Here at Performance Bicycle, there’s a palpable excitement in the air. Because it’s that time of year again. A time when the nights feel cooler. When the smells of embrocation and frites are in the air, and the ring of cowbells resounds across the hills. A time of year when we trade in our skinny tires, glorious afternoons spent on sun dappled stretches of road, and retiring mid-ride banter for the mud-slinging, loosely organized bit of mayhem we know as cyclocross.
If you’re interested in trying out cyclocross, or just want to learn more about it, check out the Cyclocross Basics article over in the Performance Bicycle Learning Center.
So what do you need to get your season start off right? Performance Associates Ben and Ross are here to help guide us through Gearing Up For Cross Season.
7 Essentials To Start Your Cross Season Right
1. Cyclocross bike: it’s important to have the right tools for the job. We’re pretty big fans of the 2013 Scattante cyclocross bikes (if we do say so ourselves…), including the all-new Scattante CFX bikes, now equipped with either Red 22 Hydro or Force 22 to get you to the top of the podium.
2. Mountain bike shoes: it’s not very easy to run in road shoes. Mountain bike shoes have a lugged outsole to make it easier to leap over barriers or run up hills. Mountain bike pedals are also used, since they are easier to get in and out of and shed mud well.
3. Helmet: when you’re riding like a madman (or woman) through mud, running with a bicycle on your shoulder, and leaping over barriers, it’s a good idea to make sure that your head is protected.
4. Long sleeve jersey and bib shorts, or a skinsuit: ‘cross races have a reputation for being challenging, so the last thing you want is to worry about being too cold or your saddle rubbing you the wrong way.
5. Cantilever or disc brakes: either one is fine so long as they fit your bike, but these brakes have enough clearance to allow even the muddiest tires to keep spinning.
6. Eyewear: it’s inevitable that you’ll end up getting sprayed in the face with mud, sand and who knows what else. Protect your eyes with a quality pair of sunglasses.
7. Knobby tires: knobby tires give you just enough traction to keep rolling through the mud, but without slowing you down on the flat and fast parts of the course.