The cyclocross fan is a fickle one. Traditionally, ‘cross occurs in winter, although it is trending earlier every year. There is not a better cycling discipline to be buying for during the holidays because of the hard-wearing nature of the sport. Every cross rider/racer that we know could use something new on their bike right now, and all would be happy with anything on this list. (Or at the very least I would, which is the point of all this anyway.)
Team Rapha-FOCUS Transfer Jacket
The bright pink and blue lining is a dead giveaway for the Rapha-FOCUS livery. The transfer jacket works as a great warm up piece for the coldest races, and it also works well when you are toasting your toes by the fire après-bike, as they say. Bonus: if you decide that a full jacket isn’t for you – go with the vest – it has the ability to pack into itself and serve as a fantastic airplane pillow.
$3.99 a pair – www.siliconetidds.com
If you think that these are for weight savings, you are missing the point. We have seen nearly every invention possible to plug up those bottle cage holes when not in use on the cyclocross course. My father-in-law fills them with putty (thanks, those will never be used again) and the word on the street is that people have tried to use hot wax to fill them as well. Sounds messy. But, what each of those do is render them useless when the bicycle is in training mode. Enter Tidds — a thoughtful, remarkably simple way to fill that space.
Zipp Double Wheel Bag
$140 – www.zipp.com
Once you upgrade to that first real wheel set — be it the Dura Ace hubs laced to the Mavic Ceramic rims – or the Chris King Hubs to ENVE deep sections — you are going to want to protect them on the way to the races. The thing that always blew my mind about the really nice ZIPP bags are that they could accommodate a set of wheels without having to force them in next to each other and pad them with errant bubble wrap.
Well, we do have access to the best cyclocross program in North America, so we would be remiss to not include a selection from the notables in the team. The beauty of cyclocross is that with the time spent in the sport, travelling to and from races, everyone develops their own personal style based on experience.
Jeremy Powers picks:
Our resident cyclocross superstar checked in earlier this week with a few of the things that are on his list this season. We were surprised as some of the things that popped up on his list specifically as a cyclocross racer. There were zip-lock bags for dirty laundry — “you can keep everything in your car / travel luggage – but not contaminate everything with the mud”— and dj equipment of course. But it came down to a few little things.
Wool Socks – Rapha Winter Sock – Blue
“Wool socks are always overlooked by amateur riders when they are coming up through the ranks. They think that they need a thin ‘racing’ sock because it is called a ‘racing sock.’ But really, when it is wet and freezing there is nothing better than a wool sock for racing.”
Headphones – Monster DNA On-Ear
$199.95 – www.monsterproducts.com
“Nice headphones on a transcontinental flight — or any flight actually — are a must. We would have to agree. Plus, they work wonders for when you are in the tent warming up, trying to get in the zone. Bonus points if you are not actually playing anything, but just using them to ward off unsuspecting fans. Triple bonus points if you have unsuspecting fans.”
Mike Heenan chooses:
This is the man behind the man. You might not know it because he may be hidden from view most of the time, but Mike Heenan, the Team Rapha-FOCUS director has turned a few wrenches himself. He checked in before his long flight back from Japan where he and Zach McDonald had recently spent a few weeks chasing some of the UCI races on the island.
SKS – Airchecker – Digital Pressure Gauge
“Same tire pressure every time, no matter what pump you use.” It is simple statement that makes so much sense when you think about it. The heat of the race day is on and you forgot your floor pump, well, with this you can now feel confident using anything that you can get ahold of and rest assured on the start line that you do indeed have 24lbs of air in your front tire and 26lbs in the rear.
Soul Run Tool Roll
$40-$120 – www.etsy.com
Check their Etsy page every Friday to see what new colors and materials they are using. This is a staple for any race ready mechanic — it should be noted that Mike’s is custom made to match the Team Rapha-FOCUS livery. Make sure that you have everything you need and then roll into one handy package.
These are some of the basics – we could go into Dugast Tires vs FMB’s or which Carbon Tubular wheel set is better, but we figured that some of that is best left to the pro’s to argue over. But, never the less, the focus is on you for the next week. What Cyclocross products are you focused on as the second half of the season rolls on?
Obviously we’d expect most of those things to be Rapha but they don’t have to be. They can be absolutely anything that captures your desire, whether it’s that vintage Italian racing frame, those handmade loafers or state-of-the-art headphones. With some great prizes up for grabs, it’s also a great way of dropping hints to your loved ones.
And for those who discover some seriously incredible items, or present them in an intriguing way, there are prizes up for grabs:
• Third place receives a Winter Accessories Bundle.
Prizes will be be announced at the end of the promotion with all entries eligible so long as they feature the #oneoftheseplease tag, a mention of @rapharacing, and brief description of their request.
To see how it’s done, here are some of the best ones from last week…