Who is Cyclocross's closest sibling?

Road Cycling
Mountain Biking
Total votes: 239


my guess is that most people

my guess is that most people were voting on what they think the 'cross vibe is more like, and in that regard I would agree, it's much more like mtb than road for most people. Even those 'cross racers who look like they're taking things too seriously (spandex, shaved legs, powertaps, etc...) are still very laid back when it comes to the 'cross vibe. Well, most of 'em, anyway.

the only difference between

the only difference between road and cross is that the mid to back of the pack that have quit road racing continue to still race cx. If that makes it seem more laid back, then so be it.

But you all confuse being laid back with not training. One can train, want to do well, and still be laid back. This is very much true on the road and also in cx. If anything, due to the holeshot at the start of cx races, cx is way more intense and requires way more focus if you want to do well.

Granted, if you don't care about your result, you start in the back, pick off a few first timers and have a great time.

I'm wondering if...

I'm wondering if cross riders who classify themselves as roadies are saying it's like mountain biking and that cross riders who classify themselves as mountain bikers are saying it's like road. And those who classify themselves solely as cross riders are thinking they don't want to related to either member.

Very interesting how at 126 votes it's a even tie!

I'm thinking that the

I'm thinking that the discipline of cyclocross (as it currently exists in a highly structured racing format in most US regions) is most analogous to road racing, at least from the standpoint of structure and homogeneity.

And what are you comparing to when you say "mountain biking"? Cross-country? Enduro? Marathon events? Downhill/Freeride/Slopestyle... what exactly is "mountain biking"? Are you talking racing or riding around in the woods, or what? Competitive MTB has come so far and become such a varied and diffuse characterization over the past two decades that I'm not sure you can even draw a parallel between it and cyclocross anymore, unless you're including stuff like Iron Cross epics and gravel grinders in the mix.

In a nutshell, the closest analogue to our current cyclocross series on the Front Range would be the "traditional" highly structured and sanctioned AMBC 1-2 hour XC circuit racing format, as it used to exist widely throughout the US in the 1990s. This format is pretty much dead and gone, mainly thanks to NORBA / USAC neglect and mismanagement, save for maybe Sea Otter. What has taken its place is a patchwork of locally organized events that don't share much if any commonality in format, structure, sanctioning bodies, or even competitor base, and I don't see a ton of crossover between them. Some are big ticket sponsored events (X Games / Red Bull) some are endurance events (Leadville, Breck Epic, etc.); the Enduro (endurance DH) type event seems to be catching on from Europe to here, and there are a few remaining "traditional" XC series (meaning: you don't have to be on a bike for more than 3 hours and can have a hope of getting something else accomplished during any given weekend) like the Winter Park series, but in essence none of these have much in common with a 45 to 60 minute 'cross race beyond the fact that you're riding a bicycle on dirt.

There is crossover from both disciplines, certainly. However, I see more and more riders every year who focus exclusively on 'cross to the exclusion of all else. Certainly in the upper UCI elite levels, and even at national elite levels, most of those riders focus exclusively on 'cross, and only race other disciplines as tune-ups or casually at best. I believe it is probably accurate to say that cyclocross as a discipline is evolving in the US as its own separate culture / entity and it doesn't really have to depend on either MTB or road. It's becoming its own beast. Even USAC recognizes this distinction and has de-coupled rankings and categorizations between road/cross over the past few years.

Now I will say that I agree with those who say that the culture of cyclocross is generally less uptight and more forgiving than road racing. I think there are many reasons for that and some of them are pretty valid. Some are more perception than reality. I've raced road and MTB for many years, and I've been doing more cross, and been happier with it lately mostly owing to the fact that the older I get, the more I prefer a (fairly) soft landing in a sandpit over sliding across hot tarmac.

This guy thinks cross is run by roadies but the poll says....


" I get that the sport has deep roots in the world of roadies. That said, its very history is a problem."

"This whole multiple bike/pits/pressure washers/crew thing. They're doing it wrong... but then again, coming from a roadie background? It's a natural progression. Support is part of the sport, like it or not."

I'd say cross has a lot of disenfranchised mountain bikers that miss the days when the cross country event ruled the day. I wouldn't call them roadies because many of them don't do more than 2 road events a year AT BEST, but probably very few own a downhill, enduro or jump bike. The remainder is probably a 50/50 split.