Glossy black paintwork for the Marlux-Bingoal rider

All photos courtesy of A Yee/Cyclocross Magazine

Eli Iserbyt won the Under 23 world championship last year at Valkenberg, so he’s competing this year for Marlux-Bingoal in the world champion’s stripes. His Ridley X-Night SL bike has been decked out to match his jersey.

Iserbyt stands just 1.65m tall. He told us that Ridley had increased its size range to include a 48, which was great for him, as he’d previously had to ride a 50.

Iserbyt uses a single ring and a chain retainer at the front

Like the retail X-Night SL, Iserbyt’s bike has a Rotor 3D chainset, but along with fellow Marlux-Bingoal pro Michael Vanthourenhout, Iserbyt uses a single ring Shimano set-up rather than the more traditional two ring 46/36. This allows him to run a chain retainer on the front.

A zip tie helps keep the Di2 cable plugged in

The bike is set up with a 44 tooth chainring and 11-30 cassette, although Iserbyt’s mechanic (who is also his dad) swapped the ring out for a 42 before the race at Gavere. He also uses an 11-28 for some races. There’s a Dura-Ace rear mech, with the cable zip tied to the mech hanger, to ensure it doesn’t get unplugged in the rough and tumble of the race.

Double seat post clamp helps avoid the risk of the seatpost slipping

Another extra precaution is the double seatpost clamp, to avoid slippage when remounting. Iserbyt uses a saddle, carbon seatpost, carbon bar and alloy stem from the Cirrus Pro range from Forza, Ridley’s component brand.

Iserbyt chose Challenge Ultra Setaextra silk tubular tyres with Limus treads for the muddy conditions

Many cyclocross riders use tubs from Dugast or FMB, but Iserbyt’s bike is shod with Challenge Ultra Setaextra tubular tyres, which use extra-subtle silk casings and have that brand’s Limus tread pattern. They’re mounted on DT Swiss’s cyclocross-specific CRC 1100 Spline 38 T wheels, which also bear the rainbow stripes.

>>> Why don’t the pros use tubeless tyres?



As under 23 world champion, Iserbyt could not start on the rainbow striped bike at Superprestige Gavere, as he was in the same race as senior world champion Wout van Aert.

World champion’s stripes run neatly down the seat tube and seat stays

But he was allowed to swap to it in the pits once the race was underway, presumably since it would quickly be coated with so much mud that no-one would notice the stripes.