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  1. #1
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Clyde Cylclocross Tips

    After 9 pages deep into various searches I am realizing that while there are really insightful posts, there is not a centralized place for clyde specific tips, suggestions, support for cyclocross. Then again I have only watched races and have yet to participate so perhaps there is no need for it.

    Anyway, figured I'd fish for a string of ideas via this thread. 6'3" 280lbs beginner here.

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Make sure you slow down to 9mph or less before dismounting for barriers. Get a cheap saddle that you plan on throwing away at the end of the season because the rails will be trashed. Oh and practice your dismounts and remounts a lot, it isn't as easy as it looks.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  3. #3
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Learn your best tire pressure; where you won't bottom out and pinch flat or roll the tire, but low enough that you get the best grip on off-camber sections.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

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    Cat 5 field stuffer bbeasley's Avatar
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    I'm curious, what happens to the saddle rails?

  5. #5
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbeasley View Post
    I'm curious, what happens to the saddle rails?
    saddle rails bend... common with big guys on MTB hardtail and i'm sure some of the big road guys have had it happen to... but on a CX you don't have near the cushon of a MTB tire AND you are mounting on the run which could easily let you drop a little to hard onto the saddle which will bend the rails...
    mtbr clyd moderator

  6. #6
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    Best idea I have is to find a pre-season clinic to teach some basic skills. I also joined a team and hung around after my newbie C level race was done to watch some of the more experienced guys race.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Great. All good stuff.

    Any ideas or suggestions that are Clyde-specific?

  8. #8
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    Last season I was a couple lbs into the clyde range and I really struggled with the start. Just couldn't get up-to-speed in the opening sprint like the light weights in my class. Spent the first lap or two just regaining the ground I lost on the start. What helped me overcome was that our local race series is 8 races, and your best six count. So I kept showing up at every race and got enough pts mid-season to start getting called up. At least I was starting at the front of the pack. In the off season I'm using my commute to work to practice sprinting and getting up to speed from red lights.

    Also realized that at my weight there are some sections I could run 'em faster than I could ride it. One early race had a couple hundred foot off camber section on the side of a levee. It had rained the days before and it was very slick and muddy and really tough for a bigger guy to grind through. Made up a lot of ground and gained positions by running it while other racers attempted to stay in the saddle. After that, in the pre-ride warm up before the races I looked for those stretches, like when a course took us through a volleyball pit and threw in a curve in the middle, where it would be quicker for me to run.

    Second the comment about working on barriers. My wife came to one race and her only comment was "you might want to watch some of the other guys on the barriers, they are really smooth". Thanks Hon for the helpful advice!

    The architects of our courses like to take us down through ditches. Had the tire pressure too low and pinch flatted with a bang when I hit the bottom. Race over? Not really, I ran the rest of the course and avoided DFL.

  9. #9
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    as vintage said, get used to sprinting out of the hole and holding it for at least 10 min before you can calm down. The idea is to string the field out of 75+ rider by turns 2-4, making it overall safer. Come to the line fully warmed up and ready to rock. Pick your battle grounds and stick n move through the field.

    When you're doing remounts, don't jump and land on ur junk, make the saddle sit the upper thigh and roll your butt onto the saddle.
    when doing dismount, put your right foot between the frame and your left leg, running through the bike. Just remember to click that left heel. This will make dismounting smoother and faster without losing the motion. Don't forget to brake too.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Great info Vintage and Js! Really helpful race info. Keep it coming.

    I am also wondering about equipment. Pedals in particular. I am a fairly narrow 14 and have only ridden on platforms. Since I'm a noob and dont want to but dedicated pedals, I have been looking at dual versions. Been leaning toward CB Mallet's.

    Any bigger Clydes have pedal preferences?

  11. #11
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I ride eggbeaters. I tried some mallets a few years back and didn't like them. The tread on the platform interfered with unclipping.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

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    For pedals I'm an eggbeater guy. Good mud clearance and easy to click in and out. If it's really sticky mud I spray the pedals with non-stick cooking spray to make them even better. You can get them fairly cheap too. Crank Brothers has a trade in program. Just send them an old pair of pedals of any brand and you can get new egg beaters for $60 plus shipping. I just did that to get a pair for a pit bike that I cobbled together.

  13. #13
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post
    Great. All good stuff.

    Any ideas or suggestions that are Clyde-specific?
    Tight cornering courses can be a Clyde's best friend. Big long inclines tend to favour little dudes, as do the wide open-corner courses we refer to as "grass crits." But those tight winding turns with short straightaways and quick uphills favour the powerhouses. If you have the handling skills to keep a good line through a tight corner, use your size to your advantage and learn to sprint well. Treat every straightaway like it's the final 100m and you'll find yourself picking riders off on every lap.
    Unlike road racing where teamwork is key, CX racing is very individual. Get used to being your own lead-out man, and learn to get an early jump on the pack. The better you can get out in front before the first turn, the better off you are for the rest of the race because anyone wanting past you has to take the junk line to get around you.
    I like coming into corners hot, and braking at the last possible moment. It's not as smooth as some other riders who glide in and through at a steady pace, but big guys don't change directions well at speed. When you're the F-350 in a pack of sports coupes, you do what you can to better your chances: Power in full bore and stick to your line, don't let anyone cut through and get in your way.
    You're 6'3" so I imagine you have a long inseam; another advantage is to minimize steps between barricades. I'm 6'6", and last season I took to sometimes just 2-stepping them if they were close enough. Came at 'em like a freight train, dropped off the pedal at the last second and bounded over them. It's contrary to any advice you'll hear at a clinic. Everyone is all about keeping the upper body smooth over the barricades... If someone only sees you from the waist up, they shouldn't even know the barricades are there... Horsepucky. Leap those suckers like a hurdle and listen for the roar of the crowd.

    This is all just my opinion from a couple seasons of racing. Try it, and do what works for you.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  14. #14
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Haha. I like your style.

    Thanks.

  15. #15
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I run the new downhill mallets on my SS MTB and rumblefish, GREAT pedals, bit wider spindles which is noticeable on the 1st ride, but not so much on the 2nd or 3rd. Now I can't even tell the difference. Even did a 64mile dirt ride on them and the Q factor wasn't a problem. For the technical stuff it allows you to get into a better attacking stance for those rock gardens and ect.

    review
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Crank-B...view-2012.html

    my setup

  16. #16
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsigone View Post
    I run the new downhill mallets on my SS MTB and rumblefish, GREAT pedals, bit wider spindles which is noticeable on the 1st ride, but not so much on the 2nd or 3rd. Now I can't even tell the difference. Even did a 64mile dirt ride on them and the Q factor wasn't a problem. For the technical stuff it allows you to get into a better attacking stance for those rock gardens and ect.

    review
    http://www.pinkbike.com/news/Crank-B...view-2012.html

    my setup
    Great.

    How are they with sneakers/shoes? Do you feel the clip?

  17. #17
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    you can raise the pegs with a allen to not feel the spring assembly so much wearing vans or similar syle stiff sole shoe.

  18. #18
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Well, tomorrow is the day. I'm doing a 40 minute training race. Excited!
    I still have a few noob questions/worries.

    Does everyone go clipless? I have been practicing ridding with clipless pedals but after several falls, I still dont feel confident in them. Especially since I'm not confident in my mounting.

    Also, should the seat height be lower than normal? I struggles so much practicing mounts that I wondered if my seat was too high.

    Any of you Super Clydes go in full lycra? I have a bib that I rock under tech gear, I am assuming that will be cool.

    I am assuming that I should remove my Brooks saddle as well.


  19. #19
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    Hey welcome to CX racing! I raced three races last year so that makes me an expert, right? Remove the bottle cages before your race. I used running shoes and grippy large MTB pedals when i raced last year since my only cycling shoes were Comp road shoes. This year I will be riding a new bike outfitted with eggbeaters and sporting new Comp MTB shoes as well. Use the down hills to your advantage. Enjoy the race and have a good time. Keep in mind that unless you are super special there will be folks that finish in front of you and folks that finish behind you. Do the best you can and plan to be nearly exhausted by the end. Sprint early going into the finish. I let myself get beat on the last race last year and guess what I have been reliving in my cx dreams; shoulda coulda woulda but didn't. Be sure to watch other races and riders on different parts of the course. You'll probably learn plenty that way. Sorry if most of this is not Clyde specific.

    Let us know how you do and what you can add maybe you'll help someone else.


    Mark

  20. #20
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Thanks all on the tips. Finished my first race. Supper happy. I'll post in a separate thread and keep this one clean/O.T.

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