such, it also includes the same machined aluminum driveside chain stay stub for increased chainring clearance, an asymmetrically machined head tube to save a few grams, socket-type rear dropouts for more weld surface area, and a slightly flattened top tube for more comfortable shouldering. In spite of the extra material, Trebon's giant bike is still a highly competitive 8.3kg (18.3lb).

Kona supplies Trebon with three new frames per season: two for mostly domestic racing and one exclusively for European events. Naturally, each is outfitted with an identical mix of components to maintain a familiar feel.

Team co-sponsor FSA adds some carbon fiber to the mix with its RD-488 tubular wheels and SL-K Light cranks (with MegaExo Ceramic bottom bracket); more 'cross-friendly aluminum is used for the FR-200 seatpost, Energy T traditional-bend bars and OS-99 stem and a conventional Orbit Xtreme Pro headset rounds things out up front.

Shimano's Dura-Ace label is affixed to the STI Dual Control levers, both derailleurs, chain and cassette and Trebon also taps the Osaka giant for its XTR pedals. The rest of Trebon's machine is filled out with Challenge tubulars (he used Grifo 32s to win in Kansas), KORE Race+ wide-profile cantilevers with SwissStop Yellow King pads, and Lance Armstrong's favorite saddle, the Selle San Marco Concor Light.

With the US national and NACT (North American Cyclo-cross Trophy) titles in the bag and the USGP (US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross) series now behind him - where he finished second - Trebon is looking ahead to his bigger goals for the season on bike number three: success in Europe on the highly competitive UCI World Cup circuit and a top-ten finish at the UCI World Championships in Hoogerheide, Netherlands.

Watch out, Europe. Something big is looming overhead.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Mitch Clinton/www.clintonphoto.com

Full specification

Frame: Kona Major Jake custom
Fork: Alpha Q CX20

Critical measurements
Rider's height: 1.96m (6' 5") ; Weight: 79kg (174lb)
Seat tube length, c-c: 580mm
Seat tube length, c-t: 633mm
Top tube length: 620mm
Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 933mm
Saddle nose tip to C of bars: 677mm
C of front hub to top of bars: 665mm

Front brake: KORE Race+ cantilever w/ SwissStop Flash Yellow King pads
Rear brake: KORE Race+ cantilever w/ SwissStop Flash Yellow King pads
Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800
Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800
Front derailleurs: Shimano Dura-Ace FD-7800-F w/ braze-on adapter
Rear derailleurs: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS
Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 12-25T
Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
Crankset: FSA SL-K Light, 177.5mm, 39/46T
Bottom bracket: FSA MegaExo Ceramic


Wheelset: FSA RD-488
Tyres: Challenge Grifo 32 tubular

Bars: FSA Energy T, 44cm (c-c)
Stem: FSA OS99, 130mm x -6°
Headset: FSA Orbit Xtreme Pro
Tape/grip: FSA cork

Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M970
Seat post: FSA FR-200
Saddle: Selle San Marco Concor Light

Total bike weight: 8.3kg (18.3lb)