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I'm interested in getting into cyclocross racing and was wondering a few things. First, do you have to have a specific cyclocross bike for it or can you use a mountain bike? Second, what is a typical race like? I have done mountain bike races in the past and was wondering the similarities or differences. Thanks.
 

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Speedmax said:
First, do you have to have a specific cyclocross bike for it or can you use a mountain bike?
I raced for years on a hardtail. Saw a guy race once on a downhillish full suspension bike. No special bike is needed for most amateur races (though at higher levels, so folks do sneer at those who don't use cross specific bikes). Check the local race series web sites and see what they say about bikes.

If you use bar ends, take them off. And take any water bottle cages, seat bags, etc. off.

I think at national or international levels, there are bike requirements that may not allow MTBs.

Speedmax said:
Second, what is a typical race like? I have done mountain bike races in the past and was wondering the similarities or differences. Thanks.
The typical race for beginner classes would be 30 minutes, so the race is more of a sprint than a MTB race. Expect to be doing laps on a course that is maybe 0.5-2.0 miles. Mixture of dirt and pavement, with some areas that you will have to dismount and run with your bike.
 
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