First cyclocross race at age 49

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

Moderator: Moderator Team

User avatar
Posts: 2014
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:03 pm
Location: San Francisco Peninsula

by jmilliron

You end up getting tubulars? I've got one race on my Williams aluminum wheels and Challenge Grifos. Love them. ($400 USD)
2013 Wilier Cento1 SR || 2009 Ridley Crossbow || 2011 Yeti AS-R 5 Carbon

by Weenie

Posts: 35
Joined: Fri May 27, 2011 4:48 am

by owen

Yes on the tubular wheelset. Having 2 sets built locally.
Build sheet:
24 spoke radial front, Sapim Lasers
28 spoke cross 2, Sapim Lasers, Db-14 drive side.
KinLin TB-25 niobium tubular rims.
Alloy nipples.
SuperLight hubs, with wide flange front hub.
Weight: 1420 grams.
Challenge Grifos 32
Tufo Cubus 32
TBD on how low i can go on psi. Perhaps 35f/38r.

Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:22 pm

by Citizenfox

Is be really interested if you kept at this and heat you learned. I'm thinking of starting at 55.

User avatar
Shop Owner
Posts: 151
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:28 am
Location: North Bend, WA

by martinSL

Nice topic
No. 1 is that you should totally do it no mater what. If you don't try it you'll never know.
No. 2 is that it's not easy to win but it's relatively easy to be competitive.
No. 3 is that if you show up at the start line and give all that you have you WIN even if you are last at the finish line.

Now to your your questions

1 and 2. Training is good no matter what. You do it because you like it and you will be doing it because you can get better/faster. Rest is even more important but rest with no big efforts does not do much. IMHO, running as a training is not that important. I do not train running at all and I do not like running but even in long sand running sections I am quite OK - think push, push, push. Roadies with no tech skills are very goodin CX and so are skilled MTB techies - if you combine both you will be at the top of things. Lack of power, endurance or skills will not reduce your enjoyment unless you are prone to be negative.
3. Observe, practice, race, make mistakes, race more, get better, get smooth and you will get faster.

Bike setup - all is good as long as it works for you. You might need to test few things but if you enjoy cycling you are up to some good times - get new things, change, adjust, replace, ... My favorite setup is 1X as I am a ww and it works great for me. 42 front and 11-28 rear. Disc hydro brakes are a big advantage and so are TA but you can get to top of the categories with rim brakes and QRs.
Tires - tubeless is the way to go IMHO. Many non tubeless rims can be easily converted and many non tubeless tires will work with the sealant. Play and try time. Mount them, get on some MTB trails and see how the rubbers work for you.

Additional note - you mention you don't do group rides. CX is kind of a a social sport. Yes, you race more or less solo but before and after the race it's all about having fun wit the group (teammates and competitors). Coming to the race solo, racing and leaving right after will make you miss lots of fun. It's worth getting social IMHO.

Have fun mate!
Racing and Training Cycling Tires

Posts: 220
Joined: Fri Apr 03, 2015 1:22 pm

by Citizenfox

Thanks for the detailed reply.

I just meet a guy, amateur, but races on a sponsored team (Trek Boone) and he said "three things - intervals, tires and disc brakes"

Gotta try it

Posts: 186
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 6:44 am


I started cross this year aged 43. Coming from a road racing background I had good base fitness and able to overtake on straight stretches and power climbs but the other 95% of each race has been a real lesson in bike handling finesse and to a lesser extent, bike setup (tire selection and pressure).

It has been a great change for the focus to shift from tactics, drafting, energy conservation and pain tolerance on the road to just trying to stay upright, getting around corners and over obstacles smoothly, navigating obstacles and just having fun.

Less fit guys with presumably mountain biking backgrounds (hadn't seen them at local road races) were all over it. I've started viewing it as a learning opportunity rather than racing per se, so look out for riders to "shadow". Follow their lines, watch their timing, technique and flow around dismounting/mounting etc.

As per earlier posts, intervals would help, stretch your calves and hamstrings so you can manage short runs (often uphill) without injury and spend as much time as you can on exploring how your bike handles, corners, cambers and in a variety of conditions. I've done a lot of mountain biking too and a CX bike is a more challenging machine to master but hugely rewarding when you get it dialled in.

As for tech, I've settled on Michelin Mud2 tires as good all rounders that are tubeless friendly. Going tubeless has been essential to get down to lower pressures without pinch flatting. Not as good as tubs, but a big step up from tubes.

Enjoy. It is a very cool sport both in terms of the nature of competition itself and the culture around it.

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Last post