Photography and Layout by Zach Rotstein
Does it have to be over this soon? Unfortunately the Pacific Northwest does things a little differently than the rest of the country, and we're not talking just about weed. The Cyclocross season, for all intensive purposes, is over. However, before you get your chamois in a bundle, let's just consider what we are talking about here for a minute. These are cyclocross bikes, they're made to withstand some of the toughest conditions, and bottles and gloves? They can be put to use any time of the year. Which makes pretty much everything you see here ripe for your holiday wish list. Well, except for the skinsuit, that might be a weird request.
Anyway, for our fourth edition we decided that our own cyclocross team and our various racing sundries would be a good place to start for this week's Gimme Gimme Guide. What's more "gimme gimme" than cyclocross? Think, for just a moment about the gear needed to pull off this sport. A special bike? Totally necessary. A special bit of kit? VERY necessary. How about those tubular wheels and tires that you only use two, maybe three times a week? Yep, going to need those. Gimme Gimme Cyclocross! Plus, it was a good excuse for using the word sundries.
ATHL RACING SQUAD BIDONS - $25:
Thirsty much? We like to switch up the designs with every season. Sometimes it is black and green with tigers on it and other times, like this one, we lean towards the blue. Then, no one can really see that you're into that Arctic Blast Blue Juice Gatorade stuff. It just makes those conversations easier.
We like the Purist bottles because they don't have all that junk in them. The weird plastics that no one ever saw or noticed, but now that someone pointed them out we see and notice them - and I feel like I can kind of feel them when I'm around one of those old bottles. Yuck.
OAKLEY RADARLOCK PATH FINGERPRINT - $220:
The bright green of the radarlock match the kit so nicely. It's almost like we planned all this. The fingerprint collection was one of our favorites from this past season. The best part about them was that there were matching Frogskins that were produced along with them. But, you know, they're hard to find.
ATHL TEAM CASQUETTE - $25:
"The owner is really into grey these days." It was a quote from one of our employees that made Sean Talkington (one of the people behind Ringtail) chuckle as he did his first walkthrough of our retail space. Well, you know what, it's true. From sneakers to cycling caps, grey has permeated the pallet of what we're doing around here. We are just into it, what can we say?
Our race caps are made in Italy are lightweight and great. And to answer one of the snide questions of another racer earlier this summer as to why do I always wear one I have two answers, one - because I sweat heavily and it works to keep it out of my eyes and two - because I sweat heavily and it saves my helmets.
BONTRAGER BALLISTA HELMET - $175:
Speaking of helmets - you might be thinking "why would you want an aero helmet for cyclocross" and well, you wouldn't be the only one. However, when you really start to think, it starts to make sense, you know in that way that we justify everything that we buy. However, not only do the limited number of vents on the Ballista look cool, but they also prevent your head from getting cold.
And if you really must know, these were the most commented on piece of kit from our race setup this season. "That helmet!" was something that was uttered more than once as we stormed the castle during our weekly racing endeavors. It's sleek all-black (can we collectively agree to stop using the term "murdered out" these days?) setup works with everything and just looks tough on the race course.
ATHL RACING SQUAD TEAM GLOVES - $38:
The fun part about having our own team is getting to build all the tertiary products surrounding the sport we love. So, the question goes out to the riders — what do you need? In this case it was our racer/designer Mike Heenan (who also happens to work for Castelli let's be honest here) who was the deciding factor. He had these sweet new gloves that they were unrolling this fall with their custom program and we had some skinsuits in the works, so it just made sense.
Gloves are an essential part of the cyclocross racer's toolkit. Precious few are the hardmen that eschew gloves when the temperatures really start to dip. These gloves are a great race glove, not something that you're going to take out for one of your epic six hour training rides, but something to slip on just before the gun goes off.
RINGTAIL BLOCK BREAKER JACKET - $140:
First off, if you're in the LA area this weekend, make sure you head over and check out the recently opened Team Dream Team / Ringtail Cub House. It looks so freaking good and just in time for the holidays as well. This little project has been brewing just under the surface for a while now, so it's great to see that the time has come and Sean and Co. are all systems go!
We have been stocking some of the Ringtail product for a while now (and they're stocking our stockings too!). These new colors of the Block Breaker jacket are out of control awesome as is the jacket. It's light enough to be stashed in a number of places - including under your saddle as they have intended - but here's the thing about the Block Breaker that no one is talking about - it is a great multi-sport piece. We've taken it running, hiking, and even (I know, I know) to the gym. These jackets are available in our retail store or on the Ringtail website.
Also, stay tuned next week because we did a sweet little interview with Sean that came out really well. He's a funny dude!
TIGRE TEAM MISMATCH SOCK - $15:
A variation of this sock (remember the orange and blue one) was our first ever team sock and it said Enduro on the bottom of the foot. That was a fun one and so when we decided to continue the tradition with the new team race colors, this was the way to go. It works, it just works. Plus, it has that rad little tiger on it to keep you motivated when the race gets hard, which it will.
BONTRAGER XXX MTB SHOES - $400:
I don't know about the rest of you, but stiffness is king when it comes to cyclocross footwear. Making sure that they are sweet looking ruby slippers is second to the stiffness factor. There was another thing on that list, but I forget what that is at the moment. Oh wait, it has something to do with toe spikes. Here's a little secret for you... remember those secret toe spikes that Mr. Katie Compton was going on about, we can confirm. They're amazing. They look a little like beaver teeth, but they're still amazing. Start with the shoes, because these are amazing as well.
YANCO ATHL TEAM POCKET - $25:
This has been a fun little project for us. We have been fans of Yanco's handiwork every since he was making multi colored top tube pads for track bikes. Wait, a minute, he might still be doing that. However, we are more interested in his bag, or pouch related handiwork. These are awesome for stashing a few things into your jersey pocket and not worrying about whether they're going to pick up all your back condensation. Ok, maybe strike that thought from the record. We were so stoked about these pouches that we had them made in our PDX Team colors.
TREK BOONE (COOL EDITION) - $100,000,000
Every time I get a new cyclocross bike I end up talking about how much I love it. And for the record, I really do love cyclocross bikes. The Boone 9 is no exception to that rule. However, it does have one feature that sets it apart from the rest. This race bike has fender mounts. Let that just sort of sink in for a minute. Fender mounts. Long gone (at least for me) are the days when the frame didn't need any waterbottle cages or crazy things like fender mounts. Now, I want something to ride all year long (and with this geometry, why the hell not? Plus, it doesn't hurt that the frame is ridiculously good looking.
So, that's what we've got for your race kit setup. There are many, many more things that go into your race day set up - the breakfast burrito, the various leg oils, bags, so many bags for everything, but these were just a few from our shop that we thought you might like. Keep cross alive and well into the winter months, just do it! (As they say).
Gimme Gimme Guide: Julie K. Picks
Gimme Gimme Guide: Trail Running
Gimme Gimme Guide: Hiking