If you don’t already have one, you probably want a CX bike. You’re into bikes already (or you probably wouldn’t be reading this article) and CX’s are cropping up in every manufacturers range and under more and more riders everywhere you look. So, given that you know you want one, the next question is, what exactly do you want one for? The usual answers you’ll read in the blurb are, for racing, commuting and as a winter training bike. But that really selling these incredible and versatile bikes short. The real reason you want a CX, is because it will change your (cycling) life! Here are ten reasons why you should be riding a CX bike this winter:
1 – Road riding in winter can be a bit…
…you know. Riding year round is a sign of a true cyclist, but let’s be honest; winter on the road is something you “get through” to carry some form into the summer. Rain, snow, black ice, seasonally disaffected drivers, interminable darkness… it’s a skinny tyred nightmare. There has to be a better way…
2 – Mountain biking in winter can be a bit…
…you know. Summer has gone, and taken those dry, dusty trails with it. From here until spring it’s knee deep mud, slipping, sliding and sometimes just pushing a bike that weighs five times what it did when you set out, due in no small part to having tyres that are three parts rubber to thirty five parts mud. It’s fun for a while, but you know by the middle of January you’ll be thinking, there has to be a better way…
3 – CX in winter hits the sweet spot
So there’s no getting away from the British winter. But as a wise man once said, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes”. Or in this case, the wrong bike. A good cross bike hit’s the perfect balance in bad weather. Pace, traction, stability. Pick a disc equipped model and add stopping power to that list. And it opens up your riding options; flick between road, gravel and dirt tracks as the mood takes you. When you’re not constrained by the surface, you’ll find a whole new world to explore.
4 – There’s a new sportive scene waiting for you…
Sportives are no longer restricted to the road! And cross events are no longer restricted to racing! CX Sportive is taking the sportive scene to new places. Exciting rides on varied courses that mix tarmac, dirt and gravel, with full event support, CX Sportives are a fantastic way to discover a new side to the sport you love!
5 – …and an old, established race scene too!
Cyclocross racing has been around forever, and it’s a great winter buzz! It’s an hour of the highest intensity riding (and running!) you’ll ever experience. Winter? Cold? Not by the time you reach the finish line…
6 – It will extend your cycling skill-set
Whether you’re coming from road or MTB, CX will move you into new areas of riding. At the same time, whether you’re coming from road or MTB, your existing skills will serve you well as you learn your new discipline. It’s a great way to become a better rider!
7 – It will expand your cycling horizons
The new generation of CX bikes are being designed as true all rounders. One bike that you could race, commute or even travel the world on. Where will yours take you?
8 – It makes the riding on your doorstep more fun
Even if that world tour isn’t the first thing on your itinerary, your new CX can still change your cycling life, right in your own back yard. You know those potholed, beaten up back lanes that rip your 23mm slicks to shreds? Or those little local bridleways you stopped riding because they feel so tame under six inches of suspension travel? They all take on a new lease of life on a CX and mixing them all up into single, multi-surface ride is a revelation! CX bikes make the ordinary extraordinary!
9 – It’s the next +1 in your N+1
It’s the most famous equation in cycling; the number of bikes you need, where N is the number you currently have. Meet your new +1; if you don’t already have a CX, it’s the logical choice. Of course, in truth it could probably easily replace at least three of the bikes currently in your stable, but… we don’t have to mention that to anyone, do we?
10 – By the time summer gets here, you’ll just want to keep riding it
So, it’s the best choice of riding for the winter, but imagine skimming those dirt tracks in the height of summer? Imagine kicking up a cloud of dust as you impulsively dive off the road you’ve been hacking, onto a tempting little hidden trail you’ve just spotted? Cross bikes are great in the winter, but summer CX is another level of amazing!