slow up hills
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Seattle, WA
Bikes: Giant TCR, Redline CX, Ritchey Breakaway, Spec S-works epic
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I think you can race just about anything, depending on the organization putting on the race. You probably don't want to race a Giant Faith, but if you have a hardtail, it'll work. If you have a road bike, you'll want to figure our if you have clearance for some beefier tires as they are the most important difference IMHO.
cross crash = no big deal. get up, keep going.
road crash = maybe a big deal, maybe not, but your race is over most likely
you can't get dropped in a cross race, you just finish DFL. On the road, if you get dropped your race is basically over. Therefore cross = easier for a beginner.