After reading about Dan last year I knew immediately I wanted to put a bike under him for the Fifth Red Hook Crit. He’s a cool, laid back to the point guy. He’s cordial yet has an underlying intensity and drive thats unmistakable to those sharing the same traits.
Dan Chabanov is currently Category 1 on the road and Pro CX.
The Red Hook Criterium, the creation of David Trimble is an unsanctioned fixed gear, no brake event in the Red Hook neighborhood in South Brooklyn, NYC. This year in its Fifth iteration it brought in Pros (the current USA single speed cx champion), amateurs, messengers and international riders from Six other countries. Make no mistakes the Red Hook Crit is not your local alley cat.
Watching the Crit as a casual racer I knew he would probably try and lead out mid race to avoid another repeat of his previous Two victories by photo finish.
On the front straight of lap Four he made the gap and a commitment. He was ticking over 1:49 – 1:50 laps from that point on. Utter disregard for the rest of the field, he was on his own, racing his race on the windy pier. There were a few attempts from the Peloton to reel him in and reconnect however, it was a lost cause he was gone.
When you go you have to take responsibility for making the gap. You cant pedal a few hard pedal strokes and then look for someone else to help. You just have to put your head down and create the gap. Then you just try to lull your self in to some kind of rhythm.
I was by myself. Riding by yourself is always hard…but it’s the kind of hurt you can go through.”
1. Did you like the ability to stretch out and ride the bike like a road frame? By looking at all of the photos most everyone else is upright compared to your riding position which looks to be almost perfect on the Stanridge.
Yes. I think being properly stretched out on a bike is important. In my opinion it helps with proper weight distribution (think the rider being “draped over the bike”). Obviously there is such a thing as being too stretched out but when its set right I feel like I can throw my weight around over the bike in the corners and making sure the tires have grip when its needed. I think it helps prevent speed wobble and makes the bike smoother at speed. I’m a big fan of having good reach on a bike.
2. Ive seen a couple crude videos of you taking a tighter line through the hairpin. Much tighter than the peloton. Did the frame give you the confidence to hold a tighter line and get on the gas earlier out of the corner?
The bike cornered really well. I was very comfortable on it. Probably because it was built around my usual contact points. I definitely think this helped me be very aggressive and precise. One of my good friends Keith Snyder who photographed the race commented that I looked like I had ridden the bike for years. He’s seen me ride a bike since I started as a Cat 5.
3. How did the frame handle over expansion joints in the concrete bumps. etc. of the course? Did you feel like the steel helped you? I cant think of any other steel aero track bikes? Could you tell a difference in the ride between this frame and the others you’ve won on at the RHC? On the streets around BK can you tell a difference?
The frame felt ‘solid’ over everything. I was never rattled when i hit the bumps at the start finish line or the expansion joints on the course. The faster this bike goes the smoother and more solid it feels. I feel like fit is a much more important to comfort then material choice but steel just has a way of feeling really planted. I cant think of anything out there that is steel and aero. Yamaguchi perhaps? Everyone else generally works in aluminum and carbon. The steel ride was super reassuring at speed, just cruising along it feels stiff. The bike likes to go fast. It practically encourages you to up your cadence if you’re just trying to cruise. It’s really very fun to blast around on.
4. What were the first impressions of the High Street when it was received at King Kog?
When we got the frame I let Sean the owner of King Kog do the honors and take it out of the box. He thought it was too light to be a steel frame. I don’t know if he’s really seen many steel frames with similar tube dementions or what but he was convinced it was aluminum with filed welds. It took a spoke magnet test before he would believe me the bike was steel.
5. Stanridge designed this HSP with HIGHLY aggressive geometry. Would others without track bike handling experience have trouble with the race specific geometry?
I think that as long as the bike was built to the riders fit points they should be able to get comfortable fast. I mean this is a race frame at heart. I feel like anyone looking at this type of bike would benefit from quick handling and should expect the bike to want to go fast.
6. The RHC HSP had no toe overlap. Did this come into play?
Toe overlap is one of those things that you only notice when you have it and then you hate it immediately. If a frame can be made with out it I think its always handy. I think it certainly helped with the hairpin turn.