by Brandon Grant

When California-Giant disbanded at the end of the 2015 season, Tobin Ortenblad was without a team and without a bike. As a Santa Cruz native, a partnership with Santa Cruz Bicycles, which recently re-released the Stigmata, only made sense for both.

Cyclocross Magazine first profiled Ortenblad’s Stigmata last year at the Sea Otter Classic, and we caught up with him and his custom-painted Stigmata at the Derby City Cup in Louisville before the final race in the Sho-Air US Cup-CX series.

2017 Jingle Cross Day 2 UCI C2, Elite Men (Saturday Night) © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Tobin Ortenblad has ridden the Santa Cruz Stigmata the last two seasons. 2017 Jingle Cross Day 2 UCI C2, Elite Men (Saturday Night) © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Santa Cruz calls the Stigmata a “’cross, gravel, just go ride bike,” but for Ortenblad, it is his weapon of choice for racing on the cyclocross course. “The Stigmata rips,” the Santa Cruz / Donkey Label Racing rider said. “Santa Cruz really nailed the geometry on this bike.”

Tobin Ortenblad's Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike from the 2017/2018 season. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Tobin Ortenblad’s Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike from the 2017/2018 season. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

He continued, “I feel way too many companies are making the front ends of their bikes way too aggressive, like a road bike. This definitely makes them feel good when you’re dancing on the pedals up a smooth climb, but that’s not what ’cross is about. The front end has a perfect amount of [trail]. You can push the Stigmata into corners so hard and you know right where you’ll exit them. It’s almost like riding a 16-pound trail bike.”

Tobin did't ask for the his name on the top tube, but Santa Cruz hooked him up. "I sent my friends over in the design dept. at Santa Cruz some colors and they basically ran with it. They designed everything. I actually didn’t even see the finished product until we pulled them out of the boxes in the showroom at Santa Cruz."Tobin Ortenblad's Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Ortenblad didn’t ask for his name on the top tube, but Santa Cruz hooked him up. “I sent my friends over in the design department at Santa Cruz some colors and they basically ran with it,” he said. Tobin Ortenblad’s Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Santa Cruz designed the Stigmata to take advantage of composite technology and the experience they gained making carbon mountain bikes. Although not the latest trend in cyclocross bikes, the Stigmata uses time-tested front and rear post mount brakes, a 12x142mm thru axle in the back and a 15x100mm thru axle on the fork. The frame ships with a Cane Creek 110 headset, and features a PF30 bottom bracket, a first for Santa Cruz.

The Stigmata uses a PF30 bottom bracket, a first for Santa Cruz. Tobin Ortenblad's Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

The Stigmata uses a PF30 bottom bracket, a first for Santa Cruz. Tobin Ortenblad’s Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Ortenblad rolls on Zipp 303 carbon tubular disc wheels with Donnelly tires glued up. Ortenblad’s wheels were set up with 140mm SRAM Centerline rotors, which Ortenblad prefers because of their decreased bite. In Louisville, he ran 700x33c intermediate-tread MXP tires modified to clear mud more effectively.

Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label) used this modified Donnelly MXP at Sunday's Pan Am Championship. According to mechanic Chris McGovern, the larger surface area between lugs allows the tire to shed mud more effectively. 2017 Pan-American Championships. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

Tobin Ortenblad (Santa Cruz/Donkey Label) used this modified Donnelly MXP at Sunday’s Pan Am Championship. According to mechanic Chris McGovern, the larger surface area between lugs allows the tire to shed mud more effectively. 2017 Pan-American Championships. © B. Grant / Cyclocross Magazine

Zipp also provides the cockpit. Ortenblad’s bike features a Zipp Service Course SL stem, Service Course compact aluminum handlebar and an SL Speed carbon seatpost.

While carbon rails are not the most common thing on cyclocross bikes, Ortenblad has had no problems with his SL8 carbon cross country saddle. “I saw the SL8 saddle two years ago and picked it up off the counter and said, ‘Wow, this is insanely light!’ We put them on all the ’cross bikes and haven’t had an issue with them, so we just keep abusing them and they keep taking it,” he told Cyclocross Magazine.

Carbon rail saddles are not terribly common in cyclocross, but Ortenblad's WTB SL8 has been up to the task so far. Tobin Ortenblad's Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Carbon rail saddles are not very common in cyclocross, but Ortenblad’s WTB SL8 has been up to the task so far. Tobin Ortenblad’s Santa Cruz Stigmata cyclocross bike. © D. Perker / Cyclocross Magazine

Zipp parent company SRAM provides the drivetrain, outfitting the bike with a Force CX1 groupset. The Force HydroR brake levers are connected to Force post mount calipers, which feature 18mm pistons and organic brake pads. Ortenblad’s Force 1 rear derailleur features a clutch to prevent chain de-tensioning which could cause chain drop on a 1x system. The 175mm carbon cranks are fitted with a 42-tooth X-Sync chainring. Ortenblad uses the top-end Crank Brothers Candy 11 titanium pedals.

Tobin Ortenblad’s Pan-Ams Santa Cruz Stigmata Specifications

Frame: Santa Cruz Stigmata, carbon, disc, 12mm TA, internal cable routing
Fork: Santa Cruz Stigmata, carbon, disc, internal brake hose routing, 15mm TA
Shifter/Brake Lever: SRAM Force CX1 HydroR
Brake Caliper: SRAM Force HydroR
Rotors: SRAM Centerline 6-bolt, 140mm
Rear Derailleur: SRAM Force CX1 clutch rear derailleur
Crankset: SRAM Force CX1, 110 BCD removable spider
Chainring: SRAM X-Sync, 42t, 110 BCD
Cassette: SRAM PG-1170
Chain: SRAM PC-1170
Stem: Zipp Service Course SL
Handlebar: Zipp Service Course, compact bend
Seatpost: Zipp SL Speed
Saddle: WTB SL8, carbon rail
Pedals: Crank Brothers Candy 11
Wheels: Zipp 303 Firecrest, disc, TA
Hubs: Zipp disc brake hub, 6-bolt, 12mm TA rear, 15mm TA front
Tires: Donnelly MXP tubular (modified for mud clearance), 700x33mm

Photo Gallery: Tobin Ortenblad’s Pan-Ams Santa Cruz Stigmata

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Tobin Ortenblad has had a season to remember, even if the 2017 Cincinnati Cyclocross weekend was one to forget. © Cyclocross Magazine

Tobin Ortenblad has had a season to remember, even if the 2017 Cincinnati Cyclocross weekend was one to forget. © Cyclocross Magazine

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