Pro Bike: Australian National Champion Lisa Jacobs’ Apollo Arctec CX

Cross

Lisa Jacobs’€™ carbon Apollo Bikes Arctec CX disc as ridden in China. © Cyclocross Magazine

Editor’s Note: This article is from our mud-loving friends at Cyclocross Magazine and originally appeared on cxmagazine.com. It was written by Daniel Curtin. Visit them for your daily cyclocross fix.

Lisa Jacobs (VIS) became Australia’s first Women’s National Cyclocross Champion in August.

But it wasn’t until September, at the first-ever UCI cyclocross race in China, that we got a closer look at Jacobs’ unique Apollo Bicycles’ carbon Arctec CX that she propelled to victory in Australia at the 2013 National Championships and 14th in China.

Take one look at the top tube and seatstays and you’ll see it’s a unique frame design. The frame features GT-like seatstays that meet the top tube in front of the seat tube, but without the “Triple Triangle” that GT creates by continuing the top tube all the way to the seat tube. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a national champion race with such long seatstays, as the McCormack brothers of Saturn won plenty of races on their steel GT bikes (seen here), but it might be the first on a carbon frame.

Jacobs actually got the Arctec CX just in time for the Australian Nationals, after having ridden Apollo’s $1599 (AUS) SRAM Apex-equipped aluminum Xact through the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  In fact, Jacobs powered the Xact to the 2012 Australian Cyclocross Series Championship before sitting down with Apollo to develop the Arctec CX.

The Arctec CX is now featured in Apollo’s lineup, but the bike Jacobs rode at Nationals was none other than a prototype, shipped directly from its trade show debut. With help of a Victoria Institute of Sport mechanic and the local Apollo dealer, the bike was ready to race.

The first thing one notices is the unique shape of the frame, made from hi-modulus multi-weave Torayca carbon from Toray.

Perhaps a visual marker, perhaps a design feature, the Apollo Arctec CX top tube/seat tube/seatstay juncture is undoubtedly unique. © Cyclocross Magazine

The frame’s unique design leverages what Apollo Bicycles calls a S.L.I.M. Monostay, which the company claims “ vertical flex that dampens the vibrations coming up through the frame.” It’s quite thin, but does form a solid joint by the seat tube, unlike the Trek Domane, where the seat tube is isolated from the seatstays. The company also claims its longer tubing (compared to compact frames) “allows bumps and road vibrations to be soaked up along the length of that tube.”

Speaking of bump absorption, Jacobs has some custom-colored FMB 33mm SSC tubulars to show off her Australian Championship stripes and give her bike a unique look (in case that unique top tube isn’t enough).

Australian National Champion stripes on her FMB SSC tubulars, and canti mounts if she doesn’t like discs. © Cyclocross Magazine

Jacobs’ prototype still has the holes to insert cantilever bosses on the fork and seatstays, but Apollo is not trying to compete with LapierrePivot or Redline on frames that can accept disc or cantilever brakes. Production models are disc brake only.

SRAM Rival cranks are standard on the Arctec CX, but Jacobs opted to run a 42t single front ring over the stock configuration, eliminating a front derailleur. Her stealth, black single ring is without markings but is a wide-narrow tooth ring, similar to XX1 and designs by Wolf Tooth and Absolute Black, used with the goal of avoiding a derailed chain without needing a chain guard or dual ring guards.

A SRAM X9 Type 2, clutch-equipped rear derailleur was chosen over a standard road mechanism and easily accommodates the wide range 10-speed cassette. It’s a setup that’s growing in popularity. We’ve tested a similar setup on the 2013 Marin Cortina  reviewed in Issue 19, and found it effective to reduce chain slap, and SRAM-equipped racer Ryan Trebon has been spotted with a prototype SRAM 11-speed single ring group that also employs a clutch-equipped (Type 2) rear derailleur.

Jacobs’ bike has a specific parts selection compared to the stock offering, including the SRAM X9 type 2 rear derailleur. © Cyclocross Magazine

Controls and braking come from 10-speed Force-level SRAM S700 hydraulic shifters mated to SRAM S-700 brakes. Hope Pro2 EVO hubs match up nicely to HED Belgium C2 rims.

Shimano’s pre-XTR M959 SPD pedals handle the power transfer.

Jacobs samples cockpit components from all of Easton’s aluminum line-up, choosing an Easton EA50 seatpost, EA90 stem and EA70 handlebars finish off the build.

As her bike sponsor tells it, Jacobs had previously focused on a road career, but the demands of her career as a practicing lawyer meant shifting race priorities to cyclocross. It seems safe to say that with a National Championship in hand, Jacobs’ move was a good one.

Specifications:
  • Frame: Apollo Arctec CX full carbon frameset
  • Fork: Apollo Arctex CX full carbon, tapered steerer, 1-1/8 to 1.5
  • Handlebars: 
East EA 70
  • Stem: 
Easton EA 90
  • Brakes: 
SRAM S series hydraulic disc
  • Rims: HED Belgium
  • Hubs: Hope Pro2 EVO disc
  • Tires: FMB 33mm SSC
  • Shifters: SRAM Hydro
  • Rear Derailleur: SRAM X9 type 2
  • Front Derailleur: n/a
  • Crankset: SRAM Rival
  • Pedals: Shimano M959

For more information visit www.apollobikes.com.

Pro Bike: Australian National Champion Lisa Jacobs’ Apollo Arctec CX Gallery
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Seatstays

Like so many manufactuerers, Apollo touts their highlight-shaped seatstays as providing superb ride quality. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Arctec CX Fork

The Arctec CX fork, like the seatstays, offers the option of cantis or discs. And features a tapered steerer. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Top Tube

Top tube, happy-face mojo aboard Lisa Jacobs'€™ Apollo Arctec CX is a nod to her motto and website www.ridehappy.com.au. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Rear Derailluer Cable

The Apollo Arctec CX'€™s rear derailluer cable coming out the top tube is somewhat non-standard when compared to other bike makers' internal routing methods. It also appears that the frame is mechanical drivetrain ready only. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Lisa Jacobs has custom FMB tubular tires to show off her Austral

Tires. Perhaps more important than any other equipment choices. Hence, FMBs. But only national champs get National Championship colors. © Cyclocross Magazine
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FMB Tubulars

FMB tubulars. Go-to rubber for top-flight riders. We'€™re loving the versatility of the Apollo Arctec CX frameset and the apparent clearance, at least on the seatstays and fork. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Apollo Bikes Arctec CX

Lisa Jacobs'€™ carbon Apollo Bikes Arctec CX disc as ridden in China. © Cyclocross Magazine
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SRAM S Series Hydraulic Disc

SRAM S series hydraulic discs do Lisa's speed scrubbing duties. And while they are a nod to the latest technology, the S series model keep it working class€ level too. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Apollo Arctec CX Toptube/Seattube/Seatstay Juncture

Perhaps a visual marker, perhaps a design feature, the Apollo Arctec CX toptube/seattube/seatstay juncture is undoubtedly unique. It seems that the Arctec is the only bike in the Apollo line-up that uses this design. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Apollo Arctec's Seat Stays

The Apollo Arctec's seat stays appear to offer generous tire and mud clearance. Something that came in handy in Jacobs' National Championship ride. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Arctec CX

While the Arctec CX is sold stock with discs, Apollo offers riders the choice of running cantis. Perfect for those waiting to see what comes of discs and disc brake options and offerings © Cyclocross Magazine
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Hope Pro2 EVO Hubs

Jacobs’ is using Hope Pro2 EVO hubs on her Arctec CX. © Cyclocross Magazine © Cyclocross Magazine
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HED Belgium Tubular Rims

Lisa's Arctec CX rolls on well-known and proven aluminum HED Belgium tubular rims. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Internal Cable Routing

Like other carbon offerings, internal cable routing keeps the Arctec CX'€™s lines looking clean and tube shapes suggest typical race-bike manners. The bottle cage suggests training ride time. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Shimano Pedals

Lisa uses Shimano pedals. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Easton EA90 Stem

Run high on the steerer, Lisa'€™s white Easton EA90 stem stands out against the black bike and has a standard Garmin mount atop. The stem holds Easton’s EA70 bar as well. Note the rear derailleur cable, with in-line barrel adjuster, running through the top tube as well. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Arctec CX'€™s Front End

A tapered steerer, a robust looking fork, and a generous looking amount of clearance on the Arctec CX'€™s front end. © Cyclocross Magazine
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SRAM X9 Type 2 Rear Derailleur

Jacobs’ bike has a specific parts selection compared to the stock offering, including the SRAM X9 type 2 rear derailleur. © Cyclocross Magazine
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SRAM Rival Crankset

Who says you can'€™t win a National Championship on a single ring, SRAM Rival crankset? © Cyclocross Magazine
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Rider Name Decals

Say what you will about Rival and X9 components from SRAM. Nothing says pro€ like rider name decals. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Rear Derailleur Cable

We'€™re wondering why the rear derailleur cable runs through the top tube and is ziptied to the driveside seatstay when this port suggests it could be run through the chainstay. © Cyclocross Magazine
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SRAM Rival Chainring

A stock-looking SRAM Rival chainring does the hard work of powering Lisa'€™s Apollo Arctec. © Cyclocross Magazine
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SRAM Rival Single Ring Crankset

The bottom bracket shell and chainstays aboard Lisa Jacobs' bike suggest generous frame stiffness. The SRAM Rival single ring crankset set-up suggests simply getting down to business. © Cyclocross Magazine
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Tire Mud Clearance

Interestingly, the large diameter tubes around the bottom bracket seem to occupy what could otherwise be better tire/mud clearance in that area. © Cyclocross Magazine
Do you own the Apollo Arctec CX bike? Help us become a better resource and write a review!

About the author: cxmagazine.com

Cyclocross Magazine is the only website, print magazine and online community dedicated purely to the bikes, gear, racing and culture of cyclocross. With daily online news and reviews and a content-packed print and digital magazine, cxmagazine.com is your one stop for your cyclocross fix. Subscribe to the magazine at http://cxmagazine.com/subscribe.


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