by Jamie Mack
Wells is a familiar name to ‘cross fans in the US. Older brother Todd (Specialized) has a couple of ‘cross national jerseys and placed fourth this year on his Specialized Tricross. Younger brother Troy (Clif Bar) has also been a player in national races for the last couple of years, winning a U23 title in 2007 and landing on the podium this year. The younger Wells, known for his comedic personality but who is all-business on the race course, attended EuroCrossCamp this year as an Elite rider. Troy is now enjoying an extended training trip in Mallorca with Zach McDonald as he prepares for the next rounds of the World Cup. Wells is riding a bike from Salsa, a smaller but respected brand with a unique attitude.
The Salsa Chili con Crosso is based around scandium tubing custom drawn to Salsa’s specs. The frame is a traditional design, without wildly-shaped front triangle tubes or CNC machined braces. The frame does include some features helpful in ‘cross racing, like the slightly flattened top tube for shouldering comfort and seat and chainstays that are shaped to provide some vertical compliance. While the frame does make an effort to enhance comfort, the low weight and the stiffness are characteristics developed with racing in mind. The frame, coated in an eye-catching deep red paint job (which Salsa labels “Not-A-Fred Red”) with swirling graphics and Salsa’s pepper logos, is led by a painted-to-match Alpha Q CX20 carbon fork.
Wells uses the popular SRAM Red group throughout the componentry of the bike, from the shifters to the rear derailleur. The front derailleur is also a Red model, differentiating Wells’ bike from others that CXM has seen with the stiffer Force model rather than this lighter cage. Wells relies on the stopping power of TRP Euro-X Carbon brakes to stop the Mavic Cosmic Ultimates hoops that he spins. Wrapped around the Mavics when CXM saw Troy’s bike were the venerable Dugast Rhino’s in 34mm.
The cockpit on Wells’ bike consists of Easton parts. Wells opts for alloy bars and stem, using the EA-90 models from Easton. The Chris King headset keeps things turning smoothly. Underneath the rider is a Fizik saddle supported by an Easton EC70 carbon seatpost. The final connections between bike and rider are the Crank Brothers Eggbeater 2Ti pedals.
Frame: Salsa scandium size-specific, custom-drawn tubeset
Fork: Alpha Q CX20
Headset: Chris King
Stem: Easton EA90
Front brake: TRP EuroX Carbon
Rear brake: TRP EuroX Carbon
Shift/Brake levers: SRAM Red
Front derailleur: SRAM Red
Rear derailleur: SRAM Red
Crankset: SRAM Red
Bottom bracket: SRAM Red
Pedals: Crank Brothers Eggbeaters 2Ti
Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate
Front tire: Dugast Rhino 34mm
Rear tire: Dugast Rhino 34mm
Seat post: Easton EC70