We know – N+1 and all, but we’re not sure we’re ready to make a commitment yet. Do you need a cyclocross bike to race?
At local level, you can first have a go on a mountain bike, so you can experiment before investing.
Do you have any tips for choosing a great cyclocross bike?
Make sure to sit on a bike to check your position is comfortable and the reach isn’t too long. For cyclocross, reach is important for handling muddy conditions – I’d suggests having your reach slightly shorter than on a road bike.
Braking systems in cyclocross are now shifting more towards disk brakes and I’m a total convert as they give me the confidence to stop quite easily and this has really helped me.
Weight is also important – some elements of the race require picking it up, so something that doesn’t take too much effort to get on your shoulder is always helpful.
We know tyres and tyre pressure are really important – what are your recommendations?
Tyres and tyre pressure choice depend on the conditions of the course. I usually put a mud tyre with grip on the front to help with cornering and then an intermediate tyre on the back, which is a little less draggy.
I use tubs [tyres that are glued on the rim] which does allow you to run slightly lower pressures in muddy conditions, as there is less of a risk of pinch punctures. I usually start with 20 psi in and then try the course. If I’m slipping around I usually let a little out to find grip. Tubs aren’t essential and can be a faff to set up, so if you are using tyres and inner tubes you may need some more air to prevent punctures.