Although a latecomer to professional cyclocross, Sunny Gilbert (Pactimo – Colorado Proud) has built a nice career for herself after picking up the sport in her 30s. Gilbert raced for the Van Dessel Women’s team for several years and showed the company’s confidence in her with a second-place finish in the mud at Louisville Nationals last December.
When Van Dessel announced earlier this year it was ceasing its cyclocross sponsorship, it left Gilbert without the only cyclocross home she had known during her time on the domestic UCI circuit.
Fortunately for Dr. Zjilbert, Ph. D. graduate, she is skilled in overcoming adversity and taking on difficult challenges. Gilbert teamed up with fellow Van Dessel rider Caroline “Frenchie” Mani and the two set about finding a new home for the 2019/20 season.
After the retirement of Jeremy Powers, they formed a partnership with Pactimo that ultimately became the Pactimo / Colorado Proud team that has been traveling the scene in the team trailer this season. Van Dessel kept its partnership with the two women going by stepping in as the team’s bike sponsor.
Earlier this year, we checked out Gilbert’s Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie outfitted with the new Shimano GRX components and HED wheels. We take a closer look in this bike profile.
Sunny Gilbert’s Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie
Van Dessel’s flagship Full Tilt Boogie cyclocross bike dates back to the days when Gilbert was racing for the Michelob Ultra – Big Shark team in the Bubba CX Series held in the St. Louis area. The original carbon Full Tilt Boogie released in 2010 was a cantilever bike, and the frameset then received a disc and thru-axle upgrade midway through the current decade.
Van Dessel bills the Full Tilt Boogie as both a cyclocross and gravel bike but it is probably more of a cyclocross bike that can do gravel than a gravel bike that can do cyclocross like the new Pivot Vault or Santa Cruz Stigmata. Gilbert’s 56cm frameset has a relatively aggressive 72.5-degree head tube angle and high-ish 6.5cm bottom bracket drop.
The frame does claim clearance for tires up to 700c x 40mm wide, which is a big part of why the soon-to-be defunct Floyd’s Pro Cycling team was riding the bike for gravel races in 2019.
In recent years, we have profiled Laura Van Gilder’s Masters National Champs FTB, Holly LaVesser’s Masters National Champs FTB and Caroline Mani’s French Tricolour FTB she rode after joining the Van Dessel team.
Although the colorway and design of Gilbert’s 2020 Full Tilt Boogie are very similar to that of the 2019 model, she did receive new bikes for the new season. One benefit of the light blue color is it goes with the team’s new technicolor dream kits quite well, at least according to Gilbert.
A big change for Gilbert this season was a partnership with Minnesota’s HED Wheels, in case you were wondering why Gilbert’s partner and mechanic Doug “Doug E Fresh” Nishimura framed the profile shot in front of the HED van.
When we saw Gilbert’s bike at World Cup Waterloo, she had HED Stinger 3 carbon tubulars on her bike.
For tires, Gilbert is running Challenge Team Edition S3 tubulars, including the set of Baby Limuses we saw mounted before the big rains came to Waterloo before the World Cup. Nishimura said its been a coin toss between the Limus and Baby Limus treads for muddy races, and for drier days, she opts for Grifos.
Gilbert joined many other domestic UCI racers running Shimano components in switching to the new GRX groupset this year. She used a 1x setup with an RX810-1 crankset that held a 42t GRX chain ring.
In the back, she ran the shorter-cage RX815 Di2 rear derailleur with an 11-34t cassette.
Gilbert also ran the new RX815 shift-brake levers designed for easier braking when on the hoods, and she paired them with the GRX series RX810 hydraulic disc calipers.
Gilbert’s cockpit came primarily via Full Speed Ahead. She ran an alloy OS 99 CSI stem that held an SL-K Compact Carbon Handlebar. She wrapped her bars in a unique combo of Lizard Skins bar tape reminiscent of Kerry Werner’s bike, except in this case, Gilbert did blue on the tops and orange on the drops.
An FSA SL-K seatpost held a Fizik Tundra saddle, and Gilbert rounded out her contact points with blue matchy-matchy Crankbrothers Candy 7 pedals.
Gilbert is coming off a weekend of finishing third both days of the Major Taylor Cross Cup, and if her 4th at FayetteCross Day 2 and 4th at Kings CX Day 1 are any indication, there will be a positive correlation between Gilbert’s Lakewood Nationals podium potential and the sloppiness of the conditions.
For a closer look at Gilbert’s Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie, see the photo gallery and specs below.
Photo Gallery: Sunny Gilbert’s Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie