Cyclo Cross

What is Cyclo-Cross ?

Cyclo cross is specifically off road racing. Cross bikes are designed so they cope best with the courses.
Races are usually in local parks & playing fields where they utilise open grass fields & woodland. Races are designed to show off the rider skills with man made jumps, adverse cambers, sand sections & run ups. If the rider judges sections too difficult for them to ride then they use the dismount /remount technique. This is where lightweight cross bikes are at an advantage where the rider will “shoulder” the bike. Tyre & tyre pressure selection is also a major skill involved with cross.
Races can be found on the British Cycling website. Seacroft are heavily involved with Yorkshire Cyclo Cross (YCCA) both racing & organising events. All age & groups can race from under 9’s to over 60’s which creates a family atmosphere. Races are of timed duration rather than distance. Races are chip timed so you will be able to compare your speed against others.
New cross riders are always welcome & Seacroft have training sessions to help you learn the skills. Mountain bikes are welcome at training & Yorkshire (cat C) races. No mudguards allowed on mountain bikes on race day though.
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What is a Cyclo-Cross specific bike ?

A cross bike is made for off road riding & racing. It primarily looks like a road bike, ie drop handle bars, 700c wheels, but it does have a few key differences. Front forks & rear chainstays have large clearances to allow mud clearance & wider tyres. Disk brakes have also been beneficial to cross frame design.
Cross tyres can be up to 33mm on 700c rims, gravel bike tyres can utilise wider tyres on 700c & 650b rims. Several different designs of tyre treads are available to cope with different ground conditions. Tyres can be clincher, tubs or tubeless.
Frames are made from all the usual materials, steel, aluminium, titanium & carbon. Frame geometry is fast ie short wheelbase for racing rather than relaxed as on gravel bikes.
Cross bikes generally have a horizontal top tube to allow for shouldering of the bike, gravel bikes have a sloping top tube to aid with the strength of the frame. Gravel bikes usually have mounting points for touring luggage racks.
Gears on cross bikes are wider ratio to cope with steep climbs & fast trails, also added into the equation is whether to have a double or single chainset. Pedal selection is usually mountain bike , 2 bolt mounting style to aid with mud clearance.
If you’re serious about cross racing then budget for buying 2 bikes so your hard working pit crew can clean 1 bike while you’re trying to get a podium finishing position on the other.

What is the Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Championship ?

The Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Championship is a series of cyclo cross races in the YCCA autumn/winter season. The number of races varies from season to season but is usually around 9/10 mark.
Races are organised by cycling clubs/groups under the YCCA banner. Seacroft Wheelers is proudly one of the organising clubs.
From youth races upwards each riders result receives points- 100 points for 1st, 99 for 2nd etc. There is a limit on the number of qualifying races but you can exceed that number, best race results will then be counted.
Seacroft Wheelers use the Yorkshire Cyclo Cross Championship results to determine their male & female cross champion.
The Championship is ideal if you intend to race a full cross season & may possibly reward you with a trophy at the end of the season. Races can ,however, be entered individually so don’t miss out by thinking you have to do the full series.
Stand alone non Championship races also form part of the Yorks cross season. These are usually on the same weekend as the National Trophy races & as such can have a lower turnout but still very much worth entering.
Race entry is on line only via the British Cycling website with a link from YCCA.
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