You have to look after yourself and your bike before and after a cyclocross race. Here are a few top items that will help to make race day a little bit better, no matter how your legs are feeling.
You want to get your tire pressure just right for the best grip on the course. The Schwalbe Airmax Pro digital pressure gauge ($29) can give you an accurate reading in seconds in p.s.i., bar, kPa, or kg/cm2. It’s compatible with Presta and Schrader valves.
The lightweight Castelli Cross Prerace jacket ($345) keeps the chill away before you get to the start line. PrimaLoft 60 insulation at the front keeps heat in, while waterrepellent sleeves and back panels keep water out. Ahead of race day, you might want to work on balling this jacket up and tossing it accurately. The jacket looks pro, so you want to look pro chucking it to your friend on the other side of the tape ahead of the start gun.
You don’t have to jam a bottle in your jersey pocket or mount a bottle cage to stay hydrated during your pre-ride. The Fabric cageless bottle ($19) comes with two bolts that sit proud of your down tube. The bottle slides onto these bolts directly. Once you’ve finished pre-riding the course, leave the bottle somewhere safe and your bike is ready for you to shoulder and carry up any run-up.
While most races have a bike-wash station, you can avoid the line with the Mountainwasher ($199). Fill up its 15-l reservoir, and then hose your bike down with spray gun, shower head or bush attachment. The washer runs off of a 12-volt outlet in your vehicle. The water comes out at 43.5– 130.5 p.s.i., so the spray is safe for the finish on your frame, and around the seals and bearings.