Eli Iserbyt is one of the up-and-coming cyclocross stars coming out of Belgium. Iserbyt won U23 World Championships in 2016 and 2018 and finished fourth at Belgian Nationals last January in the Elite race.
Last time we saw Eli Iserbyt’s bike up close, we got to look at a special U23 World Champion’s edition of his Ridley X-Night SL Disc at the 2018 Superprestige Gavere. Iserbyt was defending his Valkenburg Worlds win at the time, and when U23 races were offered, he got the chance to show off his rainbow stripes.
Iserbyt has since graduated to the Elite level, so he will have to earn his stripes all over again. If the past two weekends are any indication, his quest is off to a good start. Iserbyt dropped Toon Aerts (Telenet Baloise Lions) on the slopes of Mt. Krumpit at the Jingle Cross World Cup and then outdueled him in the mud at World Cup Waterloo.
His reward was the white World Cup leader’s jersey—and a Wisconsin Badgers hockey jersey—for at least the next month when the series reconvenes in Bern, Switzerland at the end of October.
Iserbyt did not have his personal camper during the U.S. World Cup swing, instead relying on a rented team camper and equipment truck to get around Wisconsin and Iowa.
We got the chance to take a closer look at his Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal Ridley X-Night SL Disc right before he took the course for his World Cup Waterloo pre-ride for this bike profile.
Eli Iserbyt’s World Cup Waterloo Ridley X-Night
Earlier this year, news broke that the Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice and Marlux – Bingoal teams were merging and bringing most of the riders from both teams along to the new program. Last season, the Pauwels Sauzen – Vastgoedservice team rode the Colnago Prestige, while the Marlux – Bingoal team was on the Ridley X-Night SL Disc.
Although Pauwels Sauzen is the lead title sponsor, the team has stuck with the Ridley X-Night SL Disc as its team bike. Iserbyt had to give up his rainbow stripes, but he does at least get to keep riding the same carbon frame he has known for the past several seasons.
The Ridley X-Night SL Disc is no stranger to U.S. World Cup success. Last September, Marianne Vos (CCC – Liv) rode an X-Night SL Disc to a win at World Cup Waterloo, although her team has since switched to Liv-branded bikes at the start of the new year.
The battle between Aerts and Iserbyt created an interesting juxtaposition between the very tall Aerts (frame size: 58cm) and the shorter Iserbyt (frame size: 48cm) while also featuring the two biggest Belgian teams on the scene this season.
Iserbyt’s bike featured the team’s black and red colorway highlighted by the team’s “Fight to the finish” motto and team logo in the front, and stickers for sponsor SwissStop and his home nation of Belgium in the rear.
Even without his personal camper, the Pauwels Sauzen – Bingoal rider traveled to the U.S. with three bikes. This bike was Iserbyt’s A bike for Sunday, and he was gracious enough to let me finish taking photos before grabbing it for his pre-World-Cup pre-ride.
As we saw on Vincent Baestaens’ Scott Addict CX, Shimano-sponsored Euros are sticking with Dura-Ace Di2 groupsets for cyclocross, even with the availability of the new GRX components with clutch rear derailleurs.
Iserbyt runs a 1x system, with a Rotor ALDHU 3D+ crank named for the famed Alpe d’Huez Tour de France stage. The cranks are made from 7055 aluminum, and Iserbyt attached a 42t direct-mount Rotor chain ring for World Cup Waterloo. He also attached a chain keeper with his single ring up front.
In the rear, Iserbyt ran a Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2 derailleur. He had the Dura-Ace R9170 Di2 shift-brake levers paired with the derailleur and Dura-Ace flat mount disc brakes. Team sponsor Swiss Stop provided his brake pads and Catalyst rotors that no doubt saw their fair share of action in the mud on Sunday.
Iserbyt continues to roll on DT Swiss CRC 1100 Spline 38 T carbon tubulars, which are the company’s high-end cyclocross wheels. The wheels have a claimed weight of as low as 1,322g, and they are built with DT Swiss 240s hubs with ceramic bearings.
I caught a look at Iserbyt’s bike right before his muddy course inspection on Sunday, and not surprisingly, he had mud tires mounted up. Last year at the muddy Superprestige Gavere, Iserbyt ran Challenge Limus mud tires, but in Waterloo, he opted for 700c x 33mm A Dugast Rhino treads.
Iserbyt was feeling the force in his cockpit with a Cirrus Pro flat top handlebar from Ridley house brand Forza held by a Cirrus Pro stem.
Iserbyt’s seatpost represented a switch from last year. He went with a Dada Elementi Superzero carbon seatpost with a 20mm setback to hold his Forza Cirrus Pro saddle with carbon rails. The newish Shimano XTR M9100 SPD pedals rounded out his contact points.
Iserbyt now returns to Europe with two World Cup wins and the white leader’s jersey to wear at the October 20 World Cup Bern.
For a closer look at Iserbyt’s Ridley X-Night, see the photo gallery and specs below. Stay tuned for many, many more bike profiles from our three weeks in Rochester, Iowa City and Waterloo.
Photo Gallery: Eli Iserbyt’s 2019/20 Ridley X-Night SL Disc