Colorado's Brannan Fix (Alpha Bicycle - Groove Subaru) is a man of many talents. Cyclocross fans probably best know him as the long-haired dude who wears green and finished 2nd in the U23 race at Louisville Nationals.
Fix is also an aspiring media personality. Along with former teammate Gage Hecht (now of Donnelly / Aevolo), Fix launched the "Shred the Sh!t" YouTube series a few years ago, and now the two team up on a podcast of the same name.
"Shred the Sh!t was something born out of the chemistry that Gage Hecht and I had," Fix explained. "It began as a video show and has now graduated (?) into a podcast. The name was created by Adam Rachubinski, and it's a play on the fact that I'm the type of guy that says 'bro', and 'dude' a lot, and the idea that Gage would never say 'Sh!t.' It's been a fun way to create content, and share what our journey is like with people."
When he's not shredding on the air, Fix does his shredding on a titanium Moots Psychlo X RSL. The Alpha Bicycle - Groove Subaru team continues its partnership with the Colorado builder as it supports a team of up-and-coming riders.
During its time of supporting young riders, the Alpha Bicycle - Groove Subaru team has partnered with other Colorado companies to equip its riders. Moots, based in Steamboat Springs, fits the bill as a Colorado custom frame builder.
Our catalog of Moots bike profiles is thanks in large part to Hecht and Katie Clouse, both of whom graduated from the development program this season. We profiled Hecht's bike in 2017, 2016 and 2015 and Clouse's in 2018 and 2016.
Now that he is the senior rider on a team that includes Turner Ramsay, Lauren Zoerner and Ross Ellwood and has an increasingly impressive race resume, Fix has earned the spotlight treatment for a bike that is a bit bigger than Clouse's and a bit less Simpsonsified than Hecht's.
"I'm the senior rider now, and I feel old!" Fix said. "It's certainly been a transition in a lot of ways, one of the main ones being that there isn't much place for me to figuratively hide. I'm enjoying seeing people like Lauren grow and have someone like Turner there as well to help mentor her, and from an equipment perspective, be able to provide some advice and insight there for people like Ross who is new to all of our equipment."
New for this year is a switch to new tubeless tires from Pirelli. Probably best known for its car racing tires, the company has two models of Cinturato Cross tires the team helped develop and is now riding at the UCI level.
Our latest bike profile looks at Fix's shred-ready Moots Psychlo X and the tires he is riding this season.
F1 Tires, But for Cyclocross
In a departure from the norm, we are going to start this bike profile with a look at Fix's tires. Different, for sure, but the Pirelli tubeless tires are the newest addition to the tried-and-true bikes the Alpha Bicycle - Groove Subaru team has ridden for years.
Pirelli's tires are known for going fast. No, not road racing fast or even Mathieu van der Poel fast, Formula One racing and motorsport fast. Pirelli has recently entered the cycling market with the Cinturato Velo road and Scorpion MTB tires.
The newest additions to Pirelli's cycling line are the Cinturato Cross and Cinturato Gravel lines. The Cinturato Cross tires come in two tubeless treads, the Hard (H) and Mixed (M). The H tread is similar to a traditional intermediate tire, and the M serves as the line's mud option.
That Fix and his teammates are riding the tires is not an accident. Said team owner Adam Rachubinski, "Pirelli and I started talking early summer. It was very evident from our first conversation that they were truly interested in our feedback and wanted to create industry-leading cyclocross tires."
Fix and Rachubinski chipped in to help with the design of the new tires.
"They sent a first a batch of prototypes in both the Cinturato H and M," Rachubinski said. "Thirty-six total different variants of bead construction, sidewalk makeup, puncture protection and tread compounds to see if we were interested in partnering and to validate some of their previous tests. Brannan and I went to work doing side-by-side testing of those variants as well as how our favorite Pirelli tires stacked up against the competition."
Going to the Pirelli tubeless tires represented a big change for the team, as they had long opted for the tradition tubulars for cyclocross. "We, like many in the industry, believe the future is in tubeless and we felt like the suppleness of the Pirelli tubeless tires was either on par or greater than many tubulars on the market," Rachubinski said.
At Rochester, Fix had the Cinturato Cross H treads mounted to his Shimano Dura-Ace C40 carbon tubeless clincher wheels. While some riders such as Maghalie Rochette and Curtis White ran file treads that weekend, Fix did not have that option with a choice between an intermediate and mud tread.
The lack of a file option is something the team is totally okay with, however. "The tread designs are spot-on for the majority of conditions we see. Not many courses we race need a true file tread, so the H fits our needs for the hard and fast courses," Rachubinski said.
Fix ran his Cinturato H treads at 22 psi front and rear at Rochester. Not surprisingly, he switched to the M tires at the World Cup Waterloo mudfest and ran them at 20 psi.
"I was a heavy skeptic of tubeless tires for a very long time," Fix said. "I've been very impressed, to say the least. In preseason testing I've been able to run down as low as 17psi in hard cornering grass situations and not impacted the tire performance in any way. I've found the Pirelli Hard to be a really good mix between a file tread and a more intermediate tire."
Brannan Fix's Moots Psychlo-X RSL
Moots builds its titanium bikes in its Steamboat Springs shop. The Psychlo-X RSL is its flagship cyclocross bike made from butted titanium tubing. The top tube tapers from circular at the seat tube junction to more flat where it meets the head tube.
Moots does not paint its frames, instead opting to let the satin titanium finish give them some luster. Special decals help give the team's bikes a bit of their own flair.
The Psychlo X RSL comes with Moots' black Flat Mount Disc Cross Carbon fork.
Fix's drivetrain is a bit of a mix and match of components. Fix opted to switch to the new clutch Shimano GRX RX815 rear derailleur, RX815 dual control shift-brake levers and RX810 flat mount disc brakes for the 2019/20 season.
Fix switches between an 11-30t and 11-32t Dura-Ace cassette depending on conditions. On fast, dry days, he goes with the 11-30t, but when conditions get thick, he switches to the 11-32t. He had the 11-30t mounted at Rochester.
However, with the GRX Di2 groupset only offering a 48/31t front chain ring combination, Fix ran an Ultegra R8050 Di2 front derailleur and 175mm Dura-Ace R9100 crankset with pro-only Dura-Ace 46/39t chain rings.
"I've run double for ’cross for the last six years, with the exception of my first year on Alpha. I thought I would be a huge fan of 1x coming from mountain bike stuff but found it to have more downsides for my riding style than the double does," Fix explained.
A Chris King NoThreadSet headset is another made-in-America addition to Fix's bike. Team riders get to pick their own colors, and Fix went with turquoise.
A Moots titanium stem holds his Pro Vibe handlebar and Bryton Rider 450 bike computer.
Fix's Pro saddle was held by a one-bolt 27.2mm titanium seatpost made by Moots.
Fix returned to action this past weekend near his home at the US Open of Cyclocross in Boulder. For a closer look at his bike from earlier this season, see the photo gallery and specs below.