Cross is here! - 2022 Cyclocross Discussion

Looking to pick a set of tires to set my gravel bike for CX, it will be my first season racing. Had ordered a pair of Schwalbe X-One Bite but 2 days later they said actually we don’t have those… So have an opportunity to rethink my choice. As a beginner, should I go for a mud tire like the X-one bite for all conditions or consider something else like: X-One Allround, Challenge Grifo, Challenge Baby Limus, Vittoria Terrane Mix or Maxxis All-Terrane? I don’t see the PDX World Cup tubeless version available.

They also have the watts to actually need a big ring.


I’m Madison-based so I’ll be racing a handful of the Wisconsin CX series races, and maybe hit a few of the ChiCrossCup races on the North side. This is my second season racing cross and I am STOKED! I feel fit, and have been going to CX practice weekly for the past month - a local bike shop here (Neff Cycle Service, if you’re ever in town) puts on a weekly practice at a different park around town and it’s great technique-building.

Finish top half of the pack in every race, like I did last year.
Do at least one double-header (Women Cat 4 + Single Speed)
Be an enabler for more women on the start line!! #cat4crossbaybee


The big ring on a cross bike is usually a 46t, doesn’t actually require much watts IME, my main bike is 1x and my backup bike is my gravel bike that is 2x with 46/34 and I use the 46 as a Cat 4

Where are all the race reports from the weekend? Nobody race CX?

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I raced cat5. Had an asthma attack 1/2 through. DNF. It twas a bummer.

Did you race @stonerider ? How’d it go?

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2 races 2 DNF’s for me so far this season. Race this weekend was 90% singletrack, I ended up getting 2 flats. Was able to fix the first one and keep going, but the 2nd one did me in and I pulled the plug. Hopefully I find some better luck next weekend!


Good luck next weekend. Are you going to change anything? Tire pressure, etc?

Yeah I went lower on the tire pressure than I normally do, and I think I paid for it.

I’m a heavier rider and always weary to go below 30psi, but that felt like I didn’t have enough grip during my pre-ride so I went down to 25 at the start and that was probably a mistake.

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Question for my cyclocross friends -

I’ve got a new wheel/tire setup this year - enve 3.4 AR (hookless) with challenge handmade tubeless (impossible to get on by the way). I ran them at 22psi front and 23.5 rear (I’m 140-142 lbs). I was really happy with the setup but every lap I “rolled” the tires on a high-speed turn. No burping or air loss.

Should I add a little pressure? Or good to go since there was no air loss?

Thanks all!

PS - Finished 7th cat 3/4 at DCCX

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Dang son! If ya’ll are spinnin’ 46s in cat 4 remind me not to sign up for any races in your region. I rock a 46 all summer and then switch to a 38 for cross season here in Chicago and there’s no way in heck I could run that 46 off-road.

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We have lots of flat grass crits here at the start of the season. Its not that 46 is optimal but the 34t spins out occasionally. I run a 1x 42t for most of the season here. Our first race was this weekend and i hit just under 25mph vying for the holeshot

I’m 54 years old also and used to race a lot of CX. But now I just live vicariously through race reports of others.

My last race was an XC short track race (win) in 50+ in February 2020 before the world shut down for Covid 19. I lost motivation during the shutdown to eat properly and gained 25 pounds. Part of the weight gain is muscle due to adding a weight lifting program twice per week. I keep thinking I might race again if I get the motivation to eat properly. But it will be XC MTB if I do because I don’t have a proper CX/gravel bike as I sold my Giant TCX.

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Any suggestions for setting/guessing at the pressure without a gauge? The CX series I’ve been going to I ride 10-11 miles on pavement to get there and have the pressure set fairly high as a result. Last race I was bleeding air out on the start line but I’m always nervous about overshooting it. Ended up at 60 psi or so on the rear for a flat mostly (dry) grass race.

Next race I’ll actually have time before the race to fidget with things.

Tubed setup. Looking to convert to tubeless w/ an insert whenever these backordered wheels show up :neutral_face:

A few thoughts here.

  1. Why not set your pressure at home and ride to event on that pressure?

  2. If 1 is unacceptable to you, can you ask someone to borrow their pump/gauge?

  3. If truly must use feel-o-meter, I place my thumb across tire, take your other hand and lay on top of your thumb. Push down as quickly and forcefully as you can. For a tubed set up, I would think you want as much compliance as you can without hitting rim. For tubeless, you can go a little lower, maybe just grazing rim on your hardest push.


I’m also running Challenge handmade tubeless. I’d recommend getting their Smart Bead Seating Tool which will help getting any tire on the rim, but especially the handmade ones.

Another tip is to get tire inserts. I use the Cushcore CUSHCORE GRAVEL.CX set. Fair warning - this definitely makes it even harder to get the tires on, but they also sell a tool that makes it a bit easier. The inserts will add a lot of stability to the sidewalls of the tires. Plus you can run even lower tire pressure and won’t have to worry about damaging the rims. I’m 150 lbs and typically run about 20/21 psi.


I pump my tyres up to 25 psi before I leave the house, once at the course, let 2-3 blast of air out, ride round, if I don’t like the grip, let some more out. Do a test by pushing the tyre down by hand, I don’t want to feel the rim like that, that’s too low for me.

Then I’m usually too lazy to pump the tyres back up after the race and ride back with very draggy tyres.

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Welp, first race weekend is coming up after next, this is going to be interesting. I haven’t raced since the 19/20 season, have moved to a new country, and to top it off, to a country where SSCX isn’t really a thing. I’m really going to miss racing with the SSCX folks back in the SF Bay Area.

Folks here are wildly competitive with the fitness to back it up so I fully expect to be DFL all year, we’ll see what happens. It’ll be good to race in the mud and actual cold!

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Had my first race last weekend at DCCX in DC. Had prepped really well leading up to it until COVID got me a few weeks ago. Finished 32nd/87 as opposed to 17/73 last year. Could have been worse, but still lots of work to do to get back in prime shape. Hopefully I can get closer to the podium later in the Fall.


just ordered the seating tool. Hopefully it will help! Or at least help my LBS:)

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