Last we saw Kevin Bouchard-Hall, he was covered in sweat racing on Zwift in his basement. Spring has come to New England—sort of—and Bouchard-Hall has been able to venture out of his Zwift cave from time-to-time.
Multidisciplinary racing is all the rage these days, and Bouchard-Hall sports a diverse portfolio, racing cyclocross, gravel, road and mountain bikes for nine-ish months out of the year.
Four disciplines (plus Zwift) can add up to a lot of bikes, but for the young family man, keeping it simple has always been a part of this ethos, even though he races pretty much everything.
“When I started riding my bike again in 2014, after many years off, I only had one bike left. It was a Strong handmade steel cyclocross bike,” Bouchard-Hall said. “I had built the frame up with leftover National Team parts that I had foraged off old team Pinarellos. It was a cool and beautiful bike, but it barely worked. I used that bike in 2015 when I started racing ’cross as a new family activity.”
He continued, “I had bought a road bike that was up to date in 2014, but once I got hooked on cyclocross I realized I needed a functional ’cross bike. But to get what I wanted, I needed to sell the road bike. That started my infatuation with a ‘one bike to rule them all.’”
Bouchard-Hall said he flirted with having a dedicated road bike for a spell while racing with Velocio NE, but he is now back to one bike to rule them all.
This past weekend, Bouchard-Hall was in Vermont at the Rasputitsa gravel race looking to defend his 2018 title against the likes of Lars Boom (!) and other top riders. [you can read his race report here]
His newest cyclogroad bike of choice for Rasputitsa … and cyclocross … and road is a 2018 S-Works CruX.
He described the goal of the bike.
“I am back to a ‘one bike’ for road, gravel and cyclocross. It is hard to pull off all the things with one bike, but with a good selection of tires, and ideally two sets of wheels, it is pretty seamless to swap between the disciplines.”
We take a closer look at Bouchard-Hall’s bike in this cyclogroad profile.
Kevin Bouchard-Hall’s “One Bike” S-Works CruX
The CruX re-designed for the 2018 model year is no stranger to our pages. We have reviewed the S-Works model and profiled winning bikes from Christopher Blevins, Maghalie Rochette, Sarah Sturm and Tom Pidcock.
However, for gravel, we have typically seen folks such as Olivia Dillon and Alison Tetrick ride the Diverge gravel bike. With his CruX, Bouchard-Hall represents a bit of a departure for events such as Raspustitsa.
The re-designed S-Works CruX helped kick off the race-specific trend in cyclocross bikes we have seen from others such as the Trek Boone. The bike is light—Bouchard-Hall said his full bike checks in at around 16 pounds—with the Big S using its Fact 11r carbon for the frame and fork.
Rasputitsa is only 40-ish miles long and Bouchard-Hall is also targeting the 44-mile Vermont Overland, so the race-specific frame was likely not a hindrance for those events. He also hopes to do Rooted Vermont in August, which is 85 miles long, so we might need to check back in with him to see how he manages his food and drink situation.
As we saw in our story about cyclocross teams going tubeless, having a good set or two of tubeless rims provides a lot of versatility. For Bouchard-Hall’s cyclogroad bike, versatility is a must.
“I have a great relationship with NEXT Wheels and they make a good selection of wheels that let me run wider tubeless tires for both cyclocross and gravel but also will also fit a 28mm road tire at modified road tire pressures,” he said.
For Raspustitsa, Bouchard-Hall ran NEXT Rule Carbon tubeless rims built up with Industry 9 Torch hubs. It’s not the first time we’ve seen a NEXT wheelset and Specialized frame pairing, as the company developed a wheelset just for Specialized’s proprietary SCS system.
His gravel tires of choice for the mercurial Vermont race were 700c x 38mm Specialized Pathfinders.
When the road comes a-callin’, Bouchard-Hall swaps in NEXT Xplor tubeless rims with 700c x 28mm Specialized Turbo tires.
Bouchard-Hall said he plans on staying tubeless during cyclocross season, unless his team gets him some tubulars. There is just one thing about going tubeless for ’cross:
“Hitting the 33mm tire width is a pain on the wider rims,” he said. “That USAC plastic tire checker gives me nightmares.”
When we reviewed the CruX, we got to spin around on a bike with the fluorescent, tie-dye colorway. Bouchard-Hall’s bike is a bit more muted, with a matte slate finish, but that does not mean it is without flair.
Bouchard-Hall’s wife commissioned New York cyclocross racer and jewelry designer Rhys May to make a special head tube badge for his bike.
Additional flair can be seen in the rear, with the gold KMC X11SL-Ti chain and gold Kogel pulleys.
A big part of why Bouchard-Hall spends a lot of time on Zwift is to balance his training with his job and raising his family. His bike has one last custom touch to make sure he always remembers who he is racing for (Not that Tobin).
In a recent Training Tuesday, Craig Richey recommended running a double for gravel to help provide good spinning opportunities. With Bouchard-Hall also using the bike for road racing, it is not surprising he opted for a double up front.
He ran a Shimano Dura-Ace R9000 crankset with a Stages Gen 3 power meter with 52/36t chain rings in the front and an 11-30t Ultegra R8000 cassette in the rear. His derailleurs were both Ultegra R8070 Di2.
For cyclocross, KBH said he swaps in an outer 46t ring and keeps the 11-30t spread in the back. He also said he is considering upgrading to the Shimano RX805 clutch derailleur for both the chain drop protection and so he can run an 11-32t or 11-34t spread in the rear.
The brakes and levers on the CruX are also Ultegra R8070 Di2. Bouchard-Hall’s saddle was a Fizik Antares and the seatpost, stem and handlebar are all Specialized-branded. Also following Richey’s recommendation, the New Englander ran Shimano XT SPD pedals.
For a closer look at Bouchard-Hall’s cyclogroad bike, see the specs below.
Kevin Bouchard-Hall’s S-Works CruX Specs
Frame: S-Works CruX, 2018 model, Fact 11r carbon, flat mount disc, 12mm thru-axle
Fork: S-Works CruX, Fact 11r carbon, flat mount, 12mm thru-axle
Headbadge: Rhys May Jewelry
Shift/Brake Levers: Shimano Ultegra R8070 Di2 Hydro
Calipers: Shimano Ultegra R8070 Hydro
Crankset: Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 w/ Stages Gen 3 Power
Chain Ring: Shimano Dura-Ace 52/36t
Front Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Dura-Ace 9070 Di2 w/ Gold Kogel Pulleys
Chain: KMC X11SL-Ti
Cassette: Shimano Ultegra R8000 11-30t
Wheels: NEXT Rule Carbon Tubeless with Industry 9 Torch Hubs
Road Wheels: NEXT Xplor Carbon Tubeless with Specialized Turbo 28mm tires.
Tires: Specialized Pathfinder tubeless, 700c x 38mm
Cockpit: Alloy stem and handlebar
Headset: Specialized Integrated
Seatpost: Specialized Carbon
Saddle: Fizik Antares R1 Carbon
Pedals: Shimano XT SPD