I'm entering my first cx races this fall and want to know if anyone has advice/tips on dismounting, carrying, etc?
Thanks in advance.
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For some dismounting is easier than others. The proper way to do it seems awkward at first but really is the most efficient. As you approach the barrier fence you want to have your speed adjusted such that it is a good running pace. So if you were to jump off the bike you don’t end up flat on your face. You can dismount on any side but I will assume the left. Unclip your right foot and swing your leg around the saddle down to the other side of the bike. Take your right hand and grab the top tube somewhere near the bikes center of gravity. Now you are coasting towards the barrier with the left foot clipped in. You will naturally notice that you kind of have to push the bike away from you as you coast in just to ride a straight line. Move your right foot in front of your left preparing to take the first step with that foot. Just as you get to the barrier unclip and start running in one fluid motion as you pick up the bike with the right arm holding the top tube.
A good thing to practice is on a slight grassy down hill dismount and coast on the left side of the bike with your left foot clipped till you stop then repeat. People find the hardest part is to move the right foot forward. This really doesn’t need to be done though it is more efficient.
Now mounting is another story. That’s what I find the hardest.
Check with your local clubs and see if anyone is putting on a clinic before a race. This is pretty common, and worth going to even if you think you know what you're doing.
This article explains the basics:
Although, watching somebody do it right is much better than reading about it.
The thing that made dismounts easier was remembering to push down on the top tube so I could get leverage to unclip.
Make sure your pedals are lubed so clicking in/out is easy.
Mounting is MUCH harder IMHO. Find some videos to see what it should look like.
Thanks a lot for the info. Any recommendations on cx videos?
Search in this forum, there's a couple of posts w/ links.
see if you can find the trailer for Transitions thats pretty damn good video. practice in normal shoes on whatever bike you normally ride around on. getting used to unclipping will take a little longer but will come fairly easy, as everyone has noted its the remount thats the true *****, especially mastering the superman and still being able to entertain the miss' afterwards...
I'd like to add one note on jfmckenna's tips on dismounting: As you're coasting towards the barrier after you've swung your right leg over to the left side, it helps to lean your right hip against the saddle. This will give you more stability. It also helps to switch your brake cables, so your left lever controls your rear brake. This gives you the ability to slow down as you approach an obstacle without locking up your front brake.
Also, when practicing the coasting drill, practice swerving and taking sharp corners in order to get comfortable in that awkward position. This is a skill you will definately need in a race.
It's not always necessary to step forward with your right leg. Sometimes, say, if you're approaching a step hill and you need to dismount half way up, you might not have enough speed to hit the ground running. In that situation you just swing your right leg around the back, step down and go.
Don't sweat the remount. The trick is to visualize the inside of your right thigh contacting the saddle. You shouldn't actually jump back up onto the saddle. The remount is really just a matter of sliding your right thigh over the saddle. Ideally the right pedal should be at 12 o'clock, so you can just step down and go. It helps if you set the bike down gently after clearing the barrier, so it isn't bouncing around when you attempt to remount. That's a lot of technique for your oxygen-starved brain to remember, but the whole transition will become one smooth motion with practice.
I was starting to think I'd have to wear a cup because of the remount...haha. Thanks for the good info.
I got my bike second-hand and the brakes were already reversed. I "paid the price" for the reverse brakes when I took the bike on a mountain bike trail and got a fist full of front brake unintentionally (superman). I practice dismounting at obstacles like log piles and the like, that I could normally ride over on my mtb. I just have to keep practicing.
Get Adam's video.
There is a method that I've seen and used myself - it only works for tall riders
Assume you're a right hand rider who dismounts to the left:
Instead of throwning the bike over your shoulder to cross the barriers, you stoop a bit on the dismount and using your right hand grab the down tube at the center of balance of the bike. As you stand tip the bike against your shoulder.
You can experiment with this and find the correct point and you might even want to mark it with a piece of tape if you're the kind who gets too concentrated while racing to remember that sort of thing. As you stand up the bike will be above the level of the barriers and probably your legs as well.
This doesn't work for shorter riders and it might not feel as natural as throwing the bike across your back to others. I've timed myself and it seem a bit faster to me.
Originally Posted by cyclintom
I'm 6' and I've noticed that it is easier for me to carry my bike when I keep my right hand under the toptube and balance the bike against my shoulder with my left hand on the left side of the handlebars for balance. I'll check out that video as well.
Tomorrow is a local practice session put on by Spin bike shop here in Cleveland. We'll see how I manage tomorrow. I'm sure I'll end up getting some good instruction there.
As far as I know there are two videos on Cyclocross training presently available
Cycle-Smart- Solutions for Cyclo-cross by Adam Hodges-Myerson (I haven't seen this one but intend to buy it. Adam is a sharp guy who knows what he's talking about.)
Martin Eadon the British National Cyclocross champ in 2003 or so made a very good training video that I have. I don't know where or if you can still buy them but I'd recomend it as well as the one from Adam.
And of course Simon Burney's excellent book: Cyclo-Cross Training & Technique
Remember that when you're watching "Transitions" that you're watching Pro's, Cat 1's and 2's racing. If you observe you'll see them flubbing dismounts and jumps after they start getting tired.
Now think about this - if the best guys are falling down and making mistakes from fatique what do the Cat 4's and 5's look like?
The moral of this story is that you are going to look silly a great deal of the time. If you're afraid to look silly, fall down in the mud face first realy early so that no one can tell who you are.
that makes me feel a lot better about my first season racing CX SS!
Originally Posted by cyclintom
Update - I had my first practice session last night. It was a rush for sure. I flatted on the fourth lap due part of the course being a jump off of a curb on to part of a street. I'm pretty sure it was a pinch-flat, but haven't had a chance to check it out yet. (I rode home on my road wheels)
Other than that I did feel like a mess on the dismounts, but I did get to see others going through the process. I'm sure it'll get easier with practice. I managed to keep up with some of the pack on my first day, so there was a bright side to it.
I appreciate the information and will keep practicing. Thanks again.
Out of curiosity, wouldn't a stan's no tube setup give the same benefits as tubulars?
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Thats exactally why I am going tubular this year, the pinch flats. You can run them at super low pressure for muddy conditions and still not get flats.
I never heard of stans no tube set up?
It really does help to watch pro's race cross and see how they mount and dismount.
Stan's no tube is a system that works on normal clincher mtb rims and eliminates the need for using a tube. You can run you mtb tire pressure at 25 or 30 psi if you like with no problems. Because you don't have a tube, you don't get "snake bites" on the tube from the rim bottoming out on the ground (pinch flat).
Check here http://www.notubes.com/tubeless_abou...ce9ee308b85715
I'm not sure if he has a 700 c size available or if he's tried it on cyclo-cross tires yet. You don't need a special rim, because his kits adapt standard rims for tubeless use. I'd imagine it works on the cx tires.
This is from the owner of Stan's NoTube.
We do make some 700c rim strips for cyclocross use. We've had some pretty good success with them so far but we do not make them available through the website because it is not for everyone. The system is not as universal as our mountain kits because of the large variety of rims people use for 'cross and the fact that we really only have experience with Kenda, Continental, and Schwalbe 'cross tires. The Michelin Mud tires, though popular, should be avoided for tubeless use.
If you have experience with the mountain kits, ride tire pressure in the sub-40 psi range, and you are willing to do a little bit of your own testing, give me a call to order some strips. We do not have any in stock at the moment but we will be making another batch very shortly.
Thanks for your interest,
3309 Chambers Road
Horseheads, NY 14845
Phone: (607) 739-2301
Fax: (607) 739-8732