Cyclocross is back
Ah, cyclocross. Its return to our local parks signifies the end of the road racing season and winter drawing near. A 45- to 60-minute blast in a muddy field, teetering at your anaerobic capacity and hopping over obstacles, is a fantastic way of keeping fit and scratching your competitive itch over winter. Gone are the days of mindless base miles on the road. Instead, we welcome this thrilling and skill-boosting discipline.
It’s all about the bike
At Specialized, we recognise that cyclocross isn't just a winter training regime, it's a separate cycling discipline with a different set of skills and fitness requirements, and a hardcore fan base all of its own. That's why we developed the Crux. The Crux is our lightweight do-it-all bike that can handle a cyclocross race one day and a multi-terrain commute the next.
Cyclocross bikes should be well balanced and agile. By using performance-oriented gravel geometry, the Crux allows the rider to have complete control over the handling. What’s more, the bike is so light that you can bunny-hop or run over obstacles with ease, making it a versatile racing machine – built with the racer in mind.
Protect the crown
When it comes to helmets, just because you might have a softer landing in cyclocross racing, doesn’t mean you should give your head any less protection. Our helmets provide lightweight and effective head protection with some of the most advanced technology on the market. MIPS SL is exclusive to Specialized helmets, taking the renowned MIPS technology and integrating it within the helmet padding.
For our S-Works Evade and Prevail helmets, we've included the ANGI crash sensor. This innovative bit of kit provides peace of mind not only for you but for your family and friends too. It works by connecting to the Specialized Ride App and acts as a safety beacon. It can also detect when you've had a crash and ping your selected emergency contacts if you need help.
In cyclocross, what you wear is especially important. The temperatures are often low and the mud and water can make riding uncomfortable. At Specialized, we take winter comfort seriously and have a range of warmers available to help protect you from the elements when you’re putting the power down.
Every good ride (and race) starts with getting the basics of your kit sorted. Our merino wool base layer features Dryarn on the interior, providing breathability in all conditions without letting the warm air escape.
While you’re warming up before your race or in the early part of your ride, you’ll want to protect your arms and legs. Our Therminal range provides warmth with stretchy Lombardia fleece, and both arm and leg warmers use anti-slip elastic bands to prevent the sleeves from falling down with movement.
As cyclocross is primarily run in the winter months, it's important you pay attention to your body temperature. Don't compare yourself to others, choose what works for you, whether it’s fingered or non-fingered gloves, full bibs or leg warmers…
Rubber side (not always) down
Tyres are also a big consideration for cyclocross. Racers want to take into account the course and the weather conditions before deciding on the best tyre. If it's wet, and let's face it, it probably will be, you'll want something suited to mud. This also means you'll want to consider running a lower PSI than usual to grab as much grip as you can.
And if your tyres can’t grip then your last chance is your shoes. They’re not just needed for pedalling in cyclocross, there may be times when getting off your bike and running is quicker than struggling through muddy ruts. In which case, Specialized has you covered.
Our off-road SPD-ready shoes provide superb grip and there's a choice between BOA dials and laces depending on the terrain (and your personal preference). The S-Works Recon MTB shoes are race-ready and incredibly lightweight, but without compromising on power transfer. These shoes are there to help you put the watts out when you're pedalling, and make it easier to run when you're not.
If you’re not sure where to start with cyclocross, why not pop down to one of our stores, where our friendly staff can guide you in the right direction. Click here to find your nearest one.
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