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Hi Everyone, complete noob to cx. Ive been riding road for 3 years but never raced. I signed up for a couple cross races this year and just recently completed a clinic with a practice race. The course had a winding uphill off camber section that I must have tried to ride 15 different times at different lines/speeds through out the course of the day and I completely sucked each time. Any one have any pointers as to what I am doing wrong?

Also, I am awful at cornering...I break way too much and lost 3 places with every turn. Ive read a bunc h of stuff about cornering but i need some really basic help. like cornering 101. any help would be much appreciated

THANKS!

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I'm don't have much more experienced but, with the turns, are you trusting your tires? My first race I touched my front brake too much in a turn, crashed myself and the rider behind me. I've been mt biking for many years but the grass is much slipperier. Practice pushing the turns and taking a wide line apex type turn (if you have the room and aren't cutting another rider off) until you find the breaking loose point and go from there, IMO!

Thanks! I will try that. I think my saddle was too far forward, i felt like I was gonna faceplant everytime I took a turn. also my tire pressure was probably too high. I think I was running 70psi (im 160lbs) I adjusted both and will test them out either today or tomorrow. My tires recommend 50psi min should i just ignore that and run the lower pressures I see people talk about?

Ignore that for sure. Think 50psi or so, see if you can go a tad lower.

Practice practice. Set up a small course with flags. Left around a tree. Practice hitting the outside of the turn, getting into the apex and getting on the gas on the exit. Do a million repeats. Then reverse it for a million repeats. Then make it a 180 turn. Experiment with a lot of lines (and tire pressure). Do it once a week, at least.

I was planning on setting up some barrels and doing figure 8's and then sprinting out of every turn. I have 4 weeks til Gloucester so I'm gonna practice as much as I can.

70psi is WAY too high for cross.  Even 50 is, unless you're heavy.  I weigh 5-10 pounds less than you, and when I race on clinchers (I usually run tubulars) I run around 32-36psi depending on the risk of pinch flats.  More rocks/roots/bumps = a little more pressure, just to prevent pinching.  Start your next practice session at 40, and bleed down a little from there.  If you find the pinch flat threshold in practice, that's good info, and better than finding out in a race.

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