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When former Junior Cyclocross National Champion Luke Keough isn’t flying his United Health Care Pro Cycling colors on his road bike you can find him getting back to his dirt racing roots at some of New England’s premier cyclocross events like Gloucester. And while L. Keough’s road commitments may pull him away before some of the big end-of-season races in order to go back to base training, he’s not the only Keough on the racing circuit: his brother Nick, Jesse and Ian have been racing all season long. And this year, with the addition of the “sixth Keough brother,” Shawn Milne, also racing for them—and taking the win at Cycle-Smart International on Day 2—the team has been holding their own.
Siblings Luke, Jake, Nick, Ian and Jesse, all of whom are serious racers, form the nucleus of Keough Cyclocross, along with Milne. Cyclocross Magazine spotted the team at one of the New England Professional Cyclocross Series races back in early October and took a look at the team’s Felt F1X race bike there and again at Cycle-Smart International.
The F1X frame incorporates Felt’s UHC Advanced MMC carbon fiber technology and is complemented with a matching UHC Advanced monocoque fork, finished with minimalist graphics for a stealth look. The Keough bikes are a departure from the 2014 Felt production frames, in that they remain cantilever brake models, unlike the 2014 F1x we saw at the Felt 2014 product launch in August.
The Keough team’s bikes are vary in their componentry, but all feature Shimano drivetrains and TRP cantilever brakes.
“We stuck with the cantilever setup for this season despite the overwhelming disc trend for a number of reasons,” Nick Keough said. ” The decision was ultimately made from both a logistical and performance standpoint, but “with all of our sponsor’s top-of-the-line disc offerings, it is only a matter of time before we change over.”
Keough’s choice in braking is a deviation from Felt’s consumer lineup by running wide-profile TRP Carbon EuroX (front) and TRP CR959 (rear) cantilevers instead of disc brakes. The team had the option of running disc but chose to go traditional citing familiarity with the setup… for now.
However, there are some changes to the wheels, and Nick Keough explains, “This season we made a big change in our wheel set-up. We are riding ENVE Composite’s Smart System 3.4 tubular wheel set. The rim bed is wider than their standard rims which offers a broader gluing surface and the rim depth makes for a super light, low rotational weight wheel set.”
DT Swiss 240 hubs and Enve 65mm tubular rims matched to Dugast Pipisquallo file tread or Rhino tubular tires complement the Felt frame. Crankbrothers Eggbeater Candy 11 pedals provide the leverage and lower contact points.
“It’s been really cool to have the opportunity to see the top quality performance [of the] mechanical and electronic shifting this season,” Keough said. “Both have worked flawlessly for both our riders and mechanics and provide different features that fit the rider’s preferences.”
They’ve experimented with both 10-speed Shimano Ultegra 6870 Di2 and the new mechanical Dura-Ace 9000 compoentns, which they say “offers Shimano’s tried and true reliability, light shifting and braking action, and even more weight savings, while the Di2 group offers unreal consistency, power, and precision.” [The bike pictured here is equipped with the Dura-Ace componentry.]
The cockpit sports a Thomson Elite x2 stem and Thomson’s cyclocross-specific ’cross bar. Finishing off the essentials is a matching Thomson Masterpiece setback seatpost, which is topped with Fizik’s Arione CX saddle.
Little touches include a TRP seat clamp cable hanger and Vincero Design’s unique bottle and mounting system that utilizes a rear channel and magnets to secure the bottle and eliminates the clutter of a standard cage when the bottle is removed.
Stay tuned for a review the Felt F3x and the F65x, as well as a test of the Vincero Designs Bottle coming soon. The Keough brothers say if you’re ready to get magnetized on your ’cross bike, use the code “keoughcx” to get a 30% discount on Vincero Designs’ online store.
Keough Cyclocross’s Felt Cyclocross Bike Spec Highlights:
- Frame: Felt F1x Cantilever – UHC Advanced MMC carbon fiber cyclocross frame and fork
- Shifters: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 11-speed
- Derailleurs: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000
- Cranks: Shimano Dura-Ace 7900
- Chainrings: 39/46T Dura Ace Cx Rings
- Wheels: Enve Smart System 3.4 Tubulars
- Tires: Dugast Pipisquallo, Rhino, Typhoon, 33mm
- Brakes (front): TRP Euro X Cantilever
- Brakes (rear): TRP CR959 Cantilever
- Bars: Thomson Carbon Cyclocross
- Stem: Thomson Elite X2 – 110mm
- Seatpost: Thomson Masterpiece Setback
- Pedals: CrankBrothers Candy/11
- Saddle: Fizik Arione R1 Carbon
- Cassette: Dura-Ace 9000 11-Speed 11-25t
- Bottle Cages: Vincero Designs Edge16 Magnetic System