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By Anthony Tan
This year's NORBA cross-country champion also likes to dabble on the cyclocross circuit. In fact, Geoff Kabush has got so good at his off-season 'hobby', he beat six-time national champ Peter Wedge to take his second Canadian 'cross title just a few weeks ago on his team-issue Giant TCX.
Well, sort of team-issue... Eric Wallace, team manager for both Kabush's MTB and CX racing teams, tells Cyclingnews: "The frame is a full stock model that is available to the public - standard color, material and geometry."
Mating a butted aluminium frame with a carbon fork and alloy steerer tube is pretty much the standard for a reasonably priced, mass-produced bike nowadays, whatever the discipline, and that dullish grey paint scheme is, well, rather dull.
Geometry also looks fairly normal, the congenial Kabush's size-L Giant TCX measuring 55.5cm (C-C) along the seat tube with an effective top tube length of 58.5cm. Interesting, however, is the seat and head tube angles: measuring 72 degrees - roughly 1-1.5 degrees less than standard - the relaxed geometry allows for a more comfortable riding position and a slightly lower centre of gravity.
Asked if he adopts the same fore/aft position between his two steeds, Kabush explained to Cyclingnews: "As far as set up is concerned, I try to start with the same seat position on all my bikes to make sure I can get the power to the pedals. I measure the seat height and then check the fore and aft position with a plumb bob; from there I adjust the handlebar and shifter/brake position for comfort and handling until it feels just right."
Bar height and brake/shifter position is probably the area where Kabush spends most of his time adjusting, as it's one of the more noticeable differences between 'cross and mountain bikes, the cockpit a mixture of Dura-Ace 9-speed for the STI brake/shifters and Easton components for the bars and stem.
The other significant difference is the use of 700c rather than 26-inch wheels, with Team Maxxis-Giant rolling around on Zipp 404 Pave clinchers, specifically designed for 'cross racing. Manager Eric Wallace adds that "Geoff runs different rubber for different courses" - alternating between Maxxis' MiMo or Locust models, both 35mm in width.
Not surprisingly, after his best MTB and cross season to date, Mr. Kabush rates his machine right up there, the most noticeable aspect the bike's total weight of just 17 pounds (7.71 kilos) - light even for a road bike.
"The best thing about the bike which I can definitely notice is the lightness; I can really snap it out of the corners and get it up to speed fast," Kabush says. "I wouldn't change anything about the bike right now; I feel incredibly comfortable in all conditions and it seems to be working out on the race course."
Images by Eric Wallace/Maxxis-Giant CX Racing Team
Frame: Giant TCX Aluxx SL butted aluminum frame, Size L
Cranks: Truvativ Rouleur Carbon 2 piece, 175mm, 38/46
Rim: Zipp 404 Pave/CX clincher
Stem: Easton EA70, 120mm, +6 degree
Pedals: Crank Brothers Eggbeaters with custom (shortened) titanium
Total bike weight: 17 pounds