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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so whats this whole cyclocross thing about? i've watched a few races now (one live, a few on cycling.tv) and i get it. my next question is who do i get into it. there are a few races near me in the fall, plus two collegiate events i could do. but whats required gear for entry into the cyclocross world? what i think i need is:
mtn bike style shoes w/ good stiff soles?
spd or time "walkable" pedals
a "cross" crankset (46/38?)
canti brakes
a bike (obviosly).
wide tires (what about wheels?)
if im road racing and stay in shape how would that sort of power/stregnth/ability transfer into the cross world. i realize i'd need to develope alot of handling and technical skills, get used to dismounting. are there other things id need to do?
also, how costly is all of this stuff. i would need everything.
OR i was thinking of possibily buying a an ultegra drivetrain, throwing it onto my roadbike, and then putting my 105 drivetrain onto a potential cross bike (and buy new chanrings, would i need a full crank, or could i get away with rings and then adjusting the derailler, also i know id need different brakes). would that stuff work? i could find a spare seat, handlebar, stem, seatpost, so i guess id prbly just need a frame/fork? i hear steel is the way to go, why not alu or carbon? so who makes good, reliable, not super espensive stuff in the cross world? who makes super cheap stuff that'll last a season or that would be bought with intent to replace in the near future, after all, imn a college student and im broke, and id be open to looking at used stuff for sure. thanks guys
 

· Scary Teddy Bear
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Well

CC09 said:
so whats this whole cyclocross thing about? i've watched a few races now (one live, a few on cycling.tv) and i get it. my next question is who do i get into it. there are a few races near me in the fall, plus two collegiate events i could do. but whats required gear for entry into the cyclocross world? what i think i need is:
mtn bike style shoes w/ good stiff soles?
spd or time "walkable" pedals
a "cross" crankset (46/38?)
canti brakes
a bike (obviosly).
wide tires (what about wheels?)
if im road racing and stay in shape how would that sort of power/stregnth/ability transfer into the cross world. i realize i'd need to develope alot of handling and technical skills, get used to dismounting. are there other things id need to do?
also, how costly is all of this stuff. i would need everything.
OR i was thinking of possibily buying a an ultegra drivetrain, throwing it onto my roadbike, and then putting my 105 drivetrain onto a potential cross bike (and buy new chanrings, would i need a full crank, or could i get away with rings and then adjusting the derailler, also i know id need different brakes). would that stuff work? i could find a spare seat, handlebar, stem, seatpost, so i guess id prbly just need a frame/fork? i hear steel is the way to go, why not alu or carbon? so who makes good, reliable, not super espensive stuff in the cross world? who makes super cheap stuff that'll last a season or that would be bought with intent to replace in the near future, after all, imn a college student and im broke, and id be open to looking at used stuff for sure. thanks guys
I'm relatively new to cross myself, and this will be my first year racing. I think the trickiest part compared to road riding is the mounting/dismounting, and getting used to running with the bike on your shoulder. The races are short, and seem to me mostly anaerobic. I think an Alu frame would work, that's what my Kona JTS is made out of, and 105 should be more than sufficient for cross. One of my riding buddies who is mentoring me on racing, said you really shouldn't get anything better than 105 for cross because you will inevitably break things, and replacing 105 gear is a LOT cheaper than the more expensive gruppos. The chainrings seem to be in the 48/38 range, I have a 46/36 FSA crankset that I got for cheap from performance. I'm interesting in hearing the more experienced racers opinions as this is my first year as well.
 

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Since you are a broke student that has never tried cross, I'd suggest borrowing a cross or mtn bike, hop in a race, and make sure you like it before buying another bike.

If you decide to get a cross bike and you have a spare gruppo lying around, I'd just get a frame and fork. Check the archives of the 'cross section, there is more info on tire preferences, gearing, pedals, etc than you'll ever want to read.
 

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CC09 said:
so whats this whole cyclocross thing about? i've watched a few races now (one live, a few on cycling.tv) and i get it. my next question is who do i get into it. there are a few races near me in the fall, plus two collegiate events i could do. but whats required gear for entry into the cyclocross world? what i think i need is:
mtn bike style shoes w/ good stiff soles?
spd or time "walkable" pedals
a "cross" crankset (46/38?)
canti brakes
a bike (obviosly).
wide tires (what about wheels?)
if im road racing and stay in shape how would that sort of power/stregnth/ability transfer into the cross world. i realize i'd need to develope alot of handling and technical skills, get used to dismounting. are there other things id need to do?
also, how costly is all of this stuff. i would need everything.
OR i was thinking of possibily buying a an ultegra drivetrain, throwing it onto my roadbike, and then putting my 105 drivetrain onto a potential cross bike (and buy new chanrings, would i need a full crank, or could i get away with rings and then adjusting the derailler, also i know id need different brakes). would that stuff work? i could find a spare seat, handlebar, stem, seatpost, so i guess id prbly just need a frame/fork? i hear steel is the way to go, why not alu or carbon? so who makes good, reliable, not super espensive stuff in the cross world? who makes super cheap stuff that'll last a season or that would be bought with intent to replace in the near future, after all, imn a college student and im broke, and id be open to looking at used stuff for sure. thanks guys
You've got a lot of options open. The old 105 drivetrain will work fine for you. You can use the same cranks and get new rings or just leave it on the 39 for 90% of the time or go single ring with something like a 42 and bash guards. There's nothing wrong with an aluminum frame. Remember a lot of what you're going to read is written by the kind of guys who fuss over stuff and then write about it. They tend to magnify insignificant differences far beyond their distinctions.

I'm riding an old Redline conquest frame I bought used with single ring setup on a DA crank and BB with fork, headset, stem and assorted doodads for $200. For the rest, top drawer, old-school tubular wheelsets go for less than you can buy the cheapest modern clincher wheels. I paid $120 for Mavic GP4 on DA hubs with Wheelsmith spokes and build. The rest is a mix of Shimano and Campy. So for under $400 I've got a no-excuses race bike. Not much bling, but whatever I don't win isn't because of the bike.

As for you, thats trickier and possibly more painful than paying for bike parts. Get used to running - Adam Meyerson suggests run for 15 minutes, then when you're no longer sore from that run again for another 15 minutes, whether that means the next day or three days later. I suck at running, haven't run much in years.

First thing I learned about the dismount - you must be going at a speed at which you can run. Next is to learn to do it smoothly and without adding stress. First time I practiced dismounts with an HRM on it was almost alarming; there's this 25 BPM spike.

Anyway, get smooth with the running, get a bike together and then go play. Ride trails, shock mountain bikers, just have fun doing crazy stuff with a bike. That's one of the things I really love about cross, it's like the way we raced bikes when I was a kid: "down to the end of Meister road, left through the foundations they just dug, then back on that other street to the trail that comes out behind Tim's house and back here."

And if anyone asks about that crazy dismount, remount thing they see you doing, tell 'em you're practicing at stealing bikes from in front of 7-11s.

Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ronsonic said:
As for you, thats trickier and possibly more painful than paying for bike parts. Get used to running - Adam Meyerson suggests run for 15 minutes, then when you're no longer sore from that run again for another 15 minutes, whether that means the next day or three days later. I suck at running, haven't run much in years.

First thing I learned about the dismount - you must be going at a speed at which you can run. Next is to learn to do it smoothly and without adding stress. First time I practiced dismounts with an HRM on it was almost alarming; there's this 25 BPM spike.

Ron
im not toooo worried about running actually, i ran varsity cross country all four years of high school. yea ive had a year off and yea i messed up my ankle a year ago but i think with a little training i should be able to handle running. i live a pretty active lifestyle, and even with my year off ive been playing a ton of pickup soccer and other random sports at least once or twice a week. if im gonna do this (cross) im gonna start going on runs after my rides a few days a week

the dismount on the other hand......well, i guess that'll need a ton of work.

thanks for the info, very much appreciated
 

· More Cowbell!
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CC09 said:
the dismount on the other hand......well, i guess that'll need a ton of work.
Do about 200 of them before your first race. Also, when you start practicing, only do as many as you can before you feel your form start to deteriorate. I think I started at around 20 at a time and worked up. Just before the season starts, I pretty much do about 50 during practice sessions.

In a typical race, you'll do about 20-25 but sometimes up to 40.

Edit: I based my estimate on a 6 lap race which is typical for Beginner, C, and B classes. The A's will hit that 40 number pretty regularly (four dismounts per lap and 10 laps).
 

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one good skill to practice is your dismount to run transition.

if you perfer getting off on the left, keep you left foot clipped in swing your right over the back. Keep rolling while you are standing only on your left pedal. You roll right up to the obstical, plant your right foot as you unclip your left and jump over the boards. This is where places are often lost in races. A smooth dismount and re-mount are key. And practice doing it in sand if you can. Runnig up hills with the bike on your shoulder is good practice too...
 

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CC09 said:
im not toooo worried about running actually, i ran varsity cross country all four years of high school. yea ive had a year off and yea i messed up my ankle a year ago but i think with a little training i should be able to handle running. i live a pretty active lifestyle, and even with my year off ive been playing a ton of pickup soccer and other random sports at least once or twice a week. if im gonna do this (cross) im gonna start going on runs after my rides a few days a week

the dismount on the other hand......well, i guess that'll need a ton of work.

thanks for the info, very much appreciated
Sounds like you'll be fine on the running then. There isn't a lot of it, but it tends to be fast and up hill. More like windsprints mixed with bike riding than running any distance. The soccer will have you with stronger ankles and better agility than most riders. Just get smooth on the dismount and remount. Shouldn't be too tricky for you.

Enjoy
Ron
 
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