Featured Bike: Dr. Pain’s Quiring Monster CX Rig – Revision 2

QuiringDrPain2015-1Gravel Cyclist first featured Dr. Pain’s Monster CX bike back in September of 2014. Since that time, the custom-built, Michigan made Quiring Cycles machine has evolved considerably. Much of the bike’s recent evolution centers around the shifting – gone is the cable-actuated mechanical shifting system.

QuiringDrPain2015-2While mechanical shifting proved reliable in most gravel rides and races, the mud and sludge of extreme gravel races, or Ultra CX races as they are sometimes called, caused major issues when contaminants infiltrated the shifting mechanisms. On one occasion, the right shifter was rendered totally useless after a two race spell of appalling conditions. Southern Cross and Hilly Billy Roubaix are fantastic and challenging races, but the 2015 editions were very hard on equipment.

Di2 cable routed parallel to the rear brake cable.

This is where electronic shifting came to the fore. Well proven on JOM’s Monster CX bike, Dr. Pain made the switch to Shimano’s Ultegra Di2 11-speed system, and has experienced nothing but flawless shifting performance in good and bad conditions ever since. While the Quiring frame was not drilled for Di2, the system wiring was installed externally, which is perfect should one need to resolve a technical issue.

Crashed and well used, the Ultegra Di2 levers keep on ticking.
Crashed and well used, the Ultegra Di2 brake / shifter levers keep on ticking.

Utilizing Shimano’s medium cage variant of the Ultegra Di2 rear derailleur, shifting is flawless using cassettes ranging from 11-25, all the way up to an 11-36 (with a few turns of the B-screw).

QuiringDrPain2015-5The bike enjoys added flexibility with the addition of the Lindarets RoadLink, which we reviewed earlier this year – allowing for a 40 tooth on the rear cassette, in conjunction with 46 / 34 or 48 / 34 chainrings. Brilliant!

QuiringDrPain2015-3The bike features a road width bottom bracket – Dr. Pain is sensitive to Q-Factor, meaning road cranks were an essential requirement when he sought a custom bike. The chainstays were manipulated to provide clearance for a 50 / 34 chainring combination, and are approximately 1.5cm longer than most modern-day gravel bikes for supreme tire (tyre) clearance. The longer chainstays do not compromise ride quality or handling in any way; rather they aid greatly with the comfort factor of the bike.

SRAM Red road crankset, Shimano Ultegra Di2 parts.
Tire clearance is tight with Schwalbe’s Thunder Burt in 2.1″.

We believe Dr. Pain’s machine is the ultimate all-round gravel bike. Tipping the scales at approximately 20.5lbs (9.3kg) sans saddle bag, frame pump, etc, the bike has tire (tyre) clearance for up to 2.1″!  It can handle any gravel ride or race, whether it be in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Nebraska… you get the point.

American Classic’s MTB Race 29’er + big rubber = winning.

Readers may scoff at the thought of running such a wide tire for gravel races. 35mm – 40mm tires certainly have their place in gravel cycling and racing. But for gnarly terrain, bigger is better. With many miles recorded by the Gravel Cyclist crew on tires such as the Specialized Renegade in 1.8″ or 2″, the Schwalbe Furious Fred in 2″, and now the Schwalbe Thunder Burt in 2.1″, ALL of these tires are fast under the right circumstances – 2.0″ tires crush sand, while 40mm tires sink.

Niner’s RDO thru-axle fork has proven a superb performer in all situations.

To further prove the point of big tire speed, JOM and Dr. Pain have attended fast local road rides running the 2.0″ Furious Fred tire, and actively participated in these rides – meaning more than just wheelsucking :mrgreen:

While a Monster CX rig with big tyres is not for everyone – although companies like Open Cycle are taking note – they add a measure of safety, particularly when descending real mountain passes on gravel roads, where 35mm – 40mm tires are sometimes insufficient.

In the opinion of the Gravel Cyclist crew, you cannot put a price on safety!

183mm rotor up front with TRP's venerable HY/RD caliper.
183mm rotor up front with TRP’s venerable HY/RD brake caliper.

Dr. Pain uses TRP’s cross top brake levers for an additional braking / hand position; useful for descending gnarly and difficult terrain.

QuiringDrPain2015-10QuiringDrPain2015-6Dr. Pain’s Custom Quiring Cycles Monster CX

Frame: Quiring Cycles featuring Reynolds 931 Stainless Steel tubing.
Fork: Niner 29’er RDO full carbon thru-axle, tapered 1 1/8″ to 1 1/4″ steerer tube.
Headset: Chris King.
Seatpost: Niner RDO carbon.
Saddle: Selle Italia SLR.
Wheelset: American Classic Race 29’er tubeless, thru-axle front, quick release rear.
Tyres: Specialized Renegade in 1.8″ or 2″, Schwalbe Furious Fred in 2.0″, or Schwalbe Thunder Burt EVO in 2.1″.
Handlebars: Ritchey WCS Aluminium with TRP carbon cross top brake levers.
Stem: Ritchey WCS -17 degree.
Shifters: Shimano Ultegra Di2.
Derailleurs: Shimano Ultegra Di2 11-speed.
Crankset: SRAM Red 10-Speed carbon fitted with FSA 46 / 34 tooth chainrings.
Bottom Bracket: SRAM or Hawk Racing, external, English thread.
Pedals: Time Atac Carbon.
Cassette: Shimano, ranging from 11-25, 11-36 or 11-40.
Brakes: TRP HY/RD Mechanical / Hydraulic Disc with TRP 183mm / 160mm rotors.
Bottle Cages: King Cage Titanium.

More Images

Quiring Cycles WebsiteFacebook Page


  1. Avatar Alex Kio

    Who in the ef is Dr. Pain?!

    • JOM JOM

      If we told you who he was, it would no longer be a secret.

  2. K-Dogg K-Dogg

    Tinker, taylor. Gadget player. Rich man, Poor man. Oh good grief!


    • Avatar Publius

      Why is it a secret? I thought Snowden did away with all that stuff.

      • K-Dogg K-Dogg

        Dr. Pain is in a position of authority and sometimes Gravel Cyclist does not wish to be bound by political correctness.
        Also, Dr. Pain is sometimes not a nice person….particularly on the night rides.

  3. Avatar Anthony

    His name is Indigo Mantoya. He has kept secrets because he is looking for a 6-fingered man who killed his father, the famed Spanish swordsmith.

  4. Avatar Heffe

    I love this bike. What is the effective top tube length? frame weight? How does stainless ride compared to ti? Can you bring it to my house and let me ride it?!!

    • JOM JOM

      Recovering from injury at the moment, I reckon Dr. Pain won’t be pleased if we start loaning out his rig.

      Off the top of my head, I believe the effective top tube is about 55cm – 55.5cm. Maybe Dr. Pain will respond to how stainless steel compares to Ti… but I can tell you one thing for certain, HE LOVES THIS BIKE.


      • JOM JOM

        A further reply from Dr. Pain himself…

        “TT length is 56 cm. Never weighed the frame alone. Whole bike as seen on your recent post is 20.7 lbs. with cages, computer mounts, camera mount. No bag or pump. The bike is the best ride I own. Tracks straight as an arrow. I can ride it offhand on the sand, limerock, and washboard, all day long, no problems. I have three other Ti road bikes. Never had a Ti monster cross to compare it to. I don’t think I could tell the difference between Ti and SS. I think the geometry and wheels/tires are more of what you feel. It’s a very comfortable ride, sure handling at any speed, very, very stable. Probably not a good bike for trials, but I don’t do that.

        Nobody but Dr. Pain gets to ride the Quiring Assault Vehicle. Bad things could happen to someone who tried that without my permission.”

  5. Avatar Gef

    I didn’t see that there was another Quring at Hilly billy! Another stainless one at that, mine’s KVA though.

  6. Avatar SapperCycler

    I’m running Thunder Burt 650b x 2.1 Liteskins. Had some weeping sealant and leaking problems with one but the other set up perfect. Are you using the Liteskins or the Snakeskins? I’ll probably replace with Snakeskin as the Liteskin wear out. Have you tried the G Ones? Thinking about maybe using a G One rear with a Thunder Burt front.

    • JOM JOM

      Dr. P is using the LiteSkins. Haven’t tried the G-One’s yet. Certainly on the list to review.

      Thanks for the Q!

  7. Avatar Kiel

    What’s the advantage of a 180mm rotor front?
    Or the better question might be why 180mm over 160mm?

    • JOM JOM

      Personal choice really, but the good Doctor enjoys the added surface area / cooling effect of the bigger rotor on the front. The weight difference is negligible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.