"If you could only have one bike, what would it be?" seems to be a common question we get asked in the shop and during polite conversation at family gatherings and parties. My answer has always been "A Cyclocross Bike" - most have fun geometry, lots of clearance for all types and sizes of tires plus room for fenders. They are relatively light and with the right tire options, you can ride them just about anywhere - single-track, gravel roads, road rides and snow covered surfaces.
It always seemed like a very comfortable answer because, well, I have not had to choose just one bike. The last 19,000 or so of my road miles have been on a Trek Madone 6 Series and my single-track and gravel grinding have been on Trek Superfly - so I have not really tested my answer by sticking to one bike which seems a little disingenuous so I have done a little soul-searching.
During this exercise in introspection it occurred to me that when I ride on the road I am always watching the clock and average speed as if they somehow determine the quality of the ride. In reality, they are only data points and do not reflect how much I enjoy my time on a bike. Being outdoors, on two wheels, getting aerobic exercise and community with other riders are what I enjoy about riding so I have decided it is time for a change. The Superfly is in the hands of a more deserving owner and the Madone will be relegated elsewhere.
Starting next month, I will use a Cyclocross Bike for 99% of my riding for the next year. I will still track mileage but pay no attention to the speed of my rides - my attention will be on the things I enjoy about cycling. Tire choices will be predominately based on the type of riding for the season, but I won't be obsessing about riding a CX tire on a fall or early spring road ride. The setup will tubeless with the exception of my studded Winter Marathon tires since they are not tubeless.
I can already hear the cacophony of readers pointing to the BS meter when a shop owner states they will ride only one bike. This does not mean that I won't occasionally show-up to a group ride on a new demo bike whether it be road or mountain. It means that I will be riding the CX bike almost exclusively for a year and blogging here about the experience.
More technical details about the bike will follow, but I will be riding a MOOTS PsychloX as the bike for this experience. I expect the build to be somewhere in the 17 pound range and allow me to spend a lot of time on the bike during the next 12 months. It arrived yesterday with a customer's frame configured similarly so it will be a week or so (customer projects come first) until this one gets built-up.
Until then here are the requisite glamour shots. Some sharp-eyed readers will note some configuration options and limitations which will be covered in the discussion of the specifications.