Last Friday offered a unique Las Vegas morning headache for reigning US national cross-country champion Todd Wells (Specialized Factory Racing) and World Cup stalwart Adam Craig (Rabobank Off-Road Team). No, they weren’t hungover, nor did they lose all of their money gambling – instead they were notified that their bikes were stolen out of the Fox and Specialized Interbike displays.
The bikes went missing sometime between 6pm on Thursday 23 September and 7am on Friday 24. Craig’s Rabobank team issue Giant Anthem X Advanced SL was on display in the Fox Racing Shox booth with Fox’s just released, prototype, RAD cast titanium fork crown-steerer and prototype height adjustable seatpost.
Fox's Mike Van Lienden and Giant head mechanic Joe Staub file a report with Las Vegas PD
“I don’t think we’re ever going to see it again,” said Elayna Caldwell, Fox Racing Shox's marketing manager. “I don’t think they just took them because they were easy [to grab] either; there are bikes all over the place and they were definitely targeting something there."
“We filled out an incident report with Interbike and we also had the real cops come,” said Caldwell.
Wells' bike was here
“It sucks,” said Wells. “It was the first bike that I won mountain bike nationals on and in addition to that, it was my first 29er full-suspension bike. It was a pretty unique bike; it wasn’t just some bike that has been out for a while. It’s just a bummer.”
Both bikes were adorned with plenty of custom bits that should make them un-sellable. Caldwell estimated that just the prototype RAD titanium crown is worth thousands of dollars due to its engineering, which has yet to be offset by production and retail sales, and because of its limited prototype production; only three others currently exist.
Fox's prototype RAD RLC fork
The Giant Anthem X Advanced SL frame is also unique in its Rabobank Off-road team graphic package and due to being outfitted entirely with Shimano’s new XTR group, which is not commercially available; furthermore the components were part of the brand’s Skunk testing program and most sported hand engraved serial numbers and one-off test parts.
The national championship winning S-Works Epic 29er is also unique. Well’s bike was adorned with a seat clamp, skewers and SRAM/Avid XX BlackBox brakes, all of which are customized with his name. As with the 2011 Shimano XTR group, the S-Works Epic 29er isn’t commercially available.
Custom bits should make the bike's near impossible to sell
Neither racer’s season is over yet so both manufacturers scrambled to get new bikes back out to their athletes. Wells said his was in the mail and tweeted his appreciation for the team mechanic and sponsors for working so fast. Wells’ next mountain event will be Iceman Cometh in Michigan this November.
Craig needed a more immediate fix as he is flying to the Netherlands to race this coming weekend at the Hondsrug Classic in Gieten, after which he’s on to Roc d’Azur in France for the Enduro ROC all-mountain event.
“It’s kind of a pain in the ass, because I’m headed to Holland this weekend to do some racing and we had to scramble to get another bike shipped and now I’m scrambling to get down to the local bike shop to purchase some parts to complete the bike,” said Craig.
“I’m also bringing my Trance X because there’s an enduro downhill race at Roc d’Azur, and that sweet shred bike is going to have new XTR on it, but I just have my spare Anthem from this year with the current [XTR] stuff on it to race the cross-country.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fox or Specialized. Fox’s Caldwell asks that any additional information be emailed to her at firstname.lastname@example.org, while Specialized ask that you call them on (877) 808-8154.