Stephen Hyde is the current American National CX champion and is gearing up for the upcoming season. We caught up with him during his cyclocrossworld.com p/b Cannondale team camp on his top five cyclocross tips.
#5 Ride off-road. Find somewhere that you can go every week whether they’re trails or some sort of park. Look for some other people as well to ride with and practice skills on your cross bike. So many people don’t practice the skills which are needed in CX. Riders need to practice getting on and off their bike, turning, jumping and mainly just the simple stuff needed during the race.
#4 Tire choice. Make sure to go out and buy some good tires. Clinchers, tubulars, tubeless or whichever is best you can find just make sure to invest in some good tires. I personally like the Challenge tires. We use Challenge tires on the team and I believe they make a really wide range of tires and also a good quality tire. You can get a tire that’ll be right down the middle and you can use them for most conditions through out the year. But just get some good tires and when they start to wear out, get new tires.
#3 When it rains, go out and ride in the rain. Use your new tires you just bought and go out in the rain and work on your skills because when it does get muddy in some races you are gonna want to know how to ride in it.
#2 Your road bike fit is not your cyclocross fit, adjust it. Go higher on the bars, a little lower on the saddle height and you probably don’t need to have your saddle as far back as you think you do. Move your saddle forward.
#1 Send it!
Bonus tip from Curtis White: Be open to learning from other people. You can simply go stand at a section during a race and just watch everyone who comes through it in their own way. You can see who takes what line and how they’re going through it. If your training with someone you can go back and forth which each other on tips from personal experience with what works. Also, don’t discount riders who are possibly finishing behind you or right in front of you. There are very good bike riders out there and you would be surprised who you may be able to learn something from.