I had built a cyclo-cross bike, but in the weeks before the race, I had problems with the front derailluer. I think the cage got slightly bent during a bad shift. The biopace rings made it worse. It wasn’t shifting well, and was throwing the chain sometimes during shift. Then the chain broke. I ended uop taking my mountain bike to the race.
Most of the other people at the race also had mountain bikes. There were a small percentage of cross bikes. But some people had also tweaked their mountain bikes. The bikes had been fitted with aerobars, skinnier tires. And some of them had clipless pedals.
So I have ordered skinnier tires for my bike. The choice of narrow 26″ tires is not large. I found some Panaracer tires that are 26″x1.25″ They are kevlar lined. They are touring tires, without a head tread, but I think they will work well. Especially on the gravel path that makes up most of the course. I ordered a pair of these. I have also found some Schwalbe tires that are 26″x1.33 inches, and are knobbys. If the touring tires don’t work well, I could try these.
I bought aerobars off of ebay. The are Profile Designs like the other guys had. I will have to looking to the properway of installing them as far as angle and such.
I will look into putting cages and straps on my pedals, or maybe the clipless pedals. I would have to buy shoes, and they would also take time in the transition.