Learning Cyclo-Cross Skills With Blake | An Intro For Mountain Bikers

Learning Cyclo-Cross Skills With Blake | An Intro For Mountain Bikers


– Welcome back, you
beautiful people, and today– Wow. Welcome back, you beautiful people, and today it’s all about– What the hell. Welcome back, you beautiful people, and today, it’s all
about riding cross bikes? Tom Last! – Cyclocross. What’s going on, mate? – How are you doing? – This is mine. Hold that. – Okay.
– I’ll get yours. – This is like, it’s a
road bike for the dirt? – No, Blake, it’s not a
road bike for the dirt. There’s your bike. – Oh my, look at that. – You’ve got a modesty cross bike. – I’ve got a 650B. – Today, it’s all about Cyclocross. – Right. (trap music) (wheels whir) – Cyclocross bikes, they
might look like they’re, kind of, slightly worse mountain bikes. That absolutely isn’t true. What cross bikes are great
at is going off-road. – Yeah. – And if, like many of us, you don’t live near a beautiful mountain
range, you don’t live near– (beep) I’m out of breath. (laughter) (beep) If you live near trails which
maybe aren’t as challenging, if you don’t live near a
beautiful mountain range, or if you’ve got a few bits of road, few bits of kind of hard-packed trail– – Like the Netherlands. – Yeah, exactly. Or, many areas of the UK. Pretty much anywhere
flat-ish or hilly-ish. – Yup. – Cyclocross bikes take
average mountain bike trails, trails that you may have progressed past, and make them really fun. – Yeah, well I’ve always been interested in a Cyclocross bike. When Nukeproof brought
this one out, the Digger, it’s a 650B, it’s got big tires. – It’s a monster cross bike. – So it’s a monster cross bike. Yours is a 700C tire. – Yeah this, I’ve actually borrowed from our colleague Simon Richard. This is a Trek Crockett, so this is one of Trek’s racing cross bikes – Right, it looks like Trek.
– So you can see there are a few key differences
between this and yours. Probably the biggest one for
me is the much narrower tires. – Yup. – So, this has got 32, 33 millimeter. – I’m 47. – You’ve got 47. So you’ve got a slight advantage there. But it’s still gonna be fun. You’ve also got a dropper post. – I have got a dropper post. It’s bringing that mountain
biking thing to it. And my bars, look how wide
mine are compared to yours. – Yeah, somewhat. – Somewhat massive. – But yeah, key differences between this and a mountain bike, it’s got disc brakes, it’s probably got wider tires than cross country bikes
had a few years ago. – Yeah. – So, not to much different there. Obviously, it’s fully rigid, but again, if you’re riding on trails
that you find a bit simpler, I think that makes it more fun. – You know, I can’t wait to get out there. We’re out here at Ashton Court. There’s a lot of trails here,
so you’re gonna teach me the fundamental bits on tips and tricks. – Exactly. We’re gonna run through a few skills that, if you get a cross bike, which personally, I love Cyclocross, I recommend you do, they’ll help you to get more out of it. – Yeah. (upbeat music) (brakes screech) (spokes whir) – All right, Blake. So, we’ve ridden the
first little bit of trail. First impressions. What big differences for you. – Well, ’cause I ride mountain bike, and the handlebars are
literally like this– – Those are wide, though. – These are super wide, yeah. Compared to those. So, I thought, well I’ll
just make it different, and I’m super excited and curious what it’s like on the drops. Now, riding through
there, my whole body went, I’m like, really low. Luckily, I’ve got a drop. I can drop that saddle away. When it comes to riding,
is there a preference, like there, or here, or on the hoods, I mean the brakes, or– – Yeah, I think broadly,
it’s personal preference. Like, for most flat, uphill, kind of gently down hill,
I’d probably be here. – Okay. If I was chilling out on
the flat, or on an uphill, not that I can chill out
on an uphill anymore, I’d probably be here. For, like really, for
certain slow-speed downhills, I’d be on my hoods, here.
– Okay. – And you know, like,
with this round ones, you’ve got a big lever there,
– Big lever. – So you’ve got a really solid grip. And then, for like, really steep, kind of steep, or faster
downhills, I prefer to be here. That’s cause I just feel
that you have more security when you’re there.
– Right. – If you think, you know,
like we said earlier, you are on a fully rigid bike. – Yeah. – So, if you hit a bump and you’re here, and you’re not holding on properly, you– – You just bounce off. – You’ve got to miss your pothole. Whereas if you’re here, you kind of, I just feel like you’re more secure. You’re locked in. You can brake, you can change gear. – Yeah. – All sorted? – Yeah. Oh, mate, well I prefer, I’m
gonna try both, actually. On the jumps, it’s like,
I feel like there I can– – I think that’s probably
a good place on the jumps. – Manipulate the bike a lot
more than like, pulling up. Because I feel like I’d pull them off. (trap music) I don’t know about you, right, but riding this on a mountain bike, that’s full suspension, is like, we take this bit of trail for granted on how rough it is
actually underneath you. You get on one of these, holy moly. Everything changes. – It’s like a challenge, right? – It is super challenging. Like, your line choice
has to be quite spot-on. You don’t want to square a rock on. – Yeah, line choice, super important, because yeah, you hit a rock dead-on– – I did hit a rock. You hit, I, it– – Pain is virtue. – No, I didn’t bring anything that– – We’re different sized tires, anyway. So you’ve got to pick
your lines carefully. This, like we said earlier,
some people will descend there, but I think this descent with the drops and stuff like that is really one where you want to be in
the drops of your bars. Just for that good security. – Yeah, I felt a little bit more secure. I rode down it like this the first go, and the second go I want on the drops. It was like, way better. And I lowered my saddle, which– – I don’t have that option. – Yeah. – But, I’m sure it’s a good one. – I think, yeah, it’s a must for sure. (upbeat music) – Watch this mate. – Yeah, all right. Wow. How’s? Oh, now that was smooth. Teach me? – All right, Blake. So, probably like, an
infamous Cyclocross skill is people running around fields with their bikes on their back. – I have seen that, through
muddy, boggy situations. – Exactly. We’re not saying that you
need to do that all the time, but it’s useful to have
in the back pocket, right? If you think, if you’ve
got gates, or stiles, or a bit of trail that’s
really, like you said, boggy. – Rocky.
– Not that fun to ride, Better to, quicker to walk it, basically. If you’re getting off a cross bike, you want to choose which
side you get off on. Most people will choose to
get off on the non-drive side. To get off your bike,
un-clip your right foot, swing it over your right wheel,
and then don’t step through. Bring it parallel with your left foot, and then you kind of hop off. A lot of it makes sense. If you’ve got clip-less pedals, it’s fine. Your feet do come out. If you’ve got flat pedals, you
don’t have to worry about it. – Was that good? – Yes. – That hurt. – A little bit of room for
improvement, but looking good. – That hurt. – Blake, so, perhaps the
most intimidating part of Cyclocross skills, is
getting back on your bike. – Right. – You’ve had a couple of goes with it. – I’ve had a few have landed a bit weird, like kind of a bit of
pressure went on somewhere. – To be honest, it was like, it was much better after the first one. The first one didn’t
look that comfortable. – It wasn’t very comfortable. – But, there are a few really easy things you can work on it. So what you’ve got to think of, is when you’re getting back on your bike, like I said, you’re aiming for this bit. The fleshy bit. So, you can practice stationary just by doing that and sliding on. – All right. – That’s quite comfortable. – Let’s try it out. – Well, at least that doesn’t hurt. – Oh, yeah.
– You can put both hands on your bars, if you want. So yeah, fleshy bit, and slide on. – Straight clips, which I’m
gonna struggle a little bit, but I’m gonna try it.
– And then, once you’ve kind of, once you’re happy with how you’re doing that stationary, you can progress to doing
it a little more slowly. So, should we do that now? – Yeah. – Let’s try it. – Try slowlier, slow, slowlier-er? Is that a word? Slowlier-er-er. – I’m not sure it’s in the dictionary. – It’s in Blake’s dictionary. – Remember, it’s just a big step. Land on the fleshy part, click it. We good? – Nailed it. Got to get used to it. – I think, Blake, we’re
ready to tie it all together. So, get off, and get back on. – Yup. – There’s a bit in the middle, that I think is probably most
relevant to mountain bikers, which is carrying your bike properly. So, shall we have a look at that? – Yes. (trap music) – So, first thing, get onto
this other side of the bike. Spin your pedals around so that
this one’s facing backwards. – Like that?
– Right there. So, we were looking at this
earlier with your bike, and it’s a slightly smaller frame. So you’re going to need to
pick it up by the top tube. So like that. – Right underneath it? – Something like that, yup. So, lift, no, lift the back, mainly. So, you lift in the
back, you’re doing that. – Oh. – And then, you reach around
the front, if your arms– No, your arm’s not long enough. So go under the down tube.
– Under there. – Like that. Like that?
– Yup. – Okay, so you’ve got. – I’ve got it like that. – So, if you’ve got to carry over a gate, carry through something,
– Yeah. – You’ve got it. Your
bike’s not going anywhere. – Okay, well. – And then we can talk
more about riding later. – Yeah. – All together. – Yeah. – All right, we’re getting off. – Getting off. – Picking the bike up, putting it down, then we get back on. – Oh, that was not a good get on, there. – That looked all right. – Yeah? – That’s it, you nailed it. All right, Blake, it’s been good. I’ve got to run and sort this out. – Yeah, you’ve got a puncture. – But, it’s been good. – You can like, Cyclocross run
your bike across that field. – I’m gonna have to. But you can see what we were saying about a Cyclocross bike is not
inferior to mountain biking. It’s about making trails that
you find less challenging, things you find less
challenging, more challenging. – Yeah. – We’ve definitely
found that today, right? – I think I’ve found, especially on this greasy, wet surface,
with these little tires, which I call little, compared to my 2.4s. – They’re pretty big. They’re big to me. – But thank you so much for giving me a bit of advice about cross,
– Yeah, thanks for having me. – Because I’ve not done it. – It’s been good, it’s been good. – Think I’m gonna, I think after riding it and jumping it, how hard can
I actually push this thing? – We’ll find out, right? – We’ll find out. Don’t forget to click
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content, just click over there. – Yeah, and give it a thumbs-up. – And we’ll see you the next one. (upbeat music)