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I am new to cyclocross racing and new to bicycle racing in general.  I going to try to do a few cyclocross races this year if i can.  I do have a few questions though.  At the risk of sounding stupid how long are the races, and are they timed or are they done on a lap counter.   The other thing is I am going to convert my road bike over to a cyclocross bike, is there anything special i need to do to it other than the tires and stuff.  Thanks for the help.

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Thanks for the advice.  For now I have a Dawes frame.  Not the best but it will get me started.  I got the tires on and they are a little tight fitting but they dont rub. 

It is still geared but I am thinking of making it a single speed just so there is a few less things to worry about.

If you can get to a cyclocross clinic that will help a lot. I know it helped me to feel a lot more confident in my first race. Other than that, just try to get out and ride some trails, grass, gravel, etc., so that it's not an unfamiliar sensation when racing at high speed on skinny off road tires. Most of all, remember to have fun.

I highly recommend a clinic.  They are informative and the same time.  CX Magazine just posted some clinics in their calendar of events.  Check it out and find a clinic in your neighborhood.



CX Nation

In addition to all the recommendations to do a clinic, I'd say just get out there and do it! It's a great time and of al the race scenes, I think 'cross is the easiest to get into. The racers and promoters are generally very helpful and encouraged by first timers and the spectators (usually other racers) are very supportive.

With your current bike you mention the tires fit but it's a bit close. You'll want to be careful of this because if you hit a rock or root and it knocks the rim a tick out of true you cold end up with some tire rub. Not to scare you, just to make you aware. The method you are pursuing is a common one (converting an old road bike) and as Oliver has mentioned, if you've been riding geared up until now, I'd stay with that for your first foray into 'cross.



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