I’ve never ridden in a cyclocross race.
I know very little about the nuances of the sport.
Nevertheless, I am excited to dive into that world.
But I’ve noticed a few oddities that need to be addressed. Forgive my ignorance, but ‘cross seems to be an extremely finicky game. Tires have to be set up just right. And not only that, but just the right tires have to be used in just the right conditions. Not to mention the ongoing debate about tubulars VS. tubeless. And while I can completely understand that the various racing conditions associated with cyclocross demand various tread patterns and psi weights, the entire discussion is rather overwhelming for somebody only now just walking into the room. Can’t I just find some durable rubber and go ride my bike?
One might make the argument that the same discussion exists in mountain biking. Perhaps. But there is also that option in mountain biking—and on the road—of simply rolling out of the store and hitting the trails with whatever it was that the bike came equipped with. Is that even an option in ‘cross? The spinning I did around the neighborhood on the cheap tires that my Presidio came with was flat laden and headache inducing. Skinny tires, inflated with skinny tubes, riding over dirt is a natural combination for flat tires. And so, it becomes necessary to resolve that issue. Right?
I’m optimistic that I’ve done just that. But it took a rather vexing and prolonged approach. And still, I’m not exactly certain that the solution I’ve worked out—Stan’s rim strips and sealant, with Pirhana tires—will work in the long term. To read the many articles and forum threads about ‘cross tubeless, it becomes easy to believe that nothing works very well, and that most everything will turn out in disaster. Which is why I find myself thinking that this hybrid sport of cyclocross is more high maintenance than any other cycling I’ve ever done.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I can simply ride my bike. In fact, that is what I intend to do.
Just as soon as I figure out how to keep my tires inflated.
Exit Question: Am I making this harder than it needs to be?