If you follow domestic road racing and the Madison Genesis team then you’ve probably heard the name Gruffudd Lewis banded around a fair bit. Gruff is a multi-talented rider who although young already has an impressive palmarès and a bright future.
Going into his second season with the Madison Genesis road team he’s been dipping his toes into the local cyclo-cross scene in Wales. He was super keen to try out the new Vapour so we knocked up a custom one (in MGT colours) and a stock Vapour Carbon CX 30 for him to ride as hard as he could!
I have used the Vapour loads – in fact once the 2016 season ended it was the main bike I used up until Christmas. My Zero was left on the turbo with Zwift set up for when it was simply too grim or dangerous to get out.
I kept the Vapour set up with cross tyres, which I’d run at 60psi on the road. I’d head out for three hours with my local club and the extra resistance meant I got a really good workout, while the roar of the tyres got me the nickname Landrover!
When I got back home I’d take the dog to the park, drop my pressures to 40psi and play around.
Best of all is its versatility, the back end has amazing clearance – I managed to get a 2.0 tyre in the back! This setup is great for gravel riding and fits no problem if you’re running 1X.
I switched back to the road bike in early January and it was easy to change between the two.
Chuck (Team Mechanic) sent me the same PRO bars and Turnix saddle as my road bike. I was riding a centimetre taller and 1.5cm less on the reach but that’s to be expected for a cross bike and gives you a bit more control in the turns.
The discs. It was my first year on them and because I am a bit hot going into a lot of corners I found that dragging the rear brake was helpful – it was so powerful and never wore out.
Also over the course of the race I didn’t have to concentrate on braking, you knew the discs would stay consistent whatever happened and that helped me relax and pick better lines. Finally when I was racing in the mud that extra clearance meant I was doing less bike changes than other people.
That said, I’m still on rim brakes on the road. When I was riding the discs I thought awesome but now back on the road bike it’s a different sport. I don’t think there’s a need for it. I never felt I needed more braking on the road. I am fortunate to be riding Dura Ace which is awesome, with the way Chuck sets it up even with carbon wheels there is no issue. But of course, I’m a traditionalist. I wouldn’t like to be on a bike Merckx wouldn’t recognise 10 years from now.
The Spring Cup, CiCLE Classic and the Tour de Yorkshire – particularly the big test on day one.