MTB for developing CX skills?


I’ve gone to a few of JPow’s Fascat camps, and he was an advocate of learning to rip on a mountain bike to develop skills.

Skills and confidence (especially descending, cornering) are a big problem for me in cx and gravel, so I’d like to improve in this area.

Any idea which type of mtb bike I should invest in? Full suspension?


Yes! The Yeti SB100 is super popular out here in Colorado for our terrain

but really any mtb will help you improve your mtb skills. Hardtail or full suspension - riding technical terrain on any bike translates to riding technical terrain on the cross bike. Now that I typed that, riding technical terrain on your cx bike also helps with your cx skills. So a mtb is not necessary but it sure is fun.

Super helpful!

I was looking at the SB130 – thanks for that.

I try to ride my CX and gravel bikes on technical terrain, but I get kind of freaked out and start riding the brakes too much.

My hope is that a mtb with a bunch of clinics will result in high speed cornering and descending confidence.

Thanks Frank!

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I think even a hardtail 29er is a great option. And, I second what Frank stated: ride your CX bike on MTB trails to improve your skills. Likely not going to ride gnarly rocky stuff, but smooth single track with a few technical sections here and there is perfect. If the a section is too technical, just get off an run…like you would in a CX race!


I joined the FoCo Fondo Fest Gravel pre-ride last weekend led by one Zach Allison of Team Cliff Bar. Zach took us up to Red Mountain Open Space near the Colorado boarder where we were treated to 9 miles of beautiful single track. Some of it was a bit rocky and I had to really choose lines extra carefully riding a CX bike with 35c tires. Any MTBing skills I had really came into play and I’m sure the experience only improved them! That section was so much fun (even though I was deep in the back of the sufferbus having not paced slowly enough in the first 25 miles), but I was happy to be back on plain old dirt roads after Red Mtn.

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Keep doing this stuff leading up to CX season and it will help tremendously!

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