Carden King’s (Boulder Junior Cycling) bike handling prowess, riding through a muddy off-camber section that forced many riders his age and much older off the bike, was the deciding factor in the Junior Men’s 9-10 race. King tackled some of the hardest conditions of this year’s National Championships as the continual rains turned the dirt to greasy mud and made the race quite an adventure and test of perseverance for many young racers.
We took a look at King’s white, unbranded, mud-packed mystery bike after the race. King’s bike was built up part-by-part together with his dad over last winter. The young racer had to do “service hours” in the form of extra chores to earn, and effectively “own” the race-worthy bike. Use the arrows to navigate through the pictures of Carden King’s winning ride, and see our ever-growing list of 2015 Nationals winning bikes here.
Persistence pays off, as racers in the youngest two-year age group often don’t make the trip each year or age up. After a seventh place last year in Boulder his first attempt, King made the trip to Austin to take the title.
To win the 2015 National Championship, King used a Ridley X-Bow frameset, powder coated by a family friend, as the basis for his ride. The Ridley X-Bow comes in six different sizes, starting with a tiny XXS size, with a 50.07cm long effective top tube, and the XXS is definitely the smallest in terms of top tube length and seat tube length. Yet keen eyes will note after studying the X-Bow geometry that the third-smallest frame has the shortest front-center of all the sizes, but King’s limiting factor, as seen by the seat post extension, is standover height.
What King’s bike lacks in immediate brand recognition is made up for with cost-effective, lightweight, versatile component choices. Discontinued aluminum C-4 wheels and Clement PDX clincher tires offer budget conscious performance and pair up nicely with the bike’s aesthetic. King’s dad guessed King, at just 65 pounds, rode close to 10 psi during the race.
While under budget constraints, the father-son duo built the bike up to be an 18-pound machine. The gram-saving mentality helps when the rider is only weights 65 pounds.