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Will your cleats survive the season? Kenton Berg
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Mechanical Mondays: When To Repair Your Cleats

OK people, it’s August, races are coming up quick, and ’cross prep is happening around the country. Now that you’ve dialed in the bike parts, shaved some weight off of your frame (bike or otherwise), gotten the tubies set to roll, what’s left? Well, its time to work on the shoes, two of the key contact points with your bike, and remove the opportunity for dirt, sticks, mud, rocks or other debris to get caught up between the shoe sole and your cleat. Face it, you just can’t go as fast or crush your competitors without being clipped in fully.

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How much glue should you leave on the rim when cleaning? Kenton Berg
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Mechanical Mondays: Gluing Tubies, How Clean Is Clean Enough?

Gluing tubulars can be stressful enough, and there are so many different “best ways” of getting the job done. This week, we wanted to look at one question that we hear a lot when talking about gluing up tubulars: when gluing new tires on a wheel that’s been used and glued before, what kind of prep should you be doing? And more specifically, how clean do you want your rims to be before gluing on new tires?

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bike shop
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Mechanical Mondays: Upgrade Your Bike For Under $100

It’s that time of year again: time to pull your cyclocross bike out of storage, take a good, long look at it and think, “Well, now what does it need?” Because we’re bike racers. And our bikes always need something, preferably something shiny and new. However, if you’re on a strict bike budget, there are some sneaky ways to upgrade or update your bike for the season, there’s an easy solution: accessories. (And yes, we realize that this piece reads like a fashion magazine article on making that Little Black Dress look brand-new by simply adding new jewelry or shoes.) Still, if you’ve been racing on — or just bought — a stock bike, we have some suggestions for how to dress it up so it stands out in the field (hopefully because you snagged the hole shot.)

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A bent derailleur is easy to miss but can hurt your race results. © Jason Gardner
cyclocross techFeaturedhow-to

Mechanical Mondays: Avoiding The Dreaded DNF

The sad reality is that most catastrophic failures in cross racing result from very simple factors. I have compiled a small list of race ending mechanical problems that could have been avoided with a small dose of precaution and a dash of extra care. These are not all or even the most common mechanical issues in cross racing but these all have two things in common: 1. They can absolutely end your race, giving you a regrettable DNF. 2. They can easily be prevented.

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Katie Compton Winning Mountain Bike Races to get Ready for Cyclocross
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Newbie News: Racing Cyclocross on Mountain Bikes

Fortunately it was pretty easy to make one of my mountain bikes ‘cross worthy, and that was enough to get me by for a few seasons. I think any cross-country oriented mountain bike will work for cyclocross racing, with a few caveats. A hardtail is best, but a full-suspension bike isn’t a deal breaker. It’s like bringing combat boots to a 5K run. The equipment will work, but will probably put you out of contention for a podium spot. That being said, I’ve seen some sub-20lb, super-efficient, “no-bob” full suspension bikes with traditional front triangle designs, which would be fine to take to the starting line.

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