Gage Hecht (Donnelly / Aevolo) has been a standout on the road and in cyclocross throughout his young career. In recent years, he has raced for the Aevolo road program, and during the fall and winter, he has traded his Aevolo green for the light green of the Alpha Bicycle – Groove Subaru team.
When his cyclocross team announced Hecht would be leaving the Colorado-based development program after five years of success, it created a decent amount of speculation about where his cyclocross home would be this fall.
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That speculation was clarified prior to the ’cross season when Donnelly and Aevolo announced they were teaming up to sponsor Hecht and his road teammate Lance Haidet.
The two friends and teammates have been a dynamic pairing, with Hecht scoring an impressive sixth-place finish at the Jingle Cross Sunday C1 and winning his third-straight U23 Pan-American Championships title in Midland over the weekend. Haidet has also chipped in four UCI podiums and a win at the US Open of Cyclocross last month.
We took a closer look at Hecht’s bike earlier this season at the Jingle Cross weekend for our latest bike profile.
Gage Hecht’s Donnelly C//C Cyclocross Bike
Long known for its tires marketed under the Clement—and now Donnelly—brand, Colorado-based Donnelly decided to shred into the off-road bike market in 2018.
Knowing that it wanted to produce bikes ready to rip for cyclocross and gravel, Donnelly faced a choice between producing one do-it-all bike like the Pivot Vault or Santa Cruz Stigmata, to mention a few, or two bikes specifically designed for gravel and cyclocross similar to what Specialized has done with the CruX and Diverge or Trek with the Boone and Checkpoint.
After plenty of thought, research and input from riders such as long-time Donnelly rider Lance Haidet, the company decided to produce two bikes, each built specifically for their intended uses. Donnelly enlisted the help of former BMC head of product development Rolf Singenberger, and it developed the C//C cyclocross bike and the G//C gravel bike.
We first saw the G//C at the 2018 Dirty Kanza with Jamey Driscoll, and our first look at the C//C came when Haidet won the 2018 RenoCross (RIP). We also recently reviewed the C//C and found it to be a responsive, capable cyclocross race bike.
One of the Cs in C//C stands for “carbon” thanks to the frame and fork’s hi-modulus carbon build. The C//C has an aggressive “race-specific geometry” that includes a 6.4cm bottom bracket drop that puts the BB up relatively high by modern ’cross bike standards.
Hecht is riding the “Amy D. Blue” colorway of the C//C this season. The company offers the bike in black and light blue, with the blue chosen to reflect Donnelly’s support of the Amy D. Foundation cyclocross development team.
Like many riders in the domestic cyclocross peloton, Hecht is riding the Shimano GRX wave this season. Unlike his former teammate Brannan Fix, Hecht ran a 1x drivetrain, allowing him to use the GRX-series RX810-1 crankset and a 42t GRX chain ring.
A K-Edge Single Ring CX Chain Guide helped him keep his chain in line.
He paired the front ring with an RX815 Di2 rear derailleur that shifted across an 11-34t cassette. Up front, the re-designed RX815 dual control levers controlled Hecht’s shifting and braking.
Also notable about Hecht’s bike is the tubeless setup we saw when photographing his bike at Jingle Cross. Hecht and Haidet typically run Vision Metron tubular wheels with Donnelly tubular tires, but for muddy races, they are frequently running Donnelly’s new PDX WC tubeless tires. When we saw Hecht’s bike before the muddy Jingle Cross Day 3 race, he had the 700c x 33mm tanwall tires mounted to FSA AGX SL-K carbon tubeless clinchers.
Donnelly’s regular tubeless tires have been known to measure wider than 33mm on a lot of tubeless rims, making them a no-go for UCI-level racing. The company designed the PDX WC to meet UCI requirements, even on the 21.5mm internal width rims found on the AGX SL-K wheelset.
Full Speed Ahead helped equip Hecht’s cockpit. He ran an SL-K Compact carbon handlebar held by an alloy Energy stem. The Energy stem is noteworthy because FSA has stems higher up in the line available.
His seatpost was a carbon SL-K model, and it held a Selle SMP Blaster saddle that has an interesting design with a low nose, high tail and ribbon tailing behind.
Crankbrothers Candy 11 pedals rounded out Hecht’s contact points and provided a hint of matchy-matchiness with the Aevolo gold.
It is typically at this point in a Gage Hecht bike profile where we point out the Bart Simpson doll that has been along for the ride on his cyclocross bike for time immemorial, but at Jingle Cross, he had not yet Cowabungaized his new bike. Don’t have a cow though, man, because by the next weekend at World Cup Waterloo, Bart was back.
With his U23 Pan-Ams jersey secured, Hecht now looks forward to the final month of domestic racing before he heads to Lakewood Nationals, where he will likely throw down against the Elites and try to improve on his impressive bronze earned last December.
For a closer look at Hecht’s bike, see the photo gallery and specs below.