It’s muddy, it’s cold – it’s cyclocross season! Apparel specialist Endura notes that cyclocross has seen a massive upsurge in global popularity over recent years and there are a large number of cross bikes regularly seen at Endura’s Scottish HQ.
The company adds that the sport offers a diverse mix of riders – ranging from ‘die-hard CX racers heading off to events round the country every weekend to the more relaxed newbies who use cross bikes to make the most of the Glasgow-Edinburgh canal towpath and local woods in the months where road riding is much less appealing.’
Lunch break banter may often include enthusiastic tales of last weekend’s CX races and the horrendous/ wet/ stormy and inevitably very muddy conditions. And as always when one cycling enthusiast meets the other, it’s about the latest bikes, kit and gadgets.
For newcomers to this fun Autumn/Winter discipline of cycling, Endura notes that the question is not only what bike you need and what skills you should learn, but also what to wear for Cyclocross racing.
Endura spoke to CX expert and XC legend Oli Beckingsale, winner of the 2012 British Cycling National Cross Country Series as well as the 2012 National Trophy Cyclocross Series.
Oli Beckingsale has been racing in Endura apparel for years and knows the company’s collection inside out. In addition to putting the kit through the grinder and giving invaluable feedback, he was even actively involved in the development of the Endura MTR range.
Since the CX season runs from October through to January, there may be significant differences in temperature and weather in that period. “Cyclocross is pretty intensive”, explained Oli. “So you are going to sweat. Even if it is freezing cold, you are still gonna be working pretty hard, and you’re out there 45 to 60min.”
With this in mind the recommended racing outfit consists of a baselayer, top, bibshorts, and potentially arm warmers on a really cold day.
In terms of gloves, they vary massively according to temperature. On a warm day, track mitts can be sufficient; while on a slightly chilly day a full-finger MTB-style glove like Endura’s MTR Glove is an alternative.
Oli personally prefers MTB-style gloves for their off-roadie feel and the little bit of protection that they give. For colder weather he recommends the Endura Windchill Glove, and for freezing, wet weather you’ve “got to go for Neoprene!”