tim johnson

Tim Johnson’s Cyclocross Gear Guide

Words: Noah Davis

The pro rider’s top picks for someone looking to get into the world of mud, muck and speed.

The great thing about Cyclocross—other than the mud, the muck, the speed, the insanity, the fun of it all—is that pretty much anyone can find a race and compete. There’s a come-one, come-all vibe to the sport that you won’t find in other cycling disciplines.

Cyclocross is very much by the people, for the people. But, of course, you still need a few pieces of equipment before you can start competing. We asked pro Tim Johnson for the five things he’d recommend for a cross newbie. 


© Cannondale

CAADX SRAM Rival Disc Bike from Cannondale ($2,170)

If you’re just getting into the sport, you might want to borrow your (new) friend’s bike, as pretty much anything with two wheels will suffice. But if you’re addicted to the sport and ready to drop a little dough, the Cannondale CAADX is your move.


© Giro

Giro Synthe ($250)

You gotta protect that dome. Johnson recommends avoiding aero helmets. He uses the Synthe from Giro that’s urban, light and quick-looking. After all, if you look fast, you’ll be fast. (Um, right?)


© Oakley

Oakley Radarlock Path Vented ($220)

You can’t win if you can’t see the best lines. Ride around the scrum of people stuck on the inside line with these glasses from Oakley. They’ve been Johnson’s go-to for almost 20 years. 


© Mavic

Zinka Nosecoat Colored Sunscreen, $7

For both ravers and those overtly aware of the issues plaguing our ozone. Zinka’s dose of colored SPF – available in hues ranging from red to blue to teal to army green – goes great around the faces of the crowds at both Skrillex and Major Lazer, and might even look cool on the muzzles of ATLiens. Not to mention that you’re doing momma proud by protecting your precious schnoz skin. And at .60 ounces, a pack barely takes up space within your pockets. Also available as a lip balm.

bike pump

© Serfas

Serfas TCPG Floor pump with gauge ($35)

This little baby will help you save yourself the pain and agony from running too much pressure. It’s odd to say that, but in cross too much is almost as bad as a flat tire.


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