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
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.