Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - tell me if you think im crazy...
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09-15-02, 10:50 AM
I saw something on the discovery channel a while ago talking about the birth of mountain bikes. This guy named gary fisher (the maker of gary fisher bikes), took a thin-tired bike, and put ballon tires on it. He then proceeded to ride it off road. These bikes evolved into the tough-as-nails mountain bikes that we have now, with better brakes, tougher frames, and knobby tires
What is cyclocross? It sounds to me like cyclocross bikes are road bikes with tough frames, better brakes, and knobby tires. Tell me if im crazy, but cyclocross sounds like a re-evolution of the mountain bike. Will future cyclocross bikes be converted not from road bikes but mountain bikes? plz reply. Sorry bout the long post
L J Horton
09-15-02, 11:39 AM
Don't apologize for your post's length in future. Use all the words you need to communicate your ideas.
I don't think you are crazy.
Mountain bikes are being designed now with 700c wheels.
09-16-02, 07:25 AM
I'd hardly call cyclocross bikes a re-evolution of the MTB. The sport of cyclocross has been around since the mid-1940s [after the war, although I understand that there were some organized races in liberated Belgium as early as December, 1944...]. If anyhting, mountain biking is a re-evolution of cyclocross.
Having said that, there are some major differences between the two sports at a competitive level:
Cyclocross courses are short loops of 2.5-3.5 km, while XC mountain bike courses tend to be considerably longer.
Cyclocross races run for an hour, while XC mountain bike races run for a few hours.
Mountain bike racers are not allowed to accept technical assistance from anyone during the race; cyclocrossers can have up to three spare bikes in the pit.
Cyclocross courses are designed with barriers and obstacles that force the rider to dismount and run with the bike, XC mountain bike courses are not.
Finally, cyclocross is a winter sport -- okay, fall and winter -- mountain biking is mostly a summer sport. I think one of the things that really defines cyclocross is the fact that it's ideally done in really bad weather conditions -- rain, snow, mud -- that really test the racers.
It's all about the boue...
I really don't see 'cross bikes being adapted from MTBs in any great numbers, though you can ride MTBs in most 'cross races. Most 'crossers seem to like the drop handlebars and there's really very little advantage to having suspension on a 'cross bike... and I see suspension as the defining feature of the MTB. Remember, you have to carry these bikes; suspension is just added weight.
09-16-02, 07:38 AM
Can you use a cx bike in an MTB race?
I remember when racing MTBs didnt have suspension.
Another style of off-road riding with a long history is called Roughstuff. Riders on standard touring bikes would just leave the tarmac to explore tracks and trails. Sometimes they would do more extreme things, like cross Iceland solo on a singlespeed touring bike in the 1950s.
09-16-02, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by MichaelW
Can you use a cx bike in an MTB race?
In most races, though without "forward-pointing bars or extensions," so no bar-ends.
09-16-02, 09:29 AM
No, not can you use an MTB for cyclocross. You can use just about any bike you want.
Can you enter a NORBA MTB race using a cyclo-cross bike?
09-16-02, 11:14 AM
as i've heard it, cyclecross developed out of the road-racing scene where it was too cold and wet for traditional road races, so they set up short races and short courses with lots of dismount and running to keep the feet warm...
i've entered only 1 actual cyclecross race (in Massachusettes in Winter 2001) but trained a little with a group in Oregon and a group in Mass. as far as i know, MTBs are allowed in almost all races, BUT i think in the really high level they have some more strick rules but i'm not sure what (i think tire size 700c) or something that requires at least some modification of a MTB.
as far as i know, current cyclecross bikes tend to have road-like frames w/ 700c tires w/o suspension, but often with v-brakes... and sometimes with ATB components and/or triple-chainring. and usually with considerably narrower tires than a MTB.
but there is more snd more mix and blur between what's a cyclecross and what's a MTB. in general, if you see a skinny-700c tire rigid bike (that's not a wal-mart el-cheap-o), it's probably a cyclecross.
the MTB scene has affected the cyclecross a little b/c some XC riders have started jumped or otherwise riding over obstacles that were originally designed to require a dismount and run.
for MTB riders, the "cycle-cross dismount" and re-mount are also good skills to know --- basically you ride at full speed, through your right leg over the bar AND IN FRONT OF THE LEFT LEG STILL CLIPPED IN and then put the right foot on the ground and start running and the left leg unclips as you take the first step and you are at full-speed run. the re-mount is done by jumping onto the bike and landing on the inner thigh of the right leg (on the muscle, NOT on the soft part).
as a decent XC rider (middle to top of Sport class), i must say that cyclecross is serious hard work --- my pulse was WAY over LT for most of the race and the mud and cold and all make it a major pain-fest! it's definitely a good way to stay in shape during the winter.
09-16-02, 11:30 AM
Well... the mythology of Cyclocross holds that the sport evolved after the Allies liberated Belgium and the Netherlands. All of these Belgian roadies wanted to get ready for the racing season that had been pretty dead [there were races, but not a lot of money during the Nazi occupation] for a few years, but they had some problems...
The roads were all chewed up by tanks, artillery and bombing...
The winters of 1944-45 and 1945-46 were very, very cold.
So, since they couldn't really do a lot of road rides, and since they'd probably freeze to death if they did, they had to find another way to train. They developed a race done off-road in parks and farmers' fields [which were in better shape than the roads] that would keep them moving and would require an immense energy output. That maximized the training benefits [so they surmised] in a short time and kept them warm The races were/are typically one hour long, feature lots of obstacles and were orginally a kind of point-to-point steeple chase on bikes.
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