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Cyclocross Race Won on Fat Bike

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Cyclocross Race Won on Fat Bike

Old 10-24-15, 07:39 AM
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Cyclocross Race Won on Fat Bike

The day one 'A' race of the Keweenaw Cup Cyclocross Race in Copper Harbor MI was won by local yopper Pete Karinen on a fat bike. He rode a Trek Farley 9.6 with 26.5 x 3.8 tires to a close win.



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Old 10-24-15, 08:00 AM
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Was there a lot of sand?
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Old 10-24-15, 08:07 AM
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Was he the overall winner, or running in a category by himself?
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Old 10-24-15, 08:46 AM
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what's a yopper?
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Old 10-24-15, 12:43 PM
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A yopper is someone from the U.P. or upper peninsula of Michigan.

He rode in "A" class which was open to any type of bike. Most everyone in that class were on cyclocross race bikes.

There was a sandy/muddy stretch that was a dismount for most everyone. Not sure if he was able to ride that or not.
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Old 10-28-15, 09:42 PM
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He's a Super Yopper! The pics do show him riding thru the short wet sandy section while others dismounted.

Most impressive were the photos of him bunny hopping the barriers!!!
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Old 10-29-15, 12:09 AM
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I dig the literal number plates
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Old 11-09-15, 08:48 AM
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And it did not even look wet and muddy there !
But, was the concurrence good enough ? Maybe he'd have been (also) easily winning with a regular CX bike ?
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Old 11-09-15, 09:52 AM
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from what I've heard, these sorts of things happen when the course designer doesn't work hard enough to make it so that a CX bike is the best choice. In general, I doubt it is a good thing if a fatbike or mountain bike can win a cx race.
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Old 11-11-15, 05:23 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
from what I've heard, these sorts of things happen when the course designer doesn't work hard enough to make it so that a CX bike is the best choice. In general, I doubt it is a good thing if a fatbike or mountain bike can win a cx race.
It seems that MTB bikes have been ridden in and winning CX races since the early days of MTB, which has always challenged the sensibility of CX bikes as best suited to what they do. We can respect the discipline without needing to think there's no better way to cover the ground.
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Old 11-13-15, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
It seems that MTB bikes have been ridden in and winning CX races since the early days of MTB, which has always challenged the sensibility of CX bikes as best suited to what they do. We can respect the discipline without needing to think there's no better way to cover the ground.
unterhausen is correct. A well-designed cyclocross course can usually be ridden faster on a cyclocross bike than a mountain bike.
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Old 11-14-15, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
unterhausen is correct. A well-designed cyclocross course can usually be ridden faster on a cyclocross bike than a mountain bike.
That's not what Unterhausen said; he said he didn't think it was a good thing that FBs and MTBs should win CX races. Thats totally different from saying a CX bike is faster over some courses, and anyway, I doubt that's true. Perhaps if there were long, fast sections where aero could be important, ok, but that's not typical CX. Otherwise, I don't know what characteristics of a CX bike would be so diverse from a good MTB setup, and frankly, the starting lines just don't show the necessity of a CX.
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Old 11-14-15, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That's not what Unterhausen said; he said he didn't think it was a good thing that FBs and MTBs should win CX races. Thats totally different from saying a CX bike is faster over some courses, and anyway, I doubt that's true. Perhaps if there were long, fast sections where aero could be important, ok, but that's not typical CX. Otherwise, I don't know what characteristics of a CX bike would be so diverse from a good MTB setup, and frankly, the starting lines just don't show the necessity of a CX.
Doubt it all you want, you'll still be wrong. Cyclocross bikes are much faster than mountain bikes on a well-balanced course. That's not an argument. It's a plain fact. Seeng as how long fast sections are in fact not uncommon on cyclocross courses, I'm going to assume that you aren't familiar with high-quality cyclocross course design and racing. It's not just about said fast sections, but that's a start.

Whether it's a bad thing or not if a MTB or fat bike wins a cross race, I don't know. I do know that a course where fat bikes or mountain bikes are advantageous compared to a cross bike probably isn't a very fun cyclocross course. I've raced a cross bike in a short track MTB race before. It works, kind of, but it's really intended for a different environment. Picking a line through rocky, rooty singletrack is really hard work. Having some singletrack sections on a course is fine, but CX is less about riding trails than MTB racing is. It's often a lot more dynamic, higher speed and with more passing and tactical racing.
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Old 11-15-15, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Doubt it all you want, you'll still be wrong. Cyclocross bikes are much faster than mountain bikes on a well-balanced course. That's not an argument. It's a plain fact. Seeng as how long fast sections are in fact not uncommon on cyclocross courses, I'm going to assume that you aren't familiar with high-quality cyclocross course design and racing. It's not just about said fast sections, but that's a start.

Whether it's a bad thing or not if a MTB or fat bike wins a cross race, I don't know. I do know that a course where fat bikes or mountain bikes are advantageous compared to a cross bike probably isn't a very fun cyclocross course. I've raced a cross bike in a short track MTB race before. It works, kind of, but it's really intended for a different environment. Picking a line through rocky, rooty singletrack is really hard work. Having some singletrack sections on a course is fine, but CX is less about riding trails than MTB racing is. It's often a lot more dynamic, higher speed and with more passing and tactical racing.
So your assertion is that aero is such a significant factor in CX that advantage goes to CX bikes over MTB? Yeah, well I think you're cracked.

How long is a lap? 3km or so? How long are the road sections? A couple hundred meters? And how long do you go fast over that length? It's seconds of tims spent at "high speed," by which I mean 20+ mph. I don't know what you reckon you can gain or put on the competition in a few seconds, but I don't think it's much if it's anything. Even over 10 laps.

Again, the results and practice of CX racing are enough to prove you're wrong, as MTBs have been run competitively in CX races for decades. And with the 29er thing going, I see the gap being closer now than ever between the two bike styles. If not for UCI restrictions, I have little doubt that CX bikes would look a lot more like MTB bikes. That they don't, and exist as their own category, as I respect the heritage of the discpline. But again, that's not to say it's necessarily the best tool for the job, which has been proven many times over, over tens of years.
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Old 11-16-15, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
So your assertion is that aero is such a significant factor in CX that advantage goes to CX bikes over MTB? Yeah, well I think you're cracked.

How long is a lap? 3km or so? How long are the road sections? A couple hundred meters? And how long do you go fast over that length? It's seconds of tims spent at "high speed," by which I mean 20+ mph. I don't know what you reckon you can gain or put on the competition in a few seconds, but I don't think it's much if it's anything. Even over 10 laps.

Again, the results and practice of CX racing are enough to prove you're wrong, as MTBs have been run competitively in CX races for decades. And with the 29er thing going, I see the gap being closer now than ever between the two bike styles. If not for UCI restrictions, I have little doubt that CX bikes would look a lot more like MTB bikes. That they don't, and exist as their own category, as I respect the heritage of the discpline. But again, that's not to say it's necessarily the best tool for the job, which has been proven many times over, over tens of years.
No, my assertion - strike that, not assertion, fact - is that CX bikes are faster on CX courses. Aero is a factor, but not the only one. Is the difference large? No, on most courses it's not, but it really depends. On a well-designed cyclocross course, the lighter weight of the tires and bikes overall, the lack of energy-sapping suspension when sprinting out of turns and yes, aerodynamics, make a cross bike a better choice. If you've got a course design that's more like a MTB race or a superior athlete or both, yeah, you can have people doing well or winning on a mountain bike. Which proves only that the ability of the rider is still paramount, no matter what equipment they are using.

I really think that you are arguing out of ignorance about what good cyclocross courses are like and what the racing is like. Yes, balanced courses often have significant power sections, and small gaps from small differences in speed matter. It's not just about going over 20 mph, it's about sprinting hard out of every corner. Those little differences in time can add up quickly to losing a wheel, and losing a wheel can be significant: on many courses, drafting plays a significant role in allowing you to save energy, and on all courses, there's a psychological factor in riding with someone else that makes it easier to dig deep and suffer. Having to spend a little more energy than the other guy out of each corner adds up over the course of a 40 minute or 60 minute race. And I have to say, though it sounds judgmental as all hell - from looking at the photos of this race, this not at ALL what the Elite race looks like at local races in New England. Sorry, I don't think this is representative of high-level cyclocross. I am not trying to diss these guys, and I'm sure it's a great race, but I do think it still comes back to the guy on the fat bike being just plain stronger than everyone else. Side note, that looks like a tight course without lots of passing opportunities, which is also very important. But it's hard to judge from the photos, so I'll let that go.

Anyway, that's that. You're going to keep thinking that CX bikes are slower than mountain bikes, you're still going to be wrong and the world will keep turning.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:25 PM
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It's nothing to do at all with "CX bikes being slower than MTBs" as you incorrectly summarize. The fact is that CX, as a sport, predates the MTB, and has its own tradition, but it is emphatically not the response to the question, Which type of bicycle is best for traversing rough and unpaved roads and trails." The MTB is the answer to that question, and they obviously excel at it. And don't forget that the MTB was originally developed as a rigid bicycle, and there is no reason or need to presume "energy-sapping suspension."

Again, your peculiar position is at odds with the facts of CX race history, and that you want to define CX as "elite racing" is pointless , again because at the most elite level of CX competition, the governing UCI forbids use of MTBs, so that's a given. But, it should make you wonder why the UCI would need to have such a prohibition if the MTB is so clearly inferior in this discipline.
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Old 11-16-15, 12:55 PM
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The UCI also bans the use of cyclocross bikes on mountainbike racing (technically they ban the use of drop bars) does that mean that drop bars are better for mountainbike racing?

No, it means that courses got so stupidly easy that at some point someone won a short-track UCI race on a road bike. Not a cross bike, a road bike with caliper brakes and road tires. And instead of addressing it by making sure that courses were, you know mountainbike courses they banned road bikes.

As for mountainbikes on cyclocross races, it depends on how you define what a mountainbike is. A rigid 29r with 40c tires is a cross bike with flat bars. Are flat bars faster on a cross course? Maybe. Are fat tires faster on a cross course? They shouldn't be.

A fat tire has the same outside diameter as a cross tire. And the lightest fat tire available will be about 900 grams. That's two to three times the weight of a cross tire. You will not be accelerating a fat tire as you do a cross tire unless you compensate with lower gearing. And that lower gearing will then bite you in the butt on open sections. Better traction and lower gearing may let you ride where others run, but again that will come at a price.
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Old 11-16-15, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
The UCI also bans the use of cyclocross bikes on mountainbike racing (technically they ban the use of drop bars) does that mean that drop bars are better for mountainbike racing?

No, it means that courses got so stupidly easy that at some point someone won a short-track UCI race on a road bike. Not a cross bike, a road bike with caliper brakes and road tires. And instead of addressing it by making sure that courses were, you know mountainbike courses they banned road bikes.

As for mountainbikes on cyclocross races, it depends on how you define what a mountainbike is. A rigid 29r with 40c tires is a cross bike with flat bars. Are flat bars faster on a cross course? Maybe. Are fat tires faster on a cross course? They shouldn't be.

A fat tire has the same outside diameter as a cross tire. And the lightest fat tire available will be about 900 grams. That's two to three times the weight of a cross tire. You will not be accelerating a fat tire as you do a cross tire unless you compensate with lower gearing. And that lower gearing will then bite you in the butt on open sections. Better traction and lower gearing may let you ride where others run, but again that will come at a price.
Bingo. It has nothing to due with suitability, but rather respect for the discipline.

Double-bingo. What is an MTB? What's to prevent an MTB from wearing 700x38 rubber and a mid-compact drivetrain?
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Old 11-16-15, 02:23 PM
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But why would you turn your mountainbike into a cross bike by puttimg 38s and a cross drivetrain on it if mountainbikes are faster on a cross course? You can't have it both ways here...

I think it is cute that a fat bike won a local, non-sanctioned cross race. But that doesn't change the fact that on a good cross course a cyclocross bike should be faster than a fat bike or a mountainbike.
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Old 11-16-15, 04:13 PM
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I have the understanding that positing a possibility is substantially different from saying to do it.

As for "cute," it reminds me of when Carl Decker beat then-reigning national CX champ Jonathan Page at a USAC sanctioned CX event...on a full-suspension MTB rig.
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Old 11-16-15, 05:25 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Bingo. It has nothing to due with suitability, but rather respect for the discipline.

Double-bingo. What is an MTB? What's to prevent an MTB from wearing 700x38 rubber and a mid-compact drivetrain?
Dude it's like you didn't even read this post. This "respect for the discipline" nonsense is just that. The capabilities of a MTB don't come for free.

As for what makes a MTB, we're finally onto something relevant - is it drop bars that make a cross bike? Skinny tires? There was a period in the 90's when riders were experimenting with flat bars at the UCI level. It's still unclear whether or not they're better. The UCI banned them, anyway, because the UCI went on a banning spree around 2000 or so. But they didn't necessarily do so because flat bars were dominating - they weren't.

U.S. amateurs, despite the peculiar decisions of the UCI, have the option to ride whatever they want, including flat bars on cyclocross bikes. There are some standouts who do, but they're rare. They're even more rarely seen on the podiums of local races. Cross is very competitive around here. As a rule, people are going to use anything they perceive to be an advantage. And they're on cross bikes. The influence of UCI races can't be ruled out entirely, especially in the Northeast. But even here, the majority of racers do not enter UCI events.
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Old 11-16-15, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
I have the understanding that positing a possibility is substantially different from saying to do it.

As for "cute," it reminds me of when Carl Decker beat then-reigning national CX champ Jonathan Page at a USAC sanctioned CX event...on a full-suspension MTB rig.
"Cute" is neglecting to mention that the Decker event stirred up such a fuss because it was exceptional, and much was made of the fact that the course in question had a major technical element that was unusual on cyclocross courses in being easily ridden on an MTB and very challenging on a cyclocross bike. "Cute" is not being aware that Carl Decker started on a cyclocross bike with his MTB in the pit, and his M.O. is to decide during the race if he thinks the MTB will be substantially faster and do a bike change if so. Which, in this case, he did. A race strategy that is entirely predicated on the assumption that some courses favor one kind of bike more than the other, and usually in favor of the cyclocross bike! A race strategy that makes no sense if mountain bikes are usually better for the job of cross racing than a cyclocross bike.

Edit: I did some quick research and I think it's probably wrong to say this was Decker's M.O. Apparently he was borrowing a bike from Adam Craig but had his bike in the pit and decided he would switch half a lap in.

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Old 11-23-15, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by yooperbiker View Post
The day one 'A' race of the Keweenaw Cup Cyclocross Race in Copper Harbor MI was won by local yopper Pete Karinen on a fat bike. He rode a Trek Farley 9.6 with 26.5 x 3.8 tires to a close win.



https://www.flickr.com/photos/xmatic...7657700263574/
I spy finnish surname (and first name, too with some precautions), finnish flag and awesome moustache.

I also just had a sudden trip down to memory lane.

My dad has at least 5-10 friends who could immediately stunt double Pete, if needed. The other racers should have known better - the focused open-mouth gaze, thick glasses, skinny overall looks and that intimidating nose hair (which seemed to be more popular in 60s or 70s, though) are telltale signs of a local sports superman in disguise. I know, because I've spent my youth getting my ass kicked in local sports events by dudes looking just like the winner here. These people usually have/had fun hobbies like 'deep snow crosscountry-ski-championchips' or 'midnight-swamp-football' or 'bike race for bikes not suitable for racing' or such.

Big thumbs up for this, as many local or charity type events today are ruined by too specific equipment requirements or too serious attitude. Race what you have, win if you can, have fun afterwards.
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Old 11-23-15, 04:18 PM
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I'm the organizer of the Keweenaw Cup - the race in question here, which is a two cx race held as part of the 9-race upcross cx series (upcross.net) held from Sept. into Dec. in Michigan's Upper Peninsula (U.P.). No affiliation, $10/race, all about fun, but pretty much everyone racing gives it all. Race organizers do what they can given the venues they're able to secure to make the races as legit cx courses as possible. Grass, sand, dirt, barriers, pavement, some singletrack. Sometimes a guy on a mountain bike will do well, sometimes a cx bike will be fastest. To level the playing field in the A class, points toward the overall standings can only be earned on a cyclocross bike. In the B&C races, any type of bike will earn racers points in the overall standings.

I believe that Pete Karinen (local speedster of Finnish heritage) has raced only one upcross race so far this season - day 1 of the Keweenaw Cup. There was a decent-sized sand pit which he was able to cruise over on the fat bike which everyone else in the A race had to run. I doubt that was the determining factor though - all things even, he was probably the fastest guy racing and would have been a favorite on any bike (only one out there with a pro mtb license). I'm not sure why he picked the fat bike - he may not have a cx bike.

Yeah, it's more fun if everyone is on the same kind of bike (something we take into account with the cx bike requirement for points in the A class), but given our small field sizes (~15), everyone is welcome to race, regardless of bike.

If you're in the Keweenaw next fall (Oct. 15/16, 2016, in Copper Harbor, Michigan), check it out!

-Chris
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Old 11-29-15, 07:49 PM
  #25  
gsa103
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Originally Posted by FrozenK View Post
A fat tire has the same outside diameter as a cross tire. And the lightest fat tire available will be about 900 grams. That's two to three times the weight of a cross tire. You will not be accelerating a fat tire as you do a cross tire unless you compensate with lower gearing. And that lower gearing will then bite you in the butt on open sections. Better traction and lower gearing may let you ride where others run, but again that will come at a price.
With a 2x10 or 2x11 drivetrain, gear range isn't really an issue. Also, at the lower levels of CX racing, the speeds will be lower, and so any aerodynamic effects are greatly suppressed. I suspect a 29er hardtail would be decently competitive at almost all CX levels. Course conditions obviously play a huge role, the sloppier the course, the slower the speeds and the more the added MTB capabilities help. Riding is faster than walking, so if the MTB let's you avoid dismounting that's going to be a huge advantage, again this goes back to course design.
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