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  1. #1
    Tenya Laybacker
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    Making my CX a bit more mountain friendly

    I use my cross like a non suspended 29r most of the time and I would like to make my it a little a more comfortable when riding down through the cobbles. My hands go a bit numb after a while, so I was thinking perhaps flat bars with some of those ergon grips might take some of the sting out of descents and not penalize me on the climbs. I don't ride it on the road too much, that's what road bikes are for eh? So I don't think I would miss the drops. Anyone here made that change? What do you think?

  2. #2
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    i use fizik gel pads and salsa gel cork tape on my gravel bike. that and i usually wear gloves. works great for me.
    "if you can't be good, be good at it."

  3. #3
    The Brutally Handsome
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    Carbon bars, flat or drop, will help dampen vibration. Also thicker grips, carbon fork, fatter tires, lower pressure . . . etc

  4. #4
    jrm
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    You might consider moving your levers further up on the bar to take some of the weight off your hands. I like mine so that, if your looking at them from the side, the top of the lever hood is level with the tops of the bar. Also consider gel tape like the profile racing stuff and reducing the seat bar drop. Bar wise you can go wrong with a shallow drop short bar like the cowbell. YMMV
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  5. #5
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    I think you should put the fattest tires that will fit on your bike and maybe switch to tubeless. And upgrade your brakes/pads to the best you can afford. That will make every trail easier.

  6. #6
    Tenya Laybacker
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    Thank you for all the suggestions. I already have the largest tires that will fit and my levers are good. I think I will put on the gel tape. BB7 road brakes work well. The trails are so steep that I need to get behind the saddle and being on the hoods is tough, so I use the cross levers on the top. I don't want to ride my full squish mtn. bike in the slop. It is easer to clean the cross bike and it has fenders. Other suggestions? I love climbing on this thing, but the fist sized cobbles on the descent suck!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by old crank View Post
    My hands go a bit numb after a while, so I was thinking perhaps flat bars with some of those ergon grips might take some of the sting out of descents and not penalize me on the climbs.
    Unless you go with an off-road drop bar, a flat bar probably makes sense. I ride a rigid bike sometimes and, yes, your arms get a pretty good workout on descents. The Ergons provide a nice platform for your palms and distribute the weight nicely.

    The downside of the flat bar is you'll probably need new shifters and brake levers, right? Otherwise, it sounds like you've done just about everything you can to make your cx more trailworthy. Tubulars at 30 psi?
    Joe
    Chicago, IL

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by old crank View Post
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I already have the largest tires that will fit and my levers are good. I think I will put on the gel tape. BB7 road brakes work well. The trails are so steep that I need to get behind the saddle and being on the hoods is tough, so I use the cross levers on the top. I don't want to ride my full squish mtn. bike in the slop. It is easer to clean the cross bike and it has fenders. Other suggestions? I love climbing on this thing, but the fist sized cobbles on the descent suck!
    I dont know where you live, but it is socially unacceptable to ride the trails when they're sloppy here. Riding them when wet creates ruts that harden in the summer time, and cause horrible trail conditions...
    Hammerheadbikes.com

  9. #9
    Tenya Laybacker
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheRealKTrain View Post
    I dont know where you live, but it is socially unacceptable to ride the trails when they're sloppy here. Riding them when wet creates ruts that harden in the summer time, and cause horrible trail conditions...
    I ride my cross in the PNW winter to avoid the trails which could be damaged. Mostly tracks are fire lanes with gravel and cobbles under an inch or so of muck. No serious ruts. The little bit of real trail in this area is armored where needed. I have been doing this a while (30 yrs) and have my trail stewardship figured out. Thanks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by old crank View Post
    I ride my cross in the PNW winter to avoid the trails which could be damaged. Mostly tracks are fire lanes with gravel and cobbles under an inch or so of muck. No serious ruts. The little bit of real trail in this area is armored where needed. I have been doing this a while (30 yrs) and have my trail stewardship figured out. Thanks.
    Forgive me for assuming. It's 2013 afterall, and it seems the number of ingorant wet-trail riding morons has multiplied in the past couple of years. Our local trails are always being ruined by these people.
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  11. #11
    hispanic mechanic
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    Making my CX a bit more mountain friendly

    Quote Originally Posted by joeinchi View Post
    Unless you go with an off-road drop bar, a flat bar probably makes sense. I ride a rigid bike sometimes and, yes, your arms get a pretty good workout on descents. The Ergons provide a nice platform for your palms and distribute the weight nicely.

    The downside of the flat bar is you'll probably need new shifters and brake levers, right? Otherwise, it sounds like you've done just about everything you can to make your cx more trailworthy. Tubulars at 30 psi?
    I strongly recommend an off road drop bar. I use the On-One Midge, but the Salsa Woodchipper, or even to a lesser extent the Cowbell, will put you in a better position for rough trail use.

    I ride single speed CX, and the Midge's width really helps torque ing up hills.

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by old crank View Post
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I already have the largest tires that will fit and my levers are good. I think I will put on the gel tape. BB7 road brakes work well. The trails are so steep that I need to get behind the saddle and being on the hoods is tough, so I use the cross levers on the top. I don't want to ride my full squish mtn. bike in the slop. It is easer to clean the cross bike and it has fenders. Other suggestions? I love climbing on this thing, but the fist sized cobbles on the descent suck!
    I found that with the cross brakes on the drop bars, that helped the hand numbness on long rocky descents on my cross bike. But the biggest improvement was adding a 100mm dropper seat post. Lowering the saddle makes it easier to get the weight back and takes a lot of the load off the hands when descending. On my frame, it was a tight squeeze to fit the 100mm post in there, I actually had to trim about 2cm off the top of the seat tube to set the saddle height right for me at full extension:


  13. #13
    Did I catch a niner?
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    Doing a thicker wrap can help. I usually have less crossover on the drops up to the hoods, then across the tops I put much more cross over for hand comfort. However 99% of the time I am in the drops when on singletrack and most of the force is distributed evenly. A good suggestion was to put the hoods up higher to put less weight on your arms, just keep loose. I have done miles and miles and miles of shitty gravel without any extra padding. I find the gel inserts make my hands go numb anyways. I use a 35c tire at 70psi rear 50psi front.

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