Is it against the rules to use platform pedals in 'cross races?
I was just wondering with all the mounts and dismounts why more people don't race with just plain platform pedals or cage pedals. I had a tough time clipping into my stock WTB spd-style pedals with thick mud on the shoe bottoms.
That is a good question. I never really thought about it even though I have seen individuals at cross races with caged pedals. I found nothing relating directly to pedals but I did find on pg 26 of the online USCF 2003 regulation book section 1J2 that: "Riders are responsible for thier selection of competition equipment and for taking reasonable precautions to insure that its condition is adequate and safe for use in competition." It also went on to say in the next section that the chief referee may inspect any bicycle and if he/she deems it a "danger to the rider(s)", it will not be permitted in the race.
As far as what pedals to use, I recommend the Crank Brothers Egg Beaters. With 4 sides of entry I never have to look down to see what way to rotate the pedal after the remount and mud is not an issue due to the open design of the pedal. This is just my opinion, I have heard some people say that they do not like the fact that there is not supportive platform like with the Time pedals or the Crank Brother's Candy version.
Whatever you get, I do not recommend a flat pedal due to the fact that your foot may slip off at high speed and also you loose a lot of power transfer when you use a soft soled shoe rather than a mtn bike style shoe.
Good point about the soft and/or flat soled shoes neither of which is good in cross. I have been considering the Egg Beaters and Time ATACs but I wish there was a way to try each before dropping $100 on a set. I'm leaning toward the Time ATACs but the Egg Beaters' four-sided entry seems like an excellent feature too.
sure you COULD use platform pedals in cross. Back in Pittsburgh, there were a couple races I did where my pedals (SPDs at the time) clogged on the first lap and I might as well have been using platforms. The result? Any steep downhill bumpy section made me have to ride with my legs clamping the top tube to keep from pitching me. Not much fun.