2017/2018 cx racing thread

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  • 2017/2018 cx racing thread
  • steve_b77
    Member

    I’m into my 3rd season in the North West League now, 2 seasons in Seniors 15/16 I came 35th overall, 16/17 I improved to 25th overall in the league; this year is my first year in Vets, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes, what with the course in better condition (Vets is before seniors on the day) and with the races being 10-15 minutes shorter too.

    I’ll be running on the same bike as the last two years, KTM CXA with 38t single ring and 11/32 out back.

    Training wise, just my normal riding whihc focuses on endurance stuff with the odd XC race thrown in during the summer, so CX is always a big opening of the suitcase of hurt for me πŸ˜†

    Got the 3 peaks too, gearing will be adjusted and big ass heavy Landcruisers fitted.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Training wise, just my normal riding whihc focuses on endurance stuff with the odd XC race thrown in during the summer, so CX is always a big opening of the suitcase of hurt for me

    πŸ˜€

    Been mostly training for time trials here, which is the complete opposite from repeated hard on/off efforts and close quarters racing. I’m expecting CX to be both a humbling and vomit inducing experience!

    Been mostly training for time trials here, which is the complete opposite from repeated hard on/off efforts and close quarters racing. I’m expecting CX to be both a humbling and vomit inducing experience!

    I can relate to that. It usually takes me several minutes to get up to speed. But its the skill component Im really worried about. I even choose my TTs that are out and backs as I am so slow at corners.

    But this CX stuff looks a giggle so I am going to try and do most of the races this winter. I shall be doing the Western league, so if anyone sees me say hello. – I will be 73degrees rider who is a lot slower than the rest of the team.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    steve_b77 – Member
    I’m into my 3rd season in the North West League now, 2 seasons in Seniors 15/16 I came 35th overall, 16/17 I improved to 25th overall in the league; this year is my first year in Vets, so it’ll be interesting to see how it goes, what with the course in better condition (Vets is before seniors on the day) and with the races being 10-15 minutes shorter too

    I’ll be doing NWCX as well, also in vets. Going to try and do the full season, best laid plans and all, be good to get to some new venues.
    Splitting V40 and V50 sounds like a good idea – there were 150+ on some of the more popular tracks last year – first lap could be quite steady as there was just no room. Also works well for me as my kids do U8 and U10, just for fun, so it could get a bit hectic sorting them all out and then lining up myself straight after.

    Need to get gluing in good time this year. Rolled a tub at Heaton park due to a rushed glue job after a night out on the ale 😳

    Fifeandy, will you be racing on your Plug? Just going back through some old threads, saw you had one.

    Am tempted to split racing duties between the CX-ed Superfly and the Charge, mostly because I think it will look awesome with some spikey CX tyres on it 8)

    fifeandy
    Member

    Fifeandy, will you be racing on your Plug? Just going back through some old threads, saw you had one.

    Am tempted to split racing duties between the CX-ed Superfly and the Charge, mostly because I think it will look awesome with some spikey CX tyres on it

    Whilst I think the plug frame would be great for the job, I’m not sure about my skinny little legs powering a 42/16 through gloop!
    Fortunately, i’ve also got a Boardman CX which has the luxury of gears. Its set up as a road winter trainer right now, but wont take long to reverse that.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    First CX race last night at Dalton Barracks.

    Really enjoyed it despite spending the fist half of the race mostly falling off. A downpour before the start meant super slippy greasy mud and I don’t think my skills or my MXP’s were up to the job. Did feel like abandoning about three laps in as I was sliding out so often. I couldn’t even keep a grip on the bars my hands were so muddy! But then it started to click a bit and I started to find better lines, other than a few foot out incidents it was mostly ok in the second half and I started to catch and pass other riders. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty but at least it’s a start πŸ™‚

    ferrals
    Member

    Nice one. Bit annoyed with myself, good training week last week but this week family and work stress has destroyed me and I completely bailed on yesterday which is normally the hardest session of the week. How dare real life get in hte way of amateur bike racing! πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    How dare real life get in hte way of amateur bike racing

    Pfft! Story of my summer 😑

    Looks like I may have got 10th vet last night so not last at least! And not too bad considering I started at the back and fell off so much and was likely on completely the wrong tyres 😳 Looks like the leaders were lapping under 8 mins and I was doing 8:40’s once I’d stopped falling off. So lots to do to move up. Plenty more in the legs, now need some decent mud tyres and a lot of work on the rad CX skillz πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon adsh
    Subscriber

    Having been out the night before I couldn’t face the wrath of wife so did hill repeats instead. Also bike was wearing very worn Ralphs – sounds like I made the right choice!

    thomthumb
    Member

    any thoughts on my dilema (nice one to have).

    I’m currently riding a salsa vaya with a really nice (and light) build of old 9 speed stuff – dura ace & ultegra and it works really well – frame is not ideal for CX so i’m looking to change something.

    I was toying with swapping frames – my original thought was cheap chinese carbon. FLYXII 603 for Β£250.

    However in my browsing i have also been looking at other chinese carbon – up to Β£400. Ican or deng fu. no idea wheter these are better than the cheaper flyxi.

    But i could buy a caadx bike – tiagra or 105

    I don’t really want tiagra 10speed (feel that dura ace ultgra 9sp will proably be nicer and definately lighter) but i do like the frame colour.
    11speed 105 seems like an upgrade over old 9 speed.

    Sorry for the rambling!

    Premier Icon tiim
    Subscriber

    Mrblobby.

    Last night at Dalton was great, last week was damp and slightly slippery buylt until now I’ve mostly been wiping dust not mind off. For what’s its worth I had two big offs two little offs and a lot of back and two wheel drifting. It’s was carnage at the front on the first lap. I was gridded second row and probably 12th into the first corner, by not falling off I was probably 5th at the end of the second lap, lots of fallers. (I then started falling off too and slipped back)

    Great series that Marks put on. Next week could be interesting if it stays wet, the lines are pretty cut up now.

    The wessex rounds in the winter are usually a longer less twisty lap than that but probably a similar spread of abilities over bigger fields.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    by not falling off I was probably 5th at the end of the second lap, lots of fallers

    Not falling would definitely have been a better strategy πŸ˜‰ Thought I’d try and push hard early on to try and make up some places but just kept falling. Then passing was tricky as anything off line meant sliding out.

    we actually made it to Dalton and recce’d some of the lap. Sadly I was on full file treads and was sliding absolutely everywhere. On Monday we drive to the Alps for 2 weeks road riding, and my username is testament to my multiple previous for ruining holidays with injury so we sacked it off to be on the safe side. I know mud is an integral part of CX but the underlying ground at Dalton is actually really hard (I have a scar to prove it). Doubly annoying as I ‘wasted’ a front-row grid and Tuesday’s 4-up TT was cancelled due to too much grass on the course 😯

    Anyway, if you enjoyed sliding around in mud then you’ll love ‘proper’ CX!

    Probably mentioned earlier in thread but keep an eye out on FB as Mark is hoping to put on a 2hr night race after this series ends if the RAF allow it.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Sadly I was on full file treads and was sliding absolutely everywhere.

    πŸ˜† Was sheltering in the car when you rode past for your recce. It didn’t get any less slippy!

    I was just asking in the tyre thread if you had any advice on tyres for last night… assuming not file tread is the answer πŸ˜‰

    Anyway, if you enjoyed sliding around in mud then you’ll love ‘proper’ CX!

    Sliding around on the bike, yes. Rolling around on the ground, not so much!

    Probably mentioned earlier in thread but keep an eye out on FB as Mark is hoping to put on a 2hr night race after this series ends if the RAF allow it.

    Did see that mentioned on FB. May well have a crack at that if it’s midweek.

    crosshair
    Member

    Well done MrBlobby! A great start and sounds like you enjoyed it.

    It’s amazing what difference the conditions make. In previous years, racing on my MTB, a slippery course would transform me from bottom 20% of the seniors to top 50% just like that. I was running Rons as low as I could without them coming off the rims and just riding around folk.

    Once you get a combo that you’re happy with- people better watch out πŸ˜€

    Munqe Chick and I are big fans of Clement PDX, they’re good in most conditions (including the sort of mud we had yesterday) but aren’t “full” mud tyres so they roll well on harder ground so work well through most of the season.

    When they’re fitted, obviously…

    Glowing review here

    https://cycletechreview.com/2013/reviews/clement-pdx-cyclocross-tyres/

    They’re like a Baby Limus, but with shorter central knobs to reduce rolling resistance.

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    Thanks CH, bring on Wessex!

    Clement PDX

    I was originally thinking PDX. Now thinking I might be better off with a Limus or a BOS πŸ˜•

    Premier Icon eddie11
    Subscriber

    limus is a better mud tread and has tan walls which looks more cross but the PDX gets you 95% of the way in the mud and is far better for the rest of the conditions. As clinchers price is about the same. As a tub limus are a fair bit cheaper option but are worse quality.

    warton
    Member

    I’ve gone for Baby Limus this year…

    i’ve stuck my Mavic kysirium elites on my cx bike this year, hope they’re up to the job, first thoughts are they will be, but I’ll find out this weekend….

    ferrals
    Member

    I have nothing bad to say about pdx in the mud. The wide gaps mean they dont ball up too quick and the edge knobs are very confidence inspiring on offcambers. When its a mix of mud and dry though I do find them slightly sketchy until the edge blocks bite.

    Where were you slipping though? your tyres look clean in the pic in the other thread and I’ve found mxp’s like velcro until they ball up – what tyre pressure?

    Premier Icon mrblobby
    Subscriber

    ferrals, judging by some of the strava and facebook comments I wasn’t the only one falling off a lot! Think it was a perfect storm like scenario for really slippy mud. 25psi for my tubeless MXP, think I could have probably gone a fair bit lower. I’ll likely pick up some PDX for the new wheels.

    ferrals
    Member

    Yeah, think a deluge on dry soil can be worse than when it’s been muddy for a while. Had several xc races like that last summer and it was like ice.

    Quick PSA for any luddites like me still running tubes, I was struggling to find 35mm latex tubes in stock anywhere but Sprockets Cycles in Ayrshire apparently stocked up for the season so they have plenty, fill yer boots! 8)

    ferrals
    Member

    proper hard training session last night, the type where you can’t sleep properly afterwards πŸ˜€

    Anyway thought I’d post a brief book review here as I’ve just read Paul Maunders ‘Rainbows in the Mud’ book. It follows the 2015/16 season and aims to give a flavour of cx. I found it a slightly odd book to read, some parts were really good, others a little dull. In particular Maunder writes about Katie Compton and Gage Hecht, a couple of American riders, I’m not sure whether I’d have found it more interesting if he’d focussed more on europeans, but I couldnt help feeling ‘not them again’ when they re-surfaced throughout the book. I found it more engaging when he was writing about the off-course aspects like the frites and fan-clubs, he provides a fair bit of blow-by-blow race descriptions but I couldn’t help feel they were unnecessary and out of date. The one time the race descriptions rang true for me was when he was describing a local race in Kent, where the details were less important than the atmosphere. The description of the UK scene was good and enjoyable, including his own experiances as a youth, I wish there had been more of the local race scene in the book, but maybe it wouldn’t give the book such an international appeal. Overall I enjoyed the book but was left slightly underwhelmed – I think it needed some first person description of racing, of the joy and misery of a proper muddy race. There was a lot of description of the difficulties of parking team mobile homes close to the race on the international circuit, but i can’t help think that pales into insignifance when compared to the difficulty all weekend racers go through when trying to get changed in the stinging hail, futilely trying to shelter behind a car door while equally futilely trying to prevent the interior being covered in clay. Perhaps there is room for a more niche book ‘Skoda Fabia in the mud.’

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    Would you expect good results re-glueing cross tubulars? I have a limus that have only had a season on it, the tyre looks fine, not 100% sure on the basetape though. It has a lot of dirt and dried glue on it:

    Thinking a good scrub with soapy water, rinse, dry it off and glue it up.

    alwillis
    Member

    First CX race Ina few years today at the first Western league round (Bradford on Avon). Made me remember why I used to love CX so much, and also made me want to go out and actually do some traing for it.

    New (bits from the back of the garage) bike worked well until a slow front puncture became a fast puncture on the second to last lap, even my legs were cooperating ok after a slightly steady start, reeling in a few people lap by lap.

    Fun course too with the usual flat grass corners mixed in with some rooty singletrack.

    Bring on the evening ‘floodlit’ races- much more convenient than a Sunday away!

    warton
    Member

    First race in the CXNE series yesterday. After a pretty bad race two weeks ago in a summer-cross race where I went out way to hard, and a less than ideal week of prep, I made a point of starting steady, and increasing intensity over the 40 mins.

    Ended up picking off quite a few riders, and got 20th, out of 70 odd riders. I’ll take that, given I started more than half way down the field, and confident I can build on that over the next few weeks, with some good training blocks planned.

    qwerty
    Member

    So, here in the Shire it’s grey, gloomy, misty and drizzly after heavy overnight. PERFECT for CX!

    I’m of to Gloucester for a round of the Western League.

    I’m a sporadic CX racer, but looking forwards to the thrashing.

    Psychologically I’m already on the back foot as I couldn’t find some warm up balm I got given a while back, but the gloop should suit me.

    I’ll report back….

    Enjoy! I’m still struggling to find suitably muddy trails to train on near Edinburgh, something I never thought I would say!

    Thinking about riding up and down some tractor tracks in a field somewhere discrete…

    Just picked up some cloth rim tape to go with my new latex tubes, they were already beginning to migrate underneath the stock plastic tape on my wheels..

    P.s. Newbie question, how would one use a warm up balm?

    qwerty
    Member

    It’s just spicy cream, like jalfrezi for your legs. Rub it on and feel the warm tingle. I quite like the contrast between that and the cool tingle is Assos chamois cream round my butt!!!

    qwerty
    Member

    I had a blast! Wasn’t muddy, slippery grass, great twisty course, I went the wrong way twice so lost a few places with my mistake, no dismount features, didn’t come off, raced smart over the last 2 laps and picked off 3 riders. I love the SS for CX racing as my local MTB riding doesn’t really accommodate it. Good work Striking Bikes for putting the show on!!!

    ferrals
    Member

    The Welsh league kicked off in Builth today at the showground. A few pics floating around on Facebook the last week or so made it look like a great course was in the offing, though when I got there a couple of people were moaning it was too hilly and too mountain bikey. A couple of practise laps showed it was hilly but not really mountain bikey bar about 50 yards of non-tech single track. Instead there was a bunch of steep power climbs and little banked drops between levels of gravel parking, a bit of grassy offcamber and some steps. All in all an excellent course I thought but physically brutal. Ground conditions were greasy due to intermittent bouts of drizzle and the odd shower burst but grip was generally good with no mud to speak of.

    I had a distinctly average race. I don’t quite have the fitness to place where I want to at the moment but it’s a long season so hoping I can rectify that. Had a reasonable start, about 8th coming round the first hairpin off the start loop but really messed up the first climb taking a different line to what I’d done in practise and having the guy in front of me stall and lost a bunch of places. Was sitting at the back of a little group and managed to pass them all taking a different line round one corner but then slid out on a couprner shortly after and was at the back of it again. After a couple of laps I had to tone back the effort and let them go or risk blowing up. Rode my own race in a bit of no-mans land till I clawed back up to the now splintered little bunch, one of the guys had a slow puncture so faded while the other accelerated away and I was back on my own. Pretty much stayed isolated till the flag. Great to get a race under the belt and really enjoyed course. Cardiff next week for one of my favourite courses πŸ˜€

    TiRed
    Member

    Saw that course yesterday, thought it looked ace apart from the road/hardpack section. And it rained to soften everything up too. Sadly the Circuit race did not go up the hill.

    ferrals
    Member

    To be honest the road sections were a blessing to allow a bit of recovery!

    mooman
    Member

    I made the mistake of commenting on the start line I didn’t puncture or have mechanical all last season – and had a puncture on 2nd lap … no spare bike meant end of race.
    The course was good. I kept hearing people describing it as ‘technical’ and ‘mtb-ie’, but I guess those mean different things to different people. Not the fastest course, which kinda suited me because I tend to go into red too early on courses like that anyways.

    If results in vets is anything to go by; it looks like a 1 man show already this season … the winner was miles ahead of even the 2nd finisher (who in himself is a superb racer).

    Last year was a relatively dry season for x – this year I predict it’s gonna be a tough wet season.

    Β£18 entry though …

    ferrals
    Member

    The course was good. I kept hearing people describing it as ‘technical’ and ‘mtb-ie’, but I guess those mean different things to different people.

    I thought it pretty funny: when we race mtb there everyone says its a cx course.. then we race cx there and the same people.. πŸ™„
    All the tech bits were due to offcamber it seamed to me, which is the epitome of cx

    Last year was a relatively dry season for x – this year I predict it’s gonna be a tough wet season

    Agreed, here’s hoping πŸ˜†

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    mooman – Member

    I made the mistake of commenting on the start line I didn’t puncture or have mechanical all last season – and had a puncture on 2nd lap … no spare bike meant end of race.
    The course was good. I kept hearing people describing it as ‘technical’ and ‘mtb-ie’, but I guess those mean different things to different people. Not the fastest course, which kinda suited me because I tend to go into red too early on courses like that anyways.I punctured on Sat in the NW series [compression puncture of a new tub F absolute FS] but got away with it as it was quite early on, just before the pits and I had brought spare wheels. I always bring them, but was thinking beforehand it was a bit of a pointless ritual – puncture after a few laps, well round the course from the pits and I think I’d just retire.
    Felt like a tough course at Hoghton tower – was cornering like bambi on ice all day, so need to get the CX eye in.

    mooman
    Member

    Garry_Lager – Member
    but was thinking beforehand it was a bit of a pointless ritual – puncture after a few laps, well round the course from the pits and I think I’d just retire.

    Yes – thats main reason I don`t often take spare bike. If you have to run more than couple hundred yards to get to the pits … your race is over anyways; simply a case of going through the motions thereafter … I simply not have the enthusiasm to play by then.

    LS
    Member

    This is one of the biggest gains from using tubulars – you just ride it flat to the pits. It’s not pretty and you’ll lose some seconds but it’s not a race ender like flatting a clincher.

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