Cyclists in general and cyclocrossers specifically are always looking for upgrades, either to increase speed, improve enjoyment or reduce maintenance. Coach Chris Mayhew and others have previously chimed in and helped with our popular three-bucket guidelines for making meaningful, affordable upgrades. Now for today’s Training Tuesday column, Mayhew is back to opine on how to spend your hard-earned money to get better and faster, not just with physical purchases but with expert services. Get started on your best cyclocross season with his tips below.

Cycling has gotten to be an expensive sport. Part of that is fashion and part of that is the technology involved in bikes today. It can be very hard to figure out where to spend money to maximize your performance and enjoyment of the sport. This column is a list of where I would prioritize spending your money for the best return, in approximate ordinal ranking.

Some caveats to this list: it's performance based. If you're racing to enjoy the scene and drink beer, that's rad. I'd be happy to coach you on the best bourbon for your money, just reach out. If you are just starting to race, don't spend any money at all except on racing fees and gas! You don't even know what you don't know. Spend a year just racing and traveling and after that you'll have a much better sense of what you want or need. But that first year, keep things as inexpensive as possible.

Mayhew's Guide to Spending Money on Cyclocross Upgrades:

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Commit to Coaching

Sure I’m biased, and this is obviously biased towards performance. If that’s not your focus, you may not want or need a coach. But if you need some guidance in how to train, or have questions about how to prepare for bike racing, get a coach.

Data from the Fox/Easton test ride in the mountains of Santa Cruz county.

You might put in the time and have some advanced tools, but how do you make the most of your training? A coach can help. photo: Data from the Fox/Easton test ride in the mountains of Santa Cruz county.

He or she will shorten up your learning curve quite a bit and save you the time and effort of reinventing the wheel for yourself, both in racing and training.

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