Although ‘cross season is in full swing, fall is setting in on most of the U.S. and it’s also prime time to do some adventuring via bike, to enjoy fall foliage, less-crowded trails and cooler temperatures, unless you happen to live in Hawaii.

And that’s exactly where our latest Cyclocross Magazine bike profile hails from. Yes, there’s cyclocross racing in Hawaii (and Hawaii jerseys on Estonia’s new national champion), but today’s bike profile is a little different than our most recent batch of dyed-in-the-wool race machines from CrossVegas because it’s handmade with a unique mixture of purpose-picked SRAM road and mountain components, part adventure bike, part monster ’cross bike, and still race worthy. In fact, John G., a Hawaii cyclocrosser, was kind enough to let us try it at a local race last season.

John Girmsey Jr.'s Anderson custom 29CX monster cross bike. © Cyclocross Magazine
John G.’s Anderson custom 29 CX monster cross bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

The Anderson Custom Bicycles 29 CX is a do-it-all rig that features a versatile build that is designed to take everything thrown at it with relative ease.

The 29 CX features handbuilt steel frame constructed by David Anderson in Saint Paul, MN out of True Temper S3 tubing. The tubes are joined by a combination of fillet brazing and a bi-laminate lugged construction.

Originally spec’d with a painted-to-match White Bros. Rock Solid fork, the bike’s owner, John G., was after something more versatile. Through a happy coincidence, a Surly Big Dummy fork shares the Rock Solid’s 425mm axle-to-crown height. John was able to switch to the Big Dummy fork without issue, adding to the utilitarian nature of the bike.

Along with having a one-off handbuilt frame painted in a stunning pearl white, the 29 CX is stands out with its immense amount of clearance: as showcased in the photos below, 2.2 tires clear the frame and fork with room to spare. This leads to a go-anywhere, do-anything build that leans strongly towards the mountain bike end of things.

The mountain bike sensibilities of the 29 CX shine in its componenty choices. A SRAM mountain  bike drivetrain, featuring an X9 crankset with 42/28 rings is paired with an X9 front and rear derailleur, SRAM 1090 chain and SRAM 1070 11-36 cassette to provide the 29 CX with a wide range of gearing to handle mixed terrain rides and Hawaii’s steep climbs.

A pair of SRAM Force 10-speed shift levers are mated to Avid BB7 Road disc brakes to take care of all shifting and stopping needs on this drop-bar-equipped ride. Cane Creek Crosstop interrupter levers are fitted to offer another hand position when navigating technical terrain.

The paring of road shifters with mountain bike derailleurs is possible by using SRAM’s Exact Actuation pull ratio — if trying this at home, be sure that all parts match pull ratios, 1:1 derailleurs are NOT compatible with Exact Actuation shifters. provides the wheelbuild, pairing Stan’s 355 rims with Chris King ISO disc hubs. Wheelbuilder Dave Thomas laced the rims with orange alloy nipples—a nice touch to match the bike’s color scheme. The wheels are equipped with Continental’s 29-inch Race King 2.2 tires, giving the bike a true monster ’cross look and feel.

Chris King provides a matching headset and bottom bracket, and Crank Brothers keeps the wheels in place with a set of color-matched Split Quick Release Skewers. Zipp carbon bottle cages are mounted on the down tube and seat tube. Hydration is typically more important that shouldering room in Hawaii.

The 29 CX’s cockpit is outfitted with Bontrager Race Lite ergo bend bars and a Ritchey WCS stem. A Thomson Elite zero-setback seatpost holds the Selle San Marco Era saddle in place.

From the cyclocross race course, to rocky dirt roads and singletrack, this Anderson Custom Bicycles 29 CX is well-equipped to handle it all, even in the red dirt and sticky mud of Hawaii.

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John Girmsey Jr.'s Anderson custom 29CX monster cross bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

A SRAM X0 front derailleur paired with an X9 42/28 crankset, gives John G. a wide gear range on his Anderson Custom Bicycles 29 CX. © Cyclocross Magazine

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