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On my mountain bike I normally mount my rear tire to turn opposite the indicated direction of rotation. For MTB I feel I get more traction this way which makes up for the increase in rolling resistance. So is this a good idea with my CX bike or is it better to mount the tire with the proper direction of rotation? If it matters I currently have 700x34 Specialized tracers but I will probably upgrade to something a little liter for racing.  

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There are a lot of opinions of tires out there but that is all they are is OPINIONS!!!  Personally, I always run my tires according to the label.  I tried reversing them a few years ago but saw little to NO gain from it other than they felt different.  I have however modified tires for specific race courses.  I have removed the center tread creating simi-slicks, Cut out every other block, etc...  I think the big difference in CX is the tire selection you have.  Tubulars, Clinchers, File tread, mud tread, compound, the list goes on & on.  Not to say that Mountain bikes don't have a large selection it just seems that in CX the choices are endless.  One universal truth I believe in is that you should have 3 different tires in you CX arsenal:


1)File Tread - used in dry & grassy courses

2)Mud Tread - used in well Mud

3) A/T Tread - The tire you default to when you are not sure what to use


Of course these are just examples, I do not run Challenge tires personally, they just have a good picture for illustration purposes.

Thanks for the info.


If you search the tire reviews on this site, CX Mag specifically recommends reversing the rear on a few kinds of tire, but only a few.  When the do, the reasons are as you suggest.  But the best short answer is probably:  experiment (just not in a race).  Go someplace that has a lot of terrain similar to the races in your area, and spend an hour and a half reversing treads, varying pressures, etc., and see what works.


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