CycloCross Overview ’08
A cyclocross race is probably one of the wildest and most exciting bike races that you could possibly try, and it has gained huge fame since the first race. Being in a winter race, wheels sink deep in the mud and your heart beats fast with every cycle that you paddle, this is true sportsmanship.
Precipitation is a must for the cyclocross race, and you will have to battle against the force of Mother Nature. Are you ready to dive deep in the sand, or carry your victory through the muddy slump?
What Is CycloCross Race?
Originated in Europe back in the 1900s, cyclocross is an intensive winter sport to maintain the fitness of pro cyclists. Moreover, through the muddy and hard-to-control track, the racers’ cycling skills will also be honed.
Considering the difficulty of this type of racing, the cyclocross courses may differ, the terrains can be pavement, off-road surface, muddy track, and a mix of those. One loop can be from 1.5 miles to 2 miles too.
During these loops, you will have to overcome various tough terrains like a drop-off, technical singletrack, and river crossing. Sometimes, it is even too hard to ride when the wheels are half in the mud. But it is where the fun begins. You can either bunny hopping, or simply carry your bike over to conquer the obstacles.
The cyclocross courses often consist of many laps, with the time limit signaling the end of the race. Each lap can go up to 3.5km and can be overcome with bike riding, but there are tracks that even the most powerful bike can be in trouble.
A wide range of terrains is preferred, including steep climbs, roads, paths with off-camber sections, corners, and muddy sections. Dirt, grass, sand, and mud are common surfaces in a cyclocross race.
Therefore, it is allowed that the riders carry their bikes on the shoulders and “bunny hop” through the most challenging sections. Other techniques can be applied, although the number is fewer than mountain biking. The obstacles require different techniques and abilities, sometimes stamina and endurance of the races.
Cyclocross races can be held in extreme weather conditions, when snows fall, rains pour, winds growl, and so on. The muddy can hold you back, the sand can trip you off – everything is against you on a cyclocross course.
Not only the nature factor, but the organizers can also increase the difficulty of the race. Steps, barriers, stairs, slopes, ditches, and mud slumps are frequently featured in these races.
Therefore, there needs to be full-forced coordination. The riders must maintain the momentum even though they have to get on and get off the bike, changing and controlling the bike continuously through the course.
Why Is CycloCross for You?
These sports require effort and strength, not anyone can handle this easily. It is technically challenging and physically demanding, the race also is held in harsh weather conditions. But the harder the race is, the sweeter the rewards for completing it.
Moreover, it helps to improve your stamina and overall health. For athletes to be inactive for the whole winter can make your sport senses and physical build go dull. Therefore, participating in a cyclocross race will help to prevent that.
Which Bike Do You Need for A Cyclocross Race?
To be able to participate in the race, you need a trusty companion – a durable cyclocross bike. There are other options like a modified mountain bike or road bike, but a cyclocross bike excels all.
Pro race competition may have specific requirements for the bike, for example, drop handlebars, tire diameter, or wheel size. A cyclocross bike is basically a road bike with some upgrades, the frame and component are normally modified.
The drop bars and 700c wheels are the same, but cantilever brakes are built-in for a better ride in the mud and for stopping power. The frame is wider to assist the tire spinning even when covered in mud.
The bottom bracket is placed higher to prevent mud from covering the whole thing and making the pedaling easier. The fatty knobby tires are good to go in the slumpy terrain too.
For cyclocross races, the bike gearing can be optimized based on your preferences. Rear cassettes are between 12-27s and 13-27s, and tread tires for lower rolling resistance and hooking up the mud.
Compact cranks are widely used, with chainrings of 34-44 and 39-50 for inner and outer. Dual-sided clipless pedals for mountain bikes are the best for cyclocross races. These pedals are good to work with, dust off and mud off easier, and compatible with off-road shoes.
Cyclocross bikes are well put together for this specific race. They are lighter, faster, easier to handle, and good at clearing the mud off. Not only great for these winter races, but you can also use them for daily ride, commuting, touring, or any type of bike riding without any difficulty.
The Felt F1X – Best for A Cyclocross Race
In the hazardous condition of the cyclocross race, the Felt F1X is the true beast. This model can combat all the terrain and still maintain ease of control.
The F1X is built from proprietary double-butted Superlight 7005 aluminum tubing, the most desirable material for the majority of the best cyclocross riders. This custom-drawn frame has clever touches to offer you the best of its range.
This tubing design allows effortless shouldering and rides stiffening with the ovalized top and down tubes. The sloping frame may not be the best looking, but the cooperation of the rear brake and tubing makes a clean and quick stop.
It is specifically designed for off-road riding, the F1X’s manufacturers put their effort into balancing and improving the brake hoods, realizing the ability of stability and ease of control even in the muddy terrain. The mud clearance of F1X is also outstanding, and the forks reduce most of the vibration and help with dust and mud clearance.
The space in-between the frame is well proportioned, so the bike can work well with the grungiest 35c tires. The cable is placed smartly along the underpart of the downtube, so it would be neat and avoid getting in the way of riding. Rerouting the cable like this also helps to minimize the contaminants building up, making shifting going smoothly.
The brake of F1X is cantilever type, assuring the maximum power even in wet and slippery conditions. Moreover, this type does not let mud get on easily, increasing the mud clearance. Technically, the top-mount brake levels are quite essential if you want to descent fast and do cornering smoothly.
The rims of this cyclocross bike are the Mavic CXP-22S, a durable and long-lasting one, no matter how hard the race is. The carbon fork complements the frame, evening out all the bumps on the race. The rear triangle is small, straightening the rear wheel tracking.
The F1X is excellent in hill climbing and riding on steep terrain, with the combination of 46/36 chainrings and an 11-25 10-speed cassette. The handlebar is a drop bar, the standard or very professional cyclocross race bike.
These parts are combined to give a powerful performance, conquering both the elements and the competition. Even if it is the heated racing track or for the off-road season, the F1X will be the best.
The shining point of this model is its smart geometry, the 72-degree head angle and 45mm fork rake partnered together for sharp handling. The 55mm bottom bracket drop helps to accelerate speedily, turning and cornering is no problem.
The overall weight of an F1X cyclocross bike is ideal for the race, especially in the case of carrying it on your shoulder. The eye-candy matte black Felt coating is the pride of the Felt family, dominating all the tracks and obstacles.
The Experience With F1X
In general, the customers who have tried out cyclocross with F1X find it satisfactory. This is one of the most efficient, easy-to-control, and fast-pace bikes that have set its wheel into the cyclocross race.
For its price, most of the riders consider F1X to be a valuable choice for cyclocross bikes. For such a decent amount of money, you will get all Ultegra, carbon fork, and aluminum frames that boast high quality. The frame is stiff and sturdy, the majority of racers rate it to be long-lasting and durable.
The geometry of the F1X is also great, it provides an overall excellent speed and comfort, as well as ergonomics. The bike feels natural at hands, only dealing with the handlebar for a few minutes and racers can know all the tricks to control this bike.
Moreover, steering and paddling are pieces of cake too, the F1X is quickly responsive to all of the turning and accelerating. Although F1X is not designed to run fast on flat roads, the ability to be steady and stable for both racing uphill and downhill is totally a plus.
The appearance of F1X is undeniably a hooker. With the sweet flat back color and stunning geometry, every rider would give it a thumb up. The tires can feel a bit heavy at first, but the racers later are convinced of the shock-proofing ability of the bike, allowing you to go fast without any vibration whatsoever from the bumpy road.
The only regret with this model is that it is a bestseller, so keeping up with stocking is quite hard. One moment you see it available, the next you receive the notice saying that it is out of stock. So, don’t hesitate, and don’t let your dream bike slip away!