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    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     
    who here races cross? has your season started up yet? any tips for first timers like myself?

    i'm pretty psyched, it sounds like a lot of fun. Just finished off my cross bike for good (until i get new bars and stem, there always has to be that one thing you want to change, right? ;) updated pictures soooon.
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     
    I'm driving my dad to a wednesday night cyclocross race next week. He rode up to it tonight, but he said he didn't have enough money.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     
    are you gonna get the crosscheck out for some cross this winter?
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     
    I didn't really build it up to be a cross bike. It may look that way now, but I have some DA dt shifters coming and I'm gonna get some panniers for it. I just don't have the room for another bike(What am I saying, I just bought another frame)

    Maybe eventually it will see some mud
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011 edited
     
    theres always room for another bike! ;)

    whats the new frame?
    *edit ah i see, building the suspense...
    • CommentAuthorveggie
    • CommentTimeSep 28th 2011
     
    Not anymore. Ha.
  1.  
    I happened into a couple of cross races Nov 2010 and have been looking forward to giving it a try. I've been training for the past year and racing Mtb to prepare. First race I can get to will be 22nd of Oct then I'll try to do a race every weekend through the end of Nov, maybe one in Dec.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2011
     
    what sort of tire pressures do people generally run, anyone?
    • CommentAuthorPACE SSR
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2011
     
    I just started racing cross this year, I've done 2 races so far.. Our season officially starts this weekend Oct. 2nd...
    Looking forward to the cooler damper weather...
    • CommentAuthorPACE SSR
    • CommentTimeSep 29th 2011
     
    Posted By: Haeganwhat sort of tire pressures do people generally run, anyone?


    I've been running between 40-45 psi, depending on the coarse..
  2.  
    Tire pressure depends on your weight and the course. Just throwing numbers out there doesn't do much. The smoother rider you are, the lower pressure you can run.

    For a bigger rider (170 and up) I wouldn't go lower than like 50 PSI on 32C clinchers unless you are really smooth, the course is extra muddy, and the course is really clean, otherwise pinch flats can/will happen.

    Honestly, the best thing you can do for cross is get really good at bike handling skills. Watts help, but being able to bury it and handle tight, 180 degree turns with ease, being able to pick a good line through the tape will keep you way ahead of everyone else. Be smooth!

    On remounting, it's better to take a few more strides and get the bike set up proper for a remount than worrying about getting right on the bike ASAP. Running the bike will get you further faster than flubbing up the mount.

    Also in cat 4 cross, you're going to be dealing with a huge mixed bag of racers. Some guys are top of the game cat 3 road dudes, some guys are brand new to bike racing, some guys are cat 2 mountain bike racers who just decided to start doing cross, so don't feel terrible if you're not cracking out top 10s every UCI series race.

    For practicing, my buddy who was a former U23 worlds cross racer said to make as tight of a course you can and just hammer home those bike handling skills. Knowing how far you can dig in without planting a foot is ideal.

    All this aside, I do cross for the fun of it. I don't really care where I end up as long as I've really pushed myself and enjoyed the course.
    • CommentAuthorjleath
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2011
     
    im a big boy 6'2" (190-200) depending on the time of year :) and i run 35 in my tubulars, clinchers at 45 PSI at the lowest - as long as there aren't many roots or large rocks to worry about (some courses i have been on are basically single track)

    I agree that the fluidity of your bike handling is very important, go in and out of corners as smoothly as possible and hammer in-between!

    Local races in Western NC have been going on for the last month... pretty early IMO, Ill be getting out next week to start the season.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeSep 30th 2011
     
    ok, so at 127 i'm not gonna flat on 35psi on clinchers. i had them that low but was feeling nervous about it coming off 23's at 120 psi so i put them up to like 60. do you try to run higher psi on a smoother dryer course i guess?
    • CommentAuthorjleath
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2011
     
    yep - smoother, dryer, courses call for a little higher PSI, if its really dusty the ground can loosen up on you though. 35 is pretty low for clinchers imo, try it out on some mellow single track to test for pinch flats and take some really tight turns and make sure you aren't pushing the bead off... good luck! Did my first race of the season in Western NC on Sunday and it was a blast, I think i ran closer to 40 on my tubulars and it was too low - it was super dusty and had fence posts laid down in a section that you had to ride over - If i was running clinchers I would have pinch flatted for sure
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeOct 11th 2011
     
    yeah, after my first two races of the season (both dry) i have tended to run higher pressure than most of the people i've been racing with (40-45psi) and it's been working out pretty well. 9th in the series for cat4 (mostly because i showed up at both races and a lot of people only got points for one or the other)

    i can see why people find it so much fun, i would definitely try out a race or two even if you don't race normally.
  3.  
    Posted By: Haeganok, so at 127 i'm not gonna flat on 35psi on clinchers. i had them that low but was feeling nervous about it coming off 23's at 120 psi so i put them up to like 60. do you try to run higher psi on a smoother dryer course i guess?


    we weigh about the same. i never have more than 30psi in my tires. lower pressure means you go faster - you can handle tougher terrain, you can corner faster and harder. recently at a fast, flat, grassy race i heard people talking about keeping 50psi in their tires. granted most people are larger than me so need a bit more air in their tires to prevent flatting, but, that's crazy high, and i told them so. even with 25psi in my tires i slid out in a fast corner (albeit taking risks racing for the win). putting more air in your tires doesn't make you faster - it makes you slower. bumps turn your forward momentum into upward momentum, and your tire can't deform enough to get a good contact patch when you corner.
  4.  
    Northampton, MA hosts the biggest cyclocross event in North America. This year it's in competition with something I also really wanna do, but it's an amazing event.

    If anyone is coming, I'd really like to meet up with you (if I'm gonna be there, dammit)!
    • CommentAuthorbumpers4me
    • CommentTimeOct 19th 2011
     
    Keep racing and you will get better. If you get a chance to pre ride a course do so and test out different tire pressures. While riding look at the course and the turns, look for the things that could flat you out while racing. Always do a hot lap in a pre ride because your selected pressure is going to ride totally different at crusing pace vs race pace. Also, if you get a chance to warm up on the course with faster/ better racers do so. Watch how they approach turns, when they brake and let off the brakes. Some would agrue that CX races on won in the turns. Always come out of your turns as fast as you can and if you can coast in to a turn vs. braking in to a turn do so. the more you brake the more you are going to have to get back up to speed. Smoother riders will brake way less while cornoring which will also allow them to rest before they power out of the turn. If you hear of any cross clinics in your area sign up for one. Make some barriers of your own and practice your remounts. Anyhow, keep having fun doing it and a rule of thumb I use for tire pressure is. I run as low as I can go per course that I think I can get away with. If I am at 25psi on my tubulars and I bottom out the tire 5 times per lap. I know I am too low. Have fun and i hope some of this helps you out.

    Tim
  5.  
    Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanNorthampton, MA hoststhe biggest cyclocross event in North America. This year it's in competition with something Ialsoreally wanna do, but it's an amazing event.

    If anyone is coming, I'd really like to meet up with you (if I'm gonna be there, dammit)!


    I was going to do this, but it's like a 2 hour+ drive for me to start at like 8:00. :(

    Next year post upgrade to 3, though, no doubt.
    • CommentAuthorHaegan
    • CommentTimeOct 20th 2011
     
    anyone here in georgia? i'm off to savannah this weekend for a doubleheader. its supposed to be an awesome course with a stair runup and a flyover
 
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