After last year’s first running of the CX Century – a 100 mile ‘cross sportive along the iconic South Downs Way – I thought I would whet your appetite by repeating some articles I wrote about preparing for the event last year, so apologies if you’ve seen this before!
The first article was a general “what’s it all about then?” type of article, asking “why the hell would you try this on a ‘cross bike?”. Seems a fair question and there’s no answer other than, “because it’s there!”. So if you’re thinking about having a go at the 2016 CX Century, then start here.
After deciding that yes, you are going to ride a cyclo-cross bike 100 miles over rock hard chalk – if it’s wet you can substitute dangerously slimy for rock hard – you should probably give some thought as to what training you should have been doing. I say should, as it’s too late now if you haven’t been working at it! But it will give you some tips for next year. Coach Paul Pickup of Pickup Sports Coaching gave us some tips as to how we can get ourselves in to CX Century condition, read it here.
So, you’ve entered, done the training, now what bike are you going to use? Yes I know it’s called the CX Century, but the organisers have relented and are allowing bouncy, fat tyred bikes to have a go as well. Although you won’t get one of the finishers medals and your name will be besmirched with the letters MTB or 29er on the results, so that everyone will know of your perfidious action! For me it has to be done on a ‘cross bike; my Mtb is too old and has been retired to child hauling duties! Also that’s what it says on the tin! The challenge is to complete it on a ‘cross bike and stick two fingers up at the Mtb/29er/Gravel/Adventure bikes, let’s do it old skool!
The last article is my list of what I ran on last year’s event and with a few tweaks I’ll be using the same on the 2016 CX Century, read the article here. The main changes are an absoluteBLACK oval ‘cross chainring; I’ve been using this 38t thick/thin ring to get me around various races and sportives and have noticed an improvement in climbing, something I’ll be needing in the final miles of the CX Century. Next is a set of TRP CX8.4 mini V brakes, these raspberry coloured beauties are doing something I thought I would never do on a non-disc braked ‘cross bike and that’s stop. Hopefully this will see the end of forearm pump and I’ll actually be able to control my descents. I’ll still be running tubeless, but this year hope to add some tubeless specific tyres, perhaps Schwalbes G-Ones, Clement’s X’PLOR MSO or the WTB Nano 40c; although the latter maybe a little too portly for my frame.
I hope you enjoy reading through these articles and it encourages you to join me on a sunny -it’s always sunny – July 9th for the 2016 CX Century, it’s going to be a blast!
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