Imaged above: Kona Major Jake 2013
Cross country cycling is about one thing: riding fast and beating your time. As a hugely competitive sport and also a great hobby to take up, cross country cycling is considered to be one of the more extreme forms of cycling and hundreds of thousands of people all around the world compete in cross country events every single year.
Much like having a fast and solid performing car is essential to any racing drivers success, having a fast and solid performing cross country bike is essential to a cross country riders success. Without the right kit, no matter how good you are, you will be limited in what you can achieve.
If you do not want to be limited by your bike and are shopping around online trying to find out what to look for in the perfect cross country bike, here are 4 top tips to consider.
1. Dedicated cross country bicycles are usually the best
Although a general purpose mountain bike is suitable for cross country riding, dedicated cross country bikes are almost always best. Kona Cyclocross are fantastic bikes for cross country riding, with the aluminium frames and tactile design making them nimble and strong enough for the harshest of cross country rides. Other reputable brands also sell dedicated cross country bicycles, such as Trek.
2. Remember that cross country bikes favour climbing agility
As a cross country cyclist your bike needs to be agile and nimble enough to climb slopes and keep up its pace. Heavy, road going bicycles simply do not offer this freedom. Always remember that a cross country bike in its design favours climbing agility with typical head angles between 70–71° for quick turns and stability.
3. For extremely difficult choppy terrain bicycles with a full suspension may be best
Not all terrain is the same and when riding cross country you simply cannot expect one course to be the same as the next. For this reason, bicycles with a full suspension or at least a front suspension set up will allow you to ride faster and harder, without the fear of your bicycle falling apart from the punishment of rough terrain.
4. Consider a single-speed bicycle to tone your skills
Almost all cross country bikes come with gears, however single-speed bikes have just 1 gear set at a time. This enables a rider to tone his skills, develop his technique and have no excuse for changing down. The gear set on your single-speed bike will be determined by the velocity you may travel, the terrain you will tackle and the size of the rider and bike itself.
Overall the best cross country bicycle for you will be the one that you are most comfortable riding and that can cope with where you will be taking it. For reliable bicycles that mean business and last, consider Kona Cyclocross bikes or other reputable brands in order to make the most out of your cross country riding straight away.
This article was contributed by Holly Powell on behalf of Kona Cyclocross by Global Bike, cycling specialists based in the UK.