Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Under Pressure

My Office - my dad gave me that

pencil in 1983 - used it ever since

Still trying to crack the cyclocross nut. Got beat up fairly bad last night at Kore Kross. My main problem is holding a tight line on the grassy corners: I routinely get passed on the tight curves. Yesterday I mounted up a pair of Kenda Kross Supremes; I went to three bike shops and these were the toughest tire I could find. As a side note I’m a bit surprised by how little space Seattle bike shops dedicate to cyclocross. The races here are immense – the turnout dwarfs that of road races. In addition the cyclocross design is far and away the most versatile bicycle style: if I could only own one bike it would be a cross bike. Anyway I got new tires and pumped them up to a risky thirty five psi.
Prior to my first cross race I’d heard that you should run your tires a bit “soft,” so I raced with what a road racer would consider low pressure – eighty psi. I’m lucky I didn’t kill myself. Now I drop it all the way down to the mid-thirties - seriously risking a pinch flat – in order to rail through the corners. I know it’s possible to hold a tight fast line through the grassy curves, but still I’m wobbly, wide and sketchy at best.
The new tires didn’t make much of a difference, so I guess the rider is at fault. Unlike road riding, it’s hard to practice cross racing, especially grassy turns. There are a few trails near my house where I can practice single track riding, but most of the courses that I’ve seen have a lot more grass than dirt.

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