Riding singletrack on a cross bike

Discussion in 'Mountain Biking' started by boxhill, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. boxhill

    boxhill New Member

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    Hi all,

    I'm a road commuter interested in getting into more off-road riding. I had a blast riding singletrack trails for the first time on my Surly Crosscheck about a month ago and am looking forward to going again this Sunday on the same trails—woodsy, rooty, leafy, dirty, a little rocky and hopefully not too muddy.

    I did pretty well staying upright my first time out but noticed my tires—700x32 Ritchey SpeedMax Cross—weren't as grippy as I would have liked them to have been. For you seasoned off-road riders, is this more of a technique problem or a conditions problem that can be addressed with different (thicker, knobbier) tires?
     
  2. IanHighfield

    IanHighfield New Member

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    boxhill, you probably need to move into the realm of real MTB tyre width and frame style.

    Cyclocross is a game invented before MTB technology. Much can be accomplished on a cyclocross frame with 32-35 mm fatties, but not like on a proper MTB.

    This will be controversial (I'm sure) but you may have to be satisfied with what level of performance you are getting now. I doubt a tyre change would make much difference, you already have good rubber on.

    Hard to beat a front spring-forked MTB in the rough stuff and all around the moor.
     

  3. boxhill

    boxhill New Member

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    Ian, that makes sense. While it isn't an option right at the moment, I do have plans to get a true mountain bike, hopefully sooner rather than later. Now that I've done it once and enjoyed it as much as I did, I hope I won't have to put off trail riding altogether until then.
     
  4. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Younger than Hack Tavern Member

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    Box, there is no reason to stop riding the trails. Just be aware of the limitations of your current bike and ride accordingly. It may also help you to increase your bike handling skills for when you have a MTB that sticks like glue and rides like the wind. So go on out and have some fun just keep it in check until you get a MTB.
     
  5. boxhill

    boxhill New Member

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    Grape, that's what folks were telling me on that last ride—stick it through and it'll pay off by making me a better rider in the long run. I can handle that. :)

    Thanks for the suggestions!
     
  6. Industry_Hack

    Industry_Hack Total noob (& forum admin) Admin Staff Tavern Member

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    It's all about pressure. How much are you running in your tires? If you've got 60, 80, or even 100psi in there, your tires may be spending a lot of time bouncing off obstacles. I'm no cross expert, but it would seem that you need to find the lowest pressure you can safely ride without damaging your rims or flatting.
     
  7. Jake_The_Snake

    Jake_The_Snake New Member

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    I ride faster than most mountain bikers on my cross bike on dirt singletrack. Its the rocks and roots that get ya! I run 700x38s (70 psi). It is absolutely the most fun I have ever had on a bike. After an hour or so, I'm beat to death though. I just did 16 miles today and my wrists are killing me! Oh, and just hit the mud. CX bike were born to be muddy!