Racers of average height don't have too many issues in terms of bike fit, perhaps needing just a few tweaks once the right frame size is chosen. But for US cyclo-cross racer Ryan Trebon (LTS Felt) – who stands at 1.96m (6ft 5in) tall – it's a different story.
Trebon previously got by on custom aluminum Kona frames made just for him and former teammate Barry Wicks, then eventually moved on to a carbon chassis that the company offered last season. He's now moved over to Felt and instead of starting with an alloy frame, the California company have come right out of the gate with a super-sized version of their top-end F1X carbon model practically made just for him.
Conveniently for Felt, Trebon had already gone through most of the trial-and-error process over the past few years to dial in the numbers, which likely accelerated the development schedule. While his new F1X may fit the same, it's quite a bit lighter, weighing roughly 750g (1.6lb) less than the bike he rode last year. Total weight as pictured is just 7.54kg (16.62lb) – staggeringly light for a bike so big.
"The geometry and stuff is all extremely similar," Trebon told us while paying a visit to his mechanic, Dusty LaBarr. "But it's a pound-and-a-half, two pounds lighter than my bike from last year. It's noticeable." The change in build kit also contributes to the weight savings: from Shimano Dura-Ace to SRAM Red; from Dura-Ace carbon tubulars to Zipp 303s; and from FSA SL-K cantilevers to Avid Shorty Ultimates.
Ryan Trebon's (LTS Felt) Felt F1X is fitted with an all-alloy cockpit
Also, while Trebon's preferred 177.5mm crankarm length previously necessitated the use of a press-fit bottom bracket adapter, SRAM make a proper BB30 version of their Red crankset. "Last year we had pressed in bottom brackets," said Trebon. "It was BB30 but [FSA] didn't have cranks that fit. You can definitely tell the stiffness difference."
Casual onlookers might think Trebon's bike proportions are a big ungainly, what with the massive amount of seatpost showing – his saddle height is 930mm! – and the huge handlebar drop but readers should remember that bike fit is a matter of proportions. In terms of percentage, the overall numbers aren't far off from average and Trebon certainly looks comfortable and natural when riding the thing.
Trebon's Avid Shorty Ultimate brakes are set up in the higher-power position. Road pad holders are used instead of the stock units to better fit the wide-profile Zipp 303 rims
Trebon received his first F1X 'cross bikes back in mid-August. "They're really good bikes," he told BikeRadar. "I haven't even ridden my road bike since then. It's comfortable, they ride just as well – it's like a normal F1 road bike. It's good."
"People that are short don't really know what their bike is," he said. "I'm a little more particular just because I'm already on the extremes. Even with a 63cm [frame] I have a lot of seatpost [showing] and a long stem so if it's short I can tell a big difference. We talked about what I needed in terms of fit so they made the molds for it. They're going to sell it as a frameset only and not a complete bike. If you're a big dude and want a sweet 'cross bike, you can't go wrong."
Felt use a carbon fiber BB30 bottom bracket sleeve on their new F1X frame
Complete bike specifications
- Frame: Felt F1X, 63cm
- Fork: ENVE Composites Cross, 1.5in tapered
- Headset: FSA Orbit IS-CX:
- Stem: Zipp Service Course SL, 13cm x -6°
- Handlebar: Zipp Service Course SL, 44cm (c-c)
- Tape: SRAM Supercork
- Front brake: Avid Shorty Ultimate, narrow stance, w/ SwissStop Yellow King carbon-specific pads
- Rear brake: Avid Shorty Ultimate, narrow stance, w/ SwissStop Yellow King carbon-specific pads
- Brake levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
- Front derailleur: SRAM Black Red w/ steel cage
- Rear derailleur: SRAM Black Red
- Shift levers: SRAM Red DoubleTap
- Cassette: SRAM PG-1070, 11-26T
- Chain: SRAM PC-1091
- Crankset: SRAM Red BB30, 177.5mm, 46/39T
- Bottom bracket: SRAM Red BB30
- Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M980
- Wheelset: Zipp 303 Cyclocross
- Front tire: Clement tubular, 32mm
- Rear tire: Clement tubular, 32mm
- Saddle: Selle San Marco Concor Lite
- Seatpost: Truvativ Stylo T40, 0mm offset
- Other accessories: Gore Ride-On Professional System cables and housing, custom rear brake bosses
- Rider's height: 1.96m (6ft 5in)
- Rider's weight: 79.5kg (175lb)
- Saddle height, from BB (c-t): 930mm
- Saddle setback: 105mm
- Seat tube length, c-t: 630mm
- Seat tube length, c-c: 570mm
- Tip of saddle nose to C of bars (next to stem): 656mm
- Saddle-to-bar drop (vertical): 177mm
- Head tube length: 200mm
- Top tube length: 615mm (horizontal)
- Total bicycle weight: 7.54kg (16.62lb)