MTB on CX – required changes

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  • MTB on CX – required changes
  • It will go as fast as you can pedal it.

    I’m racing this season on my Solaris singlespeed, if you’re not racing for places just batter yourself, try to chase down every be you see and enjoy it.


    You’re supposed to remove your bar end, yes..

    On a dry course your mtb will be fine, but bear in mind if the course involves much carrying / running you’ll be at a disadvantage.

    Once the courses get really muddy later in the season you tend to see people really struggling on mtbs…


    Is it a 26inch or 29inch hard tail?

    My cx disc XL weighs in at around 22 pounds with a quality build but its essentially a 29er with drop bars.

    Having narrower bars helps in the crush of the first corner racing 200 people.

    Best advice is to just ride it and see how you get on and if you enjoy it.


    if its muddy you will want some skinny tyres for sure otherwise expect your 21 pound mtb to weigh 42 pounds by the end of the race.
    not really encountered much running or carrying in the wessex, infact ive done more in mtb races when bottle necked on steep climbs

    haha actually i just had a horific flash back to a wet reading cx where you try to cycle up the steep muddy climb and fail then carry and run and by the end of the race your a wimpering mess pushing your bike up or carrying and trying to figure out which is easiest.

    you will love it 😉

    Premier Icon adsh

    I’d like to try some CX to boost my short course XC training (it needs it). Can’t afford a CX bike and would like to use my XC race hard tail. Seems from searching here that quite a few start this way?

    Local series is the Wessex League which states I can use my MTB. Lots of races close to home 🙂

    a) do I have to remove my bar ends? (I love my bar ends!)

    b) how much slower is a 21lb hardtail on 2.25 ralphs with fork locked out (given an equally fit rider) on a non technical course?

    c) anything else I need to know?

    Premier Icon Northwind

    To make your mtb more like a cx bike, spray oil on the brakes and fit completely worn out tyres.

    Roter Stern

    Over this side of the water you can only race cx on an mtb in the ‘fun’ class or juniors and even then you aren’t allowed to have bars wider than drop bars! They even have officious suits measuring bar widths on the start line. Oh how Germans just love their rules.


    Northwind, don’t forget the juddering front brake that scares the hell out of you into the corner.


    Having done some CXs on an MTB, I can try to answer your questions.
    a)Keep the bar ends, just make sure they’re plugged. No rule I’ve ever heard of says you can’t have ’em, except in UCI races (Nat Trophy and Nat Champs, where you need a CX bike anyway).
    b) I reckon at cruising pace, 2.25 hardtail is about 2 mph slower on tarmac than a road bike with slicks and 1 mph slower than a CX bike with 32 mm knobblies. The difference on a non-technical course wouldn’t be more than this. If it’s hard and bumpy, you might well be faster. If it’s super-sloppy, you’ll be slower.
    c) Practise getting on and off at speed.

    Premier Icon adsh

    Good enough for fun and only being disgraced through lack of fitness then.

    Got to learn to go out too fast and suffer through blow up as my short course XC MTB lap times are very consistant (within 40s over 15mins) but too slow.

    Premier Icon benji

    Come along and just enjoy, seen people on mountain bikes at the front of a race and at the back. The great thing with cross is you soon develop into a race long battle with someone, which is always fun compared to road racing, where once you are out of the bunch it’s all over.

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