Being the champ has its perks.
Last year after winning his first cyclocross national championship in Hartford, Hyde got a custom red, white and blue Cannondale SuperX to match his new Stars-and-Stripes kit.
After winning his second-straight Nationals in Reno earlier this year, Hyde headed to Cannondale headquarters with a new idea for his 2018/19 bike. When he left, Hyde and Cannondale graphic designer Ryan Chung had upped the number to three custom SuperX designs, each with a custom piece of artwork that highlights important aspects of Hyde's personality and accomplishments.
"It's really cool that they wanted to have fun with it and make it personal," Hyde said about working on the project with Cannondale. "You get one time to do this, so mind as well make it what you want."
Last month, we sat down with Hyde before his ill-fated World Cup Waterloo to ask him about the design process and the meaning behind the unique artwork on his bikes for this three-in-one bike profile. You can hear more from Hyde in our full video interview coming on Friday.
Stephen Hyde's Custom Cannondale SuperX Colors and Art
Stephen Hyde's new trio of bikes started with a relatively conventional meeting between an athlete and his bike sponsor. "When I went into Cannondale in Connecticut to talk about the new bike designs, initially we went in with a singular idea," Hyde said. "We were going to have one bike design just like last year. Normal, one design."
That, however, quickly changed.
Said Hyde, "They put up the current design, and we were like, 'Here's a variant of the color, if we swap the colors it looks like this.' We kind of put that up on the wall. I liked the design. I said, 'What if we swapped the colors again and tried this one?' Then we put that one up. And we still had one kind of in the trash bin. I liked that color as well."
The result was three custom colorways with mixed and matched red, white and blue. "What if we were able to do three different colorways of the same bike?" Hyde asked, somewhat rhetorically. "That would be six bikes, two of each color. So you have three triplets."
One of the unique features on Hyde's 2017/18 SuperX was an emblem of a turntable on the down tube that pays homage to his love of music. The first track? His 2017 cyclocross national championship.
The turntable is back for another spin this season. With three bikes, Hyde needed two more emblems to personalize each bike. Hyde and Cannondale's Chung got to work.
Bike 1: The Red Bike, aka the Spirit Animal Bike
Hyde's bikes are numbered one through three, so we will get started with bike number one, even if the emblem was the third Hyde and Chung came up with. "The third one was kind of a wild card," Hyde said. More on that in a few.
The three bikes feature red, white and blue in different combinations on each. The primary color on Bike 1 is red, and blue covers the top of the top tube and one of the seatstays.
The seatstays are a mix of red and blue and both include white stars.
The stars also accent in the inside of the fork.
Bike 1 is Hyde's spirit animal, quite literally. Every bike racer needs a spirit animal, after all.
"Forever, my spirit animal has been the trash bandit, the raccoon," Hyde said. "I was like, What if we added this Ranger-Rick-esque raccoon with an American flag?"
Chung was game, and the flag-waving raccoon was born.
Bike 2: The White Bike, aka the BMX Bike
Stephen Hyde got his start in bikes by riding BMX in his childhood home of Milton, Florida and then nearby Pensacola. The sport and its culture inspire the second design.
The primary color on Bike 2 is white, and red pulls secondary duty.
The chainstays on this bike are red and white with blue stars.
The white bike also stands out a bit thanks to the blue head badge decal and brand name on the down tube.
The emblem on the white bike pays homage to Hyde's BMX past and current cyclocross accomplishments.
"The other one was the DIG hands over the sprocket," Hyde said. "DIG is a BMX magazine out of Scotland. It's been around for a long time. It was a really big inspiration to me. BMX is still a very big part of my life. I might not do it every day, but it really shaped who I am as a cyclist and a person. It's still a very big portion of my life. I still look up to a lot of those riders who were in the magazine then and in there now."
He continued, "They added in the Stars-and-Stripes and the Continental colors in there already. There's two of each. Two national championships, two continental championships. Then the classic Cannondale one-piece sprocket. It was really cool to piece those worlds together and put them in there."
Bike 3: The Blue Bike, aka the Record Bike
Hyde's third bike is the platform for another emblem important to him. Music has always been a big part of Hyde's life, so the bike brings back last year's turntable, albeit with an important upgrade.
The primary color of Bike 3 is blue with white as the secondary color.
The chainstays on Bike 3 are blue and white with red stars.
All of Hyde's bikes feature his name on the top tube—in case he forgets his name or someone tries to use the bike and pose as the national champion, most likely—in a unique script.
The emblem on Bike 3 pays homage to Hyde's love of music while accounting for his cyclocross accomplishments.
"One of the things they wanted to add last year was the small emblem with the record," Hyde said. "My pitch was we could put my national championship on there as a track, and if I got a second or third, we could always add a track. You always have the same emblem, but you're just adding tracks."
"Luckily it worked out, and we were able to use that again with a second track. One for 2017 and one for 2018."
As Hyde repeatedly said last year, his turntable was indeed not one of a one-hit wonder.
Stephen Hyde's Cannondale SuperX Build
Beneath Hyde's custom colors and emblems is the carbon Cannondale SuperX frame. We have previously reviewed the cyclocross bike with the company's Out Front geometry, and we saw it win the Dirty Kanza 200 gravel race twice in June.
Both the carbon frame and fork have internal cable routing, and the bike uses the BB30 bottom bracket standard.
Hyde's Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld team is sponsored by SRAM, so Hyde runs the company's mechanical Force 1 groupset. He uses a 42t SRAM X-Sync chain ring mounted to a SRAM Red DZero BB30 crankset with a built-in Quarq power meter. His derailleur is a Force 1 and the cassette is an 11-32t SRAM PG-1170.
Shift and brake levers are SRAM Force HRD, and the brake calipers are SRAM Force HRD flat mount models.
Despite what the internet naysayers said after Hyde cracked one of his Zipp Firecrest 303 carbon tubulars at Reno Nationals, he stuck with the team sponsor's 45mm-deep model for the 2018/19 season.
After several years with Challenge, the Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld team inked a tire deal with Vittoria for the next two years. When we looked at Hyde's bike, he had both the Terreno Dry file tread and Terreno Mix intermediate tread mounted up.
When we saw Hyde in Waterloo, he ran the Mix during Friday's Trek CX Cup and the Dry for his ill-fated World Cup after the course dried out over the weekend.
With Zipp as a team sponsor, Hyde's bike features a number of its components. His stems are Zipp Service Course SL models, and his handlebars are also Zipp Service Course SL.
His seatpost is the redesigned Service Course SL (20) 20mm setback model with a carbon post and alloy top. Zipp claims the 25.4mm diameter version Hyde runs has extra flex. With the setback in the seatpost, Hyde sets his saddle in a forward position.
Hyde's other contact points are a Fabric Scoop saddle and Shimano XTR PD-M9000 SPD pedals. Since SRAM does not make clipless pedals, Cannondale p/b CyclocrossWorld riders are free to choose their pedal brand and model.
As I write this, Stephen Hyde's Cannondale SuperXes are currently chilling in the team trailer while he recovers from a broken sternum suffered at World Cup Waterloo. Hyde will no doubt be pushing hard to return to racing, and hopefully we will see the three custom designs in action in due time.
For more on Hyde's SuperX bikes, see the photo gallery and specs below. Check back on Friday for our full interview with Hyde.