Race cyclocross / off road racing

andywood

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I've just bought a cyclocross bike on impulse (although it's been on my mind for a while).

It's totally new to me. Done a bit of research on the web and need to do more. But I would be interested to hear any opinions on the following........

・Fit

I've read that:

>saddle height should be similar to road bike height

>reach (saddle nose to handlebar centre) should be 1 to 2cm shorter

>drop (saddle height to handlebar height) should be 1 to 2cm shorter

・equipment

It seems CX looks to the MTB world in terms of foot / pedal interface.

Any recommendations on pedals and shoes?

・racing

I hope to do some CX on this bike in the off season.

Moreover, I'm interested in off road gravel type races.

Any suggestions or ideas?

Much appreciated!

Cheers, Andy🚴💨

DSC_3252.JPG
 

GrantT

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Cool bike.
I once asked Maeda-san (national CX champ) and he said he uses the same fit on his CX bike as road bike. A slightly relaxed road bike fit like your idea is a good place to start. There is always time to adjust as things get more familiar.

For pedals and shoes, Shimano SPD pedals are functional and bombproof so best go with them. PD-520 are a good bet.
For shoes, if there are CX shoes in the brand you already use, they will probably be best. If not, race-oriented MTB shoes of the same brand, which means MTB shoes that look like road shoes with a bit of rubber on the bottom. A good image to go by is the Shimano XC7 (link). Notice that shoe can also take toe studs. That can sometimes be useful for running in wet conditions.

The Tohoku CX Series is probably where you want to look first for races. http://www.tohoku-cx-project.com/
Other than that, all the categorized races are shown on the AJOCC web site calendar. There's a lot though.
 

leicaman

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Regarding gravel racing, there is a grinduro happening in Nagano in October ( I think). Places sold out within hours unfortunately. I know @xDOMx had a place and can’t go so he was selling it. Not sure if the place is still available. The event ain’t cheap though at around 30,000 yen if I remember rightly.
 

kiwisimon

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TIME ATAC pedals work better clearing mud than SPDs imnho. I have a spare set (bearings a bit grindy) here and some cleats I can send to you if you want to see how they work before you invest cash in a pedal system. They fit on standard two bolt MTB shoes.
 
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baribari

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Regarding gravel racing, there is a grinduro happening in Nagano in October ( I think). Places sold out within hours unfortunately. I know @xDOMx had a place and can’t go so he was selling it. Not sure if the place is still available. The event ain’t cheap though at around 30,000 yen if I remember rightly.
I knew Japanese events were expensive, but that's extortionate! The L'Etape du Tour is only 115 euros...
 

leicaman

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I knew Japanese events were expensive, but that's extortionate! The L'Etape du Tour is only 115 euros...
To be fair, the grinduro events in other countries are pretty damn expensive, too

To be fair, the price does include classes on moustache trimming, a bobble hat, and your own jar of Taylor Phinney bong water.
Cheeky little blighter 😜
 

xDOMx

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My entry went to a Korean lad, in the end!

Was expensive, but it does include meals and board (camping) as well as entry and bits like a Rapha t shirt. Not cheap, but it’ll be a great event I reckon!
 

andywood

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Cool bike.
I once asked Maeda-san (national CX champ) and he said he uses the same fit on his CX bike as road bike. A slightly relaxed road bike fit like your idea is a good place to start. There is always time to adjust as things get more familiar.

For pedals and shoes, Shimano SPD pedals are functional and bombproof so best go with them. PD-520 are a good bet.
For shoes, if there are CX shoes in the brand you already use, they will probably be best. If not, race-oriented MTB shoes of the same brand, which means MTB shoes that look like road shoes with a bit of rubber on the bottom. A good image to go by is the Shimano XC7 (link). Notice that shoe can also take toe studs. That can sometimes be useful for running in wet conditions.

The Tohoku CX Series is probably where you want to look first for races. http://www.tohoku-cx-project.com/
Other than that, all the categorized races are shown on the AJOCC web site calendar. There's a lot though.
Excellent information as always.

If these are the pedals it's a no risk purchase at that price.

SHIMANO(シマノ) 両面SPDペダル PD-M520 シルバー EPDM520S
Or maybe it's a model above.

Re sticking with the same shoe brand, I got similar advice from a CX friend, so I'm looking at Sidis.


Do any of those jump out at you? Any special features that make one more appealing than another?

Thanks for the race links too.

I'll be asking for training advice if decide to get serious with it!

Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated!

Andy
 

andywood

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TIME ATAC pedals work better clearing mud than SPDs imnho. I have a spare set (bearings a bit grindy) here and some cleats I can send to you if you want to see how they work before you invest cash in a pedal system. They fit on standard two bolt MTB shoes.
Thanks for the offer!

I set it up with a pair of road pedals for the time being as I only have 3 hole road shoes.

Will get a temporary fit to the bike tomorrow as it's set up now.

If the bike seems like a goer I'll get some shoes and pedals.

Maybe take you up on that offer later.

Cheers!

Andy
 

OreoCookie

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These Sidis looks good at 16000 yen?

Rachet closing (as opposed to velcro).

Reasonable grip with additional spike option.
I have Sidis that look like they could be the predecessor (although mine have two velcro straps on the bottom and they were more expensive than the model you are looking at, I believe). They are incredibly warm shoes. Indoor sessions or riding outdoors in the summer literally gives me prune toes and keeps the inner sole dripping with sweat. Plus, I found the sole of mine very lack luster: unlike proper MTB shoes where you have a rubber sole, it is just plastic, which gives you very limited grip off road.

Those Sidis look like they share the same sole that mine have and are similarly closed up, so I can't recommend them.
 

OreoCookie

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Oh, and one more comment regarding saddle height, I have heard you should lop off 5-10 mm so that you can shift your weight around more easily.
 

andywood

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I have Sidis that look like they could be the predecessor (although mine have two velcro straps on the bottom and they were more expensive than the model you are looking at, I believe). They are incredibly warm shoes. Indoor sessions or riding outdoors in the summer literally gives me prune toes and keeps the inner sole dripping with sweat. Plus, I found the sole of mine very lack luster: unlike proper MTB shoes where you have a rubber sole, it is just plastic, which gives you very limited grip off road.

Those Sidis look like they share the same sole that mine have and are similarly closed up, so I can't recommend them.
I'm a big fan of rachets over velcro straps.

For Japanese summer the Sidi "air" series have a perforated upper.

Upper end models also have the "carbon vent sole" which is stiff and also keeps you cool.
These have been a revalation for me as I used to get foot cramps and hotspots during a long ride.

I guess for cyclocross you have to find a compromise between stiffness for power transfer when riding and flexibility / grip for running.

I'll look into it further.

Cheers!

Andy
 

OreoCookie

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I'm a big fan of rachets over velcro straps.
I haven’t had bike shoes with ratchets yet, but I can see the appeal. As far as I understand the only difference between those shoes is the upper.

For Japanese summer the Sidi "air" series have a perforated upper.
My LBS claimed that there were only two models available in wide: the predecessor to your and the one I have with velcro straps. Otherwise I would have hoped he would have suggested the air model.

Upper end models also have the "carbon vent sole" which is stiff and also keeps you cool.
I haven’t seen off road shoes with vented soles because they have obvious problems with mud and water ingress. But I will keep that in mind for my next pair of shoes, which I plan to get next year. I am currently oscillating between the high-end Specialized on- and off-road shoe (in wide).

I guess for cyclocross you have to find a compromise between stiffness for power transfer when riding and flexibility / grip for running.
There are plenty of MTB shoes that are as stiff as any road shoe. But the good ones come with a “rubber” (e. g. Vibram) sole rather than the hard plastic the Sidis come with. For walking off road they are kinda useless compared to my old Northwave shoes. cheap and expensive Giro MTB shoes as well as those of Specialized do a much better job here.
 
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GrantT

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That's a good point about the type of tread on the sole. A rubber sole I can imagine grips better on wet surfaces than a hard plastic. No complaints on Wiggle about the tread on those Sidis though. Otherwise they look the business to me.

For CX a stiff sole is actually best, running be damned. Most running is up stairs or jumping over barriers so doesn't last long enough for foot comfort to become an issue, while a stiff sole helps with corner accelerations and short, sharp climbs. That said, I used Shimano shoes with a composite sole for a while did just fine.

Those are the pedals. Cheap as chips but do a great job.
 

andywood

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Cheers!

I did a few rides today. Fell off once, got a flat and met a family of boar.

Enosan at the shop advised similarly to what you guys said, saying to go with those cheap pedals and spend a little more on Sidis with a stiffer carbon sole.

So I'm thinking these:


Really enjoyed today's rides. These bikes on gravel climbs are great for getting the HR up.

Thanks for all the great advice.

Andy