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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 12-14-08, 02:41 AM   #1
td.tony
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Staggered Tire sizes??

I just did my very first cyclocross race this morning, it was a lot of fun but i could go nearly as fast as i wanted to because i was so scared of slipping out in the corners. My friend gave me some cross tires and my front tire is a 38, and the rear is a 32. Would it be better if i switch it and put the bigger tire in the rear, or is it better to have a wider tire in front?
Or should i just buy another 38 in order to have balance? ive been a car guy for a long time and in my head its like im running a staggered setup, and i feel like having a wider front tire would make me oversteer, or have the rear slide out, which is probably why i was so paranoid in the corners today. Does this apply much in bike tires also?
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Old 12-14-08, 07:25 AM   #2
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The 38 up front will give you more cornering grip.

Most cross tires are 32 or 34, depending on the course. I would get a matching 32 and ride that up front.

The feeling that you are going to slide out will pass with time. You always feel like you are going to slide out in cross, its just getting used to it
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Old 12-14-08, 01:43 PM   #3
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It really depends on conditions

here is nicer primer on different tread types and what they will do for you

http://www.velonews.com/article/8578...nge-dugast-and
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Old 12-14-08, 02:02 PM   #4
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cool, i guess i dont really need to get new tires yet. probably after a bunch of races ill begin to learn what can be improved on my bike, but right now myself is the limitation not the bike setup.
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Old 12-15-08, 05:12 PM   #5
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If the rear tire slips you can catch it, or worst case you slide down slow and put a foot down. If the front tire goes out from under you, you're gonna hit hard enough to bounce like now. Put the fat tire on the front.

Yeah, go find someplace you don't mind getting dirty at and find out how hard you can push the corners before losing it. Just go play in the mud and grass.
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Old 12-16-08, 04:31 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ronsonic View Post
Yeah, go find someplace you don't mind getting dirty at and find out how hard you can push the corners before losing it. Just go play in the mud and grass.
Hear, hear.

Also, take the cross bike out to your singletrack. You will have to radically change your style if you are used to riding with suspension. But your cross technique will improve automatically.
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Old 12-16-08, 08:05 PM   #7
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The velonews article on cross tires was a good read. You usually won't find many of the stars riding anything but 32 and 34's. Once you've found a tire and widht you like you can then start to experiment with tire pressure. The ability to run a lower tire pressure helps tremendously in some conditions. I always find it interesting to see what the pros are riding when I'm at a big time race. Let's just say I felt up a lot of tires this last weekend at nationals
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