So I am posting this in the "noob" section because I finally broke down and built a cross specific rig. I have been riding/racing bike XC mountain bikes for years. So here is my question. In the MTB world there have been front and rear specific tires since the early to mid 90's and I always select tires for my MTB rig with this in mind. However, now that I have a dedicated CX bike I have been paying more attention to how CX bikes are set up. It seems that CX riders use the same tires front and rear. It there a reason for this or am I missing something? It seems to me (as with MTB's) that the front and rear tires have two very different jobs, so the tires reflect that. Thought's?
Folks mix and match tires all the time in CX. I tend to run a beefier (read: more grip) tire in front and something less aggressive in the back. I'm much more comfortable drifting the back wheel than I am the front, so try to put as much grip up there as practical for the course and my riding style. Not sure how much you see it in the Elite/Pro ranks, but those guys/girls are all incredible bike handlers and used to being able to slip and slide their way around a course. I do know some mess around with tread direction on tires that are directional (like the Grifo) and often run the rear tire "tractor style" (tread pattern facing opposite of recommended) to gain some added grip.