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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 11-08-13, 04:17 PM   #1
bobonker 
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Trail riding on my CX bike

I rode a couple of the local trails on the CX bike included one that is a ~2.5 mile climb that averages around 7.5%. I think the lower portion is closer to 6% and the upper is closer to 9%. It's a mix of hardpack, loose over hardpack, and light gravel over hardpack.

My 700x35c Schwalbe Sammy Slicks had just enough grip to get me to the top without having to jump off. The rear broke loose a few times, but I was able to save it. Going up was pretty fun!

Coming down...a bit of a joke. It took me 18 mins to do the climb and 15 mins to get down. My hands were cramping up pretty bad by the end. If there was any gravel on the road, the front tire had absolutely no grip and I had it skid out from underneath me a few times (got my foot unclipped in time).

For this type of riding, I was thinking of switching to something like a Schwalbe Racing Ralph or Continental Cyclocross King. Will it make a whole lot of difference or do I need to accept that this one of the tradeoffs of a skinny tire CX bike on the trails?

TL ; DR -- Going up = fun. Coming down = suck.

Thanks,
Bob
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Old 11-08-13, 04:25 PM   #2
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CX course down hills are short , thats a big difference.

whole lap is often barely that 2 miles.
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Old 11-08-13, 06:11 PM   #3
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both tires you suggested look better than what you have for that descent. my suggestion is to find the biggest tires that will fit the frame to give you as much flotation as possible. if 700x38s fit, good. if 700x40s fit even better.
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Old 11-10-13, 06:09 PM   #4
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For riding trails most cx tires are no good. I ride mtb trails on my cx bike fairly often and IMO, biggest you can fit in the frame that have knobs are what you want. I have 42's on mine, when they need to be replaced i will get the 41mm surly knards.
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Old 11-11-13, 12:12 AM   #5
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Sammy Slicks came stock on my bike and after the first trail ride switched them for 35mm panaracer cinder-X ... The difference was like night and day, could put far more power down on climbs, turn faster and tighter with alot more control on down hills....
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Old 11-11-13, 03:26 PM   #6
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I ended up getting a set of 700x35c Kenda Kommando tires. Haven't received them yet, but I'm thinking they'll be a big improvement. I'm not sure how big of a tire I can fit in this frame (Cannondale CAADX), but the 700x35 has a lot of clearance.

I did the same climb yesterday (at slightly less effort) with my 29er FS. It was far easier from a traction and comfort standpoint. Just point and go! However, the extra 6 lbs and higher rolling resistance added about 3 mins to the climb. The descent was a piece of cake!

Thanks,
Bob
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