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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    378

    Fueling and Shouldering and Fit Questions

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    I'm going to enter a race in a couple of weeks. There is a women's C class for first time racers. The race is only 20 minutes long. Normally, I do centuries on my road bike, or play around on single track on my mountain bike, and I know how to fuel for those types of rides. What is recommended for a 20-minute race? I don't plan to eat during the race, of course, but what about drinking?

    Re: shouldering. I have to say that shouldering my bike hurts! I put an old shoulder pad under my jersey and that didn't help much. Is there a way I can pad the bike itself?

    I'm trying to dial in my fit. I read a book that suggested that the distance from your saddle to the bottom bracket should be the same, or only slightly lower, than on your road bike. However, the bottom bracket on my cross bike is significantly higher than on my road bike, so I can't even put a toe down when the saddle is that high. Any thoughts on that? The fit on my road bike is truly perfect, so I'm using those measurements as a start.

    Thanks!

    Alex

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Not sure about your fit questions - but as for the others

    I wouldn't bother with a bottle. A 20 min race isn't long enough for you to really need to drink. Most people don't even have cages on their cross bikes (it interferes with picking up and shouldering the bike), much less carry bottles. Our ace cross racer only missed having liquid once - it was a long race 45min or an hour? (she races with the pros) and it was hot, like in the 80's, which is highly unusual for a cross race.

    The bike hurting your shoulder - yes, you can get a little triangular pad that goes between the seat post and top tube. Our good cross racers say don't do it... your shoulder will break in and stop hurting the same way your back side does with a new saddle. If you get a pad it will never stop hurting. If you only plan to do one or two races a year - then it might be worth it.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    SF bay area
    Posts
    151
    pad- you won't need it for racing, and it will just get in the way. As you improve w/ shouldering, you will get used to placing the bike so it doesn't bounce around on the bony bits, also. I do use a pad for practicing shouldering- I shove a fleece hat folded up a couple of times under my jersey on my right shoulder.

    water- i am a beginner cross rider in the sf bay area where cross is hot and dusty for most of the season. it isn't uncommon for racers to get bottle hand-ups during a hot race (yes, even in the C field, which races for 30-40 mins in our area)-- have a friend hand you a bottle, take a sip, then toss the bottle. As an alternative, for one race I carried a gel flask w/ a little water (in my jersey pocket) and took a couple of sips to wet my mouth on the hot race day. You really don't need much even if it is hot out. you won't need a whole bottle for such a short race, and the bottle/cage will get in the way

    fit- see someone to help you fit the bike. my fitter kept the saddle position the same as on my road bike (same relative height from the BB, which is higher than my road bike) but i know other folks who have the saddle a bit lower than the road bike position b/c it helps them remount

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    101
    Adam Hodges-Meyerson recommends 1 cm lower saddle height to help "float" over the saddle on rough surfaces:

    http://www.cyclocrossworld.com/Tech....ShowDisabled=0

    Also 1 - 2 cm higher and closer for the handle bars, compared to your road bike.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    378

    Thanks!

    I appreciate the words of wisdom. After fooling around with the fit yesterday (on the trainer), I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I went out today on a nice loop at a local park and everything seemed nicely dialed in. (My saddle is a bit lower than my road bike and I am a bit closer to the handlebars.)

    Shouldering the bike didn't really hurt that much today, either, so perhaps I'm doing a better job with that. (This was only my second time out on the bike.)

    After watching a VeloNews video online, I managed to teach myself how to dismount today. I must have been a sight as it took a couple attempts to actually get up the gumption to do it. Once I figured it out, I was dismounting all over the park. Of course, now I need to take a look at videos on getting back ON the bike!

    Alex

 

 

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