Tips for Getting Started:
Prepare the morning of the race.
Cyclocross Training for Beginners – Key Learning Points. Builds on your endurance base from summer road riding. Session 3 – Bursts of 20 sec on and 10 off for 5 minutes (3 per session) Build hill running into your off road cyclocross training sessions. Condition your legs to switching from running to riding.
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Also known simply as “'cross,” cyclocross involves riding a drop-bar bike very similar to a road bike over a relatively short racecourse featuring a combination of rough terrain—such as deep mud, sand, rocks, and even snow—for several repeating laps.
Cyclocross races are typically 40 minutes to 1 hour long, they're run over short circuits with each lap being 1 to 3 kilometres long. Competitors start in a bunch and spread out - the faster riders will complete more laps and commissars (or timing chips) keep a track of who is where.
Definition of cyclo-cross : the sport of racing bicycles over rough terrain that usually requires carrying the bicycle over obstacles.
Cyclocross bikes are used for cyclocross events while road bikes are used for road racing events. The events dictate the design and function of each bike. For example, the cyclocross bike must be light and durable because the cyclocross event is filled with many obstacles or in an obstacle race setting.
1.5- to 2-mileThe Course Typical cyclocross courses are 1.5- to 2-mile loops on a mix of paved and off-road surfaces over flat-to-rolling terrain. Usually, races lasts an hour plus a lap.
They are typically differentiated by their greater tire clearances, lower gearing, stronger frames, cantilever brakes or disc brakes and more upright riding position. They also share characteristics with mountain bicycles in that they use knobby tread tires for traction and, increasingly, disc brakes.
Most gravel bikes feature a more relaxed geometry than cyclocross bikes, designed for days of riding rather than an hour or so, and for tackling rougher trails. This enhanced emphasis on comfort tends to give a shorter reach and more upright body position.
Why not? Cyclo-cross is a winter sport. It began as a means for road cyclists to exercise during winter. But it's become a sport in its own right, recognized by cycling's governing body, the UCI, which holds an annual world championship every winter.
Cyclocross bikes are designed to be raced on cyclocross courses, which can often include a variety of terrains such as mud, sand, rocks, and even snow. They also include run-up sections that require racers to dismount their bike, as well as barriers that must be jumped over either by dismounting or bunny-hopping.
So according to that formula, we'd never discourage you from buying a road bike too. In all seriousness though, it's perfectly acceptable to ride your cyclocross bike as a road bike and just use a spare set of wheels with narrower road tires.
4:477:18Riding a Cyclocross/Gravel Bike on Trails - YouTubeYouTubeStart of suggested clipEnd of suggested clipPosition when you're riding a cross bike on trails typically. I stay on the hoods of the bicycle.MorePosition when you're riding a cross bike on trails typically. I stay on the hoods of the bicycle. That's because I really want to have access to the brakes. At. All times I want to cover the brakes.
Cyclocross is a bike racing discipline that involves riding a drop-handlebar bike on a short, off-road course, usually in a park or similar. Courses include features like mud, sandpits, barriers and steps or slopes too steep to ride, forcing riders to run, as well as easier sections.
Courses are typically 2.5-3.5km (1.5-2 miles) long with lots of turns and myriad obstacles.
Cyclo-cross equipment. Somewhere between a road bike and a mountain bike came the birth of the cyclo-cross bike. A cyclo-cross bike’s frame and handlebars look a lot like a road bike’s – light, sleek, and agile, cyclo-cross bikes rip through the mud and rail corners from tape to tape.
On more forgiving courses, you may only have to hop off your bike once per lap to run over the barriers. A cyclo-cross-style dismount is another discipline-specific skill that goes something like this: the rider unclips one foot as they approach the barriers. Rider then slows down for the barriers (if necessary), ...
Cyclo-cross is a unique cycling discipline with varying terrain and obstacles packed onto a short, twisting, often-muddy course, where riders sprint full gas from start to finish in a fast and furious action-packed ...
The start is absolutely critical in cyclo-cross because the narrow and twisting course will quickly cause major gaps between the riders from first to last. Riders zig and zag throughout the course, quickly forming a very long line of suffering cyclists. Cyclo-cross races are short and action-packed, with beginner-level races starting ...
Barriers are the most well-known cyclo-cross obstacle – consisting of two planks set 4-6m (13-20ft) apart, these barriers cover the width of the course and force riders to either dismount or, for the brave and skilled, hop over them.
Because course layouts and conditions vary so much, lap times can be as short as six minutes and sometimes over ten minutes.
Off-road shoes – be they cyclocross, gravel or mountain bike shoes – are essential.
Some riders prefer a 1x setup for cyclocross racing, but it’s not essential.
Cyclocross tyres come in a huge range of styles to suit all conditions.
Cyclo-cross ( cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or 'cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or "World Cup" season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring ...
Cyclocross is typically an autumn and winter sport, the northern hemisphere season running from September to February. The World Championships take place in late January. The Canada championships are held in November with the USA and UK championships held in January.
Many cyclo-cross bicycles are now set up with a single chainring and chain "drop" guards. A single chainring setup simplifies mechanics and reduces the chance of the chain derailing on a bumpy course. People who do run a double chain-ring set up on their bicycles generally use a 36-46 gearing.
Generally each lap is around 2.5-3.5 km and is 90% rideable. Races run under UCI rules must have courses that are always at least 3 m wide to encourage passing at any opportunity, but sections of singletrack are common for small races in the US and Great Britain. A variety of terrain is typical, ranging from roads to paths with short steep climbs, off camber sections, many corners and, a defining feature, sections where the rider may need, or would be best advised to dismount and run while carrying the bike. Under-tire conditions include asphalt, hardpack dirt, grass, mud and sand. In comparison to cross-country mountain bike events, terrain is smoother. Less emphasis is put on negotiating rough or even rocky ground with more stress on increased speed and negotiating different types of technical challenges.
In addition, single speed cyclo-cross bikes are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of reasons, including lower initial cost of setup, ease of use and maintenance, and decreased likelihood of mechanical failure on the course.
Clothing is similar to that of road racing. However, since cyclo-cross is a cold-weather sport there is an emphasis toward warmer clothing such as long sleeves, tights, knickers and arm and leg warmers.
The first United States Cyclo-cross National Championships took place on October 20, 1963 in Palos Park, IL, near Chicago. These championships in the midwest continued until 1969. Cyclo-cross began to become popular in the United States in the 1970s, in New England and California.
Cyclocross is a unique form of racing that combines some aspects of road racing and mountain biking. The races take place over a short course that typically includes stretches of grass, sand, and pavement, with obstacles dispersed in between.
Cyclocross is more than a test of who has the highest FTP or the ability to ride at threshold the longest. Courses are specifically designed to slow you down, whether it’s barriers, sand, run-ups, or tight turns. These speed checks result in repeated accelerations.
A cyclocross training plan prepares you for the varied nature of cyclocross racing by targeting high-end sustainable power, the ability to generate high force at low cadences, and the development of repeated, high-power outputs following little if any recovery.
Here are some examples of the workouts you can expect to find in a cyclocross training plan. If you’re not ready for a training plan or need some extra flexibility, you could even use TrainNow to select Attacking workouts that are intelligently recommended based on your current fitness.
Aside from the fitness demands, cyclocross is uniquely known for a wide variety of course obstacles. These can include barriers, sandpits, stairs, or run-ups, with most requiring you to dismount and run. For beginners, the most important skill to develop is a smooth dismount and remount.
Make sure the pedal tension isn’t set too high. It may help to loosen it some, to help to clip out and back in.
For many cyclocross series, race rules allow for a wide variety of bikes. So if you don’t have a dedicated ‘cross bike, don’t worry because you’re likely to see some gravel and mountain bikes at a local race.
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The origins of ‘cross are shrouded in mystery. Most cycling historians agree that the discipline started in the early years of the twentieth century.
Cyclocross races are short and intense. Senior men’s races are generally just over one hour (the time of the first lap is used to calculate the total number of laps) and women’s races are 50 minutes. Races for riders in younger categories are slightly shorter.
Races take place on a circuit of between 2.5km and 3.5km, with a mixture of surfaces including grass, mud, sand, gravel, tarmac. The regulations say that 90 percent of the course has to be rideable, but this is rarely enforced.
They share the same DNA but cyclocross bikes have evolved to suit the demands of the discipline. The most obvious difference is the tires: Knobbly tires are essential, and racers can become obsessive about matching their tread pattern to the conditions. For beginners, there are multi-purpose tires that work perfectly well on most courses.
If you want to give it a go, track down your local cycling club and they will be able to point you in the direction of your nearest cyclocross league. Leagues are usually regional and hold races most weekends between September and January, so you’ll soon get to know your fellow competitors.
Cyclocross courses generally consist of repeated laps of a short (1-4 km) course. Official UCI sanctioned race courses must be between 2.5 and 3.5 km in length, but local or non-official races will often be slightly shorter or longer than this. Official UCI regulations state that at least 90% of the course must be rideable, with the other 10% (or less) being barriers, stairs, run-ups, etc. that are not passable on the bike. Local races will tend to have similar proportions, although often much more than 90% of the course is rideable. Courses that meet UCI regulations must be at least 3 meters wide in all places to allow for passing. This is the regulation that is most often ignored in smaller races, and you will find some races that include narrow single-track or tight sections on sidewalks. These sections add to the excitement, so unless you’re in a UCI race, enjoy it!
Cyclocross, also known as ‘cross or cx is often described as “mountain biking on a road bike.” This description seems to please most non-cyclists, who often walk away with a silly grin (or very confused look) on their faces. However, we committed roadies will want some more details. Cyclocross is similar to mountain biking in some ways in that it takes place on a variety of surfaces, not just asphalt. However, it is almost always much less “technical” than mountain biking; you are unlikely to see rock gardens or drop-offs on a cyclocross course for example. You’ll learn more about what to expect from the course and terrain in the “What to expect at your first race” section, below. On the other hand, cyclocross is similar to road cycling as well, since the bikes look (especially to non-cyclists) a lot like a typical road bike, with drop bars and rigid suspension, while races are organized more like criteriums than a typical mountain bike race.
Not only will racing cyclocross help you maintain your fitness, it can help you improve your fitness. Since cyclocross involves very intense effort and some serious muscling on some of the steeper climbs or through mud pits, you’ll develop more power, strength, speed and intensity, which is certainly going to be evident when you’re back on the road. After all, power meters are now almost “standard issue” for serious roadies, so a fun way to increase power in the off season should be too! If you’re a time trial rider, you’ll have a good feel for the short, intense effort that’s required in cyclocross. However, one main difference is that you won’t be putting out a constant effort as you do in a time trial; instead, your effort level will be ever-changing as you mount/dismount, run up hills, slog through mud, and hammer on the grass.
Almost all cyclocross courses will contain at least one run-up. A run-up is a short, steep section of hill that is unrideable, and thus must be run. In most cases, this is a result of the steepness of the hill, the muddiness (and thus slipperiness), or the presence of a barrier at the bottom which forces a dismount. Some run-ups may result from the combination of two or more of these reasons. In general, you’ll want to portage (shoulder) your bike on run-ups, although on shorter run-ups, you can push your bike beside you as you run. Try both options during your warmup to see which is fastest given the specifics of the course.
These structures allow a course to cross over itself, and consist of a set of ramps forming a bridge over another section of the race course. Many fly-overs are steep, and require speed to climb! Since courses are often created in small parks, fly-overs allow organizers to cram more course into a smaller space by crossing it over itself.
Courses will sometimes incorporate corkscrews, which are sharp, twisting spiral turns that force riders to maintain speed and control. They will generally be taped or fenced off to ensure riders follow the course.
By racing cyclocross even at a non-competitive “easy” level, you’ll do wonders in maintaining your fitness so you can start off the next season stronger and faster than ever before.
typical cyclocross course is 2.5 – 3.5 km in length. That means that you may need 1000 – 2000 stakes. Stakes can also be broken during crashes. You should have extra stakes available on race day.
The start line is at the front, and eight lanes. Course tape and stakes limit access. The barrel in the background has been placed behind the grid to create a gate for call-ups.
Assuming that the course is mostly complete, the following tools may be required: Gas powered weed-eaters.
The surface of a cyclocross cross can be quite variable, but certain conditions should be avoided: rocky ground or heavily rooted ground, too much soft, grassy or mulchy ground, which when dry tends to be too bouncy and when wet turns into a complete quagmire. Some is good, but an entire course of it is
Cyclocross is a unique bicycle sport. It is not a variation of either mountain biking or road racing. There are some common aspects of both those sports in cyclocross, but it is a mistake to view cyclocross with
Not really a course design issue, but if feeding is to occur, it will be done in the pits. Feeding is not permitted in USA Cycling-sanctioned cyclocross races unless specifically authorized by the chief referee. No feeding is allowed the first 2 or last 2 laps, so a race needs to be at least 5 laps long for feeding to
Cyclo-cross (cyclocross, CX, cyclo-X or 'cross) is a form of bicycle racing. Races typically take place in the autumn and winter (the international or "World Cup" season is October–February), and consist of many laps of a short (2.5–3.5 km or 1.5–2 mile) course featuring pavement, wooded trails, grass, steep hills and obstacles requiring the rider to quickly dismount, carry the bike while navigatin…
There are many stories about the origins of cyclo-cross. One is that European road racers in the early 1900s would race each other to the next town over from them and that they were allowed to cut through farmers' fields or over fences, or take any other shortcuts, in order to make it to the next town first. This was sometimes called steeple chase as the only visible landmark in the next town was often the steeple. This was a way for them to stay in shape during the winter months …
Cyclocross is typically an autumn and winter sport, the northern hemisphere season running from September to February. The World Championships take place in late January. The Canada championships are held in November with the US and UK championships held in January. In the United States, there is little racing after that except in states with year-round warm climates such as Florida and California. The cyclocross racing season within southern hemisphere nations typi…
Cyclo-cross bicycles generally resemble road racing bicycles. Cyclo-cross-specific frames differ with their wider tire clearances, knobby tires, cantilever or disc brakes, and lower gearing. Cables are generally routed on the upper side of the top tube, which allows the rider to carry the bike comfortably on the right shoulder through portage sections, and prevents cable contamination by dirt. Popular on many cyclocross bikes is routing the brakes so that the right brake is often the fr…
Races usually consist of many laps over a short course, ending when a time limit is reached, rather than after a specific number of laps or certain distance; the typical length for senior events is one hour, with 30 and 45 minute races for lower categories being the norm. Generally each lap is around 2.5-3.5 km and is 90% rideable. Races run under UCI rules must have courses that are always at least 3 m wide to encourage passing at any opportunity, but sections of singletrack ar…
Although cyclo-cross courses are less technical than those of mountain biking, each particular obstacle requires specific technical abilities of competitors. For example, dirt single-track and streams (like in mountain biking) are also sometimes integrated into the course, depending on the location, both of which require rider experience and technique. Some course sections are extremely muddy, wet or even snowy in the winter, and others are dusty and sandy. Most of thes…
• UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships
• UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup
• National Cyclo-cross Championships
• Superprestige (Europe)
• Gravel cycling