Cyclocross is almost here! It may not feel like it as we sweat our way around Victoria through the wonderfully sweltering summer sun, but just on the other side of August is Cyclocross. Creative, dehydration induced ride metrics (LS/min i.e. ‘Liters of Sweat / min’ is our current favorite, with SPR ‘Swims per Ride’ coming in a close second) will swiftly be replaced by lap boards and endless PSI debates. One minute you’re floating at Thetis Lake, and the next you’re frantically chipping away at mud from last January and hoping, praying, that the glue on your FMB’s dries during your practice laps. To help ensure you don’t get caught out by the changing of the seasons, or a early season Le Mans start, we’ve put together an ‘early / not-so-early’ preview of our 2018 line up of Cyclocross bikes from Felt and Focus, and all the tires you could possibly want.
Focus Mares CX Ultegra
We really like Focus, as we’ve said a number of times before. For 2018, they’re sticking with their winning strategy of incremental improvements to the already stellar Mares platform. Developed through extensive racing on both sides of the pond, Focus isn’t just a big name in American cyclocross: they’ve consistently been represented at World Cups throughout Europe. But, through the strong involvement of Jeremy ‘J-Pow’ Powers, the Mares CX probably feels most at home carving through high speed grass corners. Which is a good (read: FUN) thing. Our very own Parker ‘P-Blo’ Bloom piloted his Shimano Ultegra Di2 equipped Mares CX to Cross on the Rock series victory last year, so the bike clearly fits in here on Vancouver Island as well as it does in Rochester or in Koksijde.
Focus Mares CX Ultegra: $4699.00
Felt have seriously upped their game for 2018, putting a renewed focus on their cyclocross line. In January they signed phenom World Champ Wout van Aert to represent their bikes on the world stage, where he promptly defended his rainbow jersey in Bieles, Luxembourg at Cyclocross World Championships. Felt’s CX lineup benefits from their extensive experience pushing the limits of possible with carbon, in road, triathlon and mountain bikes, creating a light, responsive frame that’ll surely help you drop your lap times at the next COTR event. Felt’s F5X gets the full, UHC Advance + TeXtreme carbon treatment, plus hydro discs from Shimano, for when you do decide to slow down.
Felt F5X TeXtreme: 3199.99
Focus Mares Al 105
Like it’s thoroughbred sibling, Mares CX, Focus’ Mares Al features race winning geometry developed in conjunction with Focus’ stable of ‘cross pros. The Mares Al carbon fork and aluminum frame sport many of the same features of the top shelf, full-carbon version: R.A.T. through axles, hydro disc brakes and internal cable routing, just at a price tag that’s more approachable for anyone looking to get started, or get more into racing cross.
Focus Mares Al 105: $2400.00
Felt’s aluminum frame option, also featuring a carbon fork, mimics the German companies higher-end F5X, while bringing the price down well inside the ‘entry level’ range for anyone looking to start racing cross, or start racing more seriously. Complete with disc brakes and always reliable Shimano 105 shifting, Felt’s F65X doesn’t just look like a race bike: it has everything needed to see you through the full cyclocross season in fine fashion, for less cost.
Felt F65X 105: $1799.99
All the Tires!
One of the key elements of cyclocross is talking about choosing proper tires and pressure for different conditions. Whether you’re rolling on tubulars or clinchers, we have all the selection you could need for whatever next weekends race throws at you. Mud? Dust? Some weird, toothpaste-like combination of the two? We got you. If you can’t get enough of the smell of glue, we have a wide selection of tubulars for you, including hand-sewn alternatives from venerable French tire maker, FMB, and the shops alliterative favorites from Schwalbe . If clinchers are more your style, we have a wide selection of Schwalbe’s off-road options, plus a choice selection from Clement, tubeless early-adopters IRC, and the newest tread from MTB staple, Maxxis. If you don’t see what you want on the wall, it’s probably we can probably find it for you in the basement, or order it for you, so talk to us about tires! We looove talking about tires!