Lisa Jacobs’ carbon Apollo Bikes Arctec CX  as ridden in China. © Cyclocross Magazine

Lisa Jacobs’ carbon Apollo Bikes Arctec CX as ridden in China. © Cyclocross Magazine

Lisa Jacobs (VIS) became Australia’s first Women’s National Cyclocross Champion in August.

But it wasn’t until September, at the first-ever UCI cyclocross race in China, that we got a closer look at Jacobs’ unique Apollo Bicycles’ carbon Arctec CX that she propelled to victory in Australia at the 2013 National Championships and 14th in China.

Take one look at the top tube and seatstays and you’ll see it’s a unique frame design. The frame features GT-like seatstays that meet the top tube in front of the seat tube, but without the “Triple Triangle” that GT creates by continuing the top tube all the way to the seat tube. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a national champion race with such long seatstays, as the McCormack brothers of Saturn won plenty of races on their steel GT  bikes (seen here), but it might be the first on a carbon frame.

Jacobs actually got the Arctec CX just in time for the Australian Nationals, after having ridden Apollo’s $1599 (AUS) SRAM Apex-equipped aluminum Xact through the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  In fact, Jacobs powered the Xact to the 2012 Australian Cyclocross Series Championship before sitting down with Apollo to develop the Arctec CX.

The Arctec CX is now featured in Apollo’s lineup, but the bike Jacobs rode at Nationals was none other than a prototype, shipped directly from its trade show debut. With help of a Victoria Institute of Sport mechanic and the local Apollo dealer, the bike was ready to race.

The first thing one notices is the unique shape of the frame, made from hi-modulus multi-weave Torayca carbon from Toray.

Perhaps a visual marker, perhaps a design feature, the Apollo Arctec CX top tube/seat tube/seatstay juncture is undoubtedly unique. It seems that the Arctec is the only bike in the Apollo line-up that uses this design. © Cyclocross Magazine

Perhaps a visual marker, perhaps a design feature, the Apollo Arctec CX top tube/seat tube/seatstay juncture is undoubtedly unique. © Cyclocross Magazine

The frame’s unique design leverages what Apollo Bicycles calls a S.L.I.M. Monostay, which the company claims ” vertical flex that dampens the vibrations coming up through the frame.” It’s quite thin, but does form a solid joint by the seat tube, unlike the Trek Domane, where the seat tube is isolated from the seatstays. The company also claims its longer tubing (compared to compact frames) “allows bumps and road vibrations to be soaked up along the length of that tube.”

Speaking of bump absorption, Jacobs has some custom-colored FMB 33mm SSC tubulars to show off her Australian Championship stripes and give her bike a unique look (in case that unique top tube isn’t enough).