Prepare for the CruX Season
It’s already agonisingly close to the end of August, which means the cycling world will shortly be turning off the paved roads and bombing it, instead, through thick mud, sketchy rock gardens and up and over vicious ramps. Cyclocross is one of the most popular and fast-growing disciplines of the cycling world and is a favourite way for roadies to keep in shape and on form in the off season.
Here’s a video we made with Specialized athlete, Nikki Brammeier, one of the strongest riders in the women’s cyclocross field, to whet your appetite for the coming ‘cross season.
The season kicks off in September and runs until February, so if you’re thinking of getting cracking in cyclocross, now is the perfect time to get yourself ready. Here’s how:
If you’re already a seasoned road cyclist, you’ll find that you can quite happily recycle your existing clothing for CX. The cyclocross season spans the winter months, so you’ll need warm and weather-resistant kit, but which also allows you to sustain a maximum range of movement on tight courses where you might be frequently lifting, even carrying your bike. A decent pair of bib shorts is vital and you’ll be thankful for a comfortable, warm but breathable long sleeved jersey on those crisp autumn days. It’s never too early to start thinking about extra warmers for the knees or arms either, especially as the days begin to shorten.
As with the clothing you choose to wear, you won’t need a discipline-specific helmet for cyclocross. A high-quality piece of road cycling headwear like the S-Works Prevail II will do the job and then some. Famed for its lightweight characteristics and superlative aerodynamic design, it offers the very best of all-round performance available on the market.
This is where we start to stray from the road cycling wardrobe. It is standard for cyclocross riders to fit their bikes with SPD pedals, typically associated with mountain biking. This system is easier to get into (and out of) in stickier conditions and the accompanying shoes are often designed with a recess for the cleat, making it far easier to walk (and run). On cyclocross courses, shouldering the bike and running with it is all part of the game, so a versatile and comfortable pair of kicks is one of the most important considerations.
Thrilling though it may be, cyclocross can be particularly damaging to your bike’s components, parts and accessories. It is not uncommon for a bike to change from its original colour to brown by the end of a race and most professional riders will change their bikes mid-race to ensure everything runs smoothly when it matters. Tyres and wheels take a battering too with punctures all but guaranteed. Luckily, Specialized has got you covered with some great products to keep you riding.
Last but very definitely not least is the bike. The Specialized CruX is our dedicated race machine for cyclocross competition. It is one of the models which has benefited from a design overhaul for the new season, moving away from its former status as a “do it all” off roader. Now featuring our Rider-First Engineered™ technology for optimised performance across the whole size range, the frame has also been on a bit of a diet, now proudly one of the lightest production CX models on the market. Race-ready and more lively than ever, the Specialized CruX is more than prepared to take on the 2017-18 CX season.
Leave a comment
Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated. HTML code is not allowed.