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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 11-03-03, 09:01 AM   #1
Schiek
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MTB Drawbacks?

Other than upsetting purist sensibilities, what are the disadvantages to competing with a mountainbike as opposed to a cross bike? Sorry if this is well traveled ground, but I'm new to the sport and haven't found a similar thread. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-03, 10:04 AM   #2
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Weight is one, rolling resistance another, no power-sucking suspension another. A decently outfitted cross bike will tip the scales much less than a mtn bike. You'll definently feel the difference on a course with a steep run-up. The big mtn bike tires may make for a smoother ride but that is a lot of rubber in contact with the ground and more contact means more resistance. When you accelerate, none of the energy transfer to your pedals is sucked up by the suspension. If you have a lockout suspension, that will help a little but then again that takes us back to the whole weight thing.
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Old 11-03-03, 11:44 AM   #3
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Ok so say you have a 19 pound hardtail mtn.bike with a rigid fork and Conti 1.5 tires.Let's say you use a double chainring in the front like a 48/36.When you shoulder the bike the bottom of the saddle sits on your shoulder instead of a cross bike's top tube.How much of a difference now?
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Old 11-03-03, 01:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Limba
Ok so say you have a 19 pound hardtail mtn.bike with a rigid fork and Conti 1.5 tires.Let's say you use a double chainring in the front like a 48/36.When you shoulder the bike the bottom of the saddle sits on your shoulder instead of a cross bike's top tube.How much of a difference now?

Definitly getting better, but I find that my 30mm cross tires always roll a lot faster than my mountain tires (admittidly only 1.9 semi-slicks) - I think the course layout probably decides how much of an advantage it is. A course with a lot of pavement is going to favor the better rolling 700c wheels more, wheras some courses might actually be faster with the mountain bike (causing some consternation among cross purists). Carrying the bike (as I often have to do) the lighter bike is really nice.

Depending on your wheels too, you might end up carrying less. My cross bike has fewer places to collect mud than my FS mountain bike, and the wheels (cosmic elites) V section sheds better, so I probably carry less mud overall.

However, all of this is assuming identical riders, etc. Truthfully, the engine makes things go, and as many in this forum have pointed out, the weight/style/ride/material of the bike really is secondary to the engine. Ride what you can afford, and are comfortable on.

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Old 11-03-03, 04:15 PM   #5
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A 19 lb mtn bike hardtail with a set up like that sounds like a great rig and if that is what you race on then you probably have no problems. However, if you are going to go to all that effort (fork change, tire swap), why not just get a cross rig? Then if you want to go ride a good mtn bike trail you wont have to swap all that stuff back.
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Old 11-03-03, 07:03 PM   #6
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No I don't own that bike.I was just curious how much of a disadvantage it would be if you had a really nice mtn.bike.My mtn.bike is about 24 pounds even with a rigid fork.I wouldn't want to lift that bike in a race.
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Old 11-03-03, 10:12 PM   #7
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19 pound mountain bike sounds like a real expensive machine ...
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Old 11-04-03, 06:18 AM   #8
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actually, if you swap the suspension fork for a rigid fork, and go down to 1.5" or 1.3" tires, you could probably turn a pretty ordinary upper-end mtb into a 19-lb bike.
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Old 11-04-03, 08:01 AM   #9
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Thanks for the feedback. I have put the 1.5 contis on my bike, which has made a huge improvement over the knobby 2.0s I was running. I will probably pass on swapping out the fork. I can learn on the setup I have, and would rather put the money towards a cross rig.
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