To Be Determined Journal

To Be Determined is a journal of cycling, adventure and photography, curated by a NYC-based cycling team known as TBD Racing or Team TBD. From criteriums to cyclocross to product reviews and travel diaries, it is all part of the TBD Journal.

TBD x Garneau Steeple CX Bike – Red Hot

Building a bike is a funny thing. Sure, there are guides and YouTube videos out there out there for every thing you need to do, and it’s possible to buy all of the bits that you need beforehand, but in my experience it always comes down to being in my living room at 1am with parts strewn about, thinking to myself, “why did I think I could do this in 3 hours?”

This build was no exception. But it was (as always) totally worth it.

Build Notes

It is generally accepted that Cross Ruins Everything Around Me, but I had a particularly crash-y road season, and was not in a position to dump all of the money into a new bike. As a result, this is a bit of a parts-bin special that I only bought a handful of parts for. Editors Note: I really should sell some of the fancier things living in the spare parts bin.

One of the more unique bits on the bike is the drivetrain. I made the switch to Di2 on the road and have found the experience to be sublime. I had originally intended to run the hot, new, clutched Shimano Ultegra RX derailleur, but a series of delivery snafus meant I would be running a regular old road derailleur. It is fine and I have not yet dropped a chain. I would still prefer to have received the clutched derailleur.

Another unique part of this build are the wheels. The unbranded, carbon, 38mm deep wheels were purchased on eBay, from a seller called carbonspeedcycle. They are (like many eBay generic carbon wheels) imported from China, and I was more than skeptical when ordering them. But at $400 for seemingly nice-enough carbon wheels, I was willing to take a chance. Spolier alert: They’re fine! Totally fine. They came out of the box true as any other wheelset I’ve come across, and have held up valiantly against many roots, rocks, and cyclocross spills. As always, your mileage may vary.

This bike very much has a Whole is Greater than the Sum of its Parts situation going on. Simply put, it’s a blast to ride. The light carbon frame, electronic shifting, and super wide (for me) bars make all of the non-road things super fun, and I can’t wait to slap some 38c slicks on this bike for bouncy winter training.

To Be Determined x Garneau Steeple in Red Hot Build

  • Garneau Dream Factory Steeple size Small, custom painted TBD colorway

  • Shimano Dura Ace Di2 group set (shifters, rear derailleur, crankset)

  • Wolf Tooth Components 40t oval Drop-Stop chainring

  • TRP HY/RD brakes

  • Specialized Power Pro saddle

  • Full Seb’s Service Course cockpit

  • WTB Cross Boss tubeless, 35c

  • CSC 38mm Carbon Wheels