Racing cyclocross with a Mtb

Basically, I am Varsity Mtb Nica racer in Utah, and want to try cyclocross, but I only have my Mountain bike, would I be fine racing a Mountain Bike?


Yup, have at it and enjoy. :smiley:


I assume you are going to be racing the Cat. 5 race and it its pretty much a free for all intro class. If your question is in regards to if you can legally or physically race the intro class on a MTB then the answer is no and yes. They wont care because the goal is to get people on course to enjoy the sport and grow it, if you start doing better and cat up that’s when they will start requiring an actual CX bike.

I think starting off on a MTB is a great idea to get your feet wet and see if you really like that type of racing.


Yes, do it. I used my mtn bike for my first few CX races just to see if I liked it. It’s a bit heavier to lift over the barriers or if you have to run a sand pit or something, but it does the job.

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Go for it!

Re: tire width and bike rules, these aren’t clear at all race-to-race. Many races explicitly state that they do not follow UCI rules for bikes, and that “run what you brung” is the rule of the day. So, even if you cat up, you might be able to ride your MTB


Just adding on to what everyone else said: Just check the rules and go throw down. It’s not my thing, but there are always people at my local races with MTB’s. Some run narrow tires, some run CX bikes with flat bars, all kinds of stuff.

Also, my local races have cheap rentals. If I do any races I will just rent a bike.

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Be sure to check the individual race rules before driving (inserts Utah or general US West distance here), but I totally agree, run what you have. Lock out the fork. Learn and enjoy.

(Says guy who lost a 4/5 to a fat biker at least once).

Don’t hold yourself back based on equipment. Go race.

In the spring after your trial CX races, if you want to race CX next season, look for a used bike in your area. Even way used and battered. Utah’s pretty dry, right? Canti’s are fine and a basic bike will help you learn to work on your own stuff. Used parts on a 2x9 or 2x10 will be way cheaper than x11 and your legs won’t feel the difference.

Save a little money, have an around-town bike, have more fun on gentle trails than a MTB with 2.2s can provide.

Go race. [47 more encouraging lines].


There are a lot of us who have been in your same position, and just wanted to try it out with the bike we had at the time, and had so much fun we were hooked. If you’re in Cat 5, race what you have, mtb, gravel, etc, it’s no big deal.

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Its absolutely acceptable in Cat 4/5. I’ve raced against people on MTB’s, Fat Bikes and even Hybrids in Cat5. Just give it a shot and if you decide you’re going to stick with racing cross you can go out and get a CX bike then

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Absolutely. I did my first cx races on a steel Peugeot road bike. 33s baaaaaarely fit between the chainstay and braking was suspect, but it hooked me.

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Locally they’ll let MTBs/flat-bars in C races (Cat 5), which is great for an intro. If your handling is decent, you stand a real good chance at placing near the top (unless there’s a lot of running/carrying the bike). Depending on the course and your tires, you can absolutely destroy a CX bike.

I would agree with what everyone above has said and I would add that I have chosen to do a CX race on my XC mountain bike before (I own a CX bike). We have one race around here that has a lot of roots and stuff and it is nice on a suspended bike. This was a non-USAC race so no one cares