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Check out Bauke Mollema's incredible 1x Trek Madone for the World Championships

Joe Robinson
26 Sep 2019

The Dutchman backs himself to tackle 3,645m, 285km course on a 1x 52t chainring (Photos: Peter Stuart)

Bauke Mollema’s Trek Madone proves the Dutch are coming to play at the World Championships in Harrogate, Yorkshire.

The 32-year-old was part of the Netherlands eight-man team trying to guide race favourite Mathieu van der Poel to elite men’s rainbow jersey.

At 285km it will be the second-longest race day of the season after Milan-San Remo - only with a considerable amount more of climbing - and Mollema will be among Van der Poel’s seven domestiques, attempting to manipulate the race in his teammate's favour.

Such a demanding day in the saddle may reflect in some riders' conservative bike setups, but not for Mollema. Cyclist took a visit to the Dutch team hotel in Harrogate and found that Mollema’s bike could be among the most aggressive in the race.

The Trek-Segafredo rider will saddle up on a Project One custom-painted Trek Madone SLR 9 Disc. In the red marble-effect we saw at the Tour de France, it’s stunning paint will stand out from the crowd, although it's not the colour that caught Cyclist’s eye.

Mollema has opted to ride a mammoth 52t chainring in the form of the 1x single-piece ring from Sram's Red eTap AXS groupset; he has also opted for the integrated Quarq DUB power meter.

While this might sound like an overstatement, it is quite something that Mollema is opting to ignore a 2x setup (with small front ring) given the course covers 3,645m of elevation and multiple climbs breaking the 20% barrier.

As for the back end of his 1x drivetrain, Mollema looks set to run a 10-33t cassette. While one might think a single chainring would heavily limit the bike's gearing range, it's interesting to note that Mollema's smallest 52x33 gear is in fact equivalent to a 39x25 smallest gear, the hallmark of a traditional double chainring setup.

While Mollema currently backs himself to manage the course on that 52t front chainring, Cyclist spoke to the Dutch mechanics who suggested he may scale down the size of the front ring before race day. But according to one mechanic, Mollema is confident this is the perfect gear ratio: 'If we [the team] were riding a 20km climb in the Alps, it would be a different story!'

To ensure the chain is kept in place, Mollema’s Madone frame is equipped with a custom K-Edge chain catcher, complemented by the chainring's X-Sync narrow-wide chain-tooth profile. Given the likely terrible condition of the roads this Sunday, he might just need both.

Matching the aggressive setup, Mollema has also pushed his Bontrager saddle forward on the seatpost rails and slammed his one-piece, unbranded handlebars and stem cockpit for a sizeable saddle-to-bar drop.

The chance of a wet day in Yorkshire sees Mollema opting for 25mm Vittoria Corsa tubular tyres, ensuring a bit more grip and traction, something he may need for steep climbs such as Buttertubs and Gritton Moor.

These come glued to Bontrager Aeolus XXX 4 wheels, a 47mm deep wheelset that, at a claimed 1,270g, should be light enough to climb at top speed.

This bike will not win the World Championships - we are pretty sure of that - but it’s definitely one of the most aggressive and could play a big part in who wears the rainbow stripes come Sunday evening.

Photography by Peter Stuart

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