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CX...I am doing it wrong.

creightonvcreightonv Posts: 59
edited November 2013 in Cyclocross
Enjoyed the dirt when I first rode it, a few thorny punctures were a pain and being chased by a rabid mastif gave me a new HR max. Have been out on the Ridgeway and found a few trails. Sometimes you are only a few miles from home and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, it's pretty cool. Chased a few MTB's and felt it helped my strength and bike handling overall. Chasing the road groups and taking turns on the front whilst sounding like a Land Rover is kind of amusing. I genuinely enjoy the feel of a bike on the rough, it requires so much more concentration...time flies.

But.

The novelty seems to have worn off. The plan was to race but this hasn't happened for a number of reasons. Working hard to stay with road bikes on road tyres with the excavadors is a pain, easier rides for them equals a tough one for me. Switching to road tyres is better but it's still a lump and passing new bridleways is annoying when you can't jump off road and see where they go.On harder trails the gearing isn't low enough and on faster ones you get a right good pummeling :)

I have to confess I dont get it. It seems like a halfway house that isn't great at either thing? Pretty sure it'll be gone soon and maybe replaced by a hard tail mtb. Am I doing it wrong because I genuinely wanted to give it a go!

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  • creightonv wrote:
    Enjoyed the dirt when I first rode it, a few thorny punctures were a pain and being chased by a rabid mastif gave me a new HR max. Have been out on the Ridgeway and found a few trails. Sometimes you are only a few miles from home and feel like you are in the middle of nowhere, it's pretty cool. Chased a few MTB's and felt it helped my strength and bike handling overall. Chasing the road groups and taking turns on the front whilst sounding like a Land Rover is kind of amusing. I genuinely enjoy the feel of a bike on the rough, it requires so much more concentration...time flies.

    But.

    The novelty seems to have worn off. The plan was to race but this hasn't happened for a number of reasons. Working hard to stay with road bikes on road tyres with the excavadors is a pain, easier rides for them equals a tough one for me. Switching to road tyres is better but it's still a lump and passing new bridleways is annoying when you can't jump off road and see where they go.On harder trails the gearing isn't low enough and on faster ones you get a right good pummeling :)

    I have to confess I dont get it. It seems like a halfway house that isn't great at either thing? Pretty sure it'll be gone soon and maybe replaced by a hard tail mtb. Am I doing it wrong because I genuinely wanted to give it a go!

    Depends on the area... living in London the terrain is not hard enough to have some serious fun with a MTB (unless you drive to Leith Hill and take it from there), but I can find some decent stretches of fun for a cross bike. It also gets me out of the busy roads, without ending up in residential areas where I can't ride at speed... I find the workout a lot more rewarding than the average sunday loop down the A 307/a couple of minor climbs and back.
    If I lived in Derbyshire I would probably get a hardtail, as it's a lot more suited to the terrain.

    PS: i find a cross bike with road tyres can keep up with roadies no probs...
  • A lot of people in my club are riding CX bikes with road tyres this time of year. Perhaps you aren't cut out at the moment for keeping up with the roadies you are trying to chase?
  • Give a CX race a go before you chuck in the towel. You won't regret it (no matter how you get on) and you'll find out what the bike was designed for.
  • ugo, I think that's the issue. Around the Chilterns we have some really good trails, I think a hardtail would be pretty decent and allow a much longer ride due to increased comfort.

    sheep, I guess, but I could enter on a hardtail no? I am not worried about placing anywhere just a bit of fun!
  • creightonv wrote:
    ugo, I think that's the issue. Around the Chilterns we have some really good trails, I think a hardtail would be pretty decent and allow a much longer ride due to increased comfort.

    Yes, I used to live there... it can be pretty steep terrain and you've got a lot of mud to negotiate, which conspires against CX. We found a lot more fun in Oxfordshire, around Thame, following flattish bridleways mixed with road
  • If you do end up getting an MTB don't get rid of your CX, even if you set it up as a pure road machine; CX is ideal for winter.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    I (like quite a few others it seems) have 2 wheel sets for my CX - one with road tyres and the other with CX. They have different cassettes on too (23-12 & 32?-11) so I can choose what sort of ride to do at the start of the ride.
    I have no problem in keeping up with "roadies" with the road tyres on - with the cx on it's a bit harder, but not impossible.
    Trail riding it was excellent - especially with a trailer on the back & a 2yo inside ... ! Needed the CX tyres for that
  • ugo, Thame, yes know it well ;) Plenty of rides over the Ridgeway etc but it's easy to get into more serious stuff. I found some trails around Downley and Saunderton the gearing was right on the limit with mud and rocks. Very much a novice in how to ride to in these conditions which doesn't help! I actually contacted you about a road wheelset build for it not long ago, just got to decide if it's staying put.

    Slowbke/Mark yes that was the original intention, a winter bike with the odd trail chucked in, perhaps I need yet another bike in the garage. Trouble is with a TT and decent road bike hanging up, another sat on the turbo and now the CX all my credits both financial, and 'other' have run out :lol:
  • :D Ride what you have and quit over analysing then.
  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    What Sheep said - get out and race it. Plenty of races in your area at this time of year. Sure, you can enter a CX race on an MTB, but it'll be a bit like riding roads on your CX. The reason you don't "get" it is because you've used it for just about everything except what the purpose it was actually designed for...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • VamPVamP Posts: 674
    I hardly ever ride my CX bikes outside of racing. It's what they are made for.
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    VamP wrote:
    I hardly ever ride my CX bikes outside of racing. It's what they are made for.

    Me too. I ride a few trails to sharpen up a bit but racing makes it all make sense
  • A third here for that. CX bike is only used outside of racing during the worst moments of winter when nothing else will get me through the snow to work!
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I probably ride my CX bikes more than my road bikes - there's nothing like wandering down a country road, seeing a bridleway and thinking "I wonder where that goes?"
    If the truly unimagineable happened (expectedly, my wife prays for this frequently) and I was forced to choose only one bike to keep, there's no doubt it would be a CX bike.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    I probably ride my CX bikes more than my road bikes - there's nothing like wandering down a country road, seeing a bridleway and thinking "I wonder where that goes?"
    If the truly unimagineable happened (expectedly, my wife prays for this frequently) and I was forced to choose only one bike to keep, there's no doubt it would be a CX bike.

    That's exactly it... it's the sense of discovery... freedom to ride well off road/on the road, you can do distance or you can do a small loop... any other bike is a lot more limited
  • Monty Dog wrote:
    I probably ride my CX bikes more than my road bikes - there's nothing like wandering down a country road, seeing a bridleway and thinking "I wonder where that goes?"
    If the truly unimagineable happened (expectedly, my wife prays for this frequently) and I was forced to choose only one bike to keep, there's no doubt it would be a CX bike.

    That's exactly it... it's the sense of discovery... freedom to ride well off road/on the road, you can do distance or you can do a small loop... any other bike is a lot more limited
    Agreed, this is what makes a nice tight and light 8kg cross bike no less effective than almost any road bike out there in 90% of applications. I'd even do the Marmotte on my carbon race CX bike. The comfort factor and long wheelbase might even keep me fresher. I've raced Hog Hill and Cyclopark on it, the stiffness is immense.

    If you're looking for sporting renewal, there's nothing like the responsability brought on by dropping a load of dosh on something expensive, enjoy: http://www.paulscycles.co.uk/m7b0s23p51 ... TEGRA-2013
    When a cyclist has a disagreement with a car; it's not who's right, it's who's left.
  • So a brief update, sold the Boardman but found a Kinesis Pro 6, upgraded for £60 and planning the first race. Cheers for all the responses, kind of reminded me what it was all about in the first place :)
  • creightonv wrote:
    So a brief update, sold the Boardman but found a Kinesis Pro 6, upgraded for £60 and planning the first race. Cheers for all the responses, kind of reminded me what it was all about in the first place :)

    Well done that man. Come back and let us know how big your grin is after that first race.
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