cyclocross

Peaking For Cyclocross Nationals

No matter how you got there, the final two weeks before cyclocross nationals is a unique period. With the continued growth and momentum of 'cross, a couple thousand of us will be finishing their seasons with an event that for some of it's the most important race of the year. For others it's just a chance to compete on the same course as the United States' best 'crossers before they shut things down. Whatever your level and goals, it's time to fine tune and make sure you're peaking for the event.

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Warming Up For Cyclocross

I’ve written about warming up before (http://www.cycle-smart.com/node/978), and certainly the information in my previous article applies to cyclocross. However, there are additional considerations when warming up for cyclocross that are unique to ‘cross, or at the very least, more important than they are for other disciplines. Course inspection is the primary additional concern that affects all other factors.

Suitcases and Armpits: How to Carry Your Bike Correctly

When I teach technique in a clinic, I most often start by demonstrating bad examples, because very often riders can relate to that and use it as a starting place. They recognize themselves and can identify with it, often exclaiming “Oh, right, yes!

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When, Why, and How to Dismount in Cyclocross

Of all the debates about ‘cross equipment choices and proper technique, it continues to amaze and entertain me that every September we renew the dismount debate: to step through, or to step around? And while I might enjoy egging that debate on for laughs, it seems to me that many people could use some straight answers. There will be purists in both camps who will not have their minds changed either way, and many who think that because they get away with a particular technique it must be the “right” way.

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Power, Stability and Confidence in the Mud

As cyclocross has grown and developed in the US, we've typically drawn our inspiration from images and stories of European events. And on a continent where there's lots of farmland, lots of rain, and temperatures that rarely go below freezing all fall and winter, that means mud is often a main feature of European races, especially in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, where the sport is most popular.

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Intervals For Cyclocross

Cyclocross is hard, plain and simple. There are very few sports that require the same level of intensity from start to finish over the course of an hour as a cyclocross event, where you're trying to perfom at maximum output for the entire duration, combined with technique that requries a high level of skill and responding to unpredictiable scenarios, while still also thinking critically and making tactical decisions, too.

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Running For Cyclocross

Like barriers or mud, running is one of those core qualities of cyclocross that isn't the most important aspect or even mandatory, but crucial to be prepared for. 'Cross is still mostly about who can pedal their bike the fastest, and while a race might be lost on the run, they're only occasionally won there.

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The Secret Set Up, Part 3: Shifters, Brakes, Drivetrain

There are many different ways to build or set up a cyclocross bike. Most are related to personal preference, but no matter how a bike is set up, the basic principles that should be adhered to are that the bike should be reliable, light, and simple. The order in which you prioritize these things depends on how fast you are, how serious you are, or how rich you are. For many, reliability is infinitely more important than light weight, because there's nothing slower than a broken bike.

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The Secret Set Up, Part 2: Wheels and Tires

In my last article, I introduced the idea of how difficult it used to be to find reliable information about cyclocross, and how the mysterious cult of 'cross was hard to infiltrate. There's a lot of folklore out there, and a lot of old-school knowledge that not everyone wanted to share. If you've got a seat post in your garage that you drilled a hole in for a brake cable to pass through, or if you've ever glued tire tread to the bottom of a pair of road shoes, then you're one of those old-school insiders.

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The Secret Set Up, Part 1: Cyclocross Bike Fit

Bike racing has a reputation of being an elitist sport. Not necessarily because all cyclists are snobs (though they may be), but more because cycling in the US has been a sport that was difficult to find out about and get started with compared to mainstream ball sports. The people who did discover it found a secret world of Italian racing bikes and pink newspapers, or maybe decided to study French instead of Spanish in high school.

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