Sure, there's plenty more cyclocross racing on the horizon with the 2016 Cyclocross National Championships and of course the World Championships at the end of January 2016. But the end of the calendar year has us thinking back over the last 12 months and reflecting on those moments that had the cyclocross community talking.
Here, we look back over some of 2015's main events, our favorite moments from the last year and the tech that shaped this season thus far.
Axle Options Keep Heads Spinning
Just last spring we were celebrating the (now fleeting) rare moment in wheel tech because theoretically, with disc brakes and thru axles’ popularity, you could swap one pair of wheels between your cyclocross, road and mountain bikes. The 15mm front thru axle, and 142x12mm rear thru axles were, for a brief period, the consensus standard. But as typical in the bike industry, things quickly things changed.
We’ve lost count of the variations that have popped up since, making consumers’ and bike shops’ heads and inventory needs explode. Out back, there’s now 142×12 and 135x12mm thru axles, Specialized’s own proprietary SCS system, plus American Classic and DT’s own thru-axle options for QR frames.
Up front, there’s both 15mm and 12mm front thru axle options, and some bikes like the Louis Garneau Steeple-XC going quick release out back and thru axle up front.
Add those permutations up, and factor in the different rotor size options up front and rear, and you’ve got a better chance winning the lottery than swapping wheels with your teammate or finding the right set at neutral support.
Thru axles and disc brakes are here to stay, but we sure hope all the variations are not. More options are not always better.