The last three years have been a heckuva ride for Oregon’s Clara Honsinger (Team S&M CX). Along for that ride has been her trusty Kona Major Jake cyclocross bike.
At the beginning of the 2017 domestic season, Team S&M CX, the shop team of Portland’s Sellwood Cycle Repair, made the decision to take its cyclocross show on the road in support of Honsinger, Beth Ann Orton and in 2018, Sophie Russenberger.
Headed up by former pro racer Erik Tonkin and wrenched and managed by Brenna Wrye-Simpson, the team hit the road to travel to CrossVegas and Jingle Cross in September 2017 and the rest is kind of history.
Like history history.
On Sunday, Honsinger punctuated her first domestic season as an Elite by winning the Elite Women’s Cyclocross National Championship and ending Katie Compton’s legendary 15-year winning streak at Nationals. For more from Honsinger about her win, check out Neil Schirmer’s interview with the new champ from earlier this week.
With Honsinger’s turquoise blue Major Jake frame carrying her to U23 Pan-American and U.S. National Championships in 2018, a top 10 at Bogense Worlds, an Elite World Cup podium and a historic National Championship, we figured it deserves another day in the sun before it likely gets a much-deserved red, white and blue makeover.
Clara Honsinger’s Elite National Champ’s Kona Major Jake
Over the past three years, Team S&M CX has gotten good use out of its fleet of Kona Major Jake cyclocross bikes. As we do every profile of Honsinger’s bike, it is worth noting that we know the bikes date to 2017 thanks to the turquoise blue colorway that was everywhere in the 2018 model year.
The Major Jake falls in the middle of Kona’s line of Jake bikes. At Nationals, Team S&M CX shared a tent with Rebecca Fahringer and Kerry Werner’s Kona Maxxis Shimano team that was on the flagship Super Jake.
Thanks to her success at the U23 and now Elite level, Honsinger’s bike is well-profiled. Prior to heading off to Oregon State for college this fall, Honsinger worked in the Sellwood shop, and so she helped make our jobs easier with some help in our profile of her Major Jake from her U23 Nationals win in Louisville.
This year, Honsinger’s bike got an electric upgrade with an Ultegra R8050 Di2 groupset. We took a look at her setup during the Rochester Cyclocross weekend that opened her domestic season.
Honsinger’s teammates affectionately refer to her as Lil’ Clara, and that nickname adorns the top tube of her bike.
Honsinger’s Nationals bike featured a few updated touches from Colorado’s Wheels Manufacturing. Honsinger and her teammates ran the new direct-mount Wheels Derailleur Hanger 395. The hanger paired with Honsinger’s Ultegra RX805 Di2 rear derailleur without the use of a B-link. The hanger places the derailleur slightly more inboard and allows for faster wheel changes, according to team mechanic Brenna Wrye-Simpson.
Honsinger was also running the new Wheels Manufacturing BB86/92 Thread Together Angular bottom bracket with her setup.
Honsinger again ran a double for her drivetrain this year. Last year, she was one of the few Elite-level riders using a mechanical double, and this year she upgraded to Di2. She ran an Ultegra R8050 Di2 front derailleur and the above-mentioned Ultegra RX805 clutch derailleur in the back.
Her crankset was a 170mm Ultegra R8000 model with WickWorks 42/34t chain rings mounted. Honsinger is big on racing and training with power, so she had a non-drive-side crank arm Stages power meter.
A Stages Dash computer mounted with an out-front mount helped her track the numbers from her winning ride.
Her cassette was an 11-32t Ultegra R8000, and she controlled her derailleurs and Ultegra R8070 disc calipers with Ultegra R8070 dual-control levers. Interestingly, Honsinger’s hoods were from the Dura-Ace line.
In our previous profile, Honsinger talked about the switch to an electronic drivetrain. “It’s great to have the speed and precision of electronic shifting. There was a little bit of a learning period at first and I’ve since put grip tape on the smaller paddles for better feel with long-finger gloves. One of the greatest advantages is not having to worry about contamination and friction in the housing.”
Honsinger kept it local with her wheels, rolling on wheels from Portland’s HiFi. She ran the EP 38mm Carbon Tubulars with DT Swiss hubs.
In past years, the team sourced its tires itself, but this year, it added Challenge as a tire sponsor and ran Team Edition S3 tubulars. With the mud gritty but thin, Honsinger opted for Baby Limus treads over the treadier Limus.
Another cool touch on Honsinger’s bike is her stem. The stem is a throwback from Tonkin’s racing days he gave to his team’s star rider.
The orange Wolf Tooth headset is matchy-matchy with Team S&M CX’s orange and blue colors, but that is thanks to personal preference. Each rider on the team—and team mechanic Wrye-Simpson—got their own color for their headsets and seatpost clamps this year.
Honsinger’s stem held a 42cm alloy Kona Race Lite handlebar wrapped in HiFi Premium Precision Bar Tape. In the back, a Thomson Elite alloy seatpost held her Pro Turnix saddle. Shimano Deore XT M8100 SPD pedals completed Honsinger’s contact points.
Honsinger now gets set to take her Major Jake to World Cup Namur and then the Kerstperiode block of racing. With her will be her trusted mechanic Wrye-Simpson, who is working with USA Cycling during the Belgie block.
“I’m really lucky that my personal mechanic was hired by USAC as a mechanic which is going to be the coolest thing ever because all of the mechanics in Belgium are male (laughs),” Honsinger said. “It’s going be so cool that the USA is going to be the first team with a female mechanic in the pit, I’m really, really proud of Brenna, I think it’s going to be kind of a monumental point for cyclocross and cycling.”
For a closer look at Honsinger’s Major Jake, see the photo gallery and specs below.
Visit our dedicated 2019 USA Cycling Cyclocross Nationals page for all of our 2019 National Championships coverage.
Photo Gallery: Clara Honsinger’s Elite-Nationals-Winning Kona Major Jake