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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 12-11-11, 10:20 PM   #1
jimmytango
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SSCX Advice

Hey guys, I have been interested in CX for a while, but only went to my first race a week ago. It was enough to set the hook. There's one more race this season, and I'm thinking about jumping in. I don't have money for a second bike, and I don't know anyone with a spare cross bike anywhere near my size (I'm a big dude), so I'm gonna jump in on my FG rig. I'm gonna grab some tires from a friend, and throw a freewheel and rear brake back on.

Now to the advice: I'm currently running 46/16 gearing, which is beautiful for my daily urban riding, but I'm hearing that it'll be way too steep for SSCX. What size freewheel should I grab?

The tires I'm borrowing are 700x35 Bontrager Aramid HD. They gonna work?

Also, I've never tried CX at all. Anything I need to know that friends may not have told me?

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Old 12-11-11, 10:23 PM   #2
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i havent raced but i run 39x18 on my cross bike. it seems to get me around off road.
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Old 12-11-11, 10:39 PM   #3
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That gearing will be way to high. 39x18 is a better place to be. Can't tell about the tires, I have no idea what frame you have.
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Old 12-11-11, 11:01 PM   #4
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Oh right. Some people don't look at signatures. Sorry. SE Lager.

And I'm going to check clearance soon, I'm just worried that they won't be grippy enough.

I can't afford to buy a ring and a FW. According to the GI calculator app on my phone, a 21t FW should give the same GI without having to swap rings.

By the way, thanks for the quick responses guys.
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Old 12-12-11, 09:21 AM   #5
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Do any of your buddies have any spare parts you can borrow? In turn they get to come out and heckle you and spray you with beer. Seems like a good trade to me.
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Old 12-12-11, 11:14 AM   #6
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Nah, none of my friends do. I've checked. They either need their stuff for the race or the parts they have won't fit.
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Old 12-13-11, 01:33 AM   #7
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46/16 will work OK as long as you plan to stand while climbing.
It will be great on the flats, you'll be able to keep up with the guys with gears.

I trail ride 46/16 and 700x35 Michelin City tires which aren't knobbies. I go back to knobbies every now and then but always go back to the Citys.
There are faster and take less energy to ride. Either they have good traction or I have adapted to them because I don't seem to have any problems with traction.
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Old 12-13-11, 03:31 PM   #8
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Depending on the course I have 2 main gear selections I swap:
44-18 for dry, flat, fast courses
38-18 for hilly, twisty technical, or sloppy courses

I race Masters Cat-4 against geared riders and managed to place top 20% overall in the local series this season, so even though I sometimes get out sprinted on the straightaways I find advantages elsewhere, like punching out of corners where other riders seem to always choose too low a gear.
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Old 12-14-11, 06:54 PM   #9
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Thanks for the advice, but I won't be doing it after all until next season. I'd need new bars (no bullhorns allowed) and my brakes won't clear the big tires. I don't have money for that **** plus licensing and registration.
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Old 12-15-11, 12:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmytango View Post
Thanks for the advice, but I won't be doing it after all until next season. I'd need new bars (no bullhorns allowed) and my brakes won't clear the big tires. I don't have money for that **** plus licensing and registration.
Save up over the off-season and get yerself a Fantom Uno. I've seen a few of the locals racing on Motobecanes, and I've heard nothing but positive reviews from the people I've talked to who own them. For an entry level ride it's tough to beat for the price.
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