I'm going to take my commuter bike (Cannondale CAAD2 touring bike) to a cyclocross race next month when the season starts up around here.
I currently have some Continental Contact 700x32 tires on the bike ( http://www.rei.com/product/731367?pr...:referralID=NA ). The tires have some tread but are not knobby. I'm not sure how muddy the course will be - it is in a city park out in the suburbs - but it could always be rainy and wet. Should I bother putting some cheap 'cross tires on the bike? I'm tempted to leave the commuting tires on it but don't want to pay the entry fees for the race only to slide all over the place...
One race last season, I decided to race "up" a category, and entered the 3/4 instead of the 4's. When I showed up, I was surrounded by guys who race 2's on the road, including a couple of very strong ones. One of them was racing on a Schwinn Madison singlespeed with 25mm road slicks. He passed me some time in the first lap, and I never saw him again. As long as conditions stay dry, you'll be fine. It's about the engine, not the equipment.
The only caveat is that in cross, you need the right tires. Slicks are fine for dry, but he'd have been going nowhere fast in the mud.
Thanks for the info. I'll stick with my commuter tires unless it rains, where I'll either buy some true cross tires or wait for a drier race. I'm not a strong rider but not a weak one either - I've enjoyed riding in a few Cat 4/5 training crits on my road bike, but have been dropped a couple of times (mainly due to a lack of racing "skill" rather than fitness). CX looks fun and technical.