Update: See Sven Nys’ new Trek Boone Cyclocross Bike for 2014.

After the 2013 Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, KY, we took a close look at Sven Nys’ World Championship-winning Colnago Cross Prestige cyclocross bike. Seven months later, after Nys’ win at Cross Vegas 2013, we grabbed some exclusive private time with the World Champ’s updated, rainbow stripe-decorated Colnago Cross Prestige bike to see what he used to win the drag race on the thick carpet of the Desert Breeze Soccer Complex, and see what’s changed in terms of his equipment since winning the rainbow jersey in February in Louisville.

Sven Nys' Cross Vegas-winning Colnago Prestige cyclocross bike, Cross Vegas 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

Sven Nys’ Cross Vegas-winning Colnago Prestige cyclocross bike, Cross Vegas 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

We noticed a handful of updates to Sven Nys’ bike for the 2013/2014 cyclocross season, but to the naked eye, they’re pretty subtle besides the World Champion-themed paint job. The biggest change is Nys’ switch to Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 11-speed. Nys’ told Cyclocross Magazine at Cross Vegas [See our 10 questions with Sven Nys] that he was already appreciating both the extra gear for fast starts (he adds an 11t cog to his typical 10-speed 12-25 cassette from last season), and really loves the ability to hold down the shift button to execute multiple shifts (Ultegra 6770 Di2 can be reprogrammed to do this, but Nys’ old Dura-Ace 7970 cannot).

Sven Nys says he'll have no trouble with fast starts with a 46x11 top gear now that he has 11-speeds. Cross Vegas 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

Sven Nys says he’ll have no trouble with fast starts with a 46×11 top gear now that he has 11-speeds. Cross Vegas 2013. © Cyclocross Magazine

The biggest question, still largely unanswered, is whether the tighter spacing of 11-speeds will cause more problems in the mud. We asked Nys about this and he seemed unconcerned, but he also has a well-trained pit crew and multiple bikes on demand during muddy races. Our own limited testing in summertime San Francisco mud has not revealed additional problems yet, but we’re waiting until sloppy season really starts to come to a verdict.

not all European pros have gone Nys’ route, as the Sunweb / Napoleon games team told Cyclocross Magazine they will remain with 7970 Di2 10-speed components this season due to concerns about the mud clearance on the 11-speed cassettes. It might be easy to assume Nys and other pros ride what they’re told to ride, but many times they’re given a choice (this is also evident with pedals and brakes).

Read on to see Nys’ unique Shimano SPD pedal.