CX Bike Set Up Questions
Descend on the drops, it’s the only truely painful way to maybe stop, plus the death grip should actually keep your hands from slipping off the bars, use this option as often as possible to develop forearms Pop Eye would be envious of, once your necks vertebrae fuse in position the view will not be an issue.Posted 4 years ago
I’ve had my Boardman CX for about 6 months now, using it mainly for commuting. This weekend I used it for a proper off road ride.
When your decending steep stuff ie 10% to 25% steep, I felt too low using the drops (ie I felt like I really had to crank my neck to see where I was going), although that was the best place to get the most power of the brakes. Does it feel a bit odd ie compared to mtb decending steep stuff, and thats how it is?
Gear wise as well, the outer ring was near redundant, and I thought on a couple of occassions I could have done with a bit of a lower gear. What gear do people use for proper off road/3 peaks race?
What did amaze me was that in the mud it was actually a lot more grippy than the mtb! I also got a Strava KOM on a decent too 🙂Posted 4 years agoclantonMember
I ride on the hoods but steep descents I’m on the drops for more control and better braking. it is an awkward position initially (compared to being on the mtb) but you get used to it.
Gearing wise I use a compact coupled with an mtb rear mech and a 34 tooth chain – but I don’t have the strongest legs! I don’t race cross, more just general local trail riding and with that gearing I get up most things.Posted 4 years agocrazy-legsSubscriber
CX racing and CX riding off-road are two completely different things!
I set my CX up specifically for the Three Peaks and for general off-road riding – I don’t do traditional CX racing (or at least, not often enough to make it worthwhile setting the bike up for).
Racing – close ratio chainrings (36/46 usually) and a close-ish block (12-25). If it’s steeper, it’s far quicker to run.
General use/Riding off-road – wider ratio; I use 34/48 chainrings and a 12-27 which (with some grunt) gets up most stuff. For the Three Peaks I put on a 12-34 MTB cassette. My new CX bike will have a 12-30 cassette cos I’m getting old and slow.
Bar top mounted brake levers – they don’t look cool but they work brilliantly. A fractionally higher bar position also works well. I ran a 6 degree stem mounted pointing up. For prolonged road riding or for proper CX racing, I could flip the stem to be flattish (road style).
You can (sort of) make it out in this pic:
Posted 4 years agomattsccmMember
Time for me to be awkward again. CX descents are small or mininmal so any pain is a few seconds.Posted 4 years ago
Oh you mean off road riding on a 700c wheeled bike. Just like I do.
Anyway Midge bars are nice as the drops are in a nice position and things seem more accessible.
Cross top levers don’t seem to offer the leverage of drop levers. If your hands are strong, use the hoods. If not MTFU or avoid long descents’ like I do at times.
Pressure. I use as high as I can and still get grip. haven’t had a puncture for years.tomdSubscriber
I’ve been riding a CX bike around off road for most of the year. Riding on the drops on steep downs took a bit of getting used to, but now it feels fine and I’m going to take the chicken levers off as I don’t use them anymore. If it’s really steep sometimes I use the flat section of the bar so I can get my weight back.
Gear wise it came with 36/46 and 11-25 cassette. It’s fine for racing a CX race but it a bit over geared for general off road. On longer rides it’s hard spinning up long climbs so can be a but tough going.Posted 4 years agoaPMember
I’ve been riding cx bikes for nearly 20 years, for (racing – well that’s what I call it), off road and other stuff. My take is that you find comfy position for both hoods and drops and just get on with it.Posted 4 years ago
My no1 bike is an Argon18 carbon race bike which I’ve set up to be able to ride cx courses, riding on the Surrey Hills, bigger things like Cross Fell, and then more painful stuff like Paris-Roubaix. With the right wheels and tires you can ride pretty much most stuff. In the end its the gearing that limits you on the road.steve_b77Member
My Boardman has 34/50 up front and 11/32 out back – as it came from the shop.
I’ve flipped the stem so it’s a riser and it’s much more comfortable on proper off road descents.
I too don’t race traditional school field cross, but I do like the adventure cross events cropping upPosted 4 years agojonbaMember
Take the peak off your helmet? Drops is the way I find best for steep stuff. As above though actual CX racing is only an hour and any discomfort is relative to the effort and the fact you want to be fast.
Gearing is personal so go with what works. I’ve got 12:28 out back and 34/46 up front. It is very rare that I use the 46 during racing or proper offroad. Personally I think I would be on a 36 for a single ring but I do use the higher gear for getting to races and general riding on gravel or dirt roads. Bear in ,Ind that CX racers only need to pace themselves for 50-60 minutes so will be willing to power through if overgeares. Also most steeper climbs you get off and run anyway.
I like low gears but it doesn’t seem to slow me down. 4h at the 3pks and 2nd and 5th in my two races so far.Posted 4 years ago
Take the peak off your helmet?
Exactly this ! I couldn’t see because it was blocking my vision, which is why I thought I must have the setup completly wrong some where.
Thanks for all the reassurance above, its now just getting used to the position…. and getting stronger legs as my bike is obviously plenty geared !Posted 4 years ago
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