Three things herald the arrival of October: shorter days, falling temperatures, and the start of the cyclo-cross season.
We’ll be focusing on the closest road cycling gets to the knobbly tyred, off-road action beloved of mountain bikers: a cross over, of sorts.
To that end, we’ll be testing three disc-equipped ‘cross bikes from three of the biggest players in cycling: Cannondale, Specialized, and Trek.
We’ll be talking to some of the biggest names in cyclo-cross, previewing the 2012/13 National Trophy Series, which starts in Abergavenny on October 14, as well as getting a view of the sport from the ‘grass roots’.
Our own George Scott will be rolling out for his first cyclo-cross race at the Alexandra Palace round of the Rapha Super Cross series on Sunday October 28, and will be sharing the highs and lows of his training throughout the month, starting with a Vo2 Max test.
And we’ll be heading to Salisbury to test ourselves on the course of the Salisbury Saxon CX: one of a growing number of off-road sportives, that take the inclusive, ‘challenge yourself’ format of mass participation rides from the tarmac to the trail.
The onset of winter usually heralded by October necessitates more and warmer clothing; think bibknicks or knee warmers, arm warmers, merino base layers, and, of course, waterproof jackets. We’ll be testing clothing this month from DHB, Rapha, and Sportful.
Turbo trainers and rollers make a necessary return to action, and we’ll be testing offerings from CycleOps, Minoura, and Tacx. RCUK’s new coaching columnist, Jo McRae, will also be offering advice on the most effective way to use a static trainer.
With ever decreasing daylight hours, and the end of British Summertime imminent, we’ll also be kicking off several months of light testing with offerings from Cateye, Lezyne, and Knog.
As well as the season-specific content, we’ll also be keeping you abreast of all the latest developments, including a look at Giant’s 2013 range, and a preview, report, and gallery of the final race of the UCI WorldTour calendar: the Tour of Beijing.