Cyclocross is a genre of cycling where you can get away with using highly specialised gear alongside random extra parts from your garage.
And if you’re in to cyclocross it’s safe to bet you’re a big fan of riding through a muddy obstacle course in a park somewhere or watching your friends do so with a cowbell in one hand and some frites or a beer in the other.
It’s also a safe bet that your significant other is probably struggling to come up with the perfect gift for their mud-loving CX’er. Never fear, BikeRadar is here to drop some serious hints about what to get someone who loves knobby tires, drop bars and riding around in circles.
Christmas gifts for cyclocross riders
Columbia Altitude Tracker hooded jacket
Columbia’s Altitude Tracker jacket Jack Luke/Immediate Media
Legendary outdoors brand Columbia lists the Altitude Tracker hooded jacket under hiking for its suitable uses, but the 700 Fill Down and water-resistant thermal jacket can easily double up as the perfect jacket for the racer signing-on, your pit crew or your fans keeping warm while watching you race.
Weighing 394g for a size large, the jacket also packs down into the left-hand chest pocket and so can easily be stowed in your kit bag when not in use.
The jacket packs down into a chest pocket for easy stowage Jack Luke/Immediate Media
Elasticated cuffs, a ‘Scuba Hood’ and a drawcord waist mean you can easily keep the cold weather out, and four large, zipped pockets on the outside of the jacket can be used to store fuel and extra clothing such as gloves, warmers or tools.
The “Droptail’ design on the rear of the jacket isn’t cycling-specific, but does prevent any riding up of the jacket while wearing on the bike.
Available in orange (photographed), black or dark mountain (blue). A female-specific cut is also available.
Speedvagen Pit Boots
Keep your feet dry and mud free Courtesy
Most of the time ‘cross is a muddy affair for riders and spectators alike, so a solid pair of gumboots is a must.
Whether it be getting to the best spot for heckling, staying upright on your trip to the beer tent, working the pit, or even making your way in from the parking lot, your giftee will be much happier with dry, mud-free feet.
A solid set of gumboots will let you get knee deep in muck, and still keep your feet happy. Even better, post muddy ‘cross race, you can hose them off — good as new.
This pair in particular comes from Sacha White and Vanilla Workshops, they are made in the USA, feature a soft semi-insulated interior and according to Speedvagen have a B.O.A (Bureau of Awesome) rating of 11.
6in heavy-duty cowbell
Making a racket is a big part of CX racing — do it in style with this heavy duty cowbell Amazon
Cowbells and cyclocross go together like mac and cheese, and any self-respecting heckler should have a decent cowbell alongside their choice handups of rubber chickens and beer.
Cowbells come in all shapes and sizes, but they all make a ruckus, and that’s arguably the most important aspect of spectating a ‘cross race.
We like this heavy-duty 6-inch noise maker because it can rattle around in the back of a car for months, have various heavy items put on top of it and still perform on race day.
- £10.95 / $18.95 / AU$21.95
Feedback Sports Team Edition Tool Kit
Feedback Sports Team Edition tool kit will make last-minute repairs a bit less stressful Courtesy
There’s nothing worse than being the guy or gal in a ‘cross pit running around like a chicken with their head cut off looking for a tool to complete a last minute pre-race fix. From a noisy derailleur to a loose cleat there are no end to the issues that can reveal themselves pre race, so it’s important to be prepared.
Having said that, a full on toolbox is likely to be overkill for a race day fix, so it’s important to find a happy medium of compact yet still prepared.
For that, the Feedback Sports Team Edition Tool Kit seems to fit the bill, with 19 high-quality tools in a compact travel case, it can be hung from a workstand or fence.
Better still, there are slots in the case for extra tools which aren’t included, like a torque wrench.
Swiftwick Pursuit Merino socks
Who doesn’t love wool socks as a present? Colin Levitch / Immediate Media
Tennessee-based Swiftwick claims to make the best socks you will ever wear — a big call, we know. The 7-inch Merino Pursuit socks, however, aren’t far off.
The Pursuit socks are made from all-natural Merino wool sourced from farmers in the US. Despite their weight, the wool takes the bite out of the chilly morning wind without adding bulk inside your shoe.
Available in a variety of heights and colours, the Pursuit socks offer a Merino toe and heel, compression cuff, seamless toe construction, and half-density weave joints — and they’re pretty comfy.
£TBC / $22 / AU$45
Bosch Fontus Cordless Outdoor Cleaner
The Bosch Fontus mobile cleaner MBUK/Immediate Media
Removing mud and grass as quickly and efficiently as possible means your spare bike will be ready and waiting for you in the pits, and up for any eventualities. While the Bosch’s reservoir isn’t massive, it’s pumping power is, making light work of the worst mud the CX course can throw at you.
The hose is four meters long, there’s a brush attachment for the spray head, and it’ll trundle behind you easily on its pull-along wheels.
Small Batch Embrocation — Jingle Embrocation and Smoke Embrocation
Small Batch Embrocation’s Jingle and Smoke Small Batch Embrocation
Based out of Ashland, Oregon, Small Batch Embrocation was created by Jim Ransweiler back in 2010 using natural ingredients.
Jingle Embrocation has a heat index of 5/10 and has notes of peppermint and cinnamon, while Smoke Embrocation has a heat index of 10/10 with cloves and hickory. The company also produces a number of other muscle rubs and chamois cream.
Branded apparel is also available from the company.
Alé Fango Ciclocross thermal skinsuit
Ale’s Fango thermal cyclocross skinsuit Ale Cycling
Optimised for temperatures between 0–6-degrees Celsius, the Fango skinsuit from Alé is a great option for deep-winter racing.
Thermo Light 3L DWR fabric in the legs will help to keep the leg muscles warm and firing, and the whole skinsuit aims to offer windproofing while staying breathable. A waterproofing treatment will also help to keep the elements out.
Two rear cargo pockets, leg grippers and laser-cut ventilation holes on the underarms are further appreciated design features. The suit is available in black/yellow fluro or black/orange.
- £210 / $284.97 / AUS$392.28
Curve CXR frameset