Shoes to wear? Bike conversion?
I went to watch a cross race this weekend, and now I want to get into it! It looks like a lot of fun. What kind of cycling shoes do you wear? Are the mtb shoes or road? Are there any good, not expensive ones out there? Also, how hard is it to convert a road bike into a cross bike. I have an old Schwinn World Sport (not sure of the year, probably in the 1980's) that I want to convert. Is this a good idea or is it easier to just buy a cross bike? Please help me out!
Wear mtn bike shoes, since you have to get off and run you need tread on the shoes (Which road shoes lack). The problem with converting a road bike is tire clearance in the fork and frame(most cross tires are 30-35mm, most road tires are 20-25mm), and brakes, cross bikes used cantilever brakes for better tire clearance while road bikes use caliper brakes. A road frame will not have provisions for cantileve brakes. If you want to try it you should just enter with a mountain bike, they will be allowing in all regional races. If you want to make it more cross like you can run narrower tires and put on a rigid fork.
I've done 'cross on an older road bike with just a tire change. There was precious little clearance for the Speedmax 32mm tires. If a wheel started to wobble, I'd be rubbing fork or chainstays bad. If there'd been any more mud, it would've clogged it up pretty bad. Instead it was a flat, mostly dry course and I had a blast.
Anyway, if you've got enough room for fatter tires plus mud clearance and the frame's good enough to get you started, I'd try it.
Mountain bike pedals and shoes. I like the studly spikes on 'em for style points. Might even give more traction.
You should probably use the old road bike for a couple of your first cross races just to make sure you like it before you invest in a new cycloross bike. You can get tires that will fit in your frame; Vittoria makes a really narrow cross tire. As far as shoes go, regular mountain bike shoes are fine but look for some that have a little flex in the toe (for running) and have some kind of buckle closure system (Velcro and water donít mix). Sidi makes some of the best shoes for cross but there are other less expensive models as well.