Cyclocross bike for 24 hrs of Allamuchy?
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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Cyclocross bike for 24 hrs of Allamuchy?

    A friend of mine is trying to talk me into racing at the 24 hours or Allamuchy in August as a member of a four man team. I hear it is a pretty punishing course best suited to FS MTBs. My MTB was stolen about two years ago and I don't MTB race enough or have enough money, for that matter, to go out and buy a MTB. The way I see it, I think I can get a great two-fer if I plug $500-600 into my SS crosser, building it up with gears, a new crankset, probably a MTB crankset to give me some low gears, and probably a few other incidentals that will make it a really great ride come cross season. I have a set of Sun 0 degree XC rims that I will have retensioned and will mount big ol' 29er tires on to give me some cushion.

    What I'm interested in finding out is if any of you guys use your CX bike as a MTB, and how it performs?

    What gearing are you running, so that you can still manage some of the really steep climbs that come up in MTBing? Would a 29 or 32 chainring be enough with a 12-34 in the rear?

    Does it make more sense to keep my roadie drops on the bike or should I switch to a flat bar?

    What type of brakes do you use? I find my hands can get tired because my canti's (Avid 4s) aren't that strong. Are there some better options with more power?

    Finally, in the interest of getting ready for cross seaon I am going to have another set of wheels built up. I am thinking that I'm going to have a lightweight clincher set built because I can use it for my road bike and cross bike. I'll purchase a tubular set or two from ebay, because I can get a good set, for less than it would cost to build. Is there a rim that has a slightly wider profile (21-22 mm), so I can use both my current Sun wheels and the new wheels without having to adjust my canti brakes. While I'm on the subject, what is the biggest tubular cross tire available? If I could get some big cross tires, I might ride those for a few laps of the 24 hr race.

    Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm excited about this new bike project.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swat Dawg
    A friend of mine is trying to talk me into racing at the 24 hours or Allamuchy in August as a member of a four man team. I hear it is a pretty punishing course best suited to FS MTBs. My MTB was stolen about two years ago and I don't MTB race enough or have enough money, for that matter, to go out and buy a MTB. The way I see it, I think I can get a great two-fer if I plug $500-600 into my SS crosser, building it up with gears, a new crankset, probably a MTB crankset to give me some low gears, and probably a few other incidentals that will make it a really great ride come cross season. I have a set of Sun 0 degree XC rims that I will have retensioned and will mount big ol' 29er tires on to give me some cushion.

    What I'm interested in finding out is if any of you guys use your CX bike as a MTB, and how it performs?

    What gearing are you running, so that you can still manage some of the really steep climbs that come up in MTBing? Would a 29 or 32 chainring be enough with a 12-34 in the rear?

    Does it make more sense to keep my roadie drops on the bike or should I switch to a flat bar?

    What type of brakes do you use? I find my hands can get tired because my canti's (Avid 4s) aren't that strong. Are there some better options with more power?

    Finally, in the interest of getting ready for cross seaon I am going to have another set of wheels built up. I am thinking that I'm going to have a lightweight clincher set built because I can use it for my road bike and cross bike. I'll purchase a tubular set or two from ebay, because I can get a good set, for less than it would cost to build. Is there a rim that has a slightly wider profile (21-22 mm), so I can use both my current Sun wheels and the new wheels without having to adjust my canti brakes. While I'm on the subject, what is the biggest tubular cross tire available? If I could get some big cross tires, I might ride those for a few laps of the 24 hr race.

    Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm excited about this new bike project.
    A few weeks ago I did the "Running of the Dogs" at Kittatinny on my cross bike. I also don't own a MTB, (never have) and have never ridden trails or off road, with the exception of 'cross races. The 'Dogs race was my first MTB type experience.

    I had seen the flyer for the race and the course description didn't seem that technical. Of course I had no way of forming any opinions on the relative degrees of "not to technical". To get some additional information, I sent a PM to BiknBen, since I know he would have some knowledgeable input. Ben was able to provide me with a pretty detailed course description and rundown of the relative benefits and problems with using a 'cross bike at Kittatinny, and closed with some encouragement to "just do it" (Thanks Ben).

    I made no special preparation to the bike and ran it exactly as set up for last 'cross season. My rear cassette is a 12-34. which I ran in combination with my 38 front chain ring. I never shifted the front derraileur throughout the race. My tires are 35's. My brakes are Shimano canti's, not sure what model, with Kool Stop Eagle Claw pads. They were adequate.

    The course at Kittatinny is pretty well suited to a cross bike, with a few long sections of grass or hard packed dirt. I had to dismount and run with the bike about 5-6 time a lap, but in total, I don't think I ran more than 250 meter each lap. (6 mile laps I think). I don't know the course at Allamuchy, so I can't help you there. (Although, if it is "'crossable" I'd be interested myself)

    The race was run in an endurance format, 2 hours for Beginner, (that's me), do as many laps as you can. I started my 4th lap just before the 2 hour mark, so I actually road about 2.5 hours. The first and second laps were spent figuring out what to do. The second lap, I didn't feel to good and was wondering about my sanity. By the third lap, I started to get the hang of it and felt ok, I was really pushing on the smoother sections to make up time that I would loose in the more technical sections. By the end of the fourth lap I was pretty beat and dismounts and remounts were becoming an adventure because of fatigue.

    Shortly after I finished, one of the scorers told me I finished 3rd, which really surprised me, so I was happy about my result. (later a scoring error was discovered and I was placed 4th, still not bad)

    Ultimately, it was a lot of fun, and I would definetly do it again. I think there is another MTB race at Kittatinny in July, so I will do that, and I'm in the market for an MTB now as well.

    Do you know the allamuchy course, I'd be interested in doing that too. I also like your idea about putting on larger tires to act as suspension. How big can you fit?
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  3. #3
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    Allamuchy on a cross bike HAHAHAHAH

    No way PERIOD no cross bikes at Allamuchy...it's not even close to the running of the dogs course. I won that race last year doing a coed with my fiancee and i used 1.75 IRC Seracs and they were perfect. Allamuchy is all rock gradens, baby headed boulders, roots rocks and rough trail...lots of climbing and its tuff! Forget the cross at Allamuchy...but if you can do the 24hr race it's the best event on the East Coast. Honestly after 1 10 mile lap on a hardtail mountain bike you will be beat up a bit.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozizle
    No way PERIOD no cross bikes at Allamuchy...it's not even close to the running of the dogs course. I won that race last year doing a coed with my fiancee and i used 1.75 IRC Seracs and they were perfect. Allamuchy is all rock gradens, baby headed boulders, roots rocks and rough trail...lots of climbing and its tuff! Forget the cross at Allamuchy...but if you can do the 24hr race it's the best event on the East Coast. Honestly after 1 10 mile lap on a hardtail mountain bike you will be beat up a bit.
    Tell us, what do you really think about it? Just kidding, thanks for the advice. The general consensus regarding Kittatinny was that it is pretty mild, which convinced me to use the 'cross bike there. Won't try it at Allamuchy.
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  5. #5
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    A couple of years ago at the 24 hrs of Tahoe ( a fairly technical course, RIP), I saw some crazy guy on a cross bike. I passed one of his teammates on course and allegedly he was doing it on a bet. Now, Allamuchy is more technical in the "east coast sense" than Tahoe, but it can be done.

    29er tires if you can fit them (don't even think of 'cross tires), flat bars for leverage and a 1x9 would work (seeing as how you've got the SS experience).

    Then again, why not just SS it? You could build up a decent SS mt bike for that amount of $$$$. Just a thought...

    Either way, don't miss what is a great race on a real mt bike course.

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