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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 04-19-11, 07:30 PM   #1
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Paris Ancaster Cross Set-up

I just completed the annual Paris to Ancaster 60km race in Ontario, Canada and thought I'd post my cross set up.

The race is run on a variety of surfaces. About 65% is level or slightly hilly rail trail, gravel road, paved road while the other 35% is a mixture of single track and farm fields with a few long steep climbs.

Gears

I used a road compact 50/34 up front instead of my cross 44/38 with an 11/28 rear cassette. This combination gave me the speed on the road, but more importantly gave me the ablility to climb when necessary. I noticed that those that had a cross front chainring would struggle on some climbs because they were geared out whereas I could still spin.

Tires

Ritchey Speedmax Pro. Conditions were wet with some muddy rivers in the single track. I lost a bit of traction on some climbs, but nothing that would want me to change to a more aggresive tread. These paid dividends on the road sections. I had them pumped up to 55 in both the front and rear. Most of the race is on hard pack so the harder tires REALLY helped. This is where I gained most of my time, but was still able to maintain in the more technical sections.

I was really pleased with this setup and won't change anything for next year's event. I managed to finish in the top 15% of my age group, but it was an epic effort.
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Old 04-19-11, 08:04 PM   #2
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Congrats!

I've never raced, but I love hearing the stories. And thanks a bunch for the setup info. One thing I don't see though: What bike?
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Old 04-19-11, 08:13 PM   #3
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Brodie Romax, Ultegra 6600 shifters, 6700 derailleurs and compact crank
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Old 04-19-11, 08:31 PM   #4
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It was a fun ride for sure. Not sure what was worse, the sideways rain, blinding snow or the farmers field. That field sucked my soul out.

Anyways I went with a 42/32 front setup, 11-28 8 speed rear. I have alwys been a mtb guy and didn't want to spend anymore money when I have a perfectly good raceface crank/ring setup lying around. Planet X frame with Ritchey carbon fork, deore xt front with ultegra rear, sora shifters (for $40 on c-list they are pretty good, and I have never used brifters before so I have no point of comparison). Continental speed king tires, super fast on the pavement and railtrail, nice and grippy on the singletrack and I had no issues climbing and losing traction. The 32-28 combo probably helped more. Ran them at a nice and rock hard 80psi. Wanted max speed over comfort on the singletrack. Although I noticed they are already wearing badly.

Only thing I might change is to switch to a 46-36 setup, could have used a bit more speed on the pavement.
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Old 04-19-11, 08:32 PM   #5
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i was there too. my first race and my first time in mud. hail and 45kmh winds are great /sarcasm. forreals tho i had a blast. i'll be back next year

before

after

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Old 04-19-11, 08:34 PM   #6
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That field sucked my soul out.
this.
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Old 04-19-11, 08:47 PM   #7
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How was that beer? Best ever I imagine.

Nice picture of you on racedayrush
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Old 04-19-11, 09:01 PM   #8
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its was just as good as the ones we had at 9am

yea i look all serious in that pic pretending to be good at bikes.
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Old 04-20-11, 06:46 AM   #9
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^^ how did you keep your bike so clean? The after photo is pristine compared to my beat up, filled with weeds and mud bike...



This being my first mud race, I did learn a lot for the next one:
1. CARRY the bike through the mud - it's too late to do this when the bike wheels will no longer turn and the bike weighs in at 40lbs!
2. Train before the ride - since I only got my bike 1 week before the race I had next to no time to get used to it and since like everyone said it was snowing etc I didn't exactly do a lot of riding on my other bike beforehand. Maybe more jogging is required....
3. Gearing - it's a tossup here - I either need a granny gear or a more powerful engine - it's cheaper and easier and better for the gut to get a better engine so I think that I'll leave the gearing alone and work on the fitness aspect.
4. A change of gloves were a lifesaver - my first pair soaked through and when I could no longer feel my hands, I changed gloves - that was niiiiice.
5. If it rains solidly the day before, paid or not paid, I think I'll pass - the rivers of thick mud, trudging uphill with 10lb shoes on while pulling a 40 lb bike kind of makes you wish the finish was just around the corner, in reality the finish is more than 1 hour away

Maybe I'll change my mind about this one, but the race would have been a lot more fun without the heavy mud clinging to every part of the bike. I'm sure the chain got more wear on it in 60k than it normally would in 3000k of road riding.
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Old 04-20-11, 08:09 AM   #10
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^^ how did you keep your bike so clean? The after photo is pristine compared to my beat up, filled with weeds and mud bike...

i realized at the first mud section my 42/16 was only going to do me favors on the flats. i didnt even bother trying to pedal through any of the deep stuff and just shouldered the bike straight away.
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Old 04-20-11, 08:43 AM   #11
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i realized at the first mud section my 42/16 was only going to do me favors on the flats. i didnt even bother trying to pedal through any of the deep stuff and just shouldered the bike straight away.
And being a newbie I either tried to pedal when I could pedal no more it was too late to shoulder as the bike was almost too heavy to pick up - there was a good downhill with a torrent of mud down the middle where everyone was walking - everyone except me that is since it was ridable as long as you held on tight but after pushing/riding in the heavy stuff and a bumpy downhill in the mud/water my legs gave out on a slight uphill that followed.

Need more legs.... oh and the cramping was no fun either. What can I do to not cramp up like mad (I couldn't bend either of my legs in some portions of the race).
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Old 04-20-11, 08:46 AM   #12
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And being a newbie...
yea as i stated above, 'my first race and my first time in mud' it was quite obvious i was new. im proud that i didnt crash once.
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Old 04-20-11, 09:01 AM   #13
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I didn't crash either, saw plenty of others hit the mud though - usually when they couldn't unclip in time. Looks like there were at least two or three more serious crashes - one requiring an ambulance. You must be an animal to finish the race on a single!
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Old 04-20-11, 10:49 AM   #14
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hardly an animal.

how did you do? i came in 680th @ 3:00:19. i have no idea if thats good but i had a blast.
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Old 04-20-11, 12:32 PM   #15
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1072 almost an hour after you - I realized after the first 2 hours that I may not look it but I'm in really poor shape - but I'm already signed up for the Tour de Grand in Cambridge (not a race, more like a fun run) that's 100k. I should be in much better shape in June though.

I wish this race was in August, I wouldn't even mind the mud so much then as it would be warm out.

Did you see the pic on the weather network?

http://www.theweathernetwork.com/you...,%20on/upload/

There was another one yesterday, can't find it now

Next year I'll be better prepared.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:02 PM   #16
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I'm already signed up for the Tour de Grand in Cambridge (not a race, more like a fun run) that's 100k.
yea im doing that with a friend. im actually putting a bike together for him. hes not too experienced so we are doing the 60km.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:07 PM   #17
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yea im doing that with a friend. im actually putting a bike together for him. hes not too experienced so we are doing the 60km.
I don't have much experience either - but I figure that if I can do 60k in freezing muddy sloppy weather, I can do 100k on roads with rest stops and on pavement.
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Old 04-20-11, 01:32 PM   #18
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I have to agree with pyze-guy. That DAMN innocent looking farmers field is where I almost threw the towel in. That is where the 34/28 saved me. Us fat guys tend to sink in that stuff on cross tires. Brutal.


I finished with a 2' 42" (seventh in the fat man division). I figure I can trim about 5 - 10 minutes off my time next year now that I know what to expect.
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Old 04-20-11, 03:04 PM   #19
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^^ all this is making me more determined to do it again next year and beat my time by 1 hour! This should not be hard to do if I get in 10% better shape than I am and my legs don't seize up - at several points I was pushing the bike up slight inclines because my legs couldn't go - pushing was no fun either since I couldn't bend my knees (quad and calf cramp at the same time - IN BOTH LEGS) not fun!
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Old 04-20-11, 05:02 PM   #20
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I just saw the video from Colin Reuter of crossresults.com
He was in wave 1 but flatted right before the start and ended up leaving after wave 3.
The video is sped up 8x and shows him passing about 1000 people in 12 minutes.
Looks like a video game.

That looks like a great event, I wish we had something like that out here.
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