Why would a mountain biker want to ride a cyclocross bike? Before you decide Ive gone off the deep end, let me make some observations. Cyclocross bikes have knobby tires and V-brakes (even disc brakes are legal now), theyre ridden off road, and they have big wheels (not unlike 29ers). Of course they also have drop bars, big gears, and rigid forks which make them look more like road bikes but it turns out cyclocross was actualy a pre-curser to the sport of mountain biking.
With that in mind I decided to ride the Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie, my first time on a cross bike. I wasnt sure where to ride the bike at the demo (on the rocky trail loops? on the paved bike path?) but ultimately I decided to give it a spin on one of the dirt roads at Bootleg Canyon. Taking the Full Tilt Boogie off the pavement and into the dirt was a little scary at first but I quickly got the hang of it and blasted down the gravel road.
As you might expect, the Full Tilt Boogie handles like a road bike but with knobby tires. The geometry is a bit more upright like a mountain bike but it still feels super low to the ground and fast. Since a big part of cyclocross is running with and carrying the bike, the Full Tilt Boogie is designed to be lightweight and nimble.
Although I probably wont be going cross anytime soon, the Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie definitely opened my eyes to a new way of riding fast in the dirt. And dont forget that Van Dessel makes svelte mountain bikes too these guys definitely know more than one way to have fun off the road!