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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 11-17-07, 09:55 PM   #1
SeventySeven
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Riding A Cross Bike Over Rocks

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I think that it's bad to go over big rocks/rock gardens on a 'cross bike. It seems like the road wheels would simply fold under that pressure. However, another member of the MTB forums thinks that 'cross bikes are capable of high speed hits to the wheels.

Who wins?
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Old 11-18-07, 05:13 AM   #2
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Depends on the rider and the rims.

I ride Sun M19AII with 34mm tubulars though some moderate rock gardens. I'm not folding rims up.

But then again I'm not ripping through as fast as I would on my FS rig with 2.2" tires.
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Old 11-18-07, 07:16 AM   #3
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I have Mavic MA3's 32Hole 14g spokes with 32mm Panaracer clinchers and riding through rocks slowly is not a problem. But since it's a cross bike it would be faster to just shoulder the bike and run through or because of the thinner tires just pick a good smooth line. Slamming through a rock garden with any bike is not a good idea.
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Old 11-18-07, 09:22 AM   #4
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I've gone through very rocky single track on my cross bike many a times. Got 3 pinch flats doing that (running clinchers), but never any wheel issues, although I did knock my rear wheel slightly out of true once with a pretty hard hit. Now I just shoulder it and go for a jog instead
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Old 11-18-07, 11:51 AM   #5
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This time of year, you will see a dozen guys each weekend riding technical mountain bike rides like Hall Ranch, Walker ranch, and white ranch on cross bikes.

You don't hit the rocks like you can on a DH rig, but I can clean hall on a cross bike, and my PR for a complete climb up, upper loop, and descent is 1 min 15 sec faster on the cross bike than the XC full suspension rig..

(Transalation: The faster climbing speed offsets the slower downhill speed, since I'm not a gonzo DH guy anyway).

The won't fold, but you don't willy nilly drill them in the rock gardens..
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Old 11-18-07, 12:29 PM   #6
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^
What he said. The worst I've gotten is a few pinch flats. Completely user error. On long descents I sometimes get lazy about the line I pick. The only time I have broken a spoke is when I crashed hard.
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Old 11-18-07, 01:19 PM   #7
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Just make sure you weigh transfer is rear biased and don't sit down on the gnarly stuff. You should be good.
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Old 11-18-07, 05:53 PM   #8
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yeah you can do it. no prob. although my experience has showed me that a flat tire is almost a guarantee.
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Old 11-18-07, 06:12 PM   #9
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After extreme torture testing my Cross Check, I discovered that the fork will bent before the rim. Of course I came out worse than the bike.
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Old 11-18-07, 06:34 PM   #10
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I ride singletrack on my Salsa all winter and am probably faster on it than the 29er. 700x40 tires help, but you aren't going to just fold up a wheel...unless you do something dumb.
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Old 11-18-07, 07:14 PM   #11
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I agree with all of the above completely. Pick a gnarly knobby tire to help with the pinch flats. But I think ascending through rock gardens is also difficult. You have to be a lot more picky finding the right line which slows your momentum. I've lost a line ascending a bunch of times and struck a tall rock and endo'd or nearly endo'd going up hill.

I notice after clearing a steep rocky section on my cross that I'm shaking out much more tension from my back and shoulders than the same path on an mtb. Steep downward rock gardens are hard on my wrists, too. That being said, I still love it and the skinny tires are totally worth it when you hit the nice smooth rollies.
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