Cyclocross

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:25 am

Glad you and the lad enjoyed it. To start with, you could just grab an older slack framed roadie and lob a pair of the more aggressivly treaded touring tyres on it - but it'd be a mongrel to stop. The other alternative is a cheap disced 29er with narrow tyres to get into the spirit of the thing via the Open class.

Failing that a mate just picked up a Merida cross bike with disc brakes for a grand...he raced it last weekend in Adelaide for the first time and came back raving.

My own cross bike is being converted to drop bars for the first time (it was built as a flat bar commuter) soon...and despite the cheap ($180) Scott frameset and Neotech wheelset ($200) it cost me way more than a grand to build (SRAM Rival group). So an off the peg option is a good one.
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by BNA » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:43 am

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Tue Aug 28, 2012 9:43 am

Yeah my son is talking of giving it a go this year as well ( he will be 9 this winter )... he might change his mind at maximum temps of zero ( if we are lucky )... problem will be convincing my wife to come along as well as she will have to look after him when I race.
Already thinking about what to change on my bike. The main thing will be a set of tubular wheels. They would be a kilo lighter than what I ran last season and will allow me to drop from 35 psi that I ran with tubes down to 28'ish.
Can't wait for the season to start... last season I was 104kgs and not so fit, still managed mid pack in most races ( usually 50-60 starters )... bit better on flatter tracks. But this year I will be 15kgs lighter and a hell of a lot fitter... no more getting lapped for me :D . Just need to practice my starts and sharpen my elbows as the starts are so aggressive!.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby jules21 » Tue Aug 28, 2012 11:37 am

i did the open category at DD on sunday, on my MTB. what a load of fun! i came off twice, once while transitioning from grass/mud to concrete path - lesson learned there was that mud-caked tyres won't grip smooth surfaces. the one time i choose not to wear gloves and i slide on my palms :cry:

what a ball though, it's pretty funny sliding around everywhere with everyone. obviously i am less ambitious than TLL :)
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby alchemist » Tue Aug 28, 2012 8:32 pm

Here's a couple of reports from Sydney last weekend
http://mwmtb.com/wp/2012/08/prestige-results/
http://www.marathonmtb.com/28/08/2012/h ... ross-wrap/

For those in Brisbane your turn this weekend
http://mudstersoftheuniverse.blogspot.c ... endar.html

Get on it!
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:48 am

jules21 wrote:.....obviously i am less ambitious than TLL :)


:D You reckon? I'm fairly sure that you wouldn't want to be lapped either!! I certainly don't....not that I can do much about it :lol:
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby thecaptn » Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:51 am

I wonder if/when cyclocross will get it's own topic on BNA?

Is cyclocross mountain biking on a drop bar or road biking off road? :?
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby barefoot » Wed Aug 29, 2012 1:35 pm

silentbutdeadly wrote:My own cross bike is being converted to drop bars for the first time (it was built as a flat bar commuter) soon...and despite the cheap ($180) Scott frameset and Neotech wheelset ($200) it cost me way more than a grand to build (SRAM Rival group). So an off the peg option is a good one.


Another cheap option to avoid a big chunk of your conversion cost is to go singlespeed.

I bought my On-One Pompino to use as a commuter. It cost me $700 a couple of years ago... more recently, they've been offering the framesets for ridiculously cheap ($150 frame / $50 fork or thereabouts?), and now the fixie fad is dying off there's really cheap singlespeed wheelsets and cranksets to be had on eBay and elsewhere. They're not real flash, but neither was the low-end gear I got on mine. No shifters, no derailers... that's a whole heap of cost (and maintenance) deleted. No reason you couldn't do similar on a salvaged frame - depending on the rear dropout spacing, to some extent.

I've now done two Dirty Deeds races on my On-One (both at the Brunswick velo, last year and last weekend). That requires me to strip my rack and mudguards off, replace the tyres, and put on a low gear. I'm still working my gearing out... finding that the Brunsiwck mud requires lower gearing than I would have thought. I ran 38:18 last year (and walked a lot of mud), 32:16 this year, and wished I'd gone 32:18. The mud was all rideable for me this year, but would have been less exhausting in an even lower gear.

Racing against riders on geared bikes, I was surprised by how rarely they were shifting anyway, and how little speed difference I had with the same geared riders on different parts of the course. I'm talking about the middle-runners in B-grade... things might be different for other cohorts of riders. The same rider might be a bit faster on a geared bike than a single, but there's still good racing to be had either way... just that on a singlespeed you're racing against a slightly slower bunch of people.

The guys I was tussling with tended to take a bit of a break to catch their breath on the fast paved sections, so they were riding no faster than the low-effort-fast-spinning I was doing on the same sections. I tended to lose a bit of ground in the mud (taking longer lines to stay on firmer ground so I could keep my momentum up and avoid having get off the bike), and making up ground on the dry grass and paved hills.

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby silentbutdeadly » Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:02 am

Tim...I've been considering the single speed option because the local conditions favour 32:16 on a 29er quite frequently. But I'd follow the N+1 rule rather than convert the Scott-ish.

I have been noting with interest the Pompino/Pompetamine frame prices recently but I can't decide whether I'd prefer to have a SS cross or an SS monstercross option. The local conditions combined with unrealised/unrealistic ambition says monstercross to me more than another plain old cross...of late, the Singular Gryphon sings to me...

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby grasshopper » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:05 pm

__PG__ wrote:The dismounting scares the hell out of me though! :lol:

It's the remount that hurts if you miss. :wink:
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Thu Aug 30, 2012 11:26 pm

grasshopper wrote:
__PG__ wrote:The dismounting scares the hell out of me though! :lol:

It's the remount that hurts if you miss. :wink:

+1... I stuffed up one last year and it really grazed up the inside of my thigh, luckily missed the important bits or the race would have been over!.
By the end of the season I was riding nearly all the obstacles... not quite as fast as some though.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Sep 02, 2012 4:22 pm

Now that the dropbar dirty boys and girls have a home of their own, I thought this thread should finally feel comfortable. Enjoy. :)

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby JustJames » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:56 pm

Ooooohhh!!!!

It's nice in here.

Love that big screen TV, and awesome selection of beers in the fridge too.
My bike blog. Long on rumination, rambling and opinion. Why let facts ruin everything?

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Sep 05, 2012 12:19 am

Try the coffee, eight different blends... :wink:
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Sep 05, 2012 1:15 am

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Sep 17, 2012 10:29 pm

Time to get it out of the cupboard... 5 weeks to first race of the 12/13 season :D .
Which means time to strip the road bike and put everything onto the CX bike, also build up the winter bike... although I am tempted to turn the cx bike into a 9 speed as the old stuff changes so much better when covered in mud!.
Have to have a think.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby chriscole » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:51 pm

Hi folks,

Wondering what people's thoughts might be regarding choices for a first CX bike, which initially will be getting 90% of its use as a speedy but hopefully more-robust-than-my-road-bike commuter and recreational beast, but will find increasing use in CX racing in the fullness of time. Absolutely want disc brakes, but unsure about the cost/benefit ratio between an alloy frame & carbon forks versus full carbon.

Options that have particularly caught my eye are:

Cannondale SuperX Hi-Mod Disc (carbon) ~$6,000
Cannondale CAADX Disc Ultegra (alloy) ~$2,200

Specialized CruX Expert Carbon Disc (carbon) ~$4,000
Specialized CruX Comp Disc (alloy) ~$2,200

Felt F3X (carbon) ~$3,900
Felt F65X (alloy) ~$2,000
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:51 am

As a first CX bike and one that is doing dual duty (or more likely 98% commuting 2% CXing) then I'd go with the alloy versions you have found...

...but then the old school beardie in me thinks that the deal being offered by Planet Bikes in the UK at the moment is hard to pass up. Their Kaffenback bike- full steel frame and fork, BB7 disc brakes, SRAM Force transmission and FSA crank, weighs in around 10.8kg - delivered for under $1,500
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby Chris249 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:12 pm

'Cross seems to ensure that the gap between the good riders (not me) and the not so good riders (that's me) opens up much more than in crits, for example. You don't get to wheelsuck when you're feeling off, the handling is important, and it's really hard work.

All that means, to me, that unless you are already quick, the bike is of little relevance in your finish placing. I also note that on the Sydney course, which is allegedly pretty hard handling-wise, every race seems to see a couple of mechanicals or crashes involving fast vets. So unless you are flush with cash, I'd tend to look at cheaper options that will cause less angst when the inevitable crashes occur.

Personally I went for the cantis to save 900g on my daily commuter/CX bike, and so far I'm very happy with the option. If I need extra stopping power in the wet then I have already made BIG mistake, IMHO.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:45 am

Rebuilt my CX bike today :D ... about time as the first race is on Saturday. Took it out for a roll... forgot how fragile feeling these things are!.
But then where I was riding has quite a lot of river ( round at least ) stones which isn't like the grass and mud I will be racing on.
Set up the bike like last year except with Ksyriums all round this time... also run very thick bar tape for my big hands. After a few minutes riding I dropped the stem a cm as I felt way to high. Apart from that it felt ok... although the front brake cable was slipping and will have to fit another new one now.
The only changes will be made when an order from CRC arrives next week... getting some Swiss Stop green ghp pads as my TRP ones are getting a bit trashed and I tried shimano ones but they didn't bite as well... plus the normal front wheel chatter is still there but it didn't seem to bother me last season. Also going to try some Continental Cyclo X Race Folding tyres as I can run any width I want. I set up my bike with in the rules last year with 32's but think 35's could help a little bit more.
Now need to just get the body feeling better!... wish I had spent some more time on the mtb getting used to the tight corners and hard pinch climbs!... riding the roadie all the time is certainly not using the muscles in the same way :oops: .
Bring on Saturday... temps are dropping fast and should be about 6c and light rain :lol: ... winters coming!.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby chriscole » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:10 pm

Pedals and shoes for CX....

Buying a Specialized CruX Disc Apex or a Cannondale CAADX Disc Ultegra in the coming fortnight.

It'll be commuting, then taking part in some actual cyclocross next year and onwards. I've never used clipless pedals before. My current intention is to find some comfy/runnable MTB shoes and clipless pedals. Being a pedal newbie, logic has suggested to me that I want something which clips in from both sides, is easy to get into and out of, and preferably has something of a platform for non-clipped purchase when leaping back onto my bike and possibly not quite getting the cleats into the clips immediately (i.e. something I can pedal for a few revolutions on with a random part of my shoe until I navigate the cleats into the binding).

Crank Brothers Candy (seemingly Eggbeaters with a little platform), Acid and Mallet (bigger platforms) pedals look sexy, but a lot of online reviews are unfavourable in terms of durability (i.e. most bending/breaking/exploding after one or two gentle kisses from a rock here or there).

Shimano XTR, or Deore XT (PD-M980, PD-M780) or similar were suggested by the guy in the local bike shop after sorting out the bikes themselves.

Any thoughts, suggestions or tales of woe or awesomeness would be greatly appreciated... :-)

Oh, and whichever shoe/pedal combo I choose for the CX bike will also carry over... I will buy a compatible set of pedals for my existing Giant Defy carbon road bike (in order to use the same shoes with both bikes).

Cheers!
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:29 pm

I use one generation old XT pedals, apparently a bit better mud clearance than the newer models. I also have shimano mtb shoes... you can run in them but I wouldn't call them runnable, the carbon sole is so stiff that you do what you can. I run them so tight on the straps as well that an hour is about as bearable as it gets.
Big black clouds outside... 5°C max temp today and raining non stop... can't wait to get muddy this arvy!. Going to take two bikes, warm up / check out the course on my mtb and then put it in the pits as a spare, leaving the CX bike clean for 50 minutes of torture.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby baabaa » Sat Oct 27, 2012 6:36 pm

I would suggest you add Time ATACs into your wish list.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby Pravda » Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:36 pm

WT? TLL, where are you. Cracked 36 in Perth today and i just bought my cc bike. Kona Jake the snake. Gotta get some practice in now.

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Re: Cyclocross

Postby toolonglegs » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:47 am

I am in France near Lyon / Geneva.
Will post my very short race report over in the race report thread.
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Re: Cyclocross

Postby chriscole » Tue Nov 06, 2012 7:50 pm

Picking up a shiny new Specialized CruX disc tomorrow.... *bounce* *bounce* :-)


Now can someone please organise some CX races in Canberra??? ;)
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