Jules de Cock has built the ultimate bike for beach racing using a Canyon Exceed frame, Classified hub and a $1,600 custom cockpit.
The 25-year-old races on the road at UCI Level 1.2 for Global Cycling Team and recently won the Grand Prix Al Massira in Morocco.
But the Dutchman specializes on the sand, where he represents the BEAT Cycling club.
European beach racing champion Ivar Slik’s victory in the 2022 Unbound 200 gravel race shed light on the discipline.
Beach racing takes place mainly in the Netherlands and overlaps with the cyclocross racing season.
Speaking to BikeRadar, de Cock says: “You need an aerodynamic position for the high-speed parts of the race, while you also need to handle the bike well enough through the technical sand sections of the race.”
De Cock’s wacky and lavish tech choices reflect these unique demands.
Custom Canyon Exceed beach racer spec
De Cock’s bike is built around a Canyon Exceed frame. The brand’s all-out XC racing hardtail has an 835g claimed weight in its highest-grade carbon.
He’s spray-painted the frame in BEAT Cycling colors and drilled the carbon fork to allow internal cable routing.
The mountain bike frame has clearance for wide, tubeless tires to give traction in loose sand.
De Cock runs Schwalbe G-One Speed tires, which we’re told measure 64mm wide when inflated on 35mm-wide internal rims from Classified Cycling.
The custom-built, deep-section wheels use Classified’s Powershift technology, a wireless shifting system that’s held within the hub and is designed to replace a front derailleur.
“The ability to shift under load is an amazing addition to a beach bike,” de Cock explains, referring to the Powershift system’s claimed ability to shift regardless of the torque being applied through the drivetrain.
He adds: “Almost all beach race bikes are equipped without a front derailleur, since those things work even worse when dragged across a beach environment with sand, water and salt.
“However, you do need a large gearing range.
“The Classified hub is ideal for this.
“In a winter storm with the wind at your back, the race speed goes well over 50km/h, but you also have to drag yourself up a sand dune at almost walking speed.”
The custom gravel cockpit from Speeco is straight out of gravel racing. De Cock is co-founder and product engineer at the brand that specializes in integrated aero handlebars.
Jan-Willem van Schip was disqualified from the Baloise Belgium Tour for using the Speeco Aero Breakaway Bar in 2021.
The brand says everything about the bar, from width to flare, can be personalized to the rider.
De Cock has paired wide, flared drops to aid control on sandy singletrack, with integrated, narrow extensions to get aero on the open beach.
A SRAM Super Boost crank enables him to run a single 52T chainring from Garbaruk on the mountain bike frame.
De Cock perches on a Shimano Pro Stealth off-road saddle.
He says he tried an ISM time trial saddle for extra aerodynamic advantage, but “found out the painful way they are not suited to off-road use”.
De Cock believes the bike’s complete weight is around 10kg.
Custom Canyon Exceed beach racer build in full
- Frame: Canyon Exceed
- Forks: Custom carbon fork
- Brakes: SRAM Force hydraulic disc
- Shifter: SRAM Force eTap AXS
- Crankset: 52T Garbaruk, SRAM Super Boost cranks
- Handlebar / stem: Custom Speeco GR cockpit
- Hubs: Classified Powershift
- Wheels: Custom Classified Cycling
- Tyres: Schwalbe G-One Speed, 64mm
- Pedals: Shimano SPD
- Saddle: Shimano Pro Stealth Offroad