Saturday, March 2, 2024

International Champ Fem van Empel’s Cervélo R5 CX: Fem-tastic Cyclocross Professional Motorcycle Test


Fem van Empel is the Cyclo-Move International Champion for a 2nd 12 months in a row on Cervélo’s carbon R5 CX cyclocross motorbike. We stuck up along with her motorbike for a more in-depth take a look at what the, now 2x Elite International Champ, used to be racing to a contemporary set of rainbow jerseys…

Oh, and the ones fan-held flags above, they have been created by way of her uncle & illustrator Wouter van Empel who used to be main a supporters membership across the muddy fields of the Tábor direction.

Cervélo R5 CX of 2024 International Champion Fem van Empel

Dutch domination used to be the rule of thumb for the elite racers on the 2024 UCI Cyclo-Move International Championships in Tábor, Czechia this weekend. Nicknamed SuperFem, the 21-year-old Fem van Empel continues to rack up giant wins on her Cervélo R5 CX cyclocross race motorbike.

Evolved in a partnership between Crew Jumbo Visma & Cervélo, first as a race motorbike for Marianne Vos and Wout van Aert, van Empel has put the motorbike to just right use, as smartly – successful nearly each and every race she entered in this motorbike.

The Cervélo R5 CX has been ridden to the previous 3 Elite Ladies’s International Championship titles. First, by way of Vos with a Shimano construct.

Now two times by way of van Empel on SRAM.

What’s other on Fem’s motorbike? And what stayed the similar?

What’s the similar is the shorter listing. A vintage double clamp to ensure the seatpost remains securely in position when leaping again onto the saddle. And a 2-piece FSA AXR cockpit with totally inner cable routing and a separate carbon handlebar.

The most important distinction on Fem van Empel’s Cervélo go motorbike is the SRAM Purple AXS groupset. Nearly all of elite professional cyclocross racers do appear to be on Shimano Di2, however there’s a cast contingent on SRAM AXS, too.

Apparently, a large number of height riders race now not at the top-tier staff, however on Pressure, as smartly.

Or even 2x International Champ van Empel is not any other, with slightly Purple & Pressure mix-and-match.

A part of that stems from Purple’s highway center of attention and its chainring integration. Now not to be had in suitable 1x chainring sizes for CX racing, van Empel opts for the non-series carbon crankarms and 4-bolt AXS energy meter spider on her Cervélo R5 CX. This we could he experience a rather small 42T SRAM X-Sync chainring for the muddy Tabor direction.

Whilst her mechanic can simply switch out a larger ring for sooner, drier classes, like the hot Spanish International Cup observe in Benidorm simply a few weeks in the past.

She additionally opts for Pressure AXS shift/brake levers with non-series graphics. The adaptation isn’t massive, however groups have instructed us that professionals with smaller fingers choose the relatively shorter Pressure hood form and the longer shift button. The ones levers are hooked up to Purple brake calipers, and top-level CenterLine XR rotors.

Btw, some other athlete now not racing on a Shimano groupset, however who nonetheless prefers XTR pedals.

Little professional CX main points

Van Empel’s mechanics upload a couple of small additions to tweak the motorbike for go racing. In fact, since she runs a 1x, she doesn’t want the braze-on entrance derailleur hanger. However as an alternative of simply putting off it, the bolt on an alloy chain retention software, with an adjustable plastic puck that sits simply excessive of the gold flattop chain as an insurance coverage in opposition to dropped chains.

Whilst some CX professionals ask for frames with out water bottle bosses, maximum nonetheless choose the flexibility for decent climate racing or coaching. And van Empel’s mechanics stay issues blank with little stick-on covers to stay dust out of the bolt holes.

The most well liked professional CX tubular, not made in Europe

The Rhino tubular is perhaps the most well liked & maximum not unusual dust tire at the skilled cyclocross circuit. Nonetheless, Fem van Empel used to be racing at the maximum high-performance of all of them. The hand-crafted 100% cotton casing is probably the most supple Dugast makes for go. Plus, she will get the manufacturing facility Neoprene sidewall remedy (the little megastar emblem at the sidewall). And Dugast’s newest Monsoon “awesome” compound rubber that guarantees “decrease rolling resistance” AND “enhanced grip”. It’s a subsequent point after their 11 Typhoon rubber, each presented after being purchased by way of Vittoria a couple of years again.

Additionally, Fem van Empel used to be racing on 32mm Rhinos, a color thinner than the max allowable 33s we noticed on lots of the males’s motorcycles. A pair years in the past chatting tires with the team of workers in the back of Crew NL, they instructed us necessarily that the smaller and lighter riders (like van Empel) can race the smaller tires to avoid wasting each and every final gram with out sacrificing grip or convenience.

Of observe, this could be the final season to peer a lot of these Dugast tires hand-crafted in Europe. Dugast close down their Dutch manufacturing on the finish of 2023. And moved all of it to the Vittoria manufacturing facility in Thailand from this 12 months. So out of doors of present inventory, Dugast will make all new CX tubulars in Asia, now.

Race-ready for a muddy International’s direction

Wheel-wise, Fem van Empel races on Reserve 36|39 blended intensity carbon tubulars. Additionally from the similar Pon Protecting company circle of relatives as her Cervélo motorbike. Constructed mild ample to win Excursion de France mountaineering phases, but additionally obviously strong-enough to race go. Her wheels are 28mm vast – 36mm deep up entrance & 39mm deep within the again. And they’re laced as much as DT Swiss 240 EXP hubs for confirmed sturdiness and straightforwardness of servicing.

Fem van Empel delivered some other emphatic win within the Czech dust aboard her Cervélo R5 CX in its inventory Jumbo Visma team-edition black & yellow paint task. With some other International Championship name she will return to racing her white motorbike painted with rainbows for some other 12 months. The actual query is, will Cervélo assume up an all-new International Champ’s customized paint task to rejoice her win slightly otherwise this coming 12 months?


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