Pro Cyclocross Strategy, Tire Choice, & More with Tobin Ortenblad – Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast 432

Good Episode with Tobin!

@Jonathan defiantly give Time ATAC’s a try. Great for shedding mud and OMG do they have some float. Very much a different clipping experience than SPDs


Really enjoyed this one! I am pretty biased though that I always want more cyclocross content.


They are light too!

I just picked up some ATAC XC4 pedals to try them out without too much of a cost.

They have a bit of a weirdly vague “clip out” feel, but a lovely positive “in” feel.

Ditto on Time MTB pedals. Dead reliable and never had an issue in any conditions since the mid '90’s.

Running Time pedals on my ancient Redline CX bike. They work great.

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ATACs are the One True Pedal

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Tobin just seems like a really good guy. I would welcome him as a more frequent guest on the podcast.

I don’t usually follow it, but caught a clip of him on the Groadio podcast, and it got my attention enough to listen to the full episode. I found him to be a clever and charismatic speaker, so I was pumped when I saw he was going to be on the AACC pod as well. He just comes across as really genuine and interesting in a way that I think most pros are hesitant or incapable of displaying to the public.


@IvyAudrain Please post details on your frozen pickle snacks that you mentioned during the podcast.

During a very warm 70.3 race in St. George, one of the aid stations had frozen Bob’s Pickle Pops. I had lost my salt capsules at some point and having a couple of those to cool me down and for the extra sodium intake probably saved my race.

Having something homemade that would be a little similar to those pickle pops would be amazing!


I’m gonna weigh in on the opposite side for Time ATAC….rode them for years in the early 00’s. Finally realized I never liked the feeling that my feet were sliding off the side of the pedals.

They were super-easy to clip in and out of, but that side-slide feeling just never worked for me.

Then rode egg beaters for a number of years and finally went back to SPD in 2019 and I can’t see myself ever bothering with another system at this point.

But like saddles, pedal preference is very personal, IME.

@IvyAudrain OMG. Cornichon shots. This made my freaking week. I’ll pay you five whole dollars to try the same thing with capers.


@Jonathan Can I just weigh in on the dropper post thing? I feel really strongly about it.
The whole point of cx is that the equipment restrictions turn a simple grassy field into a testing race course. It brings challenging terrain to your local park.
You know how it is with your mtb? What used to be crazy wild back in the day on your rubbish 26er is now boringly unchallenging on your latest rig.
National/International cx has specific rules to maintain this challenge. Namely drop handlebars and 33mm tyres. Wider tyres and droppers would just take the fun out of it. Cx should be ridiculously tricky, thats why we love it and train obsessively to get better at it. The most powerful rider does not win, the BEST rider wins.
We spend an evening every week during the season teaching our clubs kids and adults how to master these bikes. The spectacular crashes are very much part of the sport. Everyone limps home to lick their wounds but return the next week determined to succeed. It’s not an arms race like TT, road or mtb, its a skills race. Basic bikes, phenomenal technique.
Oh and no-one needs to worry about jumping the boards. Every session includes dismount-remount skills. No fear, extremely efficient.


I got the Crankbrothers version when they were on sale (mainly for longevity) but haven’t had a chance to try them out yet. Planning on installing them in the next few weeks.

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The weight of my cleats is way, way, way down on the list of things that might change my race performances.


I gotchu!!!

Nalgene 1oz + cornichons.
I load them up vertically, pour a little brine in, like 3/4 full, then freeze overnight!
I leave it in my frame bag to thaw out, and a few hours later they’re still chilly. Share with homies. :slight_smile:


This is awesome! Thanks, Ivy!!!