Dream Crit Bike
What’s Your Dream Crit Bike?
The other day I got to thinking about what my dream crit bike build would be. What would I build if I had the budget (or sponsors) to select what ever components I wanted. Starting with the frame, and working my way through the drivetrain and to the wheels.
There are a lot of great frame options on the market for the dream crit bike. The first big question is aluminum or carbon. Lots of racers choose an aluminum frame due to the more affordable cost of replacement in the instances of crashes. There are also lots of good options on the market for aluminum frames at the moment with aluminum coming a long way in recent years. Some excellent options include the latest in Cannondale’s tried and true CAAD lineup, the CAAD12, and the Specialized Allez Sprint, the most aero aluminum bike on the market.
In the end, I would go with a carbon frame. This is a dream crit bike build so cost isn’t an issue. Again, lots of excellent carbon frames on the market that would do the trick. The perfect crit bike has aggressive angles and a short wheelbase for quick handling on tight courses.
My personal choice for my dream crit bike is the Argon 18 Nitrogen Pro. Why the Argon 18 Nitrogen Pro? Well, as I said, there are lots of great options on the market but the Nitrogen Pro was the only one that was on that list as well as my next bike wishlist. Besides checking all the geometry boxes for a crit bike, the Nitrogen Pro’s aero design makes a great choice for solo flyers or sprinting for the line. The Argon 18 Nitrogen Pro also provides a ridged chassis for excellent power transfer, perfect for the numerous accelerations needed in a criterium.
When it came to picking a drivetrain to pair with the Argon 18 Nitrogen frame for the ultimate crit bike, there was only one option: Sram Force 1. The simplicity of a 1x drivetrain is perfect for criterium racing plus you spend most of the race in the big ring anyways. A 52 tooth chainring paired with an 11-28 cassette will give you the gear range necessary for 99% of criterium courses. The improved chain retention of the single chainring also reduces the possibility of a race ruining dropped chain.
Just like there was only one choice for the drivetrain for my dream crit bike, there was only one choice of wheels: Zipps’ new drool worthy 404 NSW wheels. Or a 404/808 combo depending on the wind conditions. The new NSW wheels combine Zipps’ proven aerodynamic efficiency with excellent crosswind stability. Zipps’ new Cognition hub reduces drag while freewheeling allowing you to maintain more speed while coasting through corners and saving energy accelerating back up to speed. They are also a pretty damn sexy set of wheels to look at.
So there you have it, my dream crit bike. If only dream could become reality. What’s your dream crit bike? Leave a comment below listing your build.