Cyclocross

Nationals Bike: Wisconsin’s Caleb Swartz and the Trek Boone Go Way Back – Cyclocross Magazine

Growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, it is not surprising that Caleb Swartz and Trek Bikes go back. Like, way back.

The son of two avid cyclists, as soon as the young Swartz was able to pedal his own bike, he was a regular at Wisconsin cyclocross races. One of his first times on a Trek was racing his Trek Mountain Cub in the Kiddie Race at the 2007 Sun Prairie USGP.

Caleb Swartz on his Trek Mountain Cub in 2007. photo: Andy Swartz

Swartz has since come a long way since those days as a ’cross cub.

He has put newb editors of the cycling media in their proper place.

Swartz put the author in his newb place at the 2014 Sheboygan Cyclocross. photo: Andy Swartz

Joined sister Emma in representing Team USA at the World Championships in Bieles.

Emma and Caleb Swartz both qualified for the Worlds team after 2017 Hartford Nationals. photo: Wisconsin Bike Fed

And won a Collegiate Varsity National Championship in Lousiville.

Swartz takes the victory in near darkness. Collegiate Varsity Men. 2018 Cyclocross National Championships, Louisville, KY. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

All of those accomplishments were aboard Trek’s flagship cyclocross bike. Swartz first started riding the Boone in 2014 when he joined the KS Energy / Team Wisconsin program and then continued on with the Trek Cyclocross Collective and his current team, Linear Sport / Trek Bikes.

Caleb Swartz started racing on a Trek in 2014. photo: B.D. Andrews Photography

When Swartz won his Collegiate Varsity National Championship in Louisville, his was the last race of the day on a Friday where dark skies and rain turned the Joe Creason course into a mud pit the ’cross community is likely to remember for years to come. Needless to say, getting photos of his bike was a challenge given the ambient light conditions.

That proved no worry for Swartz, as he repeated his accomplishment on Thursday morning at last month’s Lakewood Nationals and captured his second-straight Collegiate Varsity National Championship for Marian University.

“I’ve pretty much raced Trek bikes my entire cycling career, and it really means a lot to me,” Swartz said about winning Nationals on a Trek. “With Trek headquarters 25 minutes from my house, the company and people who work there are a huge part of the cycling community in Madison. It’s special to be able to put a name and face to the people who designed the helmets, shoes and bikes I race, and I’m proud to represent them at this level.”

A two-finger victory salute for Caleb Swartz’s second Cyclocross National Championship. Collegiate Varsity Men. 2019 Cyclocross National Championships, Lakewood, WA. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

This time around, Swartz’s Boone gets a little time in the sun—at least relatively speaking, given the oft-overcast conditions in Washington.

Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Varsity Nationals Trek Boone

Trek Bikes’ collective commitment to cyclocross really began back in 2013 when it released the first model of the alloy Crockett, followed by the carbon Boone at the start of 2014. While the Waterloo company was going global sponsoring athletes such as Katie Compton and Sven Nys, it was also thinking local by helping out young Wisconsinites such as the Swartzi.

The company now sponsors the Telenet Baloise Lions and Trek Factory Racing CX teams while maintaining its long-standing relationship with Compton. Not surprisingly, we have seen a few Trek Boones in recent years.

Just this season, we have profiled Andrew Strohmeyer’s CX Hairs Devo Junior-Nationals-Winning Boone, taken a trip down memory lane with Compton’s Nationals-winning Boones, checked out Thibau Nys’ high-flying neon Boone and sent it with Jolanda Neff’s TFR CX Boone.

The latest iteration of the Boone with front and rear IsoSpeed decouplers was released in 2017, and we first saw it ridden by Compton when she won her 13th National Championship in Hartford.

Swartz also had the new Boone Race Shop Limited Bike for the 2017 World Championships in Bieles. It is a bike that still has special memories for him.

“I’m probably most fond of the very first white Boone I had, right when the front IsoSpeed was first introduced,” Swartz said. “At the time the Telenet team was on them and as a junior it felt pretty special to be on the same new bike. I did my very first World Championships in Luxembourg on it in 2017 which is something I’ll always remember.”

Like some pros, Swartz had the then-new white Boone RSL at Bieles Worlds. 2017 UCI Cyclocross World Championships, Bieles, Luxembourg. © M. Hilger / Cyclocross Magazine

Swartz got his current 52cm Boone Disc bikes at the start of the 2018 domestic cyclocross season. With the bikes guiding him to two national championships, you can bet he will remember the current white frames as well.

When not racing for Marian in Collegiate races this fall, Swartz put together a semi-privateer program sponsored by Wisconsin’s Linear Sport Racing and Trek. His Lakewood Nationals bike featured components that reflected Trek’s current partnerships.

Swartz ran a SRAM drivetrain starting with a SRAM Red 22 crankset that held a single 40t X-Sync chain ring.

Swartz used a Red 22 crankset with a 40t X-Sync chain ring. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

In the back, he ran a mechanical Force 1 derailleur paired with a SRAM cassette with an 11-32t spread.

Swartz ran the tried-and-true SRAM Force 1 rear derailleur this season. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The Force HRD calipers and derailleurs paired with SRAM Force HRD shift-brake levers up front. Swartz sets his handlebar pointed downward, which is a bit unique.

“I’ve kind of just always have run ’em like that,” Swartz said. “The angle of the hoods puts some bend in my wrists which helps get my arms flatter. Since I don’t have a particularly aggressive position, it helps me get a little more aero and aggressive.”

Swartz’s handlebar was tipped down a bit. He shifted with Force HRD shift-brake levers. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Trek subsidiary Bontrager provided Swartz’s Aeolus 3 D3 carbon tubulars. The rims are 35mm deep, and the wheels feature Bontrager hubs.

Swartz’s wheels where 35mm-deep Bontrager Aelous 3 D3 carbon tubulars. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Swartz’s bike did not emerge spotless in Lakewood, but the thin, gritty mud at Steilacoom Park was nothing like the thick slop at Louisville Nationals. Challenge is another company Trek has a partnership with, and Swartz ran its Baby Limus Team Edition mud tubulars. He pumped them up to 17psi front and 18psi rear.

“The course was muddy, but not that slick, and not a tractor pull either,” Swartz said about his tire selection. “I didn’t need the full grip of a Challenge Limus, and the fast-rolling Baby Limus was great on all the higher speed power sections and still shredded the ruts.”

Swartz opted for Challenge Baby Limus treads for his Collegiate Varsity race. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

Bontrager helped fill out Swartz’s cockpit, with a carbon XXX VR-C handlebar wrapped in Bontrager tape held by an alloy Pro Blendr stem.

Bontrager supplied Swartz’s cockpit, including his XXX VR-C carbon handlebar. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

The proprietary Seat Mast Cap held his Bontrager Montrose Pro saddle. Swartz’s pedals were a well-traveled pair of Shimano XTR M959 SPDs.

Swartz’s pedals were a well-traveled pair of Shimano XTR M959 SPDs. Caleb Swartz’s Lakewood Nationals Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone. © A. Yee / Cyclocross Magazine

After a long year of racing mountain bikes and then cyclocross, the Marian Junior is not done yet. His second-place finish at U23 Nationals helped him qualify for Team USA, and he will be wearing the red, white and blue at Dübendorf Worlds next weekend.

Swartz battled with Eric Brunner at U23 Nats and earned a spot on the Worlds team. U23 Men. 2019 Cyclocross National Championships, Lakewood, WA. © D. Mable / Cyclocross Magazine

For a closer look at Swartz’s bike, check out the gallery and specs below.

Photo Gallery: Caleb Swartz’s Collegiate Varsity Trek Boone