Clare’s GVO Team Bike


“Good vibes from first sight and first ride! My team bike’s first proper ride was a race…aA little bold maybe on a technical, wet course in Bristol with enough up and down to keep you guessing the whole way round.

But there were no dramas. The magic bit was not having to be conscious of the bike at all! 

Chucking it on my shoulder, trying to keep my footing on some slippy clamber, while chasing and being chased, over some power sapping rutted hairpins, while sending it down some techy descent and into a mud slick corner(!).  The expertise and effort that had gone into the bike was obvious – a small frame that allows for a low position, that I can shoulder it and send round corners effortlessly, just wouldn’t be possible for an off the peg bike that would fit me. SICK. 

I am lucky enough to have two Mercredi cross bikes (the first one was the second bike Adeline ever built!!). For my team bike, I’ve kept some key things the same as my first Mercredi: I ride 165mm cranks because I’m small and spinny rider and have 40cm bars, just a bit wider than I would on the road for more control. However the geometry is a little different to the first bike. Along with lower front-end, because I’ve got stronger and can ride in a lower position, there’s more tyre clearance which is ace in the muddy races and the steering is more responsive – my first CX bike was quite slack. My new bike feels more responsive round corners but still handles great going down the steep stuff.

AND it keeps surprising me how fun it is to ride. After a little time off the bike after cx nats, I jumped on it to ride across town to see Tony Rourke, to chat about bike fit goodies. The bike felt magic riding through town… too fun and fast – I felt like I had to not get carried away dicing through traffic being caught up with the good vibes!”

The paint was developed with Rob from Colourburn Studio to be long lasting and LOUD. A powder coated base colour is brought to life with wet paint logos and clear-coat, while the forks are painted in batches. The pattern is applied at random, creating a unique design for each fork, all whilst cutting down workload for Rob. 

All the team bikes have been built using a mix of Columbus tubing, Life and Zona, for a the perfect balance of clearance, weight saving and acceleration. 

The now classic SRAM Force 1*11 groupset make everything turn smooth when the hammer goes down. The frame stands proud on  Zipp wheels and  finishing kit and a Chris King headset.

Tube set– Columbus Life/Zona
Forks – Columbus Futura Gravel
Groupset – SRAM Force 1
Bearings – Chris King
Finishing Kit, Wheels – Zipp

Photographs: Stefano Carniel

Race photo: Calvin Cheung