The bike that won Adam Craig a tattoo

Win singlespeed ’cross world champs, get inked. Craig's not scared

In most races, when you cross the finish line, the pain stops. If you win the just-about-anything-goes Singlespeed Cyclocross World Championships, more pain awaits as the tattoo gun hums. As testament to the spirit of the preposterous-over-pretentiousness event, the winner, by rule, must get a SSCXWC tattoo.


This year, Giant’s Adam Craig rallied his way through cornfields, spear-wielding Ewoks, giant-ball mud pits, a pond and more en route to winning his fifth title — ahead of an actual former world ’cross champion Sven Nys, no less.  

The legendary Belgian does not show fear on the race course. But was Nys perhaps a little bit skeered of a tattoo? That we may never know.

While Craig may be wearing the USA kit semi-ironically, it is his. Craig has represented his country at the Olympic Games, among other international events
Jake Orness

For the second consecutive year, Craig piloted a machine with flat bars instead of the traditional drop bar. 

To celebrate the tenth annual edition of SSCXWC, Giant did a one-off custom paint design for Craig, based on a 2016 TCX SLR SS that was produced in small numbers. 

“The out-of-this world Galaxy theme is inspired by the event and Carl Sagan, of course,” Giant marketing director An Le told BikeRadar. “The design is a colab between Adam and a few folks here at Giant. We wanted a theme that tied in with SSCXWCxPDX and its nebula-vibe. Once the design was nailed, we worked with Splat, a local Oregon paint shop to bring it to life. Strong Oregon/Pacific Northwest connection here with Adam (a resident of Bend, Oregon), Splat and the event.”

Did the astrophysicist ride? We have no idea
Jake Orness

What gear does a guy like Craig pick when he can only pick one? Why, a 38×16, of course.


Check out the gallery above for a closer look at the bike — and the tattoo.

To the winner go the spoils, er, the tattoo!
Jake Orness

Adam Craig’s Giant TCX SLR SS specifications

Frame L
Stem Zipp Service Course SL OS 110mm
Handlebars Truvativ Noir T40 Riser 720mm x 15mm
Grips ODI “O” BMX grips
Front brake SRAM Guide RSC
Rear brake SRAM Guide RSC
Brake levers SRAM Guide RSC
Brake Rotors SRAM Centerline 140mm
Front derailleur/Guide N/A
Rear derailleur N/A
Shift levers N/A
Cassette Chris King 16t Cog
Chain SRAM PC-1 singlespeed
Crankset SRAM Force CX1 38T chainring
Bottom Bracket SRAM Pressfit GXP
Pedals HT M1
Front Wheel Zipp 303 Tubeless
Rear Wheel Zipp 303 Tubeless
Front tire Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Rear tire Schwalbe Rocket Ron
Saddle Giant Contact SL Forward
Seatpost Giant D-Fuse Composite