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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross Mountain Bike?

    I want to get into cyclocross but don't really have the money to get a whole new bike. I have a Scott Scale 29er that I don't really ride anymore, what simple/cheap modifications could I do to it to make it better for cyclocross?

  2. #2
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    You can ride it as is with no mods. A number of people ride mountain bikes in our local cross races. If you have bar-ends, remove them. If you want more of an advantage, putt cyclocross tires on it, or just put skinnier tires on it.

  3. #3
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    I think there is a no bar end rule and a max tire width rule depending on how strict the organizers are, but other than that, go for it with what you've got. I'd make a fair bet that showing up with a mountain bike will get you in the door so you can have fun, and that's the important part.

  4. #4
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    Yup. I had a team mate who raced for a year on a Scale 29 with no changes. After a year, he plunked down for a rigid fork for the following season and put on narrower, less-tready tires. He's doing quite well.

  5. #5
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    Last race towards the end a guy passed me on a fs 29er with fat tires, I was in the low teens in a large C3 field, -he may have been in the youngster group and lapped me, I'm not sure. Next race has quite a bit of soft sand and I plan to race my 29er mtb, hoping to float over the top and more easily ride the sand. Last season I raced my old hardtail mtb a couple of times, my placing was very consistent with where I had been placing on my S-works Tricross.
    Trying some skinnier tires would probably be fun, but likely won't make a huge difference. If it's soft grass or loose sand would your fatter tires keep you from sinking into the soft dirt?, if it's mud over a hard base the skinny tires might cut-through with less drag? As a relatively new racer, you'll crash less with mtb tires, one crash can take a lot out of you. I think it's really more about how big your 'engine' is than the type of bike you're on. The more it is like a road course with hardpack smooth dirt the more a proper cx bike will be a benefit, for a course like that some skinnier low rolling resistance tires on your bike would be noticeably faster.

    Just race your mtb and have fun, quite a few guys race mtbs in the lower categories, I would recommend doing this full season on a bike you're comfortable with.

    I think the reason the 'no bar ends' rule exists is that they would more easily get caught in the course tape and pull it down.
    Back when I started in '91, there was an 'Open Class', which was all mtbs on fat tires, that was pretty cool, I wonder when they did away with that (I've been out of it for quite a few years).

  6. #6
    unrooted
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    Which tire or tire combo would you choose for a sandy course from the following selection:

    Maxxiss 2.1x29 ignitor (2 ea)
    Kenda small block 8 2.1x29 (2ea)
    Maxxiss Ardent 2.4x29 (1 ea)
    Conti Mountain King I 2.4x29 (1ea)

    Thanks!

  7. #7
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    when sandy, the bigger the better. Make sure the 2.4 don't come into mud-clearance issues.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by unrooted View Post
    Which tire or tire combo would you choose for a sandy course from the following selection:

    Maxxiss 2.1x29 ignitor (2 ea)
    Kenda small block 8 2.1x29 (2ea)
    Maxxiss Ardent 2.4x29 (1 ea)
    Conti Mountain King I 2.4x29 (1ea)

    Thanks!
    Quite a lot of similaritites to me in this thread. I raced my first ever cx race today on a Scott Spark 920. Unfortunately, I had a Maxxis Ardent 2.4x29 on the front and its way too wide- it just doesn't turn in fast enough. It also didn't shed the clay type mud as well as my normal Rocket Rons. Not sure it would have made much difference but certainly didn't help my feeling conspicuous!

    It was great fun! Very very hard though. All the talk of puking and stars in your eyes etc are true. Not sure where I finished yet but it was a lap or two down on the leaders that's for certain. HR was 178 average and 191 max which is unheard of for me.

  9. #9
    unrooted
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    I did my first cx race today as well. Small turnout, at least for anyplace else! 20 or so riders including 8 women.

    No mud for us, it was 80 degrees and a sandy course.

    I used my 29er mtb, ignitor 2.1 up front & "2.1" SB8 rear.

    Almost all of the cx riders ran the sandy parts and I rode all of them! The sand sections were relatively long like 2-300 feet. I didn't feel like it held me back to ride the mtb and it was probably an advantage since there was no pavement or even very long straight sections.

    Nobody passed me, but after the first lap I didn't pass anyone either. I was too scared of blowing up to try and pass the guy in front of me, but I think I could have if I had a touch more racing experience. Overall I came in around 5th or 6th of 10 guys that finished.

    I had fun but I feel like I wasted a whole day I could've been mtn biking or rock climbing.

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