Go Back  Bike Forums > The Racer's Forum > Cyclocross Racing
Reload this Page >

want to try 'cross this season -- which bike should I use? (cross-post)

Notices
Cyclocross Racing Discuss pro racing, the big races, and even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

want to try 'cross this season -- which bike should I use? (cross-post)

Old 05-30-15, 09:02 PM
  #1  
duketg
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: East Boulder Suburbs, CO
Posts: 19

Bikes: 2007 Trek 3900, 1997 GT Legacy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
want to try 'cross this season -- which bike should I use? (cross-post)

I'm cross-posting this (no pun intended) from the recreational cross/gravel forum (https://www.bikeforums.net/recreation...uld-i-use.html). I figured bike-related questions should go there, but now I'm thinking this is more of a race-centric question.

---
Just like the title says: I really want to give cyclocross a try this year. Never done any type of race before, so why not go straight to the hardest one?

I have two options for a bike (other than new, of course, but I want to try it first and then make an informed decision on a new bike). I have a Trek 3900 mountain bike (2007 3900 - Bike Archive - Trek Bicycle), and a 1997 GT Legacy hybrid (1997 GT Legacy - BikePedia). Both are tanks at around 30lbs each.

I'm leaning towards the hybrid right now. I can take off the kickstand to gain an easy pound, and I think the triangle is bigger which I would expect would make shouldering the bike easier. It has canti breaks as well, and can easily fit a 35mm tire. I've also thought about replacing the grip shifters with rapid-fires. Seems like if your hands get muddy grips would be a pain the tuchus. Is there any benefit to going with the trek? It's 3x8spd vs. 7, but that's about the only benefit I can see there.

And, once I settle on a bike, are there any other simple mods I should think about? Doing a full drop bar/brifter conversion seems like it would be a lot of time and money, but maybe I could consider it. if I do end up liking CX I'll probably buy an actual cross bike next year (unless the siren song of this All City Macho Man proves too strong...)
---

So on my cross-posted thread I was basically told neither bike was a good choice and that there was a decent chance neither would even be allowed in a race. Now clearly I'm not expecting to podium with either of these, but everything I've read online basically says, "hey it's your first race, ride what you have and give it a try!" Has the internet misled me on that front? I do know that elite races require a drop-bar bike etc etc, but this is clearly not what we're talking about here.

Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!
duketg is offline  
Old 05-31-15, 02:01 AM
  #2  
EuroTrashDude
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Seattle
Posts: 10

Bikes: Bianchi Squadra, Univega Alpine5.5, KHS Team ST, Redline Metro, 1992 Bianchi Limited (new project)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Both of your bikes look like pretty mild recreational bikes. What type of riding do you do now? Do you ride off-road? Single-track? Group rides?

CX racing at any level requires very well-developed bike-handling skills as well as a high-level of fitness. People don't want to race along side anyone who lacks handling skills & group riding skills. Crashing sucks. Medical bills suck.

If you are not already, consider doing some group road riding and off-road riding. Check your local bike club -or- meetup.com for group rides near you. Start training now. After you start training, you'll want (and deserve) a better bike.
EuroTrashDude is offline  
Old 05-31-15, 08:10 PM
  #3  
duketg
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: East Boulder Suburbs, CO
Posts: 19

Bikes: 2007 Trek 3900, 1997 GT Legacy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Yes, recreational is a good word. This will be the first time I've tried to do anything competitive.

I do single track riding, but not really any group rides. I'd already been planning on training this summer (mount/dismount, barriers, endurance, etc), but group rides wasn't on my radar until now. Good idea.
duketg is offline  
Old 06-02-15, 04:51 PM
  #4  
grolby
Senior Member
 
grolby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BOSTON BABY
Posts: 9,716
Mentioned: 27 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked 60 Times in 39 Posts
Originally Posted by EuroTrashDude View Post
Both of your bikes look like pretty mild recreational bikes. What type of riding do you do now? Do you ride off-road? Single-track? Group rides?

CX racing at any level requires very well-developed bike-handling skills as well as a high-level of fitness. People don't want to race along side anyone who lacks handling skills & group riding skills. Crashing sucks. Medical bills suck.

If you are not already, consider doing some group road riding and off-road riding. Check your local bike club -or- meetup.com for group rides near you. Start training now. After you start training, you'll want (and deserve) a better bike.
Gosh are you serious. It's cyclocross, for crying out loud. The OP isn't going to be racing alongside anyone for more than a minute or so, and he'll be mixed in with all the other n00bs in Cat 5. There is not exactly a lot handling skill to go around in that group to begin with. Group rides are a perfectly good idea, but consider removing that stick. Cross is about the best possible, least dangerous place for a brand-new racer to start. Only way to develop those handling skills is to get practice driving a bike at race pace, in the red.

To duketg: I would suggest you'd be better off starting with your MTB, but you'd be better off still with even an extry-level cyclocross bike. Neither of your current bikes is really going to ride or handle anything like a cross bike.
grolby is offline  
Old 06-02-15, 05:39 PM
  #5  
caloso
Senior Member
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Posts: 40,733

Bikes: Specialized Tarmac, Canyon Exceed, Specialized Transition, Ellsworth Roots, Ridley Excalibur

Mentioned: 68 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2893 Post(s)
Liked 2,919 Times in 1,342 Posts
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Gosh are you serious. It's cyclocross, for crying out loud. The OP isn't going to be racing alongside anyone for more than a minute or so, and he'll be mixed in with all the other n00bs in Cat 5. There is not exactly a lot handling skill to go around in that group to begin with. Group rides are a perfectly good idea, but consider removing that stick. Cross is about the best possible, least dangerous place for a brand-new racer to start. Only way to develop those handling skills is to get practice driving a bike at race pace, in the red.

To duketg: I would suggest you'd be better off starting with your MTB, but you'd be better off still with even an extry-level cyclocross bike. Neither of your current bikes is really going to ride or handle anything like a cross bike.
Agreed.
caloso is offline  
Old 06-02-15, 09:32 PM
  #6  
duketg
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: East Boulder Suburbs, CO
Posts: 19

Bikes: 2007 Trek 3900, 1997 GT Legacy

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Gosh are you serious. It's cyclocross, for crying out loud. The OP isn't going to be racing alongside anyone for more than a minute or so, and he'll be mixed in with all the other n00bs in Cat 5. There is not exactly a lot handling skill to go around in that group to begin with.
Oh man, that is exactly what I wanted to hear! I was starting to get a little concerned!

I know a real cyclocross bike would be ideal. I need to prove to myself (and more importantly my wife) that I'm going to stick with it, and then I'll definitely be getting one.
duketg is offline  
Old 06-09-15, 09:48 AM
  #7  
gamby
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 367
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I ended up taking this



and turned it into this





Heavy, but a fun ride.

Go screw around in the dirt and get your bike handling skills up to snuff.
gamby is offline  
Old 06-10-15, 07:32 AM
  #8  
radripperaj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 84
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by duketg View Post
Oh man, that is exactly what I wanted to hear! I was starting to get a little concerned!

I know a real cyclocross bike would be ideal. I need to prove to myself (and more importantly my wife) that I'm going to stick with it, and then I'll definitely be getting one.
I am new to racing. I have done a few road races and a few cyclocross races. I can say my experience has been that cross was a lot safer and more beginner friendly than road. the lower speeds, dirt/grass surface, and less of a need to draft make for a fairly safe race. I also feel that if you dont have all the time to train and build up your legs that cross is better as well. you can make up for slightly weaker legs with better technique at cornering and dismounting/remounting, especially at the beginner level. the mtb should be fine for you. some cross tracks have more roots, rocks, and sand than others. I have found on those types of tracks mtb can actually do better than a real cross bike.
radripperaj is offline  
Old 06-10-15, 01:54 PM
  #9  
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 13,943

Bikes: Yes

Mentioned: 461 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2715 Post(s)
Liked 2,221 Times in 929 Posts
Originally Posted by duketg View Post
Oh man, that is exactly what I wanted to hear! I was starting to get a little concerned!

I know a real cyclocross bike would be ideal. I need to prove to myself (and more importantly my wife) that I'm going to stick with it, and then I'll definitely be getting one.
At my first cross race I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had near zero fitness and my bike handling wasn't much better. Everyone else in the race lapped me and at one point a course marshal pushed me up a hill. I had so much fun that I couldn't wait to do it again. Seven years and 125 races later my fitness and bike handling are much better but I'm still really slow. It doesn't matter. There are always people at my skill level in the Master C race for me to compete against, and it still makes me smile all day long.

The choice of bikes probably doesn't matter much. I'd use whichever one is lighter. If you have off-road tires for the MTB but not for the hybrid, use the mountain bike. If you have suitable tires for both you could always leave one in the pit and switch mid-race to see which one you like more.
__________________
My Bikes
Andy_K is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
semi_pro
Training & Nutrition
16
03-17-18 01:41 PM
Radish_legs
"The 33"-Road Bike Racing
20
10-05-17 07:44 PM
Fogflip
Road Cycling
1
10-15-11 12:39 AM
Yotsko
Road Cycling
22
09-30-11 12:46 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.