Dan Chabanov takes a corner on his Richard Sachs bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

Dan Chabanov takes a corner on his Richard Sachs bike. © Cyclocross Magazine

by Molly Hurford

How does it feel riding a custom Richard Sachs creation? Dan Chabanov, one of Sachs’ racers this season, tried to explain: “It’s not some magical feeling … OK, it’s kind of a magical feeling.”

Within the New York cycling scene, you might know Chabanov as the guy who won the Red Hook Crit — a nighttime, fixed gear only crit out in Brooklyn that draws big crowds and leads to even bigger after-parties — but Chabanov has also been racing cyclocross for a couple years. Born in Russia, he doesn’t count as part of the “Euro crowd,” since he moved to the US when he was nine. Since graduating, the 24-year-old has been living and working in NYC as a bike messenger, where he first got a taste of racing doing alleycats (unofficial, unsanctioned fixed-gear courier races). After that, he tried track and road, which finally led to cyclocross. He then rode for G.S. Mengoni during the 2011 road season, and joined RGM Watches – Richard Sachs for the 2011-2012 cyclocross season.

With a fourth place finish on day one of Green Mountain this year, Chabanov seems to be setting up for a solid season.

Note the steel fork. © Cyclocross Magazine

Note the steel fork. © Cyclocross Magazine

And speaking of solid, his bike is certainly that: Sachs’ bikes are all steel, even the fork. Chabanov adds, “I think we’re the only team riding a steel fork, which is kind of cool. Plus, Sachs’ is one of the few guys to get his frames UCI-certified.”

However, the bike does have some carbon: a Parlee front derailleur clamp.

With the red and white color scheme, done by Joe Bell, the bike has a classic look, and the attention to detail on the paint is incredible. The Made In Warwick stamp? Hand-painted.

The team has been on Cole wheels for the last three seasons, and this year, Sachs helped Cole design the team’s wheels. Chabanov was impressed by the wheels, saying that the team’s Challenge Grifo tires now “feel like they’re on rails.” He adds, “The support the tire gets because of the wide rims makes them exponentially more grippy, which is kind of awesome.”

So what does Chabanov really think about his bike?

“Believe the hype. It’s an incredibly refined product, he’s been making bikes for 40 years. Enough people have gushed about his bikes that I don’t really have to, but from the first time you get on one, it just feels right. There’s nothing wrong. It’s responsive without being twitchy, it’s stable without being slow. It strikes the right balance.”

  • Frame & Fork: Richard Sachs with a steel fork
  • Paint: Joe Bell
  • Headset: Cane Creek
  • Stem: Zipp
  • Handlebars: Zipp

    Hand painted details.© Cyclocross Magazine

    Hand painted details. © Cyclocross Magazine

  • Bar tape: Zipp
  • Front brake: Cane Creek
  • Rear brake: Cane Creek
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Force
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Force
  • Shift and Brake levers: SRAM Force DoubleTap
  • Cassette: 12-28SRAM PG1070
  • Chain: Wipperman
  • Chainring: Zanconato 44-38
  • Crankset: SRAM force
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM GXP
  • Pedals: Crank Brothers Eggbeater

    Cane Creek front brakes, Cole wheels, and Challenge Grifos © Cyclocross Magazine

    Cane Creek front brakes, Cole wheels, and Challenge Grifos © Cyclocross Magazine

  • Wheelset: Cole T24 CX
  • Front tire: Challenge Grifo
  • Rear tire: Challenge Grifo
  • Tire Sealant: CaffeLatex Sealant
  • Saddle: San Marco
  • Seat post: Zipp
  • Cables: sealed Gore
  • Front derailleur clamp: Parlee
  • Shoes: Northwave
  • Helmet and sunglasses: Rudy Project