While ‘cross season is in full swing here in Australia, the ugly duckling of bike racing is still many months away in the northern hemisphere.
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Even still, Sacha White and the team at Vanilla Workshops have just announced they’re taking orders for a limited run of the brand's Team Issue CX bikes.
Designed and painted in house, the frames are available in either the Ghost Matt Army or Ghost Vanilla Blue paint jobs, or the same design as the Speedvagen Family Racing team for an additional cost.
As with all of Speedvagen's frames, they are made with True Temper and Columbus steel tubing, and feature bowed seatstays, an integrated seatmast, trademark Berzerker dropouts, and a unique rear brake caliper mount that sees one bolt go into the chainstay and the other in the seatstay. Speedvagen says this mounting system helps braking forces to dissipate into the frame and allows for a lighter and cleaner looking dropout.
There are two builds available: the CX-R and CX-X, which start at $5,995 and $8,995 respectively. Both builds come with an ENVE CX fork and Ritchey seatpost head, and both are painted to match the frame. Interestingly, it appears all the cable routing is external except for the rear brake hose.
The more budget friendly CX-R build sees a full SRAM force 22 Hydro group, Pro PTL bars and stem both painted to match the frame, a Fabric Scoop Saddle, and 700x32c Schwalbe Racing Ralphs — though the wheelset isn’t specified.
The CX-X sees the same frame but with a Dura-Ace/XTR drivetrain mix.
“We're doing the CX-X build as a 1x with a mix of Dura-Ace and XTR. We like to slice and dice our component combinations if there's more performance to be had and in this case, the following combination is the best of the best,” said Vanilla.
For this build, the Portland outfit has paired Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 shifters with a clutched XTR Di2 rear derailleur and XTR Hydro brakes. They’ve also opted for an Easton EC 90 SL 1x crankset, ENVE carbon cockpit, Chris King headset, and hand built Hed Belgium’s with DT Aerolight spokes spinning DT240 hubs.
Given Speedvagen's pedigree as a custom builder, even these ‘off the rack' frames can be further personalised. In addition to the Team Issue paint, you can upgrade to a carbon seat tube as well as a carbon seatpost head, and ENVE wheels painted to match the hubs, all for an additional cost.
If you see yourself on a Speedvagen Team Issue CX-X or CX-R you’d better act fast as Vanilla Workshop is only taking pre-orders until 1 August to guarantee you’ll have your bike in time for 'cross season.