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How To Ride Ruts Like A Pro | Essential Cyclo-cross Skills

How To Ride Ruts Like A Pro | Essential Cyclo-cross Skills


– Ruts, R-U-T-S ruts. You know when you’re having a bad day you call your mom up and you’re like “Mom I’m not doing good.” And she says, “Honey it
sounds like you’re in a rut.” Well that’s not a good thing,
but on a Cyclocross bike being in a rut is
actually an amazing thing you want to ride ruts. So today’s video is going to
be all about how to make ruts, how to ride in the rut,
and have a great day out of the Cyclocross bike. (energetic music) So why is it important
to learn and to use ruts when you see them out on the course? If you can imagine an
off-camber section of routing, something that’s slightly
downhill that’s like either sandy or muddy, well if you try to go across it you’re just going to
slide out and go down, but if there’s a nice rut then
you’re going to be able to put your tires into it and ride it like a train on tracks
across that obstacle. It’s also important to think about a rut as something that allows you to carry your momentum and speed,
if you’re coming into a rut in a sandpit well then you’re
able to carry your momentum through because someone
has already made that rut. Where as if you’re just having
to plow through straight sand that’s going to be really,
really hard on your bike. So first off let’s check
out how we make a rut. (dramatic music) First things first, where do
you make these ruts Jeremy? Well if you have a local
sandpit like this one, that’s a good idea, you
could also look up a local volleyball court
where people obviously play volleyball, that can
make nice ruts into that. Make a little track. Also if you have a local pond or a beach, those are all great places
to get your sand training on. Okay so here at the pit,
where are we going to do a fresh sandbar? Well right down here if you can look, there is untouched, completely manicured, by the mother nature and rain, and so what I’m going to do is
I’m going to come down this hill and I’m just going to make a
simple u-turn in the sandpit and that’s going to give me
a sense of showing you guys from start to finish how you make a rut. It’s going to take at least five passes before you get a nice rut going. (dramatic music) That is what it takes to
be able to make a rut, you guys saw six seven
passes something like that. Then I’ve got now a really good line. The hardest part of this for
me is actually the entrance. You can see that this part
was the softest amount of sand but now that I’ve plowed my
front wheel through there I’ve got it down to the underground, meaning like the hardest
part, it’s tamped down. So now I’ve got a nice straight shot all the way in this turn. I can use all my finesse
and my body weight, picking my head up, all these little tips that I’m going to talk
to you guys more about to be able to get through this perfect. (upbeat music) Now that you’ve got something nailed down and a good rough going,
start to think about how you’re weighting up the bike. You want to make sure that
you’re getting your weight really far back, like
as far back as the seat will allow you to be on it. You also want to look
now, where are you going? A good friend of mine, Ben
Spies, a former MotoGp superstar, once told me that you
have to pick your head up and look through the turns. And the last thing is, you don’t
want to have a high cadence because you’ll literally be
bouncing all over the bike, completely off balance. So make sure you have a
nice, lower to medium cadence when you’re riding in the sand, let’s go. I’ve got my weight really far back. I’m looking up with my head. It takes me right through the turn. Perfectly. (energizing music) So you want to make sure that
when you’re going to ride sand that you have a pair of slick tires. Lots of manufacturers make them, I’m using the Continental
Cyclocross Speed tires which are just about a 100% slick, they’ve got little knobs all over them. But you want to make sure
that you don’t have any tires that have bite on them,
tires that have bite, not great, you want to
have a big traction patch. Meaning like the most amount of tire that you can possibly have on the ground and slick tires are
actually what complete that. So you also want to bring your
tire pressure way, way down. You don’t want to have 50-60
pounds, you need to have nice, soft pressure in
your tires so that the tire is moving underneath you,
the sand is also moving so that in order to have the tire moving while the sand is moving you
have to have low pressure. So to reinforce how important ruts are we’re here at the local
track where we’ve got this nice uphill section and then
we come into an off-camber, pretty steep downhill section. This section rides
exactly like I said before like a train on tracks, but
if I was to hit this fresh, like something here or whatever, I’d be completely flying over the bars. So I’m going to attempt to show
you guys what it looks like in the ruts and not in the ruts. Okay so I’m going to take
this perfectly manicured rut all the way down, whoa. And now I’m going to show
you guys what it looks like if we don’t use the rut,
I can’t promise exactly how this is going to go, but. (energetic music) Whoa, oh gosh, eh, aah, ha ha ha. So the key takeaway, you
always want to use the road most traveled and that is why ruts work so well. (dramatic music) Here I am at the apex of a figure eight. Couple years back the Cyclocross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium was canceled. I was actually there
sitting in a hotel room having flown transatlantically to find out that the race was canceled
because of wind and rain and I was thinking in my head,
well that’s not that cool. Wout Van Aert, a pal of
mine, posted on his Instagram later that day when he got
home in his local sandpit, that he went out and
did a big figure eight in that sandpit and it
pretty much caught the world of social media on fire,
every single rider went out and did a figure eight in their sandpit and well the rest is history. Well we’ve been doing figure
eights here ever since, shout out to Wout, I’m
gettin’ that video up and teaching us all a little
bit about how he trains. So why does a figure eight make sense? Well it’s constantly challenging you, so I always create a figure eight. Here’s one from a
previous training session that we have already. It allows you to constantly be challenged, you’re always pushing
yourself and you have to get a nice big stretch of sand
to be able to make one and then you can link it
up with other sections. So then you’ve got that
drop, you’ve got that u-turn over there, then you’ve
got your figure eight, and then you’ve got
yourself a pretty hard, little sand training circuit. Maybe a little bit of
inspiration about how you ride these figure eights, here I come, is make sure that you
use all of the things that we talked about, you
want to keep your weight back, you want to pick your head
up, you want to make sure that you’re in the right gear, and it’s all about balance and agility. Everything that I’ve talked
about is going to make this drill a lot of fun and
it’s going to really help you become a good rider in
the sand and in the mud. And where Cyclocross riders really shine in the technical stuff. (upbeat music) I’m always hearing at the races, “Commit to the rut, commit to the rut”. Now you guys have some good tips to be able to actually commit to the rut. I hope you guys enjoyed this video, you got something out
of it, share it around, tell your friends, get
out there start riding some figure eights, post them on the gram, let us know what’s goin’ on. If you like this video
please give it a thumbs up, leave a comment below. If you want to see other
great tutorials, how-tos, Cyclocross stuff, check
out right over here. If you want to subscribe
to GCN, right there.

73 thoughts on “How To Ride Ruts Like A Pro | Essential Cyclo-cross Skills

  1. Once I get that cross bike home, looks like I'll be prowling for a beach to do some figure o' 8 drills. Some of the local sandpits here, are, almost exclusively, fat bike territory, as a couple of them are either beside construction sites if not used exactly like that, themselves.

  2. Jeremy certainly found his presenter style. Very much enjoyed this video (as the last one)… And I am a pure roady…!

  3. The old SVENNESS Vimeo videos after used the 'commit to the rut' motto, good advice. Regarding the figure of eight, it also works on a field around some pre-set turns. From that simple set up you practise, cornering both ways, braking, acceleration out of corners balance. If you set it up with about 40-50 meteres between turns, it's a great work out too. If you look at the British Cycling dustbin test, which we've used for years, you'll get the idea.

  4. Great training video. Earlier this year I crashed my road bike in a rut running down the middle of a paved road. I might have avoided stitches if I had known to use ruts to my advantage.

  5. Jeremy's videos have made me think that cyclocross might actually be really fun – not just a ridiculous, wet, muddy, sandy, miserable day – thanks!

  6. Just curious – would you swap pedal & cleat combinations based on course conditions – dry, mud, sand – or pretty much stick with personal preference 100% of the time, such as SPD vs crankbrothers vs time, etc.. Imagine that would ratchet up shoe logitstics too.

  7. If only this video came out a week earlier i wouldn’t have binned it in a sand rut on a decent into a stingy nettle bush

  8. Very professional Video. Good camera & edit ( nice rythm). Good Music choice. Great presenting. Well done Jeremy 😀

  9. Figure 8's – hones your left and right turns, everyone has one direction as a weakness. Thought you'd mention that. Loved the name dropping 😂

  10. This is quite helpful for ruts from other riders, but what about ruts formed by rainwater? I have found myself in situations where such a "waterrut" suddenly leaves a trail down a bank and I have to "emergencyexit" that rut in a flat angle. On narrow tires, I find this pretty difficult. Are there any helpful tips for this scenario?

  11. Попросите уже оператора сменить ракурс, ну невозможно же смотреть, что у вас в центре кадра почти половину хронометража 🙁

    Please, change point of view of camera…

  12. If I called my mom to tell her I was having a bad day she would tell me to suck it up and stop Whining like a little bitch😂😂😩

  13. As a triathlete with mediocre handling skills, when I see these clips I didn’t even realize riding a bike on that sort of terrain was feasible !

  14. Hey GCN! I did an ONE 1 Hour long trackstand and posted it on my channel! How about we make a Video about Bie control and trackstands! 🙂 I would appreciate working together with you! 😀

  15. Man, Jeremy's knowledge and charisma + THIS AWESOME level of production is… so fresh and good and… just awesome. Cheers!

  16. Is this the greatest GCN video of all time? Great tutorial, super drone shots, talking animals, even the bike leaning talk to camera shots have that beautiful autumn leaves background. Warm!

  17. Once your finished riding around in the sand ruts. Make sure you (*Fully and Completely) clean your chain and bike. *The Hip

  18. Great cinematography, y'all! I'm off to ride on the nationals course in Lakewood, WA tomorrow. Stoked for sure. Cheers!

  19. What about situations where certain sections that were muddy a few days earlier, have now dried out and become hard? Trying to escape a rut like that can be a bad thing. So, do you just commit to a rut and try and remain in it till you exit? Thanks.

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