The Chainlink

Cyclocross Starter Kit

Cyclocross 101: The Basics


Chicago Area Weekly Practice Schedule

2017 Chicago Cross Cup Racing Schedule

All races are held rain, snow, or shine on Sunday unless otherwise noted.

All races are held rain, snow (usually), or shine on Sunday unless otherwise noted.

09/10/17 – Caldwell Woods (xXx Racing-Athletico)
10/01/17 – Hopkins Park (Comrade Cycles Racing)
10/08/17 – Dan Ryan Woods (Beverly Bike Vee-Pak)
10/15/17 – Carpentersville (Woodland School) (Main Street Bicycles Sasquatch Squadron)
10/22/17 – ABD Sunrise Park (Athletes By Design)
10/29/17 – Campton Cross (Bicycle Heaven & Training Bible Cycling) – HALLOWEEN!
11/05/17 – Groundhog Psi-clocross (PSIMET)
11/11/17 – Pheasant Run Resort – Day 1 (South Chicago Wheelmen) – SATURDAY
11/12/17 – Pheasant Run Resort – Day 2 (South Chicago Wheelmen)
11/19/17 – George Garner Sr Memorial Race @ Melas (Northbrook Garner Bicycle Club & Flatlandia)
12/03/17 – Montrose Harbor – State CX Championship (Ten27 Cycles & Spidermonkey Cycling)
12/17/17 – Awards Party – EJ’s Place in Skokie

USA Cycling (USAC) - Races are sanctioned by USA Cycling (USAC), you can purchase one-day licenses at each race or simply visit and purchase a one-year license.

Tip: download the USAC app onto your phone so you can easily access the license from your phone.

Would you like to be on The Chainlink's team? New this year, The Chainlink has a racing and riding team that will be racing the Chicago Cross Cup as well as more races next year. Learn more.

What Is a Cyclocross Bike?

To the casual observer, a cyclocross bike looks like a road bike with slightly larger, knobby tires. However, it has a few more key differences. For starters, it will place the crank and pedals slightly higher for more ground clearance, it will have a slightly longer wheelbase for more stability, and it will have either cantilever or disc brakes for better operation in wet, muddy conditions. Cyclocross tires are generally sized 700x32 or 700x33. Most brands offer them in three different tread patterns, so a serious racer can choose the best tire for dry, medium/mixed or wet/muddy conditions. Since novice racers typically only own one set of wheels, they will choose a tire that best suits average conditions over the course of an entire season. Depending on where they live, this will likely be either a medium or a aggressive tread.

A nice, added benefit of cyclocross bikes is that they're excellent commuters, they excel at light touring, and are perfect for gravel rides/racing. This makes them a safe purchase for offseason use, or if you decide 'cross racing is not for you.

Local Shops: 

Next Level
Hooked? Here are more links to check out.

Chicago Cycloross Cup, Powered by SRAM - Schedules for the 'cross cup events plus information on other area races, teams, etc.

The Bonebell - A great resource for local cyclocross and mountain biking.

Cyclocross Magazine - News on races, bikes and all things cyclocross.

Helpful Cyclocross Videos - Tips from UCI World Cup Champion Lars van der Haar, and a "best of" cyclocross compilation.

The Big Marsh - Chicago's future bike park, which will feature a permanent cyclocross course, jump lines, pump tracks and more. See how you can help.

The Dogs of Cross - Dogs enjoy cross season too - lots of sniffs, feels, and hand-ups for our four-legged friends.


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