Two Cross Questions
Just getting into cross this season and I have two questions:
1) Should my saddle be set up the same as my road bike (front of knee even with pedal) or a bit back like you would do over obstacles on a mountain bike?
2) The wheelset on my cross bike is cheap and heavy. I have a nice wheelset I rarely use on the road but it has bladed spokes, would those be an issue for racing cross?
1) I use the same setup for both, but my road setup isn't very aggressive. You generally need to favor bike control over aerodynamics, so something more like the MTB setup may be good.
2) It depends on the wheels and how attached you are to them. If it wouldn't break your heart to have to rebuild the wheel, then use whatever is lightest. A solidly built wheelset will usually make it through a CX race without so much as needing to be trued, but things happen. I've been told you shouldn't race with any equipment you couldn't replace if you had to.
This is a true statement, for sure.
Originally Posted by Andy_K
As for the wheels, are you heavy? If you're too heavy for your wheels, then no, you shouldn't ride them. Not because you might break them, but because it'll screw up your race having broken spokes or untrue wheels.
All other factors being equal, I don't worry about riding bladed spokes. My race tubular wheelset has bladed spokes with a 20/24 front/rear setup. I'm 150 pounds and I haven't broken a spoke yet. I also have 32hole wheels with butted spokes that are absolutely bomb proof at my weight.
Here's what Myerson says about cross bike set-up vs. road bike set-up:
Don't optimize your setup for the few technical sections you'll encounter each race, but for the miles of hard trudging pedaling you'll be doing each race.