Adam Craig rode a prototype Giant on his way to nabbing his second singlespeed cyclocross world championship last weekend. While details are scant, Giant doesn't exactly make a habit of building one-off machines, so this could hint at a production model to come.
Craig's bike is based on Giant's existing TCX SLR TIG-welded aluminum model but with rocker-style rear dropouts instead of the standard vertical drops to provide easier and more precise chain tension adjustments than an eccentric bottom bracket (Craig's bike looks to use the production bike's BB86 shell).
Clearly visible is the same tube shaping used on the production model along with the identical D-shaped seatpost and cleverly integrated collar. The carbon fiber fork looks to be carried over, too, complete with 15mm thru-axle dropouts and Giant's signature 1.25-to-1.5in OverDrive 2 tapered steerer. As with the production bike – and not surprisingly given Craig's mountain bike roots – there are disc brakes. In this case coupled to gutted SRAM Red 22 Hydro levers.
Adam Craig's winning SSWCX 2013 bike looks to be a singlespeed version of Giant's TCX SLR
Other notable touches on Craig's bike include a SRAM XX1 mountain bike crank, DT Swiss XRC950T 29er carbon mountain bike wheels fitted with Schwalbe Rocket Ron tubulars – an ideal combo given the former's large-radius tire bed – a Chris King stainless steel rear cog, a fi'zi:k Tundra 2 saddle, and Crankbrothers Candy 11 pedals.
Singlespeed cyclocross aficionados might not want to get too excited about the prospect of a similar production model just yet, as Giant hasn't committed to actually adding the bike to its line. That being said, as a general rule Giant doesn't typically build one-offs – it doesn't make financial sense, after all – and certain cues suggest to us that a release is imminent.
The refined look of the rockered dropouts could mean a production version may be on the way
Most notably, the rear dropouts are very cleanly designed and well finished. Though the inner pieces are clearly CNC-machined, the outer bits that are welded to the stays appear to be forged, hinting that Giant has perhaps already started tooling up for mass manufacture. These aren't simply lifted from another model, either, as Giant doesn't currently offer a high performance singlespeed of any sort. Aside from some minor hardware tweaks, they look ready to go as is.
Not surprisingly, Giant is officially noncommittal.
"We’re not sure if this bike will ever make it into production," said Giant's global senior product marketing manager Andrew Juskaitis. "We’ll gauge public response."
Screws at the back of the dropouts tension the chain and center the wheel
Don't hold your breath on that logo, though. "This new wordmark you see in the images is not a new Giant corporate logo or corporate identity," said Juskaitis. "It is simply a wordmark design for C&G application to optimize the aesthetics of our select performance bikes."