Are You Ready For Cyclo-cross? | 5 CX Pre-Season Essentials

– We’re counting down the
days, not weeks, days, until the ‘cross season,
starts here in New England where I’m from in the United States. It’s a very exciting time. So, I decided to put
together some tips for your pre-season, cyclo-cross checklist, to make sure that when you hit the track, you’re ready to go. (typing) (whooshing) Okay, so first up, we’re
going to talk about equipment. Now, during the pre-season,
it’s really important to go through all of
your gear from last year, to make sure that your
equipment is on point. Why? Well, if you do all this training, and you condition your body, and you’re feeling strong, you
get out on the ‘cross course, you go through that first bump, bars go down to the ground, chains broken, shoe broke, not cool. So, I’m going to show you guys
a couple of the things that I do every year, to make sure
that I’m ready to go. First up, would be the cleats,
they need to be replaced, if you have loose, old cleats, you’re going to be jumping a barrier, or jumping an obstacle in cyclo-cross, and you can pull out of your pedal, and then you can have
a recipe for disaster. On longer rides, loose
cleats make a lot of wobble, knee issues, not good. So, how do you get the cleats to be in the same place every time? Well because I’m using the
exact same tread and pattern that I have, from shoe to
shoe, and year to year, you can see, that this
one, measures up at 19, and this one, also measures up at 19. It’s a really simple way, it
might be a millimeter here, a millimeter there, you got to
make some small adjustments, after you get out on your first ride, you go back and you check
em’ out. But, overall, I’ve used that technique
with a lot of success. First things first, you got
to get out in the garage, and you got to get that bike, you got to see what’s going on with it. If you’re like a lot of my friends, your bike is probably still
filthy from being hung up after the last race of the
season in December or January, you finish the national
championships, you were exhausted, you didn’t want anything
to do with cyclo-cross, and you got straight into
some pie around the holidays, and your bike got hung up dirty. You got to get that thing down, you got to get it out in the light, and you got to see what
needs to be replaced. So, we got the bike out in the light, it’s obviously filthy,
it needs a good cleaning. but, if your bike’s been
sitting for a while, it’s been in the garage,
you haven’t ridden it much, you really do need to
check everything out. Things that I would just
replace, right off the bat, automatically, if you haven’t
ridden the bike in a while, because you’re not going to remember when you replaced the
chain, or this or that. Chain’s got to go, it’s
probably got some rust, it got beat up, it got hung up dirty, it hasn’t been properly
cleaned, it’s got to go. Fresh chain. Next up, you want to check out your tires. What the heck were you thinking, hanging up your tubular tires, or really any tires, for six
months without touching them. I don’t know, but tubulars, in particular, you want to make sure that
you push on the side walls, and that you check to see if
any of the glue is cracking, or you have any other issues
or imperfections with them, because tubulars are like,
really need to be maintained and taken care of accordingly. If you’ve got regular
tires, like these ones, these Conti, cyclo-cross tires, then yeah, you just need to check and
make sure that there’s no cuts or burrs or any sidewall abrasions, anything that would make
your day really bad, so take a good look at that. If you’re using a battery powered system, like eTap, or Shimano’s electronic system, then you want to make
sure that the batteries are all charged up, and
everything’s firing perfectly. Then lastly, you want
to look at the brakes. You probably want to check
and make sure that your pads still have plenty of wear left on them, otherwise, got to replace those. And then you want to make sure
if you’re running hydraulic, that you’ve got a bleed, a fresh bleed, and if you’re running cables,
well then you know the deal, you got to replace the cables,
new cables and housing, for sure, for a bike that’s been sitting, hung up, dirty, since last December. So, we’re moving on, from the bike, and we’re now going to
talk about the body. What have you been
doing in the off-season? Hopefully, some road riding or
racing, or some gravel stuff. But, hopefully, you’re in shape
enough to take on some runs. You got to get out there, and you got to start doing
some runs, or get in the gym. For cyclo-cross, it’s not all
about just going up a hill and pedaling out on the roads. No, you need to have dexterity
and agility and speed. You don’t want to get into
your first ‘cross race and then be sore for a month afterwards because you didn’t do any prep. So, I always recommend to
do, at least twice a week, maybe 10 or 15 minutes, which
is like one or two miles, just to get your muscles ready, so that when you do get
out there on the course, and you have to run with your
bike, your body’s prepared. So, another big suggestion
that I often make, is to find a cyclo-cross specific coach. Someone that has experience, that can sort of guide
you in the right ways. You don’t want to be
trying to go down one road, to come back up, to go
down another one, no. Got to have a good coach, that knows what they’re
doing, to help you prepare. I always recommend too,
a good cyclo-cross camp, someone that’s experienced,
that knows their stuff, that can give you the basics, and teach you, exactly
what you should be doing. How to get on and off the bike, things that we’re going to go over in subsequent videos, down the road, but definitely should do that, and make time if there’s
one local in your area. So, my last tip, is make
sure that you look at your local race listings, and see if there are any
cyclo-cross training races around. They’re usually 20 or 30 minutes long, it’s a great place to go over your bike, see if your body’s doing what
it’s supposed to be doing, blow out all the cobwebs, and it’s a great place
to have a lot of fun. It’s too much, to get right into the
cyclo-cross season full gas, so doing like a shorter training race, to make sure that everything’s
firing at all cylinders, is a great way to start your season, and they usually happen around this time of the year, August. So, that’s my last tip for you guys. If you’re loving this cyclo-cross content, please give it a thumbs up. If you want to leave a
comment below, please do. If you want to check out some
of the other cyclo-cross content that we have, check out over here. And if you want to subscribe
to GCN, click right there.

85 thoughts on “Are You Ready For Cyclo-cross? | 5 CX Pre-Season Essentials

  1. Hey any tips for buying cyclocross bike? Thinking about getting cheap alloy one for riding in bad condition and through some fire roads

  2. Love your videos, Jeremy! I miss watching your Behind the Barriers series. I ride a 2017 Jamis Renegade Exile. Can I ride CX with that and how do I find out what's in my area to train (central MA)?

  3. You should do a video on how to organize a CX Race. I’ve learned a lot from organizing my first race which I wish I knew before beginning. It happens to be one of the first CX races in New England this year so this video gives me a similar kind of dread and excitement that back to school commercials used to.

  4. He is soooo right, days….first race in New England is at Blunt Park, Springfield, MA on August 25th. Cyclonauts and Comp Edge race.

  5. 1. Never hang a bike by the front tire carbon or alloy bike.
    2. Remove chain, remove wheels, deflate tires and hang the frame only with a pulley system on ceiling. Hang the wheels together and put the chain in a bag attached to the wheels.
    3. 😂 See 1 and 2 for a headache free CX season.

  6. Great advice. Terrific video. You must be really laid back. I would have gone nuts when I walked into my garage a month after the last race and saw that dirty bike.

  7. Just finished my CX bike yesterday evening and did a commute to work today on the cx bike. Only 9 nights to go untill the first CX race 😬

  8. Been a minute since I've had a chance to watch a video . Did you guys getter new cameras or change the way you film? Looks exceptionally clearer than previous episodes

  9. Cyclicross season !? So cute in Hawaii it’s year round !!😂😂😩🤷🏼‍♂️ see wettest spit on earth 🚴🏽‍♂️

  10. So, that's the advice for rich professionals who can replace their whole bike and hire a team of advisors. What about normal people?

  11. Never had one season but I like see that skilful athletes compete and think that dirty I will never let my road bike be 🙂 I hope GCN send Jeremy to the bigger events in cyclo-cross!

  12. Распутица 0151 на времени 1:25, поведайте что это значит 🙂
    Could you tell what means "Rasputitsa 0151" on timecode 1:25? I am very curious 🙂

  13. It would be rad to see a layout like that small practice course used in the video. Looked small but super useful and easy to setup.

  14. Not sure which impressed me more, how physically fit this man is, or how many bikes he has fit into a small shed.

  15. I went to a cyclo-cross klinic the other weekend and have been practicing getting on and of the bike, first in flats then in clipless then I jumped on the saddle in the wrong spot and called it a day

  16. I just wait until enough things are semi dysfunctional on your bike until i can justify buying a new bike over repairing my old bike.

  17. Great video Jeremy! All good advice for people who neglect their bikes and want to get ready to race. Keep up the good work!

  18. Keeps the vids coming Jpow, as a huge fan of cross I would love some behind the scenes or in the pits of races more gear tech tire selection and pressure advice etc…

  19. I decided not to race cx this season for various reasons 😔
    Still excited to see all the cx related content though 🤙

  20. J Pow, good day, sir. Yes, stoked for 'cross. Keep the vids coming. look forward to GCN Cyclocross coverage in the Fall. On to my question. Cyclocross Tires: before every season, I look to buy a new set, and most brands are out of stock (or discontinued). I live in Southern CA, so maybe it's a geography thing…y'all back east getting the bulk of the US market? Anyhoo, is my experience the same as others or is this a rare case? Peace.

  21. And what if… what if… what if you actually clean your bike before putting it out of service for 6 months thinking face

  22. About to do my first CX season, I’m totally stoked. I signed up with my LBS cx clinic which starts next week. Please keep the content coming. Thank you GCN.

  23. I don't get why are all people here complaining about the costs? He will replace the cleats for sure, the chain, because it was not well maintained after the last race and the cables with housings. Brake pads if needed and also tyres. So basically if you took care of your bike it is cleats and cables with housings which may be about 50 Euros max. If you have to rplace the chain and the brake pads, it is something about 200 Euros. It's not that much for a season. In fact it is the usual amount you should invest in your bike regardless if it hangs for month or not, just to keep it maintained.

  24. Some of us clean their bike before hanging it up for 9 months….. If you don't, you deserve what's coming to you.

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