My first ride on a cyclocross bike

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My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:58 pm

My LBS lent me a cannondale SuperX carbon rival today which is very kind of them, I intend to ride a fair bit til the end of the week. Its a beautiful bike, 56 cm comes in at 8.1 kg with pedals. I rode it home the 8 or so km's from the bike shop in record time(keeping in mind that I've only ever ridden mountain bikes and tourers) and was blown away with how easy it climbs. I like the Sram shifters alot. My only drama is that my hands and lower back ached big time while I was riding which is not due to anything being wrong with the bike but with my poor old body. I'm really wanting to get into CX but will have to solve this issue before I commit to buying a bike. Any advise which could help me solve these problems would be greatly appreciated. The bike I'm looking at buying a 2013 caadx disk has a more relaxed geometry which should help and I'll try doing some stretches before ridding.

Please offer me any thoughts if you guys dont mind ta,
Pete
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by BNA » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:19 pm

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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:19 pm

Back issues could be the set up and the fact that you are new to the bike. For CX I do a lot of core work and stretching. Well I say a lot but sometimes it is only once or twice a week :oops: . Most back issues on a bike are due to lack of stability / flexibility ... left too long they turn into real back issues. I could feel my back fatiguing quite quickly during a 1 hour cx race last season... to the point of being a bit painful, but the work out always made it feel great a day or so after... best core work you can do on a bike :D ... this year I hope I have less issues.
The hands will be helped by stronger core strength as well... and getting your position right... also I run double or triple thickness bar tape on my CX bike for more padding and a better grip.
I looked at the 2013 caadx ( non disk ) last year and would have got one if they had them in stock... nice bike and good price. Geometry is not that "relaxed" though... still a race bike.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Tue Sep 25, 2012 9:03 pm

toolonglegs wrote:. Geometry is not that "relaxed" though... still a race bike.


My LBS is going to have a 2013 caadx disk demo bike in my size so I'll be able to give it a good test ride.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:20 am

I might try some dead lifts and light squats, I already do a bit of ab work and I'll up my stretches as I think flexability is a problem for me.

The new Caadx's come out here at the end of the month and are quite reasonably priced, are you thinking of getting one Mr Longlegs?
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:16 pm

No, I will sticking with the Lapierre frame/fork for another year. I may upgrade to tubular rims but that would be about it. I don't ride my CX bike for training very much... so basically it does about 20 hours riding maximum a year :lol: . 8 to 10 fifty minute races and a few warm up laps. But it does give me a hell of a lot of motivation to train when the temps never get above zero :lol: .
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:58 pm

I've just been comparing the Geo of the Specialized Tricross Sport Disc Compact to that of the Caadx disk. It appears to me that the Tricross would be the more confortable bike. What does anyone else think? And what do you think of the bike overall?
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:08 pm

thecaptn wrote:I've just been comparing the Geo of the Specialized Tricross Sport Disc Compact to that of the Caadx disk. It appears to me that the Tricross would be the more confortable bike. What does anyone else think? And what do you think of the bike overall?


The Tricross Elite Disc has Tiagra 10 speed and different wheels but is the same apart from that.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby Mugglechops » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:46 pm

When I first got my CX bike I was having back issues and and grip issues.

I was coming from riding a 6in travel mtb and a relaxed fixie before hand. It took me a few physio visits and time on the bike to get over it.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby thecaptn » Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:10 pm

Mugglechops wrote:When I first got my CX bike I was having back issues and and grip issues.

I was coming from riding a 6in travel mtb and a relaxed fixie before hand. It took me a few physio visits and time on the bike to get over it.

Thanks, that's reasuring,
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby Pravda » Tue Oct 30, 2012 1:06 pm

Rode my Kona Jake the Snake to work this morning. It's going to spend most of it's time as a commuter as we don't have much of a CX scene in Perf just yet. Going to switch out the 35mm tyres for a set of 28mm slicks for commuting. Looking forward to taking it on a couple of spins offroad this weekend.
The hardest thing to get used to has been the 105 shifting after only using Campag on my roadie. Getting a few squeaks from the cantilevers as well.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby moosterbounce » Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:53 pm

One of the reasons I went with the CAADX was because its ultegra (mostly). I think I'm too old to change groupos!!

It better hurry up and get here...I want to take it for a spin!!
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby cyclotaur » Tue Oct 30, 2012 4:15 pm

toolonglegs wrote:. Geometry is not that "relaxed" though... still a race bike.

Yep the SuperX is a race/cross bike for sure .

I bought my 2011 CAADX105 because the geo is more relaxed than my old roadie .... on the other hand if you're coming from the MTB direction then it would seem more 'race-y'.

If I could have this bike with long reach road brakes instead I would have just about the perfect all-round bike. Those cantis will squeek if the brake/rim surface gets grimy, especially the rear.

As it is, I ride it everywhere from Beach Rd to Acheron Way or Donna Buang backroad by swapping the wheel/tyre combination around. Even toured on it with racks/panniers.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby clackers » Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:01 am

cyclotaur wrote:
As it is, I ride it everywhere from Beach Rd to Acheron Way or Donna Buang backroad by swapping the wheel/tyre combination around. Even toured on it with racks/panniers.


Yep, I've got a Topeak rack on my steel cross bike and with its cable discs makes for a great commuter.

Swapped the tyres from 28s to 38s with tread and it did Donna as well!
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby RecRider » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:30 pm

Hi all. About 4 weeks ago I bought a new 2013 Felt F75X CX bike. Intended for general use, road/fitness riding, some firetrails and dirt roads rather than for actual CX racing. I went down the CX path for those reasons instead of buying a dedicated road bike. After researching for about 12 months I liked the specs and value for money on this particular bike.

My other 2 bikes are both MTBs and I've been using one of those set up for general road/fitness use. It's more or less like a commuter, although I have only ridden to work a couple of times. My questions and comments are mainly around getting used to the new bike and its behaviour, as I haven't ridden a CX or any other road-like bike before, e.g. drop bars are new to me.

So far I've only done a handful of (road) rides each of about 17km and slowly getting accustomed the bike. Initially I swapped the cage/toe clip pedals over from one MTB and rode with those but had ordered some Shimano A530 touring pedals which arrived from Wiggle last week so I have now fitted those. Not having ridden with cleats either I also bought compatible shoes but yet to try either of these, just rode with the flat side of the pedals the other day. I like the performance of the bike in general as it's much faster and lighter than either of my other bikes (looks good too :)). However I'm still getting used to the riding position - some lower back discomfort but seems to be easing with each ride (any tips?). Note that I'm a few years past the wrong side of 55, although still pretty fit. The 105 integrated brifters have also been a bit of a challenge to learn (my fingers seem to short?).

I had one signifcant issue last week in that the chain fell off twice on my last ride, when shifting up from the small chain ring to the big one. I assume it may be a front derailleur adjustment problem which I'll ask the LBS to look at at the initial service - in the next week or so. I was wondering if this could be caused by some initial cable stretching, even though not many Kms ridden so far?
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby clackers » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:46 pm

RecRider wrote:However I'm still getting used to the riding position - some lower back discomfort but seems to be easing with each ride (any tips?).


Very common, RecRider. The tendency is to do what we're told not to do ergonomically at work and home - curve the spine like the letter "c". Lower back pain is the natural result of repeatedly using a time trial position.

That posture you have when you stand up straight? You're meant to try to maintain it as you bend from the waist. The spine is meant to act as a cantilever for your trunk and as a result, your hands should not have much weight acting through them onto the handlebars.

This is difficult at first, because they're your undeveloped core muscles doing the work instead of your protesting lower back.

Some athletes do Pilates to directly improve their core strength.

If you don't do specific exercises, you'll still get there, but it'll be slower and you should do stretches after rides to unlock your lower back in the meantime.

My wife adjusted to the position (incidentally also a CX bike) after about 20 accumulated flight hours.

It's all worth it, though! Do resist the temptation to alter the geometry to recreate completely the upright position. You'd be presenting a bigger area to the air in front of you and unbalancing the handling/braking.

Of course spend most of your time on the tops or hoods. But every now and again the circumstances call for going on to the drops - and it's what you've paid for! ;)

RecRider wrote:

The 105 integrated brifters have also been a bit of a challenge to learn (my fingers seem to short?).

I had one signifcant issue last week in that the chain fell off twice on my last ride, when shifting up from the small chain ring to the big one. I assume it may be a front derailleur adjustment problem which I'll ask the LBS to look at at the initial service - in the next week or so. I was wondering if this could be caused by some initial cable stretching, even though not many Kms ridden so far?


You can get shims for the 105 brifters to bring them in.

Talk about them with the LBS, who will also readjust your derailleurs now the cables have stretched naturally.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby JonoMarshall » Wed Mar 27, 2013 2:26 pm

I've been riding around on a CAADX for a few months now, really enjoying the more relaxed angles around town, but the CX scene in Aus still seems small (few trails advertised, etc) so haven't been off road much.

Regarding back issues, a temporary fix is to lower your saddle (in a similar vein: raise your saddle if you have knee pain), but long-term you probably want to improve your core strength (as simple as tensioning your stomach for 30 seconds every time you check the time, or some other regular activity), or look to change your riding position.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby RecRider » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:13 pm

clackers wrote:
RecRider wrote:However I'm still getting used to the riding position - some lower back discomfort but seems to be easing with each ride (any tips?).


Of course spend most of your time on the tops or hoods. But every now and again the circumstances call for going on to the drops - and it's what you've paid for! ;)

RecRider wrote:
The 105 integrated brifters have also been a bit of a challenge to learn (my fingers seem to short?).
I had one signifcant issue last week in that the chain fell off twice on my last ride, when shifting up from the small chain ring to the big one. I assume it may be a front derailleur adjustment problem which I'll ask the LBS to look at at the initial service - in the next week or so. I was wondering if this could be caused by some initial cable stretching, even though not many Kms ridden so far?


You can get shims for the 105 brifters to bring them in. Talk about them with the LBS, who will also readjust your derailleurs now the cables have stretched naturally.

Sorry for the very tardy reply. I don't visit here as often as I'd like (or should). Thanks very much for that advice. I did exactly those things which has been quite successful. I still find the extended brifters marginally too far away but much better than before. The derailleurs have now been adjusted in the last two services. The de-chaining was eliminated after the first service and the LBS advised that cable stretch was the likely culprit. I'm now much more comfortable on the bike and enjoy going onto the drops and sprinting as much as possible. Now installing a more comfortable saddle as the supplied one is pretty horrible.
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Re: My first ride on a cyclocross bike

Postby clackers » Tue Aug 13, 2013 2:25 pm

RecRider wrote:Sorry for the very tardy reply. I don't visit here as often as I'd like (or should). Thanks very much for that advice. I did exactly those things which has been quite successful. I still find the extended brifters marginally too far away but much better than before. The derailleurs have now been adjusted in the last two services. The de-chaining was eliminated after the first service and the LBS advised that cable stretch was the likely culprit. I'm now much more comfortable on the bike and enjoy going onto the drops and sprinting as much as possible. Now installing a more comfortable saddle as the supplied one is pretty horrible.


Great to hear, RecRider.

I got a gel saddle with a hollowed area that takes pressure off the Les Patterson date, but everyone is different.
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