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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 10-17-09, 03:34 PM   #1
UBUvelo
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back from watching Granogue in Delaware/are YOU racing a non-CX bike?

what a muddy event. it's been raining in the area for days. hard. and the picturesque Granogue setting was perfect with all it's drizzle and chilliness...and free Dogfish Head beer!

i was there to take notes for my first upcoming cx race at Spring Mountain in early november (PA). i'm in the 45+ grouping and i REALLY hope that means there will be a few folks who are dragging a**...especially on quite not-so CX bikes...i've got my mountain bike modified and i know everyone says just have fun, but i saw 99% pure CX bikes and i don't won't to be sticking out like a sore thumb TOO much.

anyways, if you have such a bike and don't give a damn what anyone says, post pics if you want. and add your comments about my intitial trepidation about jumping into the fray. i actually think my bike will be pretty efficient (pics forthcoming once i find my upload cable), but i am preparing to hear more cowbell and laughter when i slip by and possibly down into the muck...
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Old 10-17-09, 07:36 PM   #2
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today was not a day for the mountain bike. it was way to muddy for one. normal conditions are much better for mountain bikes.
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Old 10-17-09, 07:52 PM   #3
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today was not a day for the mountain bike. it was way to muddy for one. normal conditions are much better for mountain bikes.
now do you see a number of mtbs on less muddy races?

yeah, i arrived around 1:30 and saw a mountain bike had already raced (a full suspension at that).

mine has a rigid fork and drop bars...and 1.5 tires. close, but the frame geometry is certainly a bit more radical. i'm not going to worry about it anymore.

but, yeah, that was a mudfest and just an all-around great event. hope to make the run up to wissahickon tomorrow.
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Old 10-18-09, 11:31 AM   #4
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[IMG][/IMG]

this was my first way into cyclocross.. its a specialized rock hopper with 1.7 kenda kwiks on it so it was a little bit more friendly for the terrain. i went super cheap and single speeded it to start of with since it was my single speed X country bike this summer. but all in all it did the job just fine i had a blast in my first couple races! obviously i wasnt competitive since i had one gear but hey it was fun!

i wouldnt worry about being out there on a Mtn bike theres always a couple guys with them out there and some do just fine!

I since got a phantom cross for the rest of the season (yes i know its cheap!) but all my components will get switched over to my custom frame for next year.

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Old 10-18-09, 02:20 PM   #5
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Is that considered a monster cross bike?
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Old 10-18-09, 02:44 PM   #6
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UBUvelo,
I did 3 races on my old Specialized Hardrock last year (with 26x1.5 Cont. Cross Countrys)--one of them a total mudpit. Out of the three races, I think I saw like 2 other mountain bikes. In my first race, someone was screaming "Go old school!!" and there were definitely others who were psyched to see someone out on a heavy old bike. Spectators were either neutral or very supportive. I was DFL my first race and second or third to last the next two, which usually just endears you to the crowd. I did think initially that there would be more folks racing on mtn bikes and was wierded out by how professional even Cat. 4 looked, but what the hell. I had so much fun. I would say it's worth it to get out there and I think you'll find that people are watching for fun (esp. cat4) and will get a kick out of you getting out there no matter what kind of bike you're on.

I have a cx bike now which I'll have to post, but the Specialized was a lot of fun if a little heavy to run with. Have a great time.
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Old 10-18-09, 03:05 PM   #7
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i guess a monster cross bike is an actual cross frame thats capable of running like 40c tires or bigger so... says google. id say its right there as a monster cross though.. My first race this year in gloucester was a muddy disaster that the bike handled quite well... the providence interbike race was also a mess! but it did hold up ok...i never got the dfl award so it couldnt be to bad? i got the GO OLD SCHOOL! and Go single ! alot also!
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Old 10-18-09, 07:42 PM   #8
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UBUvelo,
I did 3 races on my old Specialized Hardrock last year (with 26x1.5 Cont. Cross Countrys)--one of them a total mudpit. Out of the three races, I think I saw like 2 other mountain bikes. In my first race, someone was screaming "Go old school!!" and there were definitely others who were psyched to see someone out on a heavy old bike. Spectators were either neutral or very supportive. I was DFL my first race and second or third to last the next two, which usually just endears you to the crowd. I did think initially that there would be more folks racing on mtn bikes and was wierded out by how professional even Cat. 4 looked, but what the hell. I had so much fun. I would say it's worth it to get out there and I think you'll find that people are watching for fun (esp. cat4) and will get a kick out of you getting out there no matter what kind of bike you're on.

I have a cx bike now which I'll have to post, but the Specialized was a lot of fun if a little heavy to run with. Have a great time.
thanks jagee! well, my trek aluminum frame is light...and the shocks are gone...but it has an aggressive sloping top tube so it will stand out. and i have Kenda 1.5 'hybrids' i guess (bought from a friend) that might do fine, but i think i'll just enjoy it and wear some really weird socks in case no one is noticing
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Old 10-18-09, 08:08 PM   #9
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I can't race with MTBs. Stupid UCI rules...
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Old 10-19-09, 07:30 AM   #10
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thanks jagee! well, my trek aluminum frame is light...and the shocks are gone...but it has an aggressive sloping top tube so it will stand out. and i have Kenda 1.5 'hybrids' i guess (bought from a friend) that might do fine, but i think i'll just enjoy it and wear some really weird socks in case no one is noticing
Nothing wrong with a mountain bike. Friend of mine finished mid-pack at Winchester on his El Mariachi (rigid single speed 29er). Will be interesting to see how he does at DCCX, where the field will be full.
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Old 10-21-09, 12:30 PM   #11
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2 weeks ago I got dropped by a guy on a full suspension MTB. just ride and have fun.
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Old 10-21-09, 03:49 PM   #12
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yeah, i will see what it's like and decide how much fun i want to have and how much i want to compete and still enjoy it. actually hoping it is a rainy muddy day...

been training every other day a good bit on a trail very close to Granogue that has a bit of everything: gravel, asphalt, grass, puddles (still there), dirt...the bike i have is working fine enough and i hope to have the stamina up enough to finish ahead of at least someone. or at least finish!

but i might have another bike on hand to use if it works out: a (as far as i can tell) 1990's Schwinn Caliente that might work out. just needs (at least for now) some cross tires. has decent clearance for non-cx brakes...and it's steel
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Old 10-21-09, 05:34 PM   #13
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I have a teammate who was winning CX4 races on a full suspension 29'er. I will be doing my first 2 CX races ever this weekend on a hardtail mountain bike & I'm only a roadie. I say whatever gets you through those 1st races & gives you an impression of what cross racing is about is good enough. Kind of like CAT 5 road racing, as long as the damn thing works, not much else matters (except for skill & fitness but were not going there ).
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Old 10-21-09, 07:53 PM   #14
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I have a teammate who was winning CX4 races on a full suspension 29'er. I will be doing my first 2 CX races ever this weekend on a hardtail mountain bike & I'm only a roadie. I say whatever gets you through those 1st races & gives you an impression of what cross racing is about is good enough. Kind of like CAT 5 road racing, as long as the damn thing works, not much else matters (except for skill & fitness but were not going there ).
not that it matters, but i am in some 45+ group...i don't know if that means some badass 45+ers are all there are, if they are a certain CAT level...not sure if it is novie or what....

well, here is a pic of the caliente...it will be the cx/commuter/rainy-or-snowy-day-road bike...trying to figure out the year, but amazingly solid bike for it's age. not 'too' vintage at all. first thing to change will be the tires...

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Old 10-21-09, 08:49 PM   #15
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oops. here's the pic of an almost-cx makeshift bike

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Old 10-21-09, 09:07 PM   #16
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I have a teammate who was winning CX4 races on a full suspension 29'er. I will be doing my first 2 CX races ever this weekend on a hardtail mountain bike & I'm only a roadie. I say whatever gets you through those 1st races & gives you an impression of what cross racing is about is good enough. Kind of like CAT 5 road racing, as long as the damn thing works, not much else matters (except for skill & fitness but were not going there ).
did this guy race the NC winter series last year?
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Old 10-21-09, 09:23 PM   #17
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oops. here's the pic of an almost-cx makeshift bike

Nice. In the pre-STI days, I always liked stem mounted shifters. And suicide bars - I love having in line levers on my cx bike.

I'm racing a late 90's Bianchi steel frame that I got off of ebay for $100 - age doesn't mean all that much if the frame isn't banged up.
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Old 10-22-09, 04:23 AM   #18
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Nice. In the pre-STI days, I always liked stem mounted shifters. And suicide bars - I love having in line levers on my cx bike.

I'm racing a late 90's Bianchi steel frame that I got off of ebay for $100 - age doesn't mean all that much if the frame isn't banged up.

thanks..looking at Kenda or Roost 27inch cx tires...cheap but seem decent.
and i love that the cable for the rear brake is above the top tube (unlike the cx-specific motobecane!).
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Old 10-22-09, 04:48 AM   #19
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thanks..looking at Kenda or Roost 27inch cx tires...cheap but seem decent.
and i love that the cable for the rear brake is above the top tube (unlike the cx-specific motobecane!).

i just bought a motobecane phantom cross that has all the cable routing above the top tube...
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Old 10-22-09, 06:21 AM   #20
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did this guy race the NC winter series last year?
Yep, that's Brent. Did you do some of the NC races?
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Old 10-22-09, 07:27 AM   #21
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yeah i drove down from DC to do a couple of those races last year.
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Old 10-22-09, 07:32 AM   #22
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I don't know about your particular race but 45+ is often cat 1-3 only...Either way I'd suggest doing the Cat 4/beginner race since this is your first race...

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Old 10-22-09, 04:55 PM   #23
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i just bought a motobecane phantom cross that has all the cable routing above the top tube...
glad they changed that...i think i was reading a thread about an earlier model or something. i knew bikesdirect was aware of it and sounds like they took the advice from the Forum feedback
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Old 10-25-09, 12:31 PM   #24
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well....i am going to have two quasi-cx and/or non-cx bikes to choose from, though both are certainly not going to be competitive...rigid mtb i've been talking about has 26" wheels. how much more pedaling will i have to do to keep up? hybrid tires on it probably won't be much help in the mud, but should i use it in the mud in 2 weeks, it is at least light should i have to dismount alot and carry/push it...

the OTHER bike will more or less be/LOOK like a cx bike...a semi-vintage STEEL road bike with clearance for cx tires (already ordered...econo-Kenda tires...http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000A0KZ1O/ref=ox_ya_oh_product) i've actually taken this bomb-proof BEAST out two times this weekend under incredibly muddy conditions (with SLICKS!) and it really performed quite surprisingly well. yeah, this is old enough to not have quick release or pretty much ANYTHING alloy...steel through and through. it is HEAVY. now it's been years since i've had a steel bike, but i forgot how unjarring the ride was...appears this bike was ridden little, so the 12 speed Shimano SIS (!) is doing pretty nicely (for now)...i had planned to make this a pure commuter/errand bike AND a sort of fun monstercross experiment/cx-trainer (like wearing ankle weights or something). i will be patient and see if alloy parts come my way w/o spending alot to acquire things that are and will be needed.

but as it stands, this originally 'entry-level' racer (a Schwinn Caliente...late 80s i guess) is actually a cool find. not what i expected from it. if my local LBSs have cheapie spares, i might put the effort out to have THIS ready for that upcoming first race. maybe i am putting myself at a disadvantage even more. but if the day is muddy, this thing might work out ok. with a cx-experienced racer, we rode some very cx trails in northern delaware, through flooded soybean fields, gravel, muddy single track...there is NO granny gear on this thing. first gear is more like 5-7 on a 24-speed mtb.

ANYWAYS, it's a tank, no doubt. but i am really amazed at how responsive it seems to act, how well it climbs. won't be a serious contender in the future, but this is becoming an unexpected, fun ride that will become the mutantcross utility bike for any terrible conditions weather and terrain might have to throw at me.

oh and i think getting rid of steel rims, large ring, old seat&post AND the handlebars will be an easy start. might turn this into a SS...that is, a Singlespeed Steel

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Old 10-25-09, 12:52 PM   #25
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I don't know about your particular race but 45+ is often cat 1-3 only...Either way I'd suggest doing the Cat 4/beginner race since this is your first race...

wayne
not sure i can change it now...not that it matters, but it would be a better gauge for me if a beginner (me) raced other beginners...

i don't remember it giving me a choice....i guess my birthday automatically put me it that race...

seems the 35+ are in the same race (both are at 12:15), so i'll just have to see.
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