Mike Broderick and Mary McConneloug Proto IMX 29ers, Part Two of Two: The Feedback

Mike and Mary Take The Podium At The Trans Andes Challenge

It’s hard to transition from Chile to Northern California to South Africa with a stable of race bikes, enough tools to build them up and break them down, all the other clothing and gear you need, and a shred of remaining sanity to carry you through the first mountain bike World Cup race of the season.

But that’s exactly what Seven riders Michael Broderick and Mary McConneloug did over the last 6 weeks, and their brand new Seven IMX SLX race bikes went along for a maiden voyage on some of the most challenging dirt in the world.

Mike reported back to us from the post-race wind down in South Africa:

Mary and I literally turned hundreds of heads as we spent the weekend on our new IMX bikes at the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg. The bikes stand apart visually from our previous frames and the majority of the bikes being used by our competitors. The carbon Ti lugged IMX frame design is visually stunning and we were able to build these bikes up to the limit. They really look fantastic!”

If looks could kill, they wouldn’t have the race though.  Mike added, “Those capable of looking beyond the initial bling (including all our on-site sponsors) were impressed especially by the inclusion of the 44mm head tubes as these (or alternative oversize head tubes) are fast becoming an industry standard.”

We built these bikes specifically to give Mike and Mary critical advantages in the toughest race conditions and according to Mike, performance improvements were obvious straight away.  “The bikes ride with a lighter touch. Changing directions requires less effort in tight, low-speed situations, and they exhibit an overall greater level of confidence, inspiring control throughout the majority of demanding off-road situations.”

Mike and Mary are particularly agile riders, so we aimed for a more lively ride, an overall more manageable bike for all trail purposes, which meant shortening the chain stays for maximum obstacle clearance capability.  Mike said, “Mary and I both feel an increased ease when we lift up and over obstacles. Mary was especially tuned in to the ease of being able to manual her bike over trail obstacles without pedal input. This allows for a quicker trail read as last minute input and corrections are more significant and accurate. This, along with the stiffer front end, translates into greater confidence when hanging it out at high speed.”

He also said,

The bikes absolutely track quicker around corners when traditionally steered (cutting through the apex)  as well as with our preferred hairpin corner attack (hugging the inside of the corner before the apex,  steering the front wheel through while initiating a rear brake skid to slide the rear).  We  both  have a good  stable feeling on these bikes enabling us to keep our feet clipped in while performing this move all the way through to letting off the brake, regaining traction and pedaling out for a quick exit.

How’s that for a pro maneuver?

Shorter chain stays and subsequently shorter overall wheelbase make the bike more agile, but the oversized head tubes give them maximum stiffness and stability.  Mike and Mary appreciated that stability as well.

Mike said,

The increased front end stability is probably most apparent when muscling the bike through low speed trail obstacles that take maximum strength and input on the bars and pedals at the same time.  A good example would be when out of the saddle splitting a large trail feature (between the tires) and torquing the pedals and the bars simultaneously to try and move forward.  I can feel that there is far less flex and a better power transfer in these cases.   The increased stiffness at this point also really helps with the confidence when in a rough spot and looking to commit to a feature that is at the limits of our confidence levels.

As you can imagine we’re anxious to see how the bikes perform at the next round of the World Cup in Houffalize, Belgium next month.  As we type, Mike and Mary are getting their gear together, breaking everything down again for shipping and trying to keep their bodies  on track for what promises to be a grueling and exciting MTB season..

Bike Radar: Pro bike – Mo Bruno-Roy’s Seven Mudhoney Pro

By Matt Pacocha, US editor, in Madison, WI

When Seven Cycles put Maureen Bruno-Roy (MM racing) on their new prototype carbon fiber and titanium cyclo-cross bike, the top tube said ‘Mohoney’ – a play on the name of their Mudhoney ‘cross line. The Mohoney has since turned into the Mudhoney Pro, which will be a production bike in 2012.

The new bike, which was released as a prototype in October, incorporates additional carbon tubes into its design, when compared to the Mudhoney SLX bikes that Bruno-Roy has ridden for the past four seasons – not just the same model mind you, but the same exact frames.

While the SLX has carbon top and seat tubes, the Pro trades out its titanium seatstays, head and down tubes for carbon as well, in an effort to lighten the frame and further dampen the vibrations that reach the rider, while retaining the terrain hugging suppleness and feel of titanium.

Bruno-Roy’s Mohoney race rig was the first ’cross bike Seven assembled with carbon rear stays, which are an adaptation from the company’s Elium SLX and 622SLX road bikes. “This rear triangle was completely novel for them, in terms of ’cross,” Matt Roy, Bruno-Roy’s husband, team manager and mechanic, told BikeRadar. “So this was the first one and it became the basis for the new Mudhoney Pro.”

Rob Vandermark, Seven’s founder, laser-cut all of the titanium lugs for the Mohoney frame by hand. On the SLX these lugs are structural but on the Mudhoney they’re there purely for aesthetic reasons, as the carbon tubes are mitered and bonded to each other. The new bike is roughly 1lb lighter than Bruno-Roy’s SLX rigs. “I don’t think they expected it to be that much lighter,” said Roy.

Bruno-Roy’s Mudhoney Pro gets the SRAM treatment, in terms of groupset and accompanying kit – Red with a compact crank and 44-tooth Thorne Components outer ring, and Zipp’s Service Course alloy cockpit. The handlebar is Zipp’s new Service Course CSL, which is made especially for smaller handed riders and has a ‘super-short reach’ and two-degree outward bend in the drops.

A compact gxp crank with 34-tooth sram inner ring and 44-tooth thorne outer ring: a compact gxp crank with 34-tooth sram inner ring and 44-tooth thorne outer ring Mo uses a 44-tooth outer ring. Since SRAM only make a 46t ring, she opts for one from Stu Thorne’s Thorne Products. Also note the ‘late model’ Shimano PD-M970 pedals, which remain more popular on the cyclo-cross circuit than the M980 model due to their better mud performance Deviations from the SRAM brand come in the form of Bruno-Roy’s TRP EuroX Mag brakes and Mavic wheel choices. She has both Cosmic Carbone Ultimate and R-SYS SL tubular models. The former are mostly used with Challenge Grifos (with both standard Challenge and FMB casings), whereas the R-SYS are set for mud with Challenge Limus and FMB Super Mud tires. Roy takes a meticulous approach to the upkeep of his wife’s bikes and it shows through in the finished product. When we saw the bike the day before the USA Cycling cyclo-cross nationals in Madison, Wisconsin it sparkled and gleamed, with touches like fully sealed and shrink wrapped cables, custom stickers on the Fi’zi:k TK saddle and an expertly taped handlebar.

Complete bike specification

  • Frame: Seven Mudhoney Pro prototype
  • Fork: Seven CX
  • Headset: Chris King NoThreadset, 1-1/8in
  • Stem: Zipp Service Course SL, 80mm, -6°
  • Handlebar: Zipp Service Course CSL, 40cm
  • Tape: Fi:zi’k Microtex Bar:tape
  • Front brake: TRP EuroX Mag w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads for Mavic wheels
  • Rear brake: TRP EuroX Mag w/ SwissStop Yellow King pads for Mavic wheels
  • Front derailleur: SRAM Red w/steel cage
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Black Red
  • Shifter: SRAM Black Red
  • Brake levers: SRAM Black Red
  • Cassette: SRAM PG1070, 12-28t
  • Chain: SRAM PC1091
  • Crankset: SRAM Black Red Compact, 170mm, 44/34t
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM Red GXP ceramic
  • Pedals: Shimano XTR PD-M970
  • Wheelset: Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate (or R-SYS SL w/ mud tires)
  • Front tire: Challenge Grifo, 17-21psi, Aquaseal coating
  • Rear tire: Challenge Grifo, 17-21psi, Aquaseal coating
  • Saddle: Fi:zi’k Aliante Donna K:ium
  • Seatpost: Zipp Service Course SL

Critical rider measurements

  • Rider’s height: 161.9cm/5ft 4in
  • Rider’s weight: 48.08kg/106lb
  • Saddle height from BB, c-t: 66.4cm
  • Saddle setback: 1.8cm
  • Seat tube length, c-t: 50cm
  • Tip of saddle to center of bar: 46.5cm
  • Saddle to bar drop: 2.9cm
  • Head tube length: 9cm
  • Top tube length (virtual): 49.5cm
  • Total bicycle weight: 7.4kg/16.33lb

Gallery Images

Maureen Bruno-Roy’s Seven Mudhoney Pro prototype
Bruno-Roy sticks with TRP’s old-school EuroX Mag wide-profile brake
Bruno-Roy’s Mudhoney Pro carried her to a top 10 finish at the 2012 USA Cycling national championships
SwissStop Yellow King pads for the TRP EuroX brakes
A compact GXP crank with 34-tooth SRAM inner ring and 44-tooth Thorne outer ring
Shimano’s stalwart XTR M970 pedal
Fi’zi:k’s Arione Donna women’s saddle
Matt Roy hand placed the Fi’zi:k logos
The Mudhoney Pro uses a carbon head tube that’s wrapped in titanium. Mo’s is just 90mm tall
The Mudhoney Pro also employs a carbon down tube…
… and a carbon seat tube
The mixed carbon-Ti seatstays
The Ti sheaths extend so to hold the brake bosses
Mo’s bike
Inspiration from the mechanic – that’s an alien with a ray gun
The steel caged SRAM Red front derailleur
Seven’s carbon CX fork
Roy uses Aquaseal on the sidewalls of Challenge’s Grifo
The Mohoney turned into the Mudhoney Pro
An expert tape job with a custom finish
Zipp’s Service Course cockpit
The Service Course CSL bar has a compact bend with a super-short reach
The Red GXP ceramic bottom bracket
Roy finds that clamp-style front derailleurs are stiffer and shift better; Seven use a set of shims to more evenly distribute the clamping load on the carbon seat tube
Mechanic Matt Roy running us through Mo’s bike
Custom sealed cables
Roy uses shrink tubing found at electronics stores to seal the cable system
He even seals the cable as it exits to the rear derailleur anchor bolt
More custom sealing
Seals on the front derailleur; Roy also uses the shrink wrap as a cable end cap