It seems like everyone has gone a bit crazy with cyclocross lately… Somehow the emergence of gravel bikes on the cycling scene, has returned cyclocross back to the place that it deserves. An option that combines the best of mountain biking, with the aesthetics of road cycling, together with a certain touch of cross country running. We give you 5 reasons to include cyclocross in your training plans.
1.CHANGING YOUR WINTER TRAINING
Whether you come from road or the mountain bike world, training cyclocross in winter can be a very interesting alternative. On the one hand, it will allow you to do something different from what you have been doing all year. And on the other hand, cyclocross helps you with two fundamental aspects of cycling that we will talk about later; the technique and the maximum threshold of VO2.
In addition to these two super important points, training cyclocross allows you to choose roads that would be impossible to ride on your road bike and to pass through some of the tracks you usually ride on your mountain bike, but that when doing so with a bike without suspensions and with tires just 40mm wide (at best). You will experience totally different reactions and will be forced to use different riding techniques. And this is where your best bike skills will come to light.
2.IMPROVING YOUR TECHNIQUE AT ALL LEVELS
We talked about this in the previous paragraph. No doubt technique is something that completely changes when you ride a cyclocross bike. At the end of the day, it is a bike that is much closer to a road model, but with which in theory you will roll through areas of dirt, mud, grass and quite a few trails. It is all well and good having a 33-35mm wide tire, but that will not guarantee that riding through the loose stuff will be safe or easy. Normally tubeless or tubular tires are used, but still, even if you ride a 40mm tire (a width that is not normally used in competition), you will see how your skills improve quickly.
The position on the road-type handlebar, the location of the brakes, the lack of suspension and gear ratios much larger than on a mountain bike, complicated everything, something that will help you improve your technique in a very short time. And this is applicable whether you come from road or from mountain bike. The stiffness of a cyclocross frame means that everything that happens under the wheels is transmitted directly to the handlebars, so that in the more technical areas of dirt, mud and rocky sections, your reaction capacity will be at a maximum due to the unexpected feedback from the bike .
3.HELPING TO IMPROVE YOUR VO2 THRESHOLD
If you want to improve your maximum capacity or maximum VO2, cyclocross will help you the same way it happens in competition there are times when the terrain, or rear ratio that we use will force us to work at maximum intensity, or even on foot with the bike over the shoulder. This is where the cyclocross differs completely from mountain bike or the road riding, due to the fact that there are times when the trail gets complicated, we have no choice but to carry the bike on our shoulder.
Training or competing in the cyclocross has work cycles very similar to those of mountain bike competition or training, since we work at maximum intensity, for short periods of time. If you have a good aerobic base, but you want your anaerobic threshold to improve, training this modality in winter can help you improve your physical values in the spring.
4.REACTION CAPACITY AND ACCELERATION
The fast responding cyclocross bikes that we mentioned in the previous point are very important since they will force you to react very quickly to unforeseen situations. Cyclocross has a very variable rhythm both in training and in competition that forces you to maintain rhythm on the bike that is almost stopped in a muddy or a rocky section, or super high rhythms that require total acceleration to get through a technical area or to recover speed.
It is something similar to what happens whilst riding a mountain bike and very different from what we experience on a road bike where the terrain is continuous and stable, and except at specific times, the pace (always very high) is maintained. If you want to improve in this aspect of gross acceleration, cyclocross will help you, not only because it is necessary to get through the trails, but because of very aggressive gear ratios, usually with only one chainring, making you squeeze the maximum out of yourself.
5.SHORT TRAINING, MAXIMUM OUTPUT
Especially for those who come from the road, training, competing or simply alternating cyclocross with your usual routine, will allow you, in shorter workouts to have a lot of physical performance. With a cyclocross bike you can start training gently on dirt tracks or even on asphalt, until you have sufficiently warmed up and muscularly you are prepared to face bigger challenges. In just an hour and a half you can do a very complete workout if you combine the terrain well. You are going to work on the mental, the technical and the physical aspect, especially in very steep or technical areas where you have to use your maximum pedaling power.
Basically, a lot of muscle expenditure in the power section if you are looking to improve that aspect. In addition, cyclocross is a very different way, as we mentioned at the beginning, of varying your winter routine and preparing for the following season. There are cyclocross models at a very low price point, which will allow you to have a bike of this modality to alternate training or simply so that during the 3-4 hardest months of winter, you can practice your favorite sport in a completely different way. From ROTOR we assure you that it is very worthwhile.