CX at the Hydrocross

Took the Trek Boone to the Hydrocut on Friday after work. Had a wild and punishing ride, but overall very rewarding. That feeling of riding technical trails and always being on the edge on a CX bike is quite exciting!

Anyone else sending it on their CX or gravel bikes? I filmed a bunch with my GoPro and have a large video with more trails, but for now, I made a short edit of Jessica. It may seem tame to some of you super-fast MTB riders, but I personally set a pr on Jessica from this run.


It is a lot of fun. I have done most of the trails on my Gravel Dropbar bike. It can be rough but that is what makes it a challenge.

Huron woods is another good place to go as well as Columbia Forest and some woods down by Strasbourg Rd. I am sure there are other spots around here too.

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Nice! I’ll give those trails a look, thanks! I’m new to discovering these, appreciate the recommendations.

Totally rough, and like you said the challenge is worth it.

My main hydrocut whip is my Felt Breed with the thicc 650b WTB Ranger 2 inch tires on them. It shreds. I’ll probably be selling my x-caliber.

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I’ve been around most of the hydrocut on my cross bike. You have to constantly pay attention to your line with skinny tires so it’s far more engaging than a mtb. Any of the smooth flowing and uphill trails are amazing on a cx bike.

The comments I get while passing people are also entertaining. Everyone should give it a shot for a change of routine.


I have not done Adam’s Run, Kamikaze and Godzilla on the dropbar bike. Jumps and drops are a bit much. I have done all the others.

Also I skip a lot of the rock features.

It is fast but you can spin out the rear wheel pretty easy on roots. Also I got caught in a sudden thunderstorm on the CX bike at the hydrocut once - that made downhills really scary!

If you want a challenge on a dare I did try a few trails at Hydrocut on a fixie once. Once was enough.

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Love this build!

Brave Steven! I didn’t attempt those runs (yet!).

I like the Stamm Woodlot between Benjamin Road and the neighbourhood north of Conservation Drive as well. Not quite as exciting as Hydrocut or Columbia Forest in terms of elevation or features, but still a nice place to zoom around in the woods.

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Have been riding a cross bike in the Cut for over 10 years now (until 2020 due to injury), and did everything except Adams and Kamikaze. I was only riding 32mm with tubes (double flatted once) and rim brakes so it was definitely a fun challenge and my hands were toast. The trails have changed quite a bit with more exposed roots and sharp rock fill, not sure I’d go in with tubes again at least until bug season is over.

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That is awesome! I double flatted my first time, and this being my second time I descended much more cautiously. Still running tubes as well, but looking to make the tubeless switch soon, also on 32mm x-one speed tires. Hands are also so toast after a good hour and a bit :smiley:

Sweet! Thanks, I’d love to check that out. Always looking for new areas and always fun to zoom around the in the woods.

Love riding cross at the Hydrocut. I agree with previous comments about how engaging the experience is, and also the need for caution on the gnarly bits - drops and rock features in particular (for me anyway!). Emotional Roller Coaster is a blast in the drops. I recently gave it my all on the Short TT on Strava with my cross bike; while the bike held up okay, I wouldn’t call it “fun”, exactly, going for speed over rooty trails.

I upgraded to a bike with hydraulic GRX brakes this year and that makes a massive difference in hand comfort and overall confidence.

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I went to the HC for the first time ever last year…prior to that I only had a road bike and thought that would be too much of a challenge :wink:
As like Tabi, I’m on a cross bike with 32mm & tubes. Can’t say I hit all the trails, just the blue ones for now. Unlike many people, I have not had a flat, so maybe I’m not trying hard enough :laughing:

The Hydrocut is super fun on a cross bike

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Here ya go, a nice segment to test your CX skills on : Choose Your Bike Wisely | Strava Ride Segment in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Created by our very own Chris Angermann!


Dan you are lighter than most which will help with flats, and a pretty good bike handler.

I haven’t done the hydrocut with a CX bike, but I have done Puslinch tract, it is just a case of picking your lines more and not not being too aggressive. Definetly not so much fun on the rough stuff, but it can be more fun on the faster flow and climbing sections.

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The Choose your bike wisely is only easy trails at Hydrocut. So CX or gravel with relatively skinny tires for sure.

Add a few harder trails to the route and then it would get interesting. How about a section including the road and also Frankenstein!? Choose the wrong tires for that and you will be walking up the hills.

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Yes easy trails but you may be surprised just how much time you loose on a CX bike. When I originally made it I thought for sure CX bike with the 650b X 2" tires would be best but I just beat that time by 2 minutes from last year on the new mountain bike. Others have been faster on a CX bike but it’s been really close.
I feel like it has to do with where you want more help. Personally I preferred putting in more effort on the road with a locked out fork then I get a proper bike for single-track. Others with better off-road skills may be able to handle the rough stuff better on a CX and benefit from more speed on the pavement.

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That’s actually a good point. I found when I took my XC bike to the cut, I’d be pretty tired when I arrived, since I had to bike there. With my gravel bike, I arrive fresh and pay for that on the trails.

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