Friday, January 29, 2010


So stoked to wake up to the news that the Cyclocross World Championships are coming to Louisville in 2013. Not only that but the Masters World Championship is going to be in 2012 and just days before the big show in 2013. That is simply amazing! Louisville?? It seems strange that one of the cross "meccas" here in the US of PDX or the NorthEast didn't try to pull this off, but having raced in Louisville I have to stay they have their act together!! They are in the process of building a PERMANENT cross course, not some local promoter, but the city of Louisville.

While this is amazing news, will it really matter outside of the cross community? Are thousands of "spectators" going to trek to Louisville in the dead of winter to watch? Not racers but people who only want to go watch a World Championship. If there is a World Cup in Europe the weekend before the World Champs will all the US racers skip it? Otherwise the now "the Euros will have to deal with jet lag argument" applies to them as well. Hopefully this will mean that the Domestic race scene will extend past December and we can get some breathing room during our season.

No matter what happens I will see you in Louisville in 2012 and 2103, oh and the USGP next year and the year after...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Size does Matter & Friction is the Issue

The Blue Norcross is only the 3rd cx bike I have ever raced, or ridden for that fact. However, it is by far the best cx bike I have been on! First of all, the original paint scheme was great, with clean lines and metallic red on black & white. But, the colors did not match real well with the MWI kit. So, me being the guy I am, I had mine custom painted (green replaced the red). Oh yeah, all built up as you see it, this thing weighs nothing at just over 16 lbs without compromising durability with chincy parts.

My first ride was while pre-ridding the USGP Madison course the Friday before racing began. The stiffness of the bottom bracket was amazing with all the power I was putting into the pedals causing direct forward motion. Another primary enjoyment of the Norcross is the lack of fork shudder. In only one race was I able to make the front fork shudder, a great improvement over my pit bike (Blue CX6.5, which I also love).

I would talk about the Norcross and it's corning capabilities, but as all the MWI riders know, the bike is WAY better at corning than I am. I'm sure in no way did I push this rig to it's limits.

Geometry was comfortable for me with the ML size frame while riding, but the length of the seat tube/height of the top tube left little seat post showing and less stand over height. This is actually quite a bit different than my ML size Blue CX6.5. In fairness though, the only time I'm standing over the bike is at the start.

The other main complaint I have is mud clearance. We had a couple muddy races this year, Jingle Cross being the worst, were mud got really packed between the tire and frame at the seat stays and the "ledge" where the chain stays converge with the bottom bracket. I was running 34mm Dugast rhinos and was dreaming of more clearance at a couple moments during those races. I also noted that when running low pressures in the 34mm rhinos that I could get the tire to rub the frame in certain situations.

Another small issue is the water bottle cage mounts. In a full on race rig like the Norcross, I don't see any need for them. Period.

Durability was not an issue for me. As most of you know, I crashed this year, multiple times. Pavement, grass, mud, sand and wooden stakes to the face may have slowed me down and given me bumps and bruises, but the Norcross has barely a scratch to show for it!

Overall, the Blue Norcross is a GREAT bike. There are a few things I would change, but hay, we are all a work in progress. I would buy another Norcross in a heartbeat, just make sure to get your sizing correct.

If this works...

Hey everybody send me $150.....

Just checking. If you couldn't tell I asked everyone for their opinions/review of the Norcross frames we raced this year. I thought asking for money might elicit the same response....

Blue Norcross

These are incredible bikes! I've ridden several different cross bikes, and the Norcross is by far the most responsive and dependable. I bought two this year and felt completely PRO by having such thoroughbred cross RACING bikes. I love them.

I felt like I could rail corners without any flex. In the short, twisty sections of a course, I could quickly turn the bike; it went where I wanted it to go. It's stiff i the bottom bracket and chain stays so jumping out of corners created instant power, a welcome change from aluminum bikes.

The standard sizes fit me well. I outfitted it with TRP brakes and SRAM Force. The large bike allows me to sit comfortably over the handlebars so I can ride a long time without feeling any ill effects. It's incredibly light and stiff!

My only two "complaints" and that's like saying I don't like the mirrors on a eight-cylinder Mustang, are the small ledge behind the bottom bracket. It tended to collect a bit of mud, not a lot, but enough to add some weight and some rubbing against the tire.

Also since this is a true cross racing bike, I'm not sure of the value of the water bottle cage screws. It would be awesome to streamline the tubes by removing them. Again, though, not a big deal.

I'm thrilled to be riding these bikes. If I only I could ride as fast as these bikes would let me!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Blue For You...

...sounds like your run of the mill sad sappy country song, but the title could not be farther from the truth. Obviously I am talking about the 2009 Blue Norcross that most of the team raced this year and if you are in the market for a new steed don't bother shopping around as it doesn't get any better than this - Blue IS for you!

Last summer we got the word that a deal was struck and MWInc would ride Blue Competition Cycles' new carbon Norcross for the '09 cyclocross campaign and I was immediately stoked when I heard JP had a hand in the design and even more when I saw the secret spy pics on various cycling websites. I was looking forward to my first 'carbon' rig and seeing if I could really tell any significant differences in the aluminums. I jumped at the chance to buy a 'complete' bike as I heard only positive reviews on the Sram Force componentry (and turns out it is as good as advertised).
It was like Christmas the day the box showed up on my doorstep and I could wait to build it up and take my first ride. Immediately out of the box I was digging the sexy design and paint scheme; loved the metallic sparkle in the red and the carbon 'mesh' look - very unique. Build up was quick and easy and out the door I went.
With the first (and I do mean first) stroke I knew this thing was a missile as the response was instantaneous and explosive. I cruised over to my routine practice course to run it through the paces and I could not believe how tight, stiff, and agile Blue built it. I was cleaning corners and climbs effortlessly that used to give me fits and accelerations were never so easy before.
Racing was the same as my initial training ride; I was more aggressive since the Norcross was so much more responsive and tight then other bikes I had ridden. It did get tiresome (not really) to constantly hear how cool it looked from others; the cross you will bear for riding a Blue.
I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to this angle or that lateral stiffness and all the jargon, but I do know compared to my C'dale and Orbea, I have never had such a responsive machine in my stable; not to mention how it is freaking lite!

Ok, so with all the good things must come a couple that could be changed - rear tire chainstay clearance. At several events I ran 34mm tires and current design leaves little (to no) mud clearance and the muck quickly built up on the 'shelf' where the chainstays and bottom bracket area come together. Another issue is the wider than normal spacing between the rear dropouts. Hopefully Blue will tighten that up in the future. Lastly, after the 'cross season wrapped up I broke down the bike for total cleaning, lubing, and rebuild and noticed a slight crack in the seat tube/collar area. I could not tell if it was an issue with the paint or carbon frame so Mike got the ball rolling with Blue to address the issue. My frame is now in the Norcross, GA headquarters for review and I have to say they are awesome to deal with and very timely so far on all aspects of my issue; that says a lot about a company.
So I guess now I have to give it some kind of rating; let's go with 9 out of 10 neon jumpsuits (10 being a Crusty Day-Glow one-piecer). On a serious note: I am telling anyone and everyone to check out Blue before buying another brand as I can't imagine a better rig out there. Great job Blue Competition Cycles!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another year...

So I managed to get the new blog header up, as you can plainly see. It's a preview of the new look for my wife inc. With each new year comes a refinement of the mwi design and presence and I feel that we are now getting closer to direction that I want for my wife inc.

We have a lot of exciting ideas for my wife inc this year, so I hope you will check back occasionally to see what we have brewing.

But more importantly what would you like to see from my wife inc in 2010...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2010 Accessories...

Caps and warmers (arm, knee, and leg warmers) are available to all this year. If you are interested you can preorder now for late March delivery.

Check back soon for a redesigned website and blog. 2010 is going to be AWESOME.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Dilettante's Blue Review

Webster's defines dilettante as "a person having a superficial interest in an art or branch of knowledge". I'd say that about sums up my place in the cyclocross world, however, MWI's founder asked for reviews of the Blue team bicycles, so here goes:

The set-up:

Blue Norcross, carbon fiber cyclocross frame, size M
Mavic R-Sys tubular wheels (the front is the warranty replacement)
Challenge Fango 32 tires
Ritchey WCS Aluminum Bars and Stem
Thomson Elite Seat Post
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Force Rear Derailleur
SRAM 12-27 Cassette
FSA Gossamer Crank, 170mm
CrankBros Egg Beaters
Fizik Arione Saddle
4ZA (Ridley) brakes with Swisstop Green Pads

Gore Sealed Cables

Putting it together was a breeze - of course only run a single front ring, so that meant one less cable to run. The only issue I had was paint overspray on the cantilever bosses - I had to get a razor blade out to scrape the studs and spring mounts off.

Once together and a thru a shake out ride, I hit the races with my new steed. The frame's stiffness was quickly evident, and the power you put in the pedals goes quick and directly to the rear wheel and off you go. Sitting on the saddle with my hands on the hoods or the tops, it really felt good - nice and compact and very responsive. I felt that the CG was low, which was good for corners, but not so low that I had problems with the cranks hitting the ground. The handling was good over a wide range of conditions and terrain - grass, gravel, bricks, asphalt and mud - point it in the direction you want it to go, and it goes that way.

I was a little worried about the wheels at first, because of the stories I had read on the 'net, but I really thought they complimented the bike - stiff and light, and ready to go fast.

Two things of note: First is the side to side clearance between the chain stays - the Fango 32's were a cozy fit (and rubbed when the air had leaked out) so 34's would be even tighter; I only did one muddy race and it was more watery than peanut buttery so I had no issues, but thick sticky mud could be a problem. Second is the spacing on the rear drop-outs - it is not quite 135mm, but a bit more than 130mm; this could be an issue if you needed to make a quick rear change - luckily I only had front flats this season.

Overall I am very very happy with the Norcorss. Even under this dilettante, it was light, fast and turned on a dime. Much more bike than I deserve.


mwi Gentlemen's Race

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Jackalope adapts to really cold climates and snow and cross country skies in Sunday Suit style.

My nephews and niece sporting the Jackalope. Their friends want in.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

All Official-Like

Well, there it is. My official 2010 USAC license, complete with super-duper proof that I am now a bona fide member of My Wife, Inc.