About Cyclocross: History, Bikes, and How to Start...

Posted by tan xiao yan on

Cyclocross racing (also called CX) is one kind of cycle racing that is accessible for all people ranges from young kids to grandparents. You might see cyclocross racer of different ages regularly during the fall and winter in the US. For the CX lovers, they would know how to do in the cyclocross race but the beginners have less knowledge about the detailed information about the cyclocross. Do you know something else about the cyclocross? Here I will tell you the history about the cyclocross and how to start your cyclocross race as a beginner.

Introduction to Cyclocross

The origins of cyclocross are a little bit ambiguous. As a way for road racers to keep fit in fall and winter, cyclocross race started in the early 1900s in Europe---this is the most popular version. This is a way for road racers to maintain the shape and practice their cycling skills during the autumn and the winter days. The CX was not administered by the Union Cyclists Internationale until the 1940s at which cyclocross has been started around 40 years.

The first world championship happened in Paris in 1950 while the first United States Cyclocross National Championships was held on October 20 1963, in Palos Park, near Chicago. Cyclocross race began to become popular in the US in the 1970s, and it went through an increasing of popularity since the mid-1990s. The World Championships take place in late January while the Canada and the US national championships often take place in November and January.

The Cyclocross Bike

Cyclocross bikes are very similar to road bikes, but they take the features from both the road bikes and the mountain bikes. Cyclocross bikes consist of 700c wheels, dropped handlebars, some slight frame and forks, powerful brakes and specific wheels. However, there exist obvious differences between the two types of bikes.

The wheels of the cyclocross bikes which are more like mountain bike tyres are usually wider and knobby. Besides, designed with extra clearance, the frames have more relaxed geometry angles. In this way, the cyclists can ride with a more upright position. The brakes of cyclocross bikes can be fitted with discs or cantilever, which is likely to give more clearance.

Mastering the Cyclocross Skills

Although the cyclocross racers are required to master less technical skills than mountain biking in the CX racing, there are some specific skills they must master, including the dismounts and remounts.


The best place to practice dismount is a flat structure grass. The first target of dismounting is to learn how to get off the bike. When starting out dismounting, you should hold your handlebars on the brake hood so that you can control the speed in this way. With your eye looking forward, your weight with your hands should be in the middle of the frame. Before jumping off the bike, your hand is in the good position which is the middle of the frame to carry your bike and then take them over the barriers. The next step is you need to run a long climb with the bike on the shoulder. When over the barriers, if the bike is really heavy, run with the bike on the ground to save some energy. Make sure that your feet are high enough when you jump the barriers.


The first thing is to get back on the bike now that you've crossed the obstacles. Make sure that you are getting back on the bike in a right position on a flat stretch of grass. When taking the bike off the shoulder, your left hand should on top of the left side handlebars. You're your hands on the brake hoods, remount from the left side of the bike. Preparation for Cyclocross Racing

Running for the Cyclocross Race

What is your expectation for the cyclocross racing? Just for fun or to do well in the cyclocross racing? No matter which one you want, you need to have strong physical strength. The cyclocross races are a form of off-road racing that usually lasts between 30 minutes and an hour long, so the cyclists should ensure that they are fit enough to continue the race. Do some structured training to strengthen your fitness prepare for the cyclocross racing: you can do some running on hills, walking or jogging on slopes. You should start running about a month before the racing.

Practice the Skills of CX

There is no shortcut for you to do well in the CX racing, and what you can do is to practice the technique over and over again. You can save your loads of time on the racing and this could be the difference between a winner and the loser by mastering the skills of dismounts and remounts. Therefore try your best to practice the technique until you fully know how to use them. At the beginning, practicing the skills slowly on grass until you master them, and then practice at a faster speed.

Ride a Bike You Like

The most important thing is that you should get a cyclocross bike for your cyclocross racing, but you don't have to buy a cyclocross bike if you own a mountain bike or road bike. You can use the bike you like in other kinds of biking.

Getting Good Off-Road Shoes

In the CX racing, a pair of suitable shoes is paramount important for the cyclocross racer. Running shoes or road cycling shoes are unsuitable, because the sole of the former one is too soft for efficient pedaling while the sole of the latter is too inflexible for running comfortably. In such situation, a mountain-bike shoe may be a better choice because of its flexible toe and stiff heel.

Proper Training for CX

Because a cyclocross racing often lasts for 30 minutes or one hour, so you need to do proper training for it, not too much or too less. On the premise that training for the race, too much training for a one-hour race is not necessary.

It is time for cyclocross racing with the coming of the fallen leaves. Preparing for your CX racing to extend your competitive seasons when autumn comes no matter how old you are.