Sunday, August 20, 2006

CX Bikes Mandatory?

No, there's no new rule in effect, I just came across an anonymous inflammatory comment on Dave's Babblicious post. The comment was this:

Let's get fair on equipment... I think it would be great and FAIR if all riders in cyclocross were required to ride cross bikes with drop bars. No mountain bikes and no cross bikes with flat bars because, let's face it, an mtb and/or a cross bike with flat bars can be a big advantage in certain situations and they really don't have any disadvantages. Let's not forget the history of the sport which was road racers training on road equipment in the winter months.

As far as cross courses go, let's follow Europes lead in the latest designs and trends. That way, our riders will be better prepared for racing outside of this area and in higher profile and international events.

Let's keep it real, ride clean, and spin to win..


First of all, regarding the course issue (and yes we beat this horse to death last year - see Dave's highly volatile "Jungle" rants) - no doubt we in Nor-Cal have been subject to some of the most technically demanding courses in the country, but I doubt any of the Elite would contend that it puts them at a disadvantage in other areas of the country or world. If anything, technical courses prepare you for the worst a cx course can dish out, like when the weather goes to hell, as weather is inclined to do between Oct and Feb in every corner of the cyclocross universe. If you want to train for Euro-style courses...well, there's always crit-racing.

Second of all...WHAT??? Riders required to ride the same setup? Do you work for the UCI? Ummmm....

(1) Well, that is a rule in UCI races, but...
(2) Not everyone has taken the plunge for a cx bike. A lot of people get into the sport on their MTB, most usually give in and buy a cx bike (probaby b/c their so-called friends said they weren't "keeping it real"), some don't choose to get that serious about it, or don't have $1500 laying around. Is that "fair" to make them buy a bike they don't want or need?
(3) I haven't been on a course in the last 4 years (DFL included) that I would rather have been on an MTB on. If courses aren't suited to your bike, then perhaps you should complain to the promoter (see where that gets you) or just bitch about it in this Blog like Dave Carr does: ("Jungle-cross wah wah wah"). CX courses should favor a cross bike, if they don't, well then I'll run home and get my mtb and ride it as well. Or maybe, just maybe, somebody needs to learn to ride their CX bike a little better (there I said it).
(4) No disadvantages? Dude, have you been doing cross races? Personally, I'd be lost if I couldn't settle into my drops on a fast paved section or lever up a steep incline without my brake hoods. Oh my god if I had to schlep my MTB over barriers and try to sit on Andy Jacques-Maynes' wheel on MTB tires I think I would cough up my other lung (note: coughed up one lung just to get on Andy's wheel).

Anyhow, if you think flat bars will make you faster, you should use them. Same goes for a MTB. Same goes for tubulars, or a single front cog, or reversed-brakes, or a helium-filled carbon downtube (patent pending).

My tool of choice is a scandium Sycip Crossdresser. It does happen to be a cross bike with drop bars, but that's not why I ride it - I ride it because it rocks my world. If your bike isn't rockin' your world, you need to change your setup. In fact, it's only FAIR if everyone is on a bike that rocks their world...


Blogger Rich Maile said...

I don't think making cx bikes mandatory is in the best interest of our sport. Not everyone wants to buck up for a cx bike when starting out. If people were forced to buy into a new experience it would become a deterrant leading to even smaller fields. Besides, at the UCI elite races there are enough rules to choke even the most enthused racer. The most important thing in racing is that it is the pilot not the plane which seperates winners from others. Oh yeah, one last thing, WE ARE NOT in europe. We are in Murika. Lates, Rich

7:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read two responses to my earlier "Let's get fair" post by funkdaddy and Rich Maile. It all seems pretty simple actually, but I'll response to each...without the anger. I certainly wouldn't call my original post "inflammatory", and I certainly don't mean to offend anyone. It's just my opinion based on my own knowledge and experience.

First, I'll respond to funkdaddy point by point.
1. Well, rules are rules aren't they? We all have to obey them, whether we like it or not. In actuality, rules are kind of freeing in a way. Once you know the parameters that you're working with, you can push the envelope as far as possible. That's one of the cool things about all sports. Yep, rules are rules. Gotta have 'em.
2. I guess I should have made it more clear when I wrote my post. I'm really referring to the higher classes and the masters A's. Bikes are expensive and I started on an mtb, too. MTB's are cool for beginners, but if you're experienced, step up to the plate fer cryin' out loud. That said, you don't need to spend $1500. on a cross bike to get going. "Is it fair to ask them to buy a bike they don't want or need"? Well, if they're racing cross, it's fair to assume they "want" to participate, so yeah, I say it's fair that they ride a cross bike. Here's an example of your logic- A guy wants to race BMX, but doesn't "want" or "need" a BMX bike. He does have a Honda CR80 sitting in his garage. Can he ride that? Is that fair? What's the crime about riding a drop bar cross bike in a cross race?
3. Cross course should be just that- cyclocross courses...there's even rules for that. If you want to ride your mtb as fast as possible on a short, somewhat smooth course, there's a thing called "short track XC". Cyclocross is a blast because it's CYCLOCROSS.
4. Yes, I've raced cross. My first one was in the late 80's in Colorado. I've raced cross on and off since then and have numerous victories and top finishes in masters and A level races. I can ride a cross bike. Advantages/disadvantages of mtbs and your performances on the bike(s)? I don't ride in your shoes, so I can't really comment on what you can or cannot do or how difficult it is to hang with Andy J-M. All I can say is good luck in your racing and if your Sycip rocks your world, well good on ya'.

In regards to Rich Maile's comments- I agree with your opinions about beginners and mtb/cross bike. I was really referring to the higher level classes.

I also agree that the most important thing by far is the pilot and not the plane. That's one of the main reasons I love cycling as opposed to motorsport.

Yep, we're in Murika and there's nothing wrong with that. As a rule, Europe sets the trends in cyclocross and there's nothing wrong with that, either. Personally, I like the being "current" aspect of it. Just my opinion...
Cheers to all.

(BTW Anonymous I cross-posted this for you -funke)

4:38 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Anonymous, there's no anger here, in fact I'm psyched you brought the subject up - I know a lot of people feel this way. I vehemently disagree with you on most of your points, but that's all healthy discussion.

1. Those are UCI Rules - which only apply to UCI Races, specificially the Elite/Junior races at UCI events. BTW there are no UCI events in CA this year. And is the UCI setting a "trend" by changing rules, turning CX races into dirt crits with no dismounts? The art of mounting and dismounting at speed has become integral to cyclocross (regardless of how it started), so is that setting a trend to eliminate that? What about the other UCI rules? No disk brakes? If the UCI allowed disks, the pros would all be on them next week, and so would we. If anything, the UCI is stifling innovation and bucking trends.
2. So what you're saying is that you want Keith DeFiebre and Larry Hibbard to switch to drop bars - I can't think of any other riders kicking ass on flat bars. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone but who cares? Bike setup seems like such a non-issue (and a personal choice) in racing, and therefore doesn't warrant inane rules governing it.
3. I still don't understand what your definition of cyclocross is. I'd say a "short somewhat smooth course" sounds a lot like Cyclocross. And yes, it is a blast. Every jungle-cross and every euro-cross race is a freakin' blast. I actually do better on Euro-style courses, and I have chronic back problems that may force me to quit racing soon, especially on technical courses. But I also appreciate the technical ability a jungle course demands - it all makes us better in the end and whatever our promoters build, I will ride.
4. That was just hypothetical, I couldn't hang on Andy's wheel if I had 3 lungs. Anyhow, every course has some part that may offer a slight advantage to a certain bike setup and/or skillset. To compensate we can adapt our riding, our setup, or both. Crying foul because someone beat you on an unconventional machine sounds a little too easy to me.

BTW one last note - if you get a set of drop bars with nice wide flat tops (Ritchey Biomax are nice) and add on some bar-top levers, you've got a setup that does a pretty good flat bar impersonation with a minimal weight penalty - plus you still have STI, drops, and hoods. Tho I wonder where bar-top levers fit into your "keeping it real" philosophy...

9:35 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

blah blah blah, Funke you are just too cerebral about all this. Ride cross and laugh at the MTBrs as you pass them. Or go the Seattle b-s route with separate "MOuntain Cross" cats - Separate but equal hah --The Babblester

8:51 AM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

...this coming from the guy who pontificates endlessly on the subject Jungle-cross...

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if you are worried about other racers set ups and racing rigs and course designs in Nor Cal racing then you are a litle too mental. Different horses for different courses, and different rides for different strides, so the more courses the better the challenges will arise. Who cares what other types of set ups people run.....just go out and have fun. Even our biggest races and just local events that think they are important but basically is grass roots racing. Just enjoy the game!

2:47 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

disc brakes.


5:10 PM  
Blogger Rich Maile said...

I think we should remove our brakes, no fixed gear either.

5:47 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Bite me, Vanderhoot, I've been having problems with discs ever since you herniated mine at 2004 Districts, you bastard.

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shoot since we are making rules like to remove Maile's gears(one gear) and brakes, and what the heck...he is so darn smooth lets take at least one of his wheels off and then see what kind of pilot skills captain Maile can produce.

7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY! Defiebre uses a Lapierre-Ritchey cross bike set up with STRAIGHT BARS.....Thats not fair! He turns better then i do!

8:58 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

funkdaddy ~ i smells a rematch.

shyte ... that the buddha cross season is on the horizon - i was getting damn tired of the weak-ass roadie scum smack talk.

bring on the sweet scent of dirty testosterone.

... and Defiebre is a big poofter with those straight bars.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with the original keep it real guy. Ride a road race, use a road bike, ride a mountain bike race, use a mountin bike, ride a CROSS race, use a CROSS bike.

A cross bike has 700c wheels and drop handlebars. End of story.

Disc brakes? Nah, they cost too much and they're not really in the true spirit of cross. Remember that argument about people not being able to buy a cross bike and that $1500. figure a few posts ago? How about the Runkle levers? I say they're cool cuz they don't cost much at all and they do help without changing the BASIC idea of a cross bike....which is a road style frame, 700c wheels and dropped handlebars.

I don't think it's too much to ask L. Hibbard and K. DeFaery to join the rest of the crowd. C'mon, you can buy a Biomax bar for what, $50.?

1:57 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

ain't gonna be no rematch

word on the street is that Hernanderhoot is serious about cross. the only thing i'm serious about is changing diapers and catching z's...just took delivery on a little buddha named Rowan who isn't too keen on letting me get in shape for cross.

2:14 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

I'll be keeping an eye out for you "keeping it real" guys out on the course - you're the ones on the 35-lb circa 1940's steel road bikes with toe clips, slick sew-ups, and caliper brakes...right?

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrat's to Funkdaddy for producing the next generation of cross racers! Nice work! That counts as a race win in my books!


11:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kieth and Larry are just plain fast. It's not the bike that makes them fast, it's the engine.


6:55 AM  
Anonymous Brij Lunine said...

This is really funny. It's great to read the heavy-hitters' smack talk. Seriously, Maile and Funke nailed it: Are we an exclusive, hyper-regulated sport or a more open one with minimal rules? I fail to see it in terms of fairness as Anon does. If it's not "fair" (i.e., advantageous for a CX bike) bring/buy an MTB. It's not like gears or no gears. I'd love an MTB on some of the Jungle Cross descents, everywhere else the CX bike seems like a huge advantage. How about more training on technical terrain on the CX bike and letting people ride what they want. The UCI races will weed out the MTBs for the bike fascists out there and Larry will probably still catch me a couple times, at least, on his K2 MTB.

Cheers, Brij

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why don't the mountainbikers just race their mountainbikes in, uh, mountainbike races?

CX isn't some hyper-regulated sport. It's just cx. It's not bmx, xc, short track xc, and the last time I checked, there's no sanctioned sport called jungle cross. If you don't want andty rules or regulations, well let's just all juice up 'till we're full as grapes.

The real thing about racing bikes and specifically road and cyclocross is that it's basically a man versus man sport. Like Maile said, "It's the pilot and not the plane." The thing is that when all the pilots are very well and fairly equally trained physically, the planes as well as the courses play a bigger and often times, decisive, role. That's why it's important to have a few rules concerning bikes, equipement, and courses. It keeps the competition between the athletes on a more level basis.

C'mon guys, move out of the 70's and into the new millenium. Leave the mtb at home during cross season. Put together a cross bike and push the envelope of those rules. Design smooth courses, fast courses, rough or technical courses...challenging courses of any type. Just make them CROSS courses made for CROSS bikes.

I mean, why not, fer cryin' out loud?

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps the definition of a 'cross bike might be "A bike that competes at a Cyclocross race". Use what you got, as long as safety features are observed, i.e. bar-end extensions. Because there will always be a continuous torrent of new components, new materials, new styles - they're all bikes.

Are you familiar with the motor road race series (IROC) that used 1 type of car (Camaros or Mustangs or whatever Detroit iron) for all pilots. We could get a 'cross mfg. to supply 100 matching vehicles, identical except for size, and bash away on them - the most even competition I can think of.

Or we could get SS balloon tire bombers for everybody...

Tom Simpson
Pilarcitos Cyclesports

12:54 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Anon said: "CX isn't some hyper-regulated sport". Exactly! So stop trying to add regulations!

You guys are clearly CX-purists and proud of it. If we were all on the same machines, you'd lose that distinction. So live it, celebrate it, but don't enforce it on everyone else. In fact, go do a MTB race on your cross bike to show how pure you are...

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An IROC style series where everybody rode the exact same supplied cross bikes would be a blast! Like the IROC series was designed to do, it would put all competitors on an even playing field in regards to equipment.

I know you don't want to hear it, but that's exactly the idea behind having a few rules regarding equipment. It's also important to realize that a promoter's view is not the necessarily the point of view of a competitor.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking about somne of the writings in this blog makes me wonder????

A cross bike is a 700cc rig with drop bars?? well so was a road bike until Greg Lemond put 58 seconds into that fast French guy using aero bars! You dont think that Fignon's camp was acting like all of the cry babies here who want everyone to ride on one set up?? But Lemond was thinking outside of the box and so should all of you other folks who stress because someone beats you and you can pout about it thinking it was because he had different handle bars then you!

Look at Armstrong with his affect on racing, he was the first guy to win the tour on a carbon bike. Now they are all carbon, and certainly someone out there was complaining that his stuff was too light. And his skin suits were too fast, and his preperation was too good........ But I am buddies with the guy and thru my time riding and training with him i understand that Armstrong was just the hardest riding guy in the bunch! simple!

I talked to Jeff C. the founder of Surf City series, and he said that local cross was dead in the water until the late 80's and early 90's when folks started racing on MTB's and then he saw attandence really jump.
Cross opened up the doors for MTB guys to shred in the winter and if you look at the road race scene only a handful of true Roadies or Criterium guys even do cross! There skills suck and the cant handle all the bumps and runs and what not. So MTB racers helped play a big part in this local scene in making cross so strong.

So lets make everyone ride a cross bike with 700cc wheels and drop bars........WRONG! Hey just have fun out there, and ride your best on what ever set up you choose. This is small time racing here and if you are worried about other racers set ups, then you are already a loser right there!

It is great to see everyone now a days on cross bikes! Just a few years back, most of the groups were on all kinds of set ups, but now if you look at the Master A, Senior A, and Womens A fields, most of the entire group is on a cross bike! That is totally nice to see, and if a few people who still run straight bars or try a mtn bike on a certain course then fine.

But if your crying about it, then just remember that life is like a box of never know what your going to get.

Just race your best, and if another racer is faster then you, then tell them good job and give it a go another day. But dont whine because he has skinnier tires then you, or a different bike set up! that is wrong! I can remember beating more then one racer and then they say.."Oh your bike was faster then mine" Well it is not the bike, it is the pilot of the bike.

End of Story!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone Anonymous just wrote..."It is also important to realize that a promoters view is not necessarily the point of view of a competitior"

Most promoters I know raced before and were competitor's in their own right!

And DeFiebre races and he promotes the CCCX series. So right there is a guy who races and puts on the races so everyone can compete.

Why do you think Armstrong's book was entitled "Its Not About The Bike" ????

Because it is more then just the bike which tells the story!

And I for one, want to say "Thank You" to all the promoters who give up their time and precious energy to give everyone a chance to compete.

If not for the folks putting on these fun events then all of this babble is a mute situation.

Long live freedom of choice!

1:57 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

Back in the day I saw guys racing english 3-speeds (with fenders and basket) at UCSC Surf City - oh yeah !!

The flyer for SCCX once read "Any functioning bicycle with two wheels and knobbies" and I think they were usually flexible on even the knobbies requirement.

3:27 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

Ps. my favorite luddite quote "How in the *** do you put a full suspension bike on your shoulder!!" (Anton Mcgready)

3:28 PM  
Blogger Rich Maile said...

One of theee most inspirational racers I have ever seen was at a Surf City race at San Lorenzo High about 5 years ago. He was riding a Trek Navigator 200(26" wheeled comfort bike) with a rear rack and basket to boot. This guy had more fun racing that day than most people have had in a lifetime of races. There is no way in h%@* that guy should not be able to race because of the bike he had. Maybe the Elite class at a UCI event wouldn't have been the best place for him, but that day in a "B" race I witnessed what, for me at least, was what all this is about, FUN. I hope in all the amendments to the rules and regulations people are suggesting that still reigns supreme, FUN! Lates Rich

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hibbard is not "Mtn Larry" without his mtn bike. What else do you want to regulate, sleeveless skinsuits? Any bike is fine. Cheers, Gordo

11:18 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

Oh my, I think bike wear is definitely ripe for a debate... coming at ya'

8:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to laugh at all the lameass excuses and reasoons for you guys and your bike choice in cross racing. LeMond??? Lance Armstrong's "It's not about the bike" ?? Hmmm, maybe you better read that book, buddy. Those examples make no sense at all. LOL, A 12 year old can come up with better arguemnts than those!

why don't you mtb-as-a-cross-rig guys put your money where your mouth is and put a true crossbike together and PROVE to everybody that you're just as fast on that rig? Any takers?

You guys are so bent on not having any rules and being so proud of being individuals and anti-regulation that in danger of becoming what you hate- inflexible and conservative confromists. That's so not-NorCal. It's not 1986. It's not even 1996. It's 2006! Get with the times. Change is good!!

As for me, when I race a mountinbike race, I ride a mtb. On the road, I race a road bike. On the track, track bike and whn I cross, I ride a, you guessed it... CROSS bike

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


10:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets see defiebre on a drop bar bike and see just how fast he really is

11:46 AM  
Blogger Benjaminiac said...

time for the 2 cents:
i stepped into CX as a junior, racing my single speed mtb as a way to pass the time and cuz it was new and fun. i raced probably the last year of the "jungle" Surf city series (academy, sawdust pile, big creek) and even then i heard it could have been way worse. i have never seen such technical courses since, especially some that are termed very "jungle" by the current masses.

i think the freedom to compete on whatever bike i had available turned me into a CX racer, cuz i kept coming back and loving it more and more. the main reason i got a CX bike eventually, after three years, was i wanted to be competitive at the uper level, and i have to say it worked out. but, and this is a big but, it was a decision i made over time and if i had to race a cx bike from the start there's no way i would have progressed so far.

i think that's what's so great about the cross scene, is that there's no scene. anything goes, and it's as fun or as serious as you make it. i think what is getting people up in arms now in this discussion is that adding regs limits others and their choices about what they want to do and how they want to take on 'cross. my wife would have never done a single CX race if there was a reg saying she had to spend a single dollar on another bike, or even buy things for her current bike.

my take is this on the bikes, across the board and through and through: ride what you got, but i'm gonna beat you on my cross bike. and anon, if that is your real name, freedom of choice does not make someone inflexible, it gives them the freedom to choose other then what you whould choose.

one last note on courses: the euro course monkier got thrown into the pot a few years ago and i think it's totally false. i have not seen a single course in europe similar to some of the wide open, full-gas courses we have here, and all over america for that matter. it has all to do with weather, and we never get it really bad. a great comparison is racing the fairgrounds on a hot dry autumn day (very "euro" and fast, no brakes) and do the exact same course after a week of rain (slop, running galore, technical handling). all racing in europe is like the later example, and never the former.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that's a great comment from Benjaminiac. I don't think anybody is against beginners and newcomers using mountain bikes. In fact, there's probably only a small number of crossers who started out on a cross bike. I know I started on an mtb...

Cross is a "run what you brung" type of deal and that's a big part of the fun. I do think it's just common sense that when guys or gals get to an higher level or elite category they should ride a cross bike. It's also cool to see that most people do, even though they're not required to do so by the USCF, UCI, or anyone else. That says something good about most people. It says their interest in a very cool cycling discipline has increased and it also says that they believe the right machine to ride in that event is a cross bike. Fair play and all that.

I've read all these posts and almost all of them make a good point or two. I can't speak for any others (anonymous or otherwise), but I can say that I started on a mountainbike and did well. I switched to a cross bike because it was both a learning experience and a challenge. For me personally, it seemed to be more fair and made more sense to me to be on the type of bike intended for cyclocross.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you ride your mtn bike in a mountain bike race, then what is your set up?? 29" wheels?? riser bars?? straight bars?? I have seen guys race with drop bars on their mtn bike? Dual suspension?? hardtail?? And on your road bike, do you use compact gearing?? ergo bars or oldschool drop barsbars?? Compact frame? Is your road bike titanium? carbon? aluminum? steel? you have choices and nothing is cut and dry except that you make a better argument then a 12 year old! Too bad you spell worse then a 12 year old! I know lets all drive the same cars, and date within our race, and eat the same food, and most of all lets all race a proper bike for the proper event! Or else you are a inflexible and conservative conformist!

2:32 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

i like bikes with pretty tires.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, speaking of pretty tires... I like the know, Michelin green, Tufo red, Tufo yellow and the deep and rich black of so many different cross tires. Tripping on the tread pattern's fun, too.

It all reminds that a while back I saw this buddy of mine who lives near Emeryville and he gave me some mushrooms he said were destined for the San Francisco fine dining market but were a few days past their sell-by date. Well, they looked more than a few days past, but I was hungry and that night I took them home, cleaned them and mixed them in with some other veggies in a mixed green salad with a delightful, yet light Italian dressing. I chowed the salad along with a heaping helping of Linguini with a very satisfying clam sauce. After washing it all down with a few glasses of an excellent '06 Thunderbird, I felt great. It was a top mealtime experience to be sure.

Anyhoo, I kicked back for a few minutes and let my stomach expand for a while and soon found that I had drifted off to a well deserved nap.

I woke up after having some wicked dreams and I thought it was time to go out and do some bike tuning and get my mind off the monsters I had just seen climbing my walls. Wow. So, I climbed out the kitchen window, crawled through the garden (no octopus there, my friend)and soon found the garage door. I busted through the door and swam over to my bike and man, it never looked better! The dull camo green looked like a team Kawasaki hardwired to a nuke plant! It was awesome! I think it was actually humming! And my yellow Tufo's were on fire! Not really aflame, mind you, but just crazy! Not only that, the tires were actually moving....and vibrating. Not rolling, but just vibrating and sort of melting if you know what I mean, and I'm sure you do.

That's when I heard the officer knocking on the door and shining his flashlight. So I'm thinking I gots to get and hightail it...

Ya know, I forget the rest of that story, but man, that was one kickass meal. I gotta get ahold of that dude one of these days. Those big city diners never knew what they missed!

By the way, what blog is this?

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like the Lemond comment about how he used aero bars when others did not! That is a good point, it was Lemond's choice to use aero bars while others stayed true to the regular drop bars for a TT. Now every pro tour racer uses aero bars for a basic TT. I think it is good to be able to choose your weapon. Like running fixed gears, or choice of set up. And how about Paris Roubaix, some guys ran front shocks on their road bikes in years past, including the winner Tchmil. Also I was once in Austin and did a cross race a few years back and Armstrong did the A race on a Trek Mtn Bike! No body gave him crap when he road away from everyone in the group on lap 2. And when I asked him why he did not run a cross bike? He told me he just plain felt like using his Mtn Bike. Then he told me, its not about the bike!

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Time for my own .02 and then some.

Somehow I think alot of these writers think that racing a cyclocross bike in a cyclocross bike is "old school", and that riding a mountainbike in a cyclocross race is a new thing, or an innovation ala LeMond's aero setup or Lance's new carbon ride.

That's not the way it is at all.

Mountainbikes in U.S. cyclocross came about when cyclocross started to get a build up of interest here in the states and that's what many people had available to ride. Many others didn't even know what a CX bike was... For example, there were no mountainbikes racing cross in NorCal or anywhere else in the 70's because there were no mountainbikes. The 80's came along and the mountainbike explosion helped cyclocross by getting more people to ease into the sport by allowing them to use a bike that worked, while avoiding the cost and hassle of buying a new and different (CX) bike. The idea was that the person would ride an mtb and get their cross feet wet. Basically, to see if they liked the sport or not. It also benefitted promoters by getting more riders to ride their races. Cyclocross as a sport benefitted by the increased exposure, interest and rider numbers. As a rider gained experience and progressed, it was generally accepted that he or she would eventually be riding a true CX bike, though no rules dictated this. It was a true win-win situation for all concerned.

That's pretty much the same (and valid) situation we have today more than 20 years later. There's some key differences, though.

Even though there isn't Euro-size fields at most races. But, CX interest and participation has exploded in the last 10 years. Go to a natz and you'll see the interest first hand! Bigger fields than big road races. Check it out for yourself-you'll be stoked!Velonews years ago called it the fastest growing sport in cycling and American pros are big stars in their own right. Say what you will about the UCI, but they saw the level of talent and interest of CX the world over and decided to call a CX bike a CX bike and make it a rule. Why? To make it fair for all concerned. It was not a move to stifle innovation, or any other negative motive.

But let's forget about the UCI and their policies for now. We're mainly talking grass roots racing... even if it has progressed continuously for over twenty years.

The mtb as a CX weapon for beginners is still a good idea for the same reasons it was a good idea back in the 80's. No doubt about it. That idea was never to keep riding an mtb or cross bike with flat bars when you're racing at a high level. That situation has caused controversy ever since mtb's first came onto a CX course. It's still contoversial today. The UCI recognized the problem on an international scale and addressed the issue by making a rule. It was a fair and just call.

So, to end this long-winded post... Using a CX bike in CX is not akin to being a luddite or old school, or anything else negative. It is in fact the wave of the present and the future. You'll NEVER see mtb's or flat bar CX bikes gain more of a foothold in CX because they're the wrong tool for the job. They will ALWAYS be controversial because they are seen by many as having an unfair advantage in certain situations. That's just the way it is.

It works for beginners, though.

10:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


dont kid yourself, drop bars are a advantage! it is not fair!

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think anyone who says ride a certain set up in a certain race is lame! I give props to the racers who race as they wish not as the anal people think they should race! If you are doing a mtn bike race, then race on any bike you feel like, and if you are doing a road race, chose any set up you feel! And if you are doing a cross race then race on any set up you wish! And if you are telling people what type of set up they should race on then you have a serious problem mentally!

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very serious stuff here!!!!

If you do a mtn bike race you must use a mtn bike? And if you do a road race you must use a proper road bike? And if you do a cross race you must use a UCI legal cross bike!

And if you have a booger up your nose you must pick it and eat it!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found if the sun burns your eyes, you should not look at it. If the sun burns your skin, don't go outside. If the purists are so intent on all racers showing up with the same equipment, stay home. Some may choose unconventional methods or approaches and that is a choice. If you go to a race and don't like it, choose to not go next time.

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blah ,blah , blah.....

4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is really quite simple, if the speed limit is 55 then you must never, ever drive above the speed limit! If you are making a turn while driving, you must always use your blinker, no matter what! So if your doing a cross race then of course you must always use a UCI legal set up. You all follow the rules right?????? All of you who say you must use a specific cross set up for a cross race... you all follow the rules in everything you do right??? Because remember big brother is watching you! This is NorCal! and it is not 1986, 0r 96, this is 2006! So follow every rule or you are a hypocrite!

8:35 PM  
Anonymous Brij Lunine said...

Tom Simpson just (well a ways up there) reiterated my fantasy: Buy your license and get issued your generic bike. It's anti-technology, innovation, capitalism and such, but it would be the ultimate equalizer. As a poor student/teacher I've wished for this for about 16 years. And I'd have it the same for road, mtb, track you name it. Pure fantasy and probably heretical to all the gear freaks out there but I'd love it.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah brij

we would all race on slimey grean bianchi's right?

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:51 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Please stop citing UCI rules as "the rules". They are not the rules. 99% of races in this country are not UCI races (including all NorCal races this year) and are therefore not governed by UCI rules. Most of these races are USAC races, and USAC has rules about the bike you can ride. Mountain bikes and bikes with flat bars are specifically allowed. There is no rule-breaking or even rule-bending going on. Get over it.

1:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I can just butt in here for minute while you mountain bike tech geeks are defending your rights and while the cross bike guy tries to make his case...

When they're citing the UCI cross bike rules, they're just using that as an example of how a sanctioning body sees a problem and tries to fix it. From what I read, there's no mentioning of any USAC rules about the kind of bike used.
So you cross bike guys go out and practice hopping over bunnies and you mountainbikers go out and weigh your latest titanium widgets between bongloads.

As far as I'm concerned, if any of you had any brains, you be on the track.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah! lets ride round and round and round and round and round until we are dizzy like YOU! Track is there if you cant handle technical riding and you cant climb! So you can sprint round and round and round and round and round and round and round until you are dizzy like YOU!

6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for the track guy, you shouldn't race cx because you may have to turn right, then what would you do?

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is obvious that most track racers stick to track because they can not handle gear shifting and riding at the same time!

8:13 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Yeah, let's ALL direct our animosity in another direction on the track guy!

I think this is an appropriate end to this thread, doncha think????

Time to go out and hop bunnies do some bongloads...

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aaah yeeaaah... bunnyhoppin' and bongloadin'....We should hit up that 'shroom dude, too. See what he's got cookin', yo

BTW does a track tire wear out faster on that one side cuz they only turn one way?
jus wonderin'

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is very important to compete in the event of cyclo cross with a cyclo cross set up. One must adhere to the current trends and current styles of the time period that is at hand. If one does not concur to this philosophy, they are clearly not a new millenium man. We all must be new millenium men. Remember it is not about the spirit of competition, or having fun in a cool sport, or the thrill of the event, or the excitement of giving it your all in a bike race and challenging yourself in a athletic endeavor! It is all about riding a new millenium cross bike and getting with the times and PROVING to everyone you are fast on a cyclo cross bike.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought cyclocross was all one word.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

UCI rules state the cyclo and the cross are separated by a space. This is the new millenium, and spelling cyclo cross non UCI format is so not-NorCal. Or is it Nor Cal?
Is this 2006 or 1976? And is that Ben J Mayne on a mtn bike racing cross? Or is that his road bike racing cross? And yes he is using grip shift on his cross bike! And mtn bike! And road bike! Hey????

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SRAM is the new millenium!

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've podiumed in MTB races on a cross bike, with drop bars.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I bet the mtn bike racers were basically saying nice job for riding that rig! But you use a mtn set up for cross and you get anonymous (no guts to write their name and back up their words) cross racers crying over a type of handle bar used! I race and support the Portland series and was just checking out this blog and it amazes me what a bunch of cry babies the NorCal bunch has. We welcome any type of bike and any type of racer to our events! And we cheer for them doing their thing! We dont whine over a type of handle bar used or a wheel size used! Now all of you go out and race and support the race scene! And cheer for others because life is too short to waste time worrying because someone is passing you on a different type of bike. Just have fun and get dirty!

Teddy T.
Cross Crusade Co-Founder

9:19 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

The gauntlet has been thrown.

Ooh, I feel a new thread spawning...

11:39 PM  
Blogger buckwheat said...

Wheat here, I have trained on the track for power and the racing is totally cool, My 29r has full Dura-ace with drop bars and my road and cross bikes both have drops as well.
Is it not a matter of choice?
and my 50's schwinn GIRLS cruizer has tassels
Go and Ride

11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's all go ride...and when you do a road trip and ride up here, bring your cross bike.You're gonna need it my friends.
da nort man, da nort

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ill bring any bike a choose.
da nort man, your way over rated and i think your a silly rabbitt, tricks are for kids!

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon this site & was curious how old this thread is. What the hell is Carr talking about the "Seattle b-s route with separate "MOuntain Cross" cats - Separate but equal hah" .

Ive been racing cross in seattle for the last five years & we dont have the mtn cross category anymore. That was like in the 90's. I would estimate that 80% (maybe more) of all racers are on cross bikes & remember, we get around 300 racers on average.

Also to note, the old Grail de la Grunge (PDX vs SEA) is way old too. We havent really done that in a few years either. Oh well, the NW must be making some sort of impression if the kids from NorCal are talking about us. LOL.

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, the Cross folks in the north west dont cry over a type of bike used. bio max bar or not they just race. it doesnt matter if your racing a cross race on a cross bike or mtn bike or road bike, just race! if you are so set on riding the proper bike for the proper occasion then YOU ARE LAME AND A WANNA BE RIDER, NOT A TRUE RIDER WHO JUST GIVES IT A GO FOR THE SAKE OF HAVING FUN AND RACING AND TESTING YOURSELF. BUT NOOOOOOOO........YOUR SO NORCAL AND SO 2006! AND YOU RIDE THE SPECIAL BIKE FOR THE SPECIAL RACE! GOOD FOR YOU! PRETENDER! SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE A PRETTY BOY TO ME! SEE YOU AT THE PORTLAND RACES!

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have to agree with this guy.

If you want people to all ride on bio-max drop bars, then shut up and buy everyone the handle bars.

If your not going to do this, then shut up and ride! and dont call out people over the type of handle bars they use!

thats the most stupid thing i have ever read!

I dont care if it is 86, 96, or 2006, each person can make there own choice, and if your calling out people anonymously then your seriously a punk.

Im starting to think that you cross folks in the NorCal are serious bike babies who buy the pretty bikes and think they are racers with the right equipment.

You call out someone anonymously you should be slapped!


that is so weak!

Matt B.
Portalnd Univ.

11:45 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said... they teach you guys how to read up there in the NW? I'm getting a little annoyed at hearing what a bunch of cry babies we are. I started this thread because I thought it was interesting that people actually think this way, not because I think this way. Anyhow, there were TWO guys saying we should all ride cross bikes and like 50 guys vehemently disagreeing with them. Not much of a bunch... those NW manly-men that "just race", I just get weak in the knees thinking about them.

Oh yeah, and Dave Carr IS stuck in a time warp...but that's a story for another thread.f

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to agree with funkdaddy,

it was just a few study buddies who want everyone to only use cross bikes.

But for sure NorCal has batter racers then the North West talent pool. I have been looking at the results and it seems that when ever our best travel there, the North West guys and girls get beat. There is more rain in the North West, so they clearly have that advantage.

And NorCal has the advantage of racers who buy high end bikes and think that makes them cross racers! and then try and put down others for not using the same set ups as themselves. So yeah NorCal has the best racers, less rain, and more cry babies who worry about the type of handle bars others use!


10:08 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Oh no you di-int Tobby - you realize you'll have to back those words up. We have few guys that can match the likes of Trebon, Wicks, Tonkin, and Skerrit...

I, for one, refuse to play the "Nor-Cal Rules" game. I love the NW scene - great folks, great vibe, great races.

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was agreeing with you! Funkdaddy!

Clearly the NorCal racers who win are at the same level as our top guys!

I like the NorCal scene and I like the races in the North West, But to me the NorCal races and racers are deeper in talent, just my thoughts.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To all you readers from other regions, welcome to the whine country.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

in regards to the NW talent pool, you failed to mention a few other decent riders. Craig, Decker, Horner (I know, he's a newbie) Sundt, Knapp & Stevenson. Maybe we should start a new Grail, NW vs NorCal. :)


9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd offer my opinion on all this-
I've been reading this thread from the beginning and the original poster wasn't whining at all. He was just voicing an opinion about fairness. I see his point, and can also see that maybe he should have qualified his point by saying he wasn't referring to beginners and novices. I mean, it was just his opinion. Ok, so the dude wasn't perfect in his written opinions.

The whining was all these guys screaming and defending their god-given rights to riding anything they want in any race. THe bottom line is that we all want to ride/race and we all want to have fun and stay healthy through cycling. So, yeah, ride whatever you want to or can in your local cx race.

But you'd have to blind to not see that mountain bikes are on the way out in cx and most people are riding regular cx bikes just like the ones the original "whiner" describes. You'd also have to be blind to not see that riding and winning or placing on a cx bikes gives you just a tad more cred.

Ride whatever you want and quit whining about someone giving their opinion. That's my opinion and I hope it doesn't sound like whining!


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well I do running races, and like Zola Budd, I run with no shoes when I compete! Bare feet!

I expect that this gives me a TAD MORE CRED, when i win or place in my races!

So I hope everyone who is searching for a TAD MORE CRED, try the no shoe thing..... you would have to be blind to not see that this gives you a TAD MORE CRED on the streets if you do it like this!

So if your looking for a TAD MORE CRED, in the vario, then drop the shoes and give it a try.

7:54 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

BS, don't fool yourself, the "cred" that you so desperately seek, can only be acquired by kicking ass. It has nothing to do with your bike.

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right Funkdaddy- "cred" can only be achieved by riding hard, doing your best and hopefully kicking some ass. Nothing to do with your choice of bikes. In fact, there is WAY too much emphasis on equipment. I ride a cross bike in cross races and I feel good about that choice. If someone else rides something else and feels good about that choice, then cool. I mean, it is a free country, right?

Still, I wouldn't call the original poster a whiner. Dude just voiced an opinion, no more, no less.

Now, let's ride!!!!

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most everybody in the A groups race on a cross bike now! there is a mtn bike here or there...and maybe a cross bike with straight bars(Keith Defiebre) but that is whats cool about local cross races! its about racing and trying your best! its not about the weapon of choice, its about having fun and testing yourself! it doesnt matter what set up you use, as long as you use it! duh!
I actually give props to anyone who just goes out and races and doesnt freak out about what kind of bike people are using! just enjoy the game!

12:18 AM  

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