Cyclocross - Can I Race Cross On My Bike
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06-18-11, 09:58 AM
I've got a 2009 Novara Randonee touring bike. It's heavy, but it handles dirt and gravel just fine. I'd like to get into cross racing when the season comes around, but I don't have the cash for a new bike. Aside from the weight, is there any reason why I shouldn't try racing on this ride? Would my bike get me laughed off the course or would by noob racing skills take care of that for me?
Any insight and tips would be greatly appreciated.
I don't know much about that particular bike, however, you race what you race. That's what I think. The only problems you're going to have is making sure you have enough room between the chainstays to fit 35mm cross tires in there. You're also likely to have a problem with mud should you encounter any, getting stuck behind your side pull brakes. Aside from that, invest in a pair of eggbeater pedals, take all the racks off and have a hell of a lot of fun time your first season.
I rode a 1986 Raleigh Technium 440 frameset my first season. I barely have any room left at the chainstays, but it's enough to race and I only DNF'ed once due to mud. After I found I LOVED the sport, I bought two new cross-specific bikes to continue racing; one geared and one single speed.
Oh, and don't worry about what other people think. Sure, some may laugh, the the beginners group is a motley bunch anyway. You'll see mountain bikes and road bikes and cross bikes. You'll see bright, shiny new ones and rusty old ones. Just ride and enjoy. Cross is really fun. You should consider investing in clothes, however. Trust me on that.
In my experience pretty much the only thing you can do to get laughed off the course is not giving it your full effort. The more handicapped you are by your bike the more people will cheer you on if you're trying hard. If you show up to a beginner race with a $3000 carbon bike and a skinsuit people might heckle you a little bit, but with a heavy touring bike all you'll get is encouragement. It's a great sport that way.
06-18-11, 12:33 PM
Get some big tires on it and go for it.
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