Speedvagen was born on the cross course
Early morning practice with sprint starts, targeting precise lines, and seamless mounts/dismounts. Race weekends, turning ourselves inside out, choosing our moment to attack and digging to find another 10 minutes of maximum suffering even when we want to stop. And best of all, battling, laughing and crashing in the mud with friends. All of this is why Speedvagen was started. The goal was simple, get race bikes to those who wanted innovation, performance, and most of all to ride their bikes HARD.
For a while it was only about making bikes, and growing the company. As companies grow though, things change new energy can bring new focus. We were pedaling less and building more, pushing ourselves to the limit. Eventually we asked ourselves why? Our hearts longed to get back on the bike...together. No longer did we want to squeeze in solo rides alone between building. Why couldn't we all enjoy the bikes we work so hard to get to our customers? The answer is we can, and the Speedvagen SSCX cross team was born.
Built in house
From start to finish our team bikes are built in house by those of us who will be racing them. Each employee/racer played the same role they would around here for a customer bike, but to simply batch out 13 team bikes.
Whats your first bike riding memory? For me, I learned to ride in Norman, Oklahoma, my brother is 8 years older than I am, our relationship is dicey now, but back then I looked up to him. He was 13 and I was 5 and he was a cool kid in the super early 90s. A skateboarder, a bmx bike rider, always doing tricks and listing to loud music in our shared room. He had a lot of influence on me back then as most big sisters or brothers do.
I would try and follow him and his friends around to hang out, we would ride, skate, and walk to a local convenience store that had a few arcade machines on the weekends to play Street Fighter II. I would try and keep up on what ever they were using that day. I was too small to push a board as fast as them (my first crash memory was busting my lip trying to chase them on skateboard) so the bike was naturally the mode of transportation I gravitated to. I felt like one of them, I could mostly keep up.
After I graduate form my first pedal bike a red second or third hand Raleigh mini burner. My brother had the idea to take my old bike (I didn’t care I was stoked to have a brand new bike, he also may have kicked me 5 or 10 bucks for it) and modify it. This was the first time I realized that a bike had to be built and could be customized and personalized. I guess until then I thought all bikes came “as is” from the stores. His first move was a set of tiny Skyway Tuff wheels that he saved up his allowance for. All of this was new to my young mind. The wheels were unlike anything I had seen before. The entire process, of changing parts and making something that I thought wasn’t cool, into something super cool. The bike was way to small but he could bunny hop what seemed like anything on it.
I come back to these times a lot and think about how they unknowingly lead me to exactly where I am. I can still get memories/flashes of the bikes, colors, outfits, and board graphics from the early 90s. Cross season last year reminded me a lot of those times, as it was my first year racing cross on a team of people who have been doing it for years. I picked up any advice i could and tried to learn as much as possible.
For the 2019 cross season we are doing a tribute to the big brothers and sister out there. The ones that made us realize a little bit more of how the world works and influenced what we thought was cool at the time. The people who inspire us to try new things, and of course the ones who got us out there racing.
From the start of this idea we had a killer build in mind. No sacrifices all performance upgrades you could tangibly feel. We were then lucky enough to pick up a lot of those component brands as our sponsors. Chosen deliberately for durability on the cross course.
Easton EC90SL Cranks
The start of our cross build was the crank set. The Easton EC90SL cranks are unmatched in terms of weight, stiffness and bang for your buck. The narrow/wide chain ring keeps things flawlessly in place and the raceface cinch technology makes swapping out rings easy.
Donnelly PDX Tires
Donnelly has been making some of the best cyclocross tires for years. Their PDX, named after our local airport was developed to race here in the rain and mud. Although the PDX excels in the mud, this tire is truly an all-conditions performer. The center knobs are aligned to give you a fast roll on hard pack and pavement, no matter what the weather conditions. Aggressive side knobs offer superior cornering, and the leading edge of the knob gives you extra traction for acceleration out of the corner. Now available in both tubeless clinchers and tubulars, this was our tire of choice for the season and one of the sponsors we were most adamant about getting.
Enve M50 Flat Bars
The trend of flat bar single speed cyclocross bikes might not have started in Portland (we are pretty sure it did though). It simply makes sense. More control + more leverage on a single speed = more fun. Carbon bars provide a little bit of flex and cushion for the bumpy stuff, at the same time the M5 bars provide nearly 100g of weight savings over traditional alloy drop bars.
Industry Nine Torch CL Hubs
Engagement is what it’s about, reliability comes with it. With Industry 9's 6º of engagement it ensure our single speeds are putting direct power from the pedals to the rear wheel instantly. Allowing you to muscle up tough sections easier. The I9 Torch hubs feature custom Teflon contact seals for the endcaps, which are manufacture in-house. They fully seal the hubs from mud and water, tight enough for a muddy Portland CX season.
Chris King Headsets
Simply put Chris King headsets are the best in the industry. 98% of the bikes we sell have them installed when they roll out the doors. Engineered, manufactured, and assembled in Portland with a lifetime warranty. There is no better choice. Being that they are also one of our closest partners (have you seen the King OG?) there was no other option. We are stoked to have them onboard with this project.
Fabric Scoop Saddles
Much like Chris King headsets there are reason almost all of our bikes leave the shop with a Fabric saddle. They seem to fit the largest number of people. Comfortable for long days in saddle but work equally well for those short punchy attacks of a cross race. The Scoop is a great and affordable saddle.
Jim Graves - Jenn Levo - Patrick Collier - Lucas Strain - Sacha White - David Nelson - Woody - Benjamin Jaspers - Dean Proteu - Dan Harrison - Richard Pool
Our Non Bike Specific Sponsors
In order to take on such a large project we needed a little help from our friends. The following are our sponsors and partners who do not make bike parts but still played a huge partin getting our team rolling.
When setting up tubeless tires you want something you can trust. Orange Seal is the best in the business at sealing punctures and is long lasting for a cross season. Paired with our favorite Donnelly PDX tires, we nearly an unstoppable combination on the cross course.
Mud, muck, wet and cold all characteristics of cross racing sometimes after a downpour it feels impossible to get warm. We turn to rumple in those situations. Puffy blankets perfect to keep you warm post race. Cozy enough to lay in the grass on the warm days.
Montucky Cold Snacks
The coldest of the snacks and the most delicious after cross beer. Montucky Cold Snacks have been on the rise for years now. Their affordable beer
The company behind our good looks, Eliel hand crafts each jersey or skin suit in California. Theres a reason you are seeing more and more teams use them, their quality, craft, and customer service. We look forward to debuting a brand new kit for our 2019 season with Eliel.
Racing cross in Oregon, we go through every weather condition possible. From sun to rain, and usually back agian, Oakley has us covered with a variety of lenses. Known for years as the best optics in the business we couldn’t have asked for a better partner. Launched last year Oakley also supports the SSCX team with their ARO 5 and ARO 3 helmets.
For all racing and training nutrition is important. Skratch Labs has been doing it for a long time and their products are our teams choice for what we want to fuel with. Real food with real ingredients not just liquified sugar in a pouch.