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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello all, i am looking for advice prior to buying 1 or 2 bikes. im a new mtn bike racer, friel plan, partial paleo etc.

want to try a few cross races this fall and need a bike. i was planning on building/buying a new mtn bike for next season later this year or early 2011. i have a redline 29er i could turn into a cross bike or should i buy a cross specific bike?

my concern is spending $1k or more for a bike that i would use for road training and 4-5 races per year to finish off the racing season. i could use that money for the new mtn bike. i am looking for a used cross bike in my area, but these dont seem to be as available as mtn bikes.

my priority is the mtn bike currently, but im not closed off to being swayed to focusing on cross, after a few races, it looks like a lot of fun.

so what would be the best course, low end cross bike or convert the 29er and go new mtn racer?
 

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Is the 29er you currently have a hardtail? Plenty of folks are plenty competitive on 29ers or even 26ers in cross. Unless you are racing in the Pro-1-2s, you'll see plenty of mtn bikes out on the cross course. Just put some skinny tires on there and rock it out. The only real downside is the added weight. I got my butt kicked several times last season by a guy on a rigid 29er.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks

it is a steel hardtail, so it is heavy. i have found a crosscheck locally, going to see it tomorrow hopefully.

would this be a good choice? rode one at rei, felt pretty good in the parking lot, felt lighter than my redline?
 

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mik13 said:
it is a steel hardtail, so it is heavy. i have found a crosscheck locally, going to see it tomorrow hopefully.

would this be a good choice? rode one at rei, felt pretty good in the parking lot, felt lighter than my redline?
Besides the front shock, probably not a huge difference with something like the Croscheck. The weight/performance difference probably isn't worth the price.
 

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I think you should race your 29er this season and see if cross is really your thing. I doubt the bike will hold you back one bit. If you fall in love with cross (and you will!), buy a dedicated cross bike for the 2011 season.
 

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First, just because your frame is made of steel, does not mean that the bike is heavy. My aluminum mountain bike frame is heavier than most nice steel frames. Heavy bikes are heavy.

Where I live, when the trails are wet you can't ride them without causing damage to them. That means that if I only owned a mountain bike, I'd be riding it on the pavement most of the winter. A mountain bike on the pavement is a lot less fun than a road or CX bike. Having the ability to ride on the pavement is great for training.

Also, for me, road training is helpful for off road riding. It's much easier to maintain a steady heart rate for hours on the pavement. It helps to build endurance and strength.

So... if you want to get faster on your mountain bike, and you already own a mountain bike, I'd make my second bike a road bike or CX bike, since a CX works fine on the pavement too. Find a group of roadies to ride with - once you can keep up, you'll find that you're a lot faster in the dirt.

And unless your current bike is incredibly heavy, it's likely not too affecting your finish times that much.
 

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Just race what you got

I'm a similar situation, Cat 2/weekend warrior mountain bike racer and last year I discovered cross. I learned right away that I love cyclocross! It plays into my strengths (sprint/power, handling) and excludes my weaknesses (climbing). Race your 29er, but put some cross tires on to lighten it up and to look the part. I threw skinnies on my 29er SS, put a tall gear on it, and put the rigid fork back on and LOVED it. This year I went so far as to purchase stuff to set it up 1x9 gears to improve my cross experience. Pic below is my "cross" bike from last year.


Just for fun, here is pro mountain biker Sam Schultz tearing up the Rolling Thunder CX race last year in Missoula. He won, it was an awesome race to watch.

<embed src="https://c1403192.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/player.swf" wmode="transparent" width="480" height="360" bgcolor="#" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="image=https://d1xm19c2e3uqmo.cloudfront.net/99676_MOV04703_1256482619293_l.jpg&logo=https://c1184532.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/cyclingdirt.png&file=https://d18tka3ecu2l5z.cloudfront.net/99676_MOV04703_1256482619293.flv&frontcolor=000000&lightcolor=cc9900&controlbar=over&stretching=fill&theme=#cc9900&border=0" /><p><a href="https://www.cyclingdirt.org">Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt</a></p>
<embed src="https://c1403192.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/player.swf" wmode="transparent" width="480" height="360" bgcolor="#" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" flashvars="image=https://d1xm19c2e3uqmo.cloudfront.net/99676_MOV04701_1256482619292_l.jpg&logo=https://c1184532.cdn.cloudfiles.rackspacecloud.com/cyclingdirt.png&file=https://d18tka3ecu2l5z.cloudfront.net/99676_MOV04701_1256482619292.flv&frontcolor=000000&lightcolor=cc9900&controlbar=over&stretching=fill&theme=#cc9900&border=0" /><p><a href="https://www.cyclingdirt.org">Cycling Videos on CyclingDirt</a></p>
 
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