Here's the problem with cyclocross...
Before I get into it, let me point out two things. First off, I actually enjoy cyclocross. I've talked about it before. If it weren't for the fact that the majority of the nearby races are USAC sanctioned, I'd do one event... maybe even two or three. I wouldn't do too many just because a whole lotta of driving and whatnot just to do a 45 minute race eats up an entire day that could be spent (you guessed it) riding a mountain bike.
Secondly, I get that the sport has deep roots in the world of roadies. That said, its very history is a problem.
Silliness. Coddling. Panty wastes.
How could it be better?
Mountain bikers shoulda manhandled the sport, taken over the reigns with mucho gusto. Not the new age USA Cycling brand of mountain bikers, the ones that allowed pit areas in XC races, but the originators. The "fix your own shit without help from anyone" NORBA OG racers. Had this been their sport, in woulda turned out differently.
"But what about the mud, the torn off derailleurs, the clogged brakes, the fouled shifting, the... blah, blah, blah."
I don't really want to hear it.
Had this been a sport derived from the self-supported spirit of mountain biking, the bikes would have evolved differently thus negating the silly arguments.
Bikes woulda been built with clearance in mind. Mad clearance. Think 35c tires on... I don't know... a mountain bike frame.
Brakes. Cantis suck. Mountain bikers figured that out awhile ago. Then there were V-brakes. Disc brakes came along... dissenters said, "They're too heavy and ineffective." Then they got better. Now we use them. All of us.
Sure as of right now discs for cross have multiple issues. Since the sport is so steeped in tradition (held back by the UCI... whatever), progress has been slow. Using old school cable actuated designs with one non self-adjusting pad caused issues. Well, that's because that was modern technology, oh, I don't know... thirteen years ago? Then there's the awkward progress of hydraulic with the leaders in awkward products getting the leap... SRAM.
Well, you could always run flat bars, but that wouldn't be very crossy of you. Is that against UCI rules? Dunno. Too many google results when I looked for "dumb things in the UCI rule book."
Drivetrains. Mud. Bad thing.
Internal gears. Heavy, heavy, heavy, but oh so reliable. Just think how much money woulda been sunk into R&D if top cross racers were running them and every chut that needed to be like every top cross racer wanted them. They'd be tits by now... but they're not. Because they didn't have to be. Because... pits.
Why bitch about a sport that I've participated in once in the last decade (somewhere around that)?
I am, for lack of a better term, an endurance mountain biker. I leave the start line, and aside from a possible tube/lube at an aid station, I'm pretty much on my own. My brake pads have to last for hours and hours no matter what the conditions are like. If it looks like rain, I'd better toss in some new pads BEFORE the race. I have to balance my part selection between what's light but still durable enough to make great bike race. I'm on my own, and that's the grand equalizer. It's not about how nice my spare bike is, how many friends I can gather to be my pit bitches, if I can throw down for a power washer...
I know not all races are muddy, so this isn't always that important.
But wanna pin your dreams on a race like the 2013 World's in Louisville?
Beer hand ups.
Dollar bill hand ups.
The spectators in their crazy costumes.
What? I'm outta time?
Anyways... I think I had a point. Maybe you got it, maybe not. Who cares?
Tomorrow, I'll reveal the builder of my 2014 Frame of Mass Construction and begin the endless talking about said frame.