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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 07-19-08, 09:35 PM   #1
NRRider
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Database of Cyclocross Trails?

Thinking of giving cyclocross a try. There are several sites dedicated to road and mountain trails, but are there any devoted to cross trails? Particularly interested in SoCal (and even more interested in the Los Angeles area). Thanks
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Old 07-19-08, 10:58 PM   #2
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Most XC mountain bike trails are ideal for cyclocross bikes. Try to avoid dirt jumps and freeride/downhill stuff. I have gone off 3 foot drops on my Cross Check while tailing guys on full suspension bikes when I didn't know the trail, I wouldn't recomend making a habit of it though.
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Old 07-19-08, 11:11 PM   #3
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+1. Just like riding a rigid singlespeed, or anything "different" it's more about adjusting your riding style.

In most cases a true XC bike is faster on a mtb trail, especially in the long run when fatigue sets in, but it's still fun to ride a cross bike.
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Old 07-20-08, 12:09 AM   #4
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Ok, but is there a database of trails without the jumps/freeride/downhill stuff (preferably double track), or is it just a matter of looking through the mtb trail descriptions for xc trails? Was hoping to avoid looking for a needle in a haystack. Thanks again.

Last edited by NRRider; 07-20-08 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 07-20-08, 12:10 AM   #5
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or is it just a matter of looking through the mtb trail descriptions for xc trails?
Bingo. A CX trail is basically a non-technical MTB trail.

- Mark
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Old 07-21-08, 07:48 AM   #6
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xc trails are hardly a needle in a haystack. they're by far the most common type of mountain bike trail.

any cross country mountain bike trail that is advertised as beginner to intermediate is going to be fine for a cross bike. there will probably be a couple spots where you'll need to dismount and carry, and that's the point. you get through however you can, and hopefully work toward getting through smoothy and quickly.
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Old 07-21-08, 07:51 AM   #7
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I ride my cyclocross bike on xc mountain bike trails too. I do everything the mountain bikes do, including jumps, drops and rock gardens. On cross bikes, you have to be more nimble and light on the bike. I feel it really encourages good handling skills as opposed to a reliance on high tech machinery. And, if you cant ride over something, practice dismounting and running.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:36 AM   #8
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To be clear, Cyclocross is actually a sport or discipline of competitive racing, rather than a type of riding per se. If you say that you’re going to ride “cyclocross” it means you’re going to race in a cyclocross race.

Cyclocross race courses are often located in urban or suburban parks, but not on the trails that cyclists usually use from day to day. Courses are typically a 1 - 3km loop that includes a mix of grassy fields, mud, pavement, and gravel. That's why you don't see people talking about cyclocross trails.

But like the others have said, a ‘cross bike can pretty much go anywhere a mountain bike can, and also does really well on both paved and unpaved roads. Because it's probably the most versitile type of bike out there, you can just set off on a ride without worrying about what type of trail you'll encounter. As always, the key is just to ride your bike.

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 07-21-08 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 07-21-08, 08:46 AM   #9
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To be clear, Cyclocross is actually a sport or discipline of competitive racing, rather than a type of riding per se. If you say that you’re going to ride “cyclocross” it means you’re going to race in a cyclocross race.
Yeah, after doing some more research I kind of got that sense. I really have the terminology wrong. I'm not going to race. Just want to ride on dirt trails with a cross bike and avoid the areas where you need the lower center of gravity and thicker tires/stronger wheels of a mtb. Was wondering if there's a database with just these types of trails, but so far it doesn't seem like it.
This is really for a friend who got into two pretty bad wrecks on his road bike and was thinking of giving up cycling altogether. Figure this could be a good compromise as it seems less prone to injury than road or mtb.
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Old 07-21-08, 09:41 AM   #10
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To be clear, Cyclocross is actually a sport or discipline of competitive racing, rather than a type of riding per se. If you say that you’re going to ride “cyclocross” it means you’re going to race in a cyclocross race.
this has been a source of confusion for a lot of people. each style of riding (road, mountain, bmx, cross, trials, et al.) has a whole lot of people who just do it for fun in a non-competitive way. the problem is, when you say "mountain biking" or "road biking" it's not assumed that you're talking about racing unless you say "XX bike racing." with cross, the default meaning is cross racing, even though there are far more people who ride cross bikes as commuters and trail bikes than there are cross racers.

on the one hand it seems kind of elitist to tell new riders that they're not really doing "cyclocross" unless they're entering weekend races. but on the other hand, the type of riding where you just go from point a to point b, riding where you can and carrying where you can't isn't something that's unique to cross bikes or cross races.

mtn mike hits it on the head. it's just a different connotation, not intended as any sort of exclusionism.

p.s. the risk associated with mountain bike trails has a lot to do with how you ride them. as long as you and your friend take your time and aren't ashamed to carry the bike you'll keep the rubber side down.
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Old 07-21-08, 06:39 PM   #11
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Yeah, after doing some more research I kind of got that sense. I really have the terminology wrong. I'm not going to race. Just want to ride on dirt trails with a cross bike and avoid the areas where you need the lower center of gravity and thicker tires/stronger wheels of a mtb. Was wondering if there's a database with just these types of trails, but so far it doesn't seem like it.
This is really for a friend who got into two pretty bad wrecks on his road bike and was thinking of giving up cycling altogether. Figure this could be a good compromise as it seems less prone to injury than road or mtb.
IMHO every cyclist should have a cyclocross bike! If I only had one bike, it would almost certainly be a 'cross bike.

Your friend's story reminds me of one of my friends: he was hit by a car on a road bike and wants no part of "road riding" any more. He got a cross bike to use on fire roads, trails, and MUPs, and maybe an occasional paved road.
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