Georgia Gould’s Orbea Lobular Cross bike may not be quite as fancy as the Alma hardtail on which she campaigns the cross-country mountain bike season but she wields the lesser weapon with just as much potency.
The 28-year-old won four out of six rounds of the 2007 USGP (US Gran Prix of Cyclo-cross) series – she finished second in the other two – and took home the overall title.
She even qualified to represent the United States at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships last season but declined the invitation in order to focus on the mountain bike event at the Olympics.
In contrast to the Alma’s all-carbon construction, Gould’s Lobular frame is a relatively straightforward all-aluminum construction, TIG-welded from 6000-series tubing.
Georgia gould’s orbea lobular cyclo-cross bike: georgia gould’s orbea lobular cyclo-cross bike James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Orbea says the lobed cross-sections lend more lateral stiffness and comfort than more common round or oval shapes – key attributes for any ‘cross rig – and the proprietary heat treatment process provides more strength and durability than usual.
The orbea lobular ‘cross frame earns its name by virtue of its lobed tubes: the orbea lobular ‘cross frame earns its name by virtue of its lobed tubes James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Light weight is also a major concern, and the Lobular is easily within the ballpark of other top offerings. Claimed frame weight is approximately 1400g and Gould’s complete bike weighs in at a competitive 7.57kg (16.69lb).
More weight could have been saved with tubular wheels and tyres but as team sponsor Maxxis only produces clinchers, Gould’s bike is fitted with standard carbon-spoked R-SYS wheels from Mavic with aluminum hook-beaded rims.
The tubular carbon spokes supposedly act in both tension and compression: the tubular carbon spokes supposedly act in both tension and compression James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Plenty of other bits are decidedly feathery, though, including the carbon fibre Easton EC90 seatpost, EC90 Equipe SL handlebar and EC90X ‘cross fork, and forged aluminum EA90 stem, all of which are among the lightest in their categories.
The ultralight easton ec90 equipe sl carbon handlebar is clamped with an equally superlight ea90 forged aluminum stem: the ultralight easton ec90 equipe sl carbon handlebar is clamped with an equally superlight ea90 forged aluminum stem James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Gould, from Fort Collins, Colorado, adheres to the single-chainring school of thought and opted for a single 42T ring setup for both rounds of the Boulder Cup in spite of the second day’s significant dose of climbing.
The n-gear jump stop is arguably the best of its breed: the n-gear jump stop is arguably the best of its breed James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
An aluminum outer guard and N-Gear Jump Stop keep the chain reliably in place and the standard Dura-Ace STI Dual Control left-hand lever has been swapped in favour of a more basic BR-600 brake lever from Shimano.
The dura-ace rear derailleur shifts across a wide-range 12-27t cassette: the dura-ace rear derailleur shifts across a wide-range 12-27t cassette James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
The Dura-Ace label also graces the right-hand lever, rear derailleur, chain and wide-range 12-27T cassette but another non-group substitution comes with the BR-R550 cantilever brakes. SPD pedals are borrowed from Shimano’s XTR group.
Shimano xtr pedals are a staple of the ‘cross circuit for their durability and consistent performance: shimano xtr pedals are a staple of the ‘cross circuit for their durability and consistent performance James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
This formula may strike some as a bit boring as compared to some of the carbon fibre wunderbikes out there but history has shown it to work in the past regardless. Based on this past weekend’s performance, where Gould took home back-to-back victories, it is apparently still working now, too.
Georgia gould powers through the gravel on her orbea lobular cyclo-cross bike: georgia gould powers through the gravel on her orbea lobular cyclo-cross bike James Huang/Cyclingnews.com
Complete bike specifications:
- Frame: Orbea Lobular Cyclocross
- Fork: Easton EC90X
- Headset: FSA integrated
- Stem: Easton EA90 90mm x 0°
- Handlebars: Easton EC90 Equipe SL, 42cm (c-c)
- Tape/grips: Easton cork
- Front brake: Shimano BR-R550
- Rear brake: Shimano BR-R550
- Brake levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800 right, BR-600 left
- Front derailleur: N-Gear Jump Stop
- Rear derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace RD-7800-SS
- Shift levers: Shimano Dura-Ace STI Dual Control ST-7800, rear only
- Cassette: Shimano Dura-Ace CS-7800, 12-27T
- Chain: Shimano Dura-Ace CN-7801
- Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace Hollowtech II FC-7800, 42T w/outer guard, 172.5mm
- Bottom bracket: Shimano Dura-Ace Hollowtech II SM-FC7800
- Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M970
- Wheelset: Mavic R-SYS Premium clincher
- Front tyre: Maxxis Raze, 700x35c
- Rear tyre: Maxxis Raze, 700x35c
- Saddle: Selle Italia SLR
- Seatpost: Easton EC90
- Bottle cages: n/a
- Computer: n/a
- Other accessories: n/a
- Rider’s height: 1.73m (5′ 8″)
- Rider’s weight: 61.2kg (135lb)
- Seat tube length: c-c 545mm
- Seat tube length: c-t 585mm
- Saddle height: from BB (c-t) 748mm
- Tip of saddle nose to c of bars (next to stem): 510mm
- C of front wheel to top of bars (next to stem): 635mm
- Top tube length: 550mm
- Total bicycle weight: 7.57kg (16.69lb)