My favorite things
My favorite things
Over the years I have seen a lot of stuff. Some good some bad and some are awesome.. So as we approach the Christmas season I thought I would put together a list of my favorite things for cyclocross... here we go..
Baseball spikes $5.00 this is something that most people don't think of getting. When you get your mtb shoes they come with spikes. But those spikes are meant for grass. And work very well in grass. However not so much in the mud. The SIDI spikes are $20.00 and you get 4. Get these shovels and you can dig into the side of the run up and not slide down. Also you get 20 for the $5.00. Pick them up at just about any big box sporting goods store. How many would pass on the run up if you didn't slip and slide?
Gore waterproof socks $59.99 These little gems are a no brainer. Lets face it if you race cyclocross you have a love hate affair with the weather. We pray for mud and want those epic days in the mud and rain. But cold wet feet are no fun. They are a lot cheaper than having a pair of waterproof shoes...Just slip them on over your socks and put your toes in your shoes and your are good to go. I would take a tube of silicon and run a bead on the inside to keep them from getting water coming in from the top. You can check them out here.
Gore wind stopper LS base layer $89.99 In the cross season it can get cold. The wind is not your friend here. This is an example of the perfect follow through of a great idea. GORE got everything right on this thing. The cut is spot on. The coverage of wind stopper material is perfect and the sides and back breath just right. This is one of those pieces that you will keep for years and will be your go to from November 1 on. Check it out here.
Morgan Blue chain keeper $9.00 You need to clean your bike in cyclocross. The Morgan blue chain keeper is a handy dandy little tool that allows you to clean your chain with out having the rear wheel involved in the process. You might say so what? Without the rear wheel you have more access and the cassette won't be contaminatingthe chain while your cleaning it. Then you can clean the rear wheel separately. Get one at your local bike shop or here.
Morgan Blue Chain Cleaner $25.00 Ok this IS the best or most amazing cleaner I have ever used. So much so I keep looking to see if there is a statement that its a product of 3 Mile Island or Chernobyl. If you use this stuff it will make your chain look brand New. No Joke. I hate using stuff and it doesn't take all of the grease off the chain or the chain rings.then you have do clean it again and then you still don't get all of the crap off your chain or cassette. This stuff will..Get some here.
Challenge Limus Tires OT $75.00 I live inn the pacific north west and that is like living in Belgium during cross season. It rains here a lot of the time and that means there is a lot of mud. I am not running tubulars anymore because of the hassle and time etc... So my favorite clincher is the challenge Limus. This is a awesome mud tire. If you race in the mud then this is the one to get. They are hand made and are very supple and feel like a tubular tire.
Morgan Blue Quick Clean Brush $15.00 this item is one of those looks like Clark Kent and then becomes Superman! Looks like a brush right? Well what you don't see is what is can do. Or where is can go! The problem with cyclocross is the mud. The mud gets into small spaces and clogs things up in the drive train and the brakes. This brush gets into just about any place on your bike that there is daylight.
VERGE Cross Pants $139.00 when you race cyclocross the warm up is important and also the course inspection is very very important. So you need to pre-ride the course. By the time I race the course is totally different from the am. Its really wet and muddy and these pants fit the bill. I can pre-ride and then roll up to the line and then zip them off. The zippers run the entire length of the leg so getting them off is quick and easy. Staying warm at the line while staging is done can take some time.. And you can get cold just standing there in the rain. So you can see why the VERGE CX Pants are one of my favorite things! Check them out here.
Eggbeater 2 pedals $95.00 This is in my opinion has been the gold standard of all cyclocross pedals. The Eggbeater 2 comes in at a great price and weight. It can be serviced and repaired. AND its pretty much mud proof. Such a classic and simple design platform make this pedal the one I choose year after year. you can get thesepedals at just about any bike shop.
Didoria Vortex shoes $298.00 Cyclocross is a tough sport and not only is it tough on the rider but on equipment. The elements and what we ask our equipment to do is a lot. Your shoes have it especially tough. They have to be stiff, water resistant. You have to be able to run in them. So they can't be too stiff. The Diadora Vortex Pro is able to get all 3 in its formula. Happy feet happy cyclist!
Endura Luminite Pants $100.00 There are a few things that I have a pet peeve with and rain pants are one of them. So when I look at rain pants I focus on a few things. I look at the material, fit and cut of the pant. It turns out that Endura actually put a lot of thought into this pant. Endura used a decent material for waterproofness. But the big thing that they have done that very very few other companies have is made them with an adjustable length so that they are long enough! Hallelujah! But they didn't stop there they also made the cuff of the pant adjustable and then added a good amount of reflectivity. So they are water proof, they are long enough and you don't feel like you are riding in parachute pants! Check them out here.
FSA SLK 386EVO Cranks $500.00 I love cyclocross gear and up until recently there were not that many of high performance carbon cyclocross specific cranks. FSA saw the opportunity and made this awesome crank. Looks cool, light weight and super stiff! Every time some one looks at my bike they make a comment on the cranks. Check them out at FSA.
CirrusBody Float$250.00 Lets face it with no suspension on the bike your back can take a beating in cyclocross. But adding suspension would add weight and that is a big no no.. So what is the solution? Enter the guys at Circus cycles. So the trick of this little gem is learning how to use it when you ride and not fight it. the fist thing you want to do with it is tune it to your riding. Then tune it some more. Once you have this its really quite amazing on what it will allow you to do. Bumpy course are now an advantage to you. It will also save your back from all of the impact. It will also allow you to corner better. This little invention will allow you to be more efficient you just need to spend a little time with it and learn how to dance with it. Saddle up with one here.
Park Tool Adjustable Torque Wrench $66.00 This is a great little tool. Now a days you need a torque wrench because all of the carbon that is used in cycling. Notice I said NEED. This is not a want but a need. If you over tighten on carbon you will crack it and then you are out a set of bars, stem, seat post or just about anything that is carbon and is bolted to another part. This is a handy little tool and will decrease your tool box greatly. Check it out here.
Feedback sports bike stand $279.00 if your like me and you go to races all of the time your probably belong to a team and there are a lot of bikes. You need a place that everyone on your team can park their bike. Laying it on the ground does not count and leaning it against a tree will only go so far. So Feedback sports has come up with a great idea a few years ago for bike parking. Why we love this thing? Its light, simple to use and literally takes one minute to set up. I have seen a lot of people try and reproduce this. But by the time they are done they have wasted more time and energy and gasoline only to produce something that is about as stable as a newborn wildebeest. Check it out here.
Feedback Sports Sprint Repair Stand $269.00 Lets face it cyclocross is not only hard on the body but the equipment as well. You have to maintain your bike and that means cleaning it often. The sprint work stand is the best one on the market. Feedback sports didn't cut any corners with this one. We have looked at others and no other stand in this category comes close period. Check it out here.
These are a few of my favorite things in cyclocross. I have a few other things and Ill write about them later on but for right now i thought that this is a good place to start.