Archive for the ‘Cyclocross’ Category

With the World Championships coming up this weekend, thought I’d share something from the Cyclocross Channel.

Wishing Katie Compton good luck and good health this weekend!


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Tubeless for Cyclocross

I just received my Hutchinson Bulldog tires for the cross bike, and am very excited to get things set up.  The issue is the Stan’s No Tubes kit.  I am running Open Pro wheels with Chris King hubs, which seems pretty straightforward.  However from everything I have read, the Open Pro is one of the rims that there seems to be an issue with when setting it up for ‘cross.  I have read that the channel is too deep, making it necessary to run 1-3 rim strips along with the tape and the ‘cross specific strips.  Having read several different postings, I figured that I’d go directly to the source, to try to avoid wasting more time than necessary.  I emailed Stan’s and here’s the response:

“It depends on the rim.  Some people need to add some extra tape on top of the open pro to make the tires fit tight with our cyclocross rubber strip.”

It depends on the rim?  Aren’t all, if not most Mavic Open Pro rims the same?  I guess I have to just experiment, which is what I was trying to avoid in the first place.

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I was finally able to go to Interbike this year, which was pretty cool, however I was most excited about going to Cross Vegas.  Being in Southern California, we don’t get the chance to see the “Big Guns” of cyclocross racing locally.  Therefore I knew that the opportunity to see the men and women I have been reading about for so long in person was going to be a treat.  To be honest the only bad part of the whole trip was the fact that it was in Las Vegas.  I am not a “Vegas Guy”, and frankly find most of Las Vegas to be fairly gross.  This is probably due to the fact that I used to have to spend about half of every month there working for my old company.  Anyway, on to the races.




In case you haven’t heard by now Lance Armstrong was going to be racing in the men’s event.  While I know it is ultimately good for the sport, I got tired of hearing Dave Towel remind everyone that Lance was on his way.  It was cool to see Lance racing, but hearing about his pending arrival every 10 minutes was brutal.  “His plane just landed”  “He is in the limo” “Lance will be here soon”………..



The one interesting thing that I noticed was how similar this race was to our local races.  Even though something like 10,000 people were on there way, riders were hanging out, signing in, and warming up, just like any one of us does at a local race with 15 spectators.  It was pretty cool to see Katie Compton hanging out before the race talking to some people in her street clothes.  Then to seeing Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks pre-riding the course together was great.  Call me a nerd, whatever. 


Southern California was represented in all three races, and it was fun cheering the locals on.  I am sure there were more, but Dorothy Wong, Chance Noble, Neil Browne and Brent Prenzlow were all on hand representing SoCal Cross.



I might have some new “Cross Favorites” in the Wells brothers.  It was really fun watching them sizing up the barriers before the race.  For those not familiar with Troy and Todd Wells, they are well known for bunny hopping barriers instead of running over them.  This, as it turns out, is a crowd favorite, with those not hopping the barriers getting boos instead of cheers.  I noticed a definite increase in the cheers and boos as more and more Dale’s Pale Ale was being consumed.  Not bad for a canned beer, but it doesn’t compare to Sierra Nevada.


Overall it was a really cool thing to see.  I had the opportunity to meet some really nice people, and watch some very good racing.  Oh yeah, Katie Compton won the women’s event and Ryan Trebon won the men’s.  Lance came in 22nd.  Yes, I know he crashed.




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2006 Poprad frame with American Classic CR-420 wheels

2006 Poprad frame with American Classic CR-420 wheels


I have been riding the American Classic 420 wheels for years now, and found them to be very dependable and fast.  Not overly quick, but fast.  However I have always ridden them as they are intended to be ridden, on the road.  This season I thought I’d try something new, and put them on the cross bike.  Considering that they are fairly light, as am I, and pretty durable, I figured I’d give it a shot.  It is always fun experimenting with new equipment.  I personally have only seen one other person riding these wheels on a cross bike, so there is certainly a question as to the off road durability.  As for tires, I put the Nokian Ravagozzi 35c tires on.  This is the knobbier version of the two Ravagozzis.  I have just started the experiment, but so far this setup appears to be very nice.  I usually ride open pros with Chris King hubs on the cross bike and enjoy them very much.  However it seems as though the 420s maintain momentum better.  Maybe it is the deeper rim/larger mass that makes that happen, I am just guessing, but it seems to be real.  Also, the tires with their larger volume really seem to roll through the soft and loose stuff very well.  The only issue with the tires is the difficulty finding replacements.

My only long term concern is the front hub.  I am not a heavyweight at 160 pounds, but that front hub is micro.  I have never had any issues on the road, but off the road could be a different story altogether.  I’ll keep the Open Pros/Chris Kings for the rougher stuff.

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Does anyone have an idea why Michelin no longer makes their green cyclocross (or any green tires for that matter) tires?  You occasionally find them on Ebay selling for outrageous amounts of scratch (used tires in the 60-80 dollar range), but for some reason Michelin doesn’t choose to make them any longer.  There is obviously a market for these gems, so if anyone has some insight, I’d love to hear about it.

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I received my second issue of Cyclocross Magazine this week, and I can’t say enough about it.  If you are at all interested in cyclocross, you need to subscribe to this rag.  A one year subscription, four issues, starts at 16 bucks, and in my opinion is well worth the price.  So far they have had interviews with Jonathan Page, Katie Compton and Bart Wellens, which is not too shabby for a new publication.  The culture and tech articles are great as well, with articles like Bike Hacker and Confessions of a Sandbagger, they really help you get through a long off season.  Cyclocross Magazine is one of the few cycling magazines that I actually read from cover to cover, great job guys!  Here’s the link if you would like to learn more:


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Bianchi San Jose 

With cyclocross season ending I thought I would share a picture of my Bianchi San Jose.   It is stock with the following exceptions:

34t ring in front, Salsa Bell Lap handlebars, Ritchey WCS stem and Nokian Ravagozzi S tires ( I really like these things.  They are remarkably “grippy” considering their seemingly moderate tread pattern.)

Of my four bikes, this is probably the most “fun” to ride.  Generally the gearing is great for our local terrain, however it is brutal going downhill, and can be challenging on the flats.  It’s really easy to spin it out.  With that being said, overall the gearing works pretty well.  You can’t have everything.  I might go a little bigger if I ever suck it up and race this thing.

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