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Recovering couch patato
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yesterday another event in the local cross series, South-west of Holland. I had only taken part in the season's opener, in the MTB class, in October. Again so this this. Just no dry grass this time, and more climbing.

It was a 22mi ride in to get there, so I opted for a 40mm Fast Fred in teh back I had never tried before but had gotten for nothing from a guy who thought they were so slow rolling on his airborne Hybrid.
As front I mounted a BlackShark 1.85. Just looking at the thing you know it's going to be great in sloppy conditions, which I expected on that grassy course with frequent cross races, combined with recent rain. It had been dry for a couple days now, so I hoped the Fast Fred would give me speed through the grassy mud track, but enough traction to keep moving. wet finger guesswork, but I was correct. The MTB race is 3rd of the day, so some good track tehre, but nothing too bad, it really held up well for me. Just that little wider than a real cross tire, makes it much more MTB-ish already. But not to the point of collecting tons of mud.
The BlackShark made it all feel like hardpack.
I had a louzy start, got held up by someone that didn't find his pedals or something. I had not pre-ridden the course, and my ride in (lots of hassle setting up my tires) had been a serious time-trial to make it in time, perfect headwind even. Still despite tired legs, I felt confident I was going to move up the ranks, my tire combo did really well in the straights, and when I got the room, I made it up the hills.
Second lap, a little rain/hail shower surprised us (well, the forecast had told me the day before already). Just enough to make rideable mud really slippery. All at once I had the rear wheel slipping from underneath me all the time. I find it very tiring to constantly have to focus on traction rather than picking lines or pedaling as hard as I can. Even my ewak lungs didn't have a hard time, but I felt wasted. Soont he cramps in my calves came, and I was walking most of the hills, losing a spot each time in this relatively big field (32 finishers).
So I "slipped" back to 16th, just outside prize money, damnit! And 22mi back home in the increasing cold, not fun. Good thing I had a group to ride with for the better part of it.
Maybe getting used to the 185mm cranks is giving my calves a hard time? I'll have to move my seat forward a bit I think. Had no time for that at the starting grid.

Also present, and in 2 pics, was Hubert on his pimped Rig. It's like a singlespeed Jones bike with a Rig frame really. He had an even worse start, but faught to 9th, really good, as the sole SS rider in the race. He's on 1.6 BlackJacks, and doing better on them in mud than I had expected from them. I'll have to get one of those as well for sloppy stuff.

It's nice that 29"ers fit sub-35 cross tires, but to me that defies using a mountainbike when I have cross bikes for that. For really sloppy cross-ditions we don't have too many decently rolling ca 40-45mm tires, do we? My BlackSharks are not decently rolling by a long shot, but on a Fisher (long front end, more weight on rear) as a front it's not too bad, and excellent cornering. I felt superior in slippery corners, till the rain came and made my rear Fred useless. No-one knows why the Black Sharks exist, but at least they're discontinued already. BlackJacks come in 1.6 and 1.9, both wire, both have a center tread that may offer less traction than it might.

See Hubert making it up a super slippery hill not even the race winner (on seemingly impractical Racing Ralphs) made it up each time.
 

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SS Clyde 29er
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607 Posts
Cool, thanks for the post..

there dont seem to be too many of us crossers on this forum so it's nice to see that others are out there ...crossing it up? (haha) anyway, im thinking of seriously bagging my 2, narrow tires only (35c or less), cross bikes and just using my Rig and another mountain bike for cross races.

here in nothern calif it can go from dry, compacted, sandy/dust like courses to full on mud n much when the rain finally does arrive later on in the season. also, in my case at least, being a heavier rider (220lbs..damn lying scale now tells me im 230lbs, but thats just total SHITE, chocolate, mochas, goodies, and other holiday joys don't add that much weight, do they?..i digress..) ive had some sub 35c tires roll on me or just skid out, so im sticking w/ my 38c's and 44mm Raptors.

anyway, thanks again for the cool cross pics!

(alot of the northern calif races r posted on www.abbiorca.com if your interested)
 

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Kudos on your efforts. We do not get too many racers riding 35km each way to race.

This is my favorite Dutch 'crosser
 

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29er CX Race

I tried out the orange Strong 29er w/Action-Tec fork that Mikesee sold me in a recent CX race. First race that I "rode" the barriers. Not pretty, as it was late in the race and it got tough to lift and set the wheel perfectly on top of the barriers every time. The bike is a little soft up front for all the standing accelerations in CX, a little hard for the one 5hr ride it's been on, but nigh unto perfect for the XC racing here in GA. (U.S.)

You have to go through their ads, just hit download a couple times:

http://www.savefile.com/files/8056089
 

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Recovering couch patato
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That little lady is quite something. There have been 2-hour races on what most would call CX trails, where she totally stayd out of reach from me in my top shape. We're talking 19mph average. On CX like conditions she's hard to beat by a man. Her more mtb-worthy laptimes I can sometimes match, but on that CX bikes she's amazing. On the same scale, I need 36" wheels for sure. And weight-wheelsize, even larger :)
 

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But it's against the rules!

Dude,

<quote from www.veldrijden.com>
Alle renners (geen rensters) met een mountainbike (26 inch wielen)
[/QUOTE]

You are obviously a reckless individual with no regard for others. I intend to lodge a complaint ;-)

Had thought about racing my inbred 29" but am having fun on my uncle john.

Seriously though, did anyone actually notice you were on 29" wheels? I don't think most of the Dutch MTBers would realise such a thing exists. When I ordered by Bontrager tyres, the first shop said it was impossible that such a tyre could exist and would help me!

Happy holidays!
 

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Recovering couch patato
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14,017 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ancient rules. I obviously already emailed he powers that be, the past few seasons. Oh well, we just ride our mountainbikes. Not even narrower tires than everyone, some like their 1.5" knobbies.
 
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