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  • Mechanical Mondays: Single or Double Chainrings?

    Thinking about what to do about your chainring this season? We’re looking back at an oldie-but-goodie Mechanical Monday that delves into the pros and cons of single and double chainrings. Daimeon Shanks, pro mechanic and co-owner of The Service Course…

  • Mechanical Monday: It’s All About the Tires

    A preview of the tread on Continental's new 2013 cyclocross tubular.

    It’s June, so the cyclocross season is less than three months away. That means it’s time to start thinking about what wheels and tires you’ll be using come September, and looking at repairing old ones, gluing up new wheels and…

  • Mechanical Monday: Shift and Brake Cables and Housing, Demystified

    Working with cables might seem daunting but the experts are willing to share their secrets. Jason Gardner

    by Jason Gardner If you imagine your bike’s cable housing to be like a set tunnels, then imagine an army of little people running back and forth delivering the messages from your shifters and brake levers to their appropriate derailleurs…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Setting Up Those Brakes

    The reverse toe-in often works better than the front.

    It’s the off-season, so it’s time to be making changes to your cyclocross bike after what you experienced last season. For some, that could mean swapping brakes. Daimeon Shanks, pro mechanic and co-owner of The Service Course repair shop in…

  • Mechanical Mondays: It’s the Pits

    Working in the pits for a friend can be just as rewarding as racing in a cyclocross race … right? OK, odds are good you got roped into being in the pit, or bribed with promises of post-race beer, or…

  • Mechanical Monday: When Crashing, Part II

    Like we said last week, whether you’re a noob to cyclocross or a seasoned pro, you will crash in a cyclocross race at some point or another. [Ed. note: ee “Is Joey OK?” for an illustration.] Last week, Jason Gardner…

  • Riding the Night Train – Tips and Tricks for Cyclocross Training at Night

    Gabby Day at the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross. Russ Campbell

    An oldie-but-goodie, we’re taking a look back at a great piece on training and riding at night. Now that the weather is warming up a bit, there’s time for those longer, dusky rides after work, since you aren’t battling to…

  • And They’re Off! Kiddie Cross Resumes in Northampton, Massachusetts

    Kiddie Cyclocross in Northampton. © Molly Hurford

    by Molly Hurford In January, we ran an article asking, “Just How Healthy is Junior Cyclocross in the US?” If Western Massachusetts is any indication, the answer is: “Very.” In Issue 13 of Cyclocross Magazine, we explored Kiddie Cross in…

  • Mechanical Monday: What To Do When You Crash

    Joey hit the ground hard, but he's OK! Craig Fowler

    Whether you’re a noob to cyclocross or a seasoned pro, you will crash in a cyclocross race at some point or another. Even here at Cyclocross Magazine, we’ve had our share of crashes; see “Is Joey OK?” for an illustration….

  • Mechanical Mondays: Tagging Your Gear (So You Get it Back!)

    If you’re chomping at the bit to get ready for cyclocross, or you’re in the middle of a mountain or road season, this week’s tip is simple but incredibly effective. Between the weather and course variability, heading to a cyclocross…

  • Mechanics Weigh In: Disc Brakes

    Shimano's new CX75 Cyclocross and Road Mechanical Disc Brake

    Disc brakes have really struck a cord with readers, racers and mechanics as everyone starts planning out what new gear to invest in for the coming season. We got a lot of feedback on our last Mechanical Monday topic of…

  • Mechanical Monday: Disc Brakes, an Intro

    It didn't come out often during the season, but Tim Johnson was all disc and all speed on his new prototype bike. ©Pat Malach

    by Molly Hurford We didn’t see disc brakes too frequently this season, but every so often, you’d spot a set on elite wheels, including those of Tim Johnson with his Cannondale SuperX. And with companies like Felt coming out with…

  • Mechanical Monday: What Should You be Doing in the Off-Season?

    While you may have felt like this at the end of the season, you should be recovered enough by now to be thinking about getting ready for September again! Cyclocross Magazine

    This week for Mechanical Monday, we asked some of our favorite mechanics to weigh in on what people should be doing to their cyclocross bikes during the off-season. The three wrenches who weighed in all seemed to agree that the…

  • Mechanical Monday: Re-gluing Tubulars

    Cyclocross tires, like this Dugast, are narrow with dirt tread

    Mechanical Monday is back, and we’re testing out a new feature: Reader Questions. If you have a mechanical question, feel free to ask it in the comments, on Twitter, on Facebook, or in our Cowbell Forum. Today, our topic is…

  • Mechanical Monday: Prepping Your Tubulars for Off-Season Storage

    The Challenge Limus tubular tire, in 700x33c width, 300tpi casing. © Cyclocross Magazine

    by John Gatch Just like good wine, your expensive cyclocross tubulars require a little care and proper storage.  “Ridden hard and put away wet” should never be how you describe your equipment at season end.  Here are a few tips…

  • Service Spotlight and Review: Bike Flights Shipping Service

    bike flights

    by Andrew Yee With the 2012 USA Cycling Cyclocross National Championships and the 2012 UCI Masters Cyclocross World Championships approaching, many racers have resigned themselves to steep airline bike fees or paying full retail shipping rates to get their cyclocross…

  • Cyclocross Pre-Race Bike Inspection: Save Your Race

    Pitting: doing it right can be just as tough as racing. © Cyclocross Magazine

    Before you can go out and preview a course at any given race, you should be “previewing” your bike for the weekend, making sure everything is as it should be. Mechanic Jeremy Chinn tells us how. by Jeremy Chinn

  • Mechanical Monday: Tips for the Pits

    Pitting: doing it right can be just as tough as racing. © Cyclocross Magazine

    Pitting can be tricky business: there’s always the chance that your racer will have a grievous mechanical issue, there are hand-offs, you may have a bike hurtling at you at ridiculous speeds, you’ll get muddy, wet or cold, or all…

  • Mechanical Mondays: Mechanical Disc Brake Adjustments

    Setting up disc brakes correctly is going to be a big new part of cyclocross. Jason Gardner

    There is no denying that disc brakes are gaining in popularity among cyclocross bikes. One look at the ’cross bike photos from the recent Eurobike and Interbike trade shows is enough to show that disc-brake-equipped ’cross bikes are the wave of the future. Their benefits are well known; tire clearance is now only a matter of the frame. They are more powerful with more control and they are not so nearly affected by water and mud. Apart from all these benefits though, the tighter tolerances associated with disc brakes lend themselves more easily to poor adjustment, and improper adjustment on disc brakes can ruin your race more easily than a poorly adjusted cantilever. Too loose and you lose your braking altogether; too tight and your brake drags the whole time. The down side is these poor conditions happen a lot easier to disc brakes than to cantilevers.

  • Mechanical Monday: Protecting Your Tubulars

    Protect those tubulars, they don't come cheap! Kenton Berg

    It’s nearly mid-September and by now a good portion of y’all reading this will have raced already or will be prepping to race this next weekend. If you’ve been to your first race you undoubtably heard the moans of some poor soul who flatted his or her newly glued tubular and can’t believe they have to go through those dreaded steps again. You know, clean, stretch, glue, et cetera! If you’re lucky enough that this poor sap isn’t you, then a little bit more prep work can stave off this scenario.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Pre-Season Equipment Improvements; A Case Study

    The newly improved shifting on this built up Ridley X-Fire. Jeremy Chinn

    The season starts in less than a week — is your bike ready? Mechanical Mondays writer and mechanic Jeremy Chinn walks us through improving the shifting on one specific bike, but you can also look at his advice in a much broader spectrum of bike maintenance, upkeep and constant improvement.

  • Mechanical Mondays: When To Repair Your Cleats

    Will your cleats survive the season? Kenton Berg

    OK people, it’s August, races are coming up quick, and ’cross prep is happening around the country. Now that you’ve dialed in the bike parts, shaved some weight off of your frame (bike or otherwise), gotten the tubies set to roll, what’s left? Well, its time to work on the shoes, two of the key contact points with your bike, and remove the opportunity for dirt, sticks, mud, rocks or other debris to get caught up between the shoe sole and your cleat. Face it, you just can’t go as fast or crush your competitors without being clipped in fully.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubulars

    Gluing is a tricky, time-consuming process. Jason Gardner

    Gluing tubulars is tricky business. And writing about it is just as difficult, if not more so. After all, everyone has his or her own gluing style, and everyone will tell you that his or her style is the best one. One of our brave mechanics, Jason Gardner of Jinji Cycles, decided to share his expertise with us.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubies, How Clean Is Clean Enough?

    How much glue should you leave on the rim when cleaning? Kenton Berg

    Gluing tubulars can be stressful enough, and there are so many different “best ways” of getting the job done. This week, we wanted to look at one question that we hear a lot when talking about gluing up tubulars: when gluing new tires on a wheel that’s been used and glued before, what kind of prep should you be doing? And more specifically, how clean do you want your rims to be before gluing on new tires?

  • Mechanical Mondays: Weight Saving Tips For Your Cyclocross Bike

    Scale

    This year, you’ll be faster. You’ll train harder and you’re going to maximize every pedal stroke, and in order to do that, your bike has got to be lighter. There are a few easy ways, a few hard ways and ways that cost more than others to make that happen.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Upgrade Your Bike For Under $100

    bike shop

    It’s that time of year again: time to pull your cyclocross bike out of storage, take a good, long look at it and think, “Well, now what does it need?” Because we’re bike racers. And our bikes always need something, preferably something shiny and new. However, if you’re on a strict bike budget, there are some sneaky ways to upgrade or update your bike for the season, there’s an easy solution: accessories. (And yes, we realize that this piece reads like a fashion magazine article on making that Little Black Dress look brand-new by simply adding new jewelry or shoes.) Still, if you’ve been racing on — or just bought — a stock bike, we have some suggestions for how to dress it up so it stands out in the field (hopefully because you snagged the hole shot.)

  • Mechanical Mondays: Avoiding The Dreaded DNF

    A bent derailleur is easy to miss but can hurt your race results. © Jason Gardner

    The sad reality is that most catastrophic failures in cross racing result from very simple factors. I have compiled a small list of race ending mechanical problems that could have been avoided with a small dose of precaution and a dash of extra care. These are not all or even the most common mechanical issues in cross racing but these all have two things in common: 1. They can absolutely end your race, giving you a regrettable DNF. 2. They can easily be prevented.

  • Newbie News: Racing Cyclocross on Mountain Bikes

    Katie Compton Winning Mountain Bike Races to get Ready for Cyclocross

    Fortunately it was pretty easy to make one of my mountain bikes ‘cross worthy, and that was enough to get me by for a few seasons. I think any cross-country oriented mountain bike will work for cyclocross racing, with a few caveats. A hardtail is best, but a full-suspension bike isn’t a deal breaker. It’s like bringing combat boots to a 5K run. The equipment will work, but will probably put you out of contention for a podium spot. That being said, I’ve seen some sub-20lb, super-efficient, “no-bob” full suspension bikes with traditional front triangle designs, which would be fine to take to the starting line.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Repairing Tubular Tires

    The Challenge Fango one of the newer tubulars on the market.

    When you invest in a set of tubular tires, you pray they never flat. Because let’s face it, repairing tubulars is a whole lot of trouble. However, while it’s tempting to just chuck flatted tubulars, there are a few options worth exploring first. The most obvious one is fixing the tire yourself, and it can be done if you’re a little handy with a needle and a patch kit.

  • Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubular Cyclocross Tires

    cyclocross-tubular-dugast-mud-cxm

    We’ve been reviewing new tires like the Limus from Challenge, and talking about some great wheelsets you might want to consider for the season. A few we’ve looked at so far include the Williams Cyclocross Tubular, the Zipp 303 Cyclocross…



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