Cyclocross is one of the most fun parts of cycling. Taking place in freezing conditions during winter you might not believe it is fun, but it is, honestly it is. That was what we set out to achieve with our AC388 carbon fiber cross bike. We wanted a bike that is fun to ride but also takes races seriously. Winning while having fun is always a great way to spend a Sunday morning.
In terms of winning our AC388 will announce to everyone on the start line that you are here to compete. The race blood running through the veins of the AC388 will be visible to all your competitors and you will have them worried. Your fun-loving manner may help to push them on edge further; any psychological edge is what you need on the start line.
To start with our AC388 frame and fork are constructed from Toray T700 carbon fiber. We use T700 in our race bikes as it allows us to build you a light, stiff, and strong bike but also to engineer enough comfort in so that you can enjoy racing and just riding in general. The AC388 will also make a fun road bike in the summer as well as a winter cross bike.
Looking at the frame, you will be able to see how we have opened up the front triangle to make shouldering your AC388 as simple as possible. You do not want to be struggling in the heat of a race. You will also be able to see the flattened profile to make the bike comfortable when it is on your shoulder.
We have also gone with internal routing to keep your hoses and cables out the way when you are jumping on and off your bike. Hiding the cables will also help you to get the maximum lifespan from them. They will be shielded from the muck, rain, snow, or even sand that you will find on your average cross course.
The frameset also comes with a tapered headtube. We went with a tapered headtube as steering around a cross course can be a fun experience at times. You will need, and you will need to know that where you point your bike is exactly where your bike will go.
The tapered headtube will also help to keep your frameset stiff and help save you a few watts. To add to this, we have also gone with an oversized shell to our BB86 bottom bracket. Using a BB86 means that you should not have difficulty in finding a crankset to fit, given we have installed an R8000 Ultegra crankset to the bike we don’t think you will need to worry about that for a while anyway.
Coming from the bottom bracket to your rear wheel we have fitted oversized chainstays. These chainstays will deliver all of your power to the rear wheel and will not flex when you put the power down. You can also be sure that we have made sure that these chainstays leave enough room for mud clearance to make your life easier on the worst of days.
To make sure you can fit the stiffest and best available wheelsets available we have used thru axles on our frame and fork. At the front, you will find a 100 x 12mm thru axle, and at the back of your bike, you will see 142 x 12mm thru axle. The wider and thicker axles allow your wheels to be stiffer and stronger.
Full carbon wheelset with DT Swiss hubs
Wheel wise you might just be looking at the cross bike that comes with race-ready wheels. On our AC388 we have fitted DT Swiss 350S hubs laced to ICAN Aero 50mm deep carbon fiber rims. These wheels as aftermarket wheels blow most other wheels away, to get them as standard on your complete bike is impressive.
With the 350S hubs, you can expect DT Swiss’ legendary quality and their instant drive connection using their Star Ratchet system. Even better is after a muddy cross race you will need no tools in order to service them, making one of those tasks you want to avoid that little bit easier.
The T700 carbon fiber rims though are otherworldly. They feature a modern blunt aero profile, which helps to shed mud on those, particularly nasty days. On dry days these wheels will be like fitting turbo boosters to your bike.
The fun doesn’t end with their aero shape though. They are also tubeless ready and come with a wider internal rim. Making it easier for you to fit anywhere from 28mm to 38mm tires. A wider tire with lower pressures will also help to enhance the aero properties of the ICAN rim, so it is a win/win for everyone.
Shimano R8000 groupset
To bring you great gear changes and exceptional stopping power, sometimes you do need to slow down, we have fitted the AC388 with a full hydraulic disc brake Shimano R8000 Ultegra groupset. We find the hoods, which contain the hydraulic master cylinder, to be an excellent place for your hands during a cross race. They elicit a feeling of stability and security, perfect when you are on your last legs on the final lap.
The master cylinders are finished in a 160mm flat mount caliper at the front and a 140mm flat mount caliper at the back. Enough braking power to help stop you becoming a part of any pile-up and they work well in conjunction with our thru-axle design.
The quality does not end there though as we have outfitted the AC388 with a full carbon fiber finishing package. Not only do you get a carbon fiber seatpost but you also get a carbon fiber stem and handlebar set and most importantly a carbon fiber saddle. How many come with that as standard? The AC388 sets a new standard for complete bikes, a bike that truly needs no upgrades.
The only thing you need to do to the AC388 to make it a race winning steed is to fit the pedals of your choice to it and then dominate your local cross league.