Roll Up! Roll Up!
Tired of your fixie? Realised freewheels are great? Want to be part of the next big thing™?
Cyclocross is for you!
Not only this, there’s an endless supply of things to buy. We have crabon, lots of crabon. And you can buy it regularly since cyclocross features lots of mud meaning all your parts will wear out quickly meaning you can replace it quicker with the latest in innovation.
The Otley Cyclocross Race
I’d never been to a cyclocross race before (so take this all with a pinch of salt). Ben was riding it so I took the family along to have look – it being just down the road and all. It was muddy, very muddy. Taking place on a sports field and dipping in and out of the woods. It looked pretty busy from an entries point of view and there were quite a few spectators too – mostly families and SOs. I was pleasantly surprised.
Ben showed us all how it’s (not) done by having a lot of fun, finishing a convincing last, and doing an extra lap because of miscommunication with the finish line official. But he looked to enjoy it and had a great workout. We’re very proud of you Ben.
At one point on the push back to the van to load the bike that Ben had ridden I pushed it for a minute. The wheels barely moved round they were so hindered by mud, leaves, and debris. And that’s when it hit me. Cyclocross bikes are completely unfit for purpose.
Unfit for Purpose
Cyclocross bikes – basically a roadbike with marginally fatter tires, and mud clearance that sucks. I saw no one get into the drops, and the aero-dynamic crabon wheelsets did nothing to cut through the air. 1mph doesn’t really benefit from fairings.
Why is this? Some kind of legacy cycling discipline that ages back to pre mountain bikes and has some kind of tradition that can’t see the completely obvious yet can sell the latest technology that actually does nothing to improve the sport? Only discs brakes (that a few were using) might bring a marginal improvement – and not to the braking because the riders were hardly going fast enough to warrant the power of a disc – no, the improvement was slightly increased mud clearance. This time going from 1mm clearance to 2mm! (Buy Buy!)
Here’s my Bright Idea
Use a rigid 29er mountain bike. Put fairly narrow flat bars on so you don’t rip the other competitors to pieces – 23inch was all the rage back in 1996 so lets start there (or you could even make use of those dildo bars that are now cluttering up your shed from your fixie obsession last year). Put in your cyclocross wheels. You’ll have miles of mud clearance. You’ll have so much you can stick your fist between the wheel and the fork leg. You can buy as much carbon as you want (that should keep the
local bike shop mailorder company happy) to build a bike that weighs less than the mud you would have collected on your standard CX bike, and it can potentially cost you thousands. You’ll still have your fun and you’ll give yourself the incredible advantage over the competition – wheels that turn at the start of the race and will still be turning one minute into the race when everyone else is suddenly struck down immense glooping friction.