Mountain Bike as a Tool

Question for those who mountain bike. I purchased my first one about a month ago and I’d like to use it to prep for cyclocross season. I live in the Twin Cities, and we have a lot of good singletrack, but there are no sustained climbs. A lot of short, (10-20s) sharp punches and good technical flowy trail.

I’m trying to figure out how to use this new bike of mine as a preparatory tool before cyclocross season starts. Handling for sure, but how can I utilize it to work on building anaerobic capacity in a more real-world situation (as in, not doing intervals).

I tend to prep cyclocross athletes that have raced mtb all summer by having them carefully plan their race season. Where I am from there is a lot of two race weekends back to back during the season. So having so much racing it is easy get into great form without really doing intervals.

So with your new mtb I would focus on building a base and tempo ability while having fun that you can sharpen on your cross bike with running and skill drills to make sure you can corner in all types of terrain like a mad person.

@steveneal great info, thanks.

Some of this will depend on the CX courses that you’ll be racing. Here on the east coast we have different types, some are more wide-open spaces and others have more single track with a lot of turns.

Mountain biking on singletrack with small hills thrown in really is a bunch of intervals. I don’t think it would be too hard to mimic a twisty CX course.

Question: if you’re using the MTB to train for CX, does that mean you don’t have a CX bike yet? One difference between MTB and CX, you’re sitting more upright on a mountain bike vs a drop bar bike, with shorter wheelbase and steeper head angle. Clearing obstacles such as logs on a CX bike can be a little more challenging than on a mountain bike, especially a newer trail bike.

Also not sure based on your post if you’ve raced CX before; dismounting and carrying the bike; MTBs don’t tend to work too well as a training tool for that, especially full suspension.

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