Race Prep: What to Bring to a Cyclocross Race

September 15, 2016
Cycling Accessories for Your Cyclocross Gear Bag

Cycling Accessories for Your Cyclocross Gear Bag

Cyclist in general are obsessed with weight. As in, how much their bike parts weigh? How heavy is the bike? How much is the the scale lying to you?

And, the list goes on.  Ironically, cyclocross is the only cycling discipline that counters the weight obsession.  That is at least, in the preparation department.  Everything else applies. Cyclocross races are short, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour depending on category, yet they require the most equipment prep of any bike racing discipline. Part of that relates to the time of year and the variability of the weather. Racers need to be ready to deal with wind, rain, snow, hail, ice, mud, fog, etc.  The gear preparation and the cycling apparel adds up.  There is gear for warming up, gear for racing, gear for cooling down, gear for the bikes and gear for creating a fun and enjoyable atmosphere. In addition, it is often not enough to have a single piece of equipment or clothing; several may be needed for the day. 

Which ultimately begs the question- What do you bring to a cyclocross race?  It will take time to nail down the packing system that works best for you; there are lots of individual preferences.  However, we’ve compiled a checklist for you. For starters, plan to use a gear bag that opens up wide and allows you to see everything within quickly. Fill it up with these items: 

Clothing

  • Rain jacket, rain pants, waterproof boots.
  • One set of jersey/shorts and one skinsuit. One to warm up in, one to race in.  Having extras is good too.
  • Long sleeve jersey for warmups.
  • Extra base layers.
  • Vest, arm warmers, leg warmers, knee warmers. These are for warm-ups. 
  • Two pairs of shoes. Race pair and a backup just in case one breaks or the first pair is wet and muddy from pre-riding the course.
  • Two helmets. Again, in case of a mechanical.
  • Two pairs of gloves. Depending on the weather, you may opt for four or five pairs. Short and long-fingered race gloves, a light, medium, and heavy pair of warm-up or standing around gloves.
  • Tights or warm up pants.
  • Two to three pairs of socks, preferably wool.
  • Large garbage bags or ziplock bags to store wet and muddy clothes and gear.
  • Winter jacket. 
  • Cycling cap and or a beanie. 
  • Sunglasses with multiple lenses.

Gear and Equipment

  • Bike. Make sure it’s clean, tuned-up, and ready to ride. If you need bike maintenance, bring it into the shop!  Also, remember to take off the water bottle cages, your saddle bag, and anything else you’ve attached to the bike. 
  • Pump, tools, chain lube, and other maintenance items.
  • Safety pins to pin your number to your jersey.
  • Towels: large and small.  Use the smaller ones for clean up and the larger one for changing clothes. You might opt for extra towels to wipe down the bike. 
  • Baby wipes – great for cleaning everywhere after the race
  • Heat packs to stay warm prior to and post race.
  • Water bottles for before and after the race.
  • Energy drink mix, gels, bars, and nutritional items. 
  • Cash for coffee, food, and extras at the venue site. 
  • Folding chairs
  • iPod or music player – good for warming up.
  • Water – bring at least one gallon of water, not only for drinking, but for cleaning. 
  • Stationary trainer for warming up and cooling down. FYI, bring an extra rear wheel.  Warm up on the trainer with a regular tire. 
  • Spare wheels –Bring wheels with tires that have different treads for different conditions. 

Now that you have your gear bag ready, it’s time to race cross.  If you are new to cyclocross, check out our cyclocross bikes online at bikeparts.com.  Dial in the best bike parts and and tire choice.  Finally, register for an upcoming cross race!  Click here for a list of races along the Front Range for September.  Bring on the cowbell friends! 


Bike Month Tips: 7 Bike Gear Essentials for Commuters

May 5, 2016

1452465_734104393333613_3875623128685330466_nWe’re excited for what the month of May holds. Do you know why? May is National Bike Month, and that means we get the share the streets with many more cycling aficionados.

If you want to join in the fun, consider leaving your car in the garage and using your bike to commute to work. In fact, we will give you 7 essential gear items to make your bike commute safe, enjoyable, and utilitarian.

  1. Bike — Choosing a commuter bike will depend on what you are carrying and how far you are traveling. Most people have to haul a load to work, so you are going to want something sturdy with a wide-range of gearing. Many touring and commuter bikes, like this Detroit Bikes A-Type bicycle are already built for towing your luggage. For a little longer ride, you might consider something like this Cinelli Mystic Rats bicycle (on sale!) or even a road bike.
  2. Helmet — For those who want to get on the bike the next morning, this is a given. We love the POC Octal helmet which is light and comfortable.
  3. Fenders — If you don’t want to get your cloths wet or muddy, buying fenders is a wise decision. Particularly in May, there are quite a few puddles on the roads that you might have to ride through. Fenders come in all types of shapes and sizes but full coverage fenders are ideal to keep your legs, feet, and butt dry.
  4. Pump and Repair Kit — While it is unlikely you will have to use a pump or repair kit very often, having them in a pinch could save you from making major excuses to your boss. A full size frame pump will make it easier to pump your tire.
  5. Panniers, Backpacks, and Racks — People are carrying their things in all kinds of contraptions these days. Most, however, use either a pannier or a backpack. Axiom and Banjo Brothers provide a variety of options included…wait for it…a backpack pannier!
  6. Lights — When you’re riding on the streets in the morning or evening, a bike light might just be your most valuable item on hand. Essentially, it allows you to be seen by other cars and be alive the rest of the month to bike commute. We recommend a front light that has at least 1000 lumens as well as a couple of tail lights.
  7. Shoes — Bike shoes help with efficiency. Especially if you are biking a long way, a clipless shoe will keep your foot on the pedal and get you to work faster. One of our favorites that we have in store is the Specialized 2FO Cliplite. This is a good all-around shoe that has a stiff sole for efficiency but can easily be walked in off the bike.

For more gear, don’t hesitate to visit our website or stop into our store – Peak Cycles in Golden, Colorado. We have tons of advice, as well as bikesbike partscycling accessories, and cycling apparel.