Mudsters of the Universe is a Brisbane based blog aimed
at raising Cyclocross interest in South East Queensland

Thursday, December 22, 2011

What Did You Get For Christmas?

I know Christmas is still 3 days away so just go along with my early celebrations.

I went to the LBS this morning because my wife wanted a new saddle - as it turns out she had taken my cross bike down the day before and got this done.

All the parts swapped off my old frame onto a new Crux!!! The running gear is 9 spd 105 so looks like I will be doing some upgrades.

Here is the bike before the new frame.

I am so stoked, I have the best wife ever.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

BO Gear Backpack

Not purely cyclocross related but worth a mention is my new small backpack from Brisbane Outdoor Gear. I have been hassling Dave for one of these ever since he mentioned he was working on them. I prefer riding with a backpack as opposed to a messenger bag. I will mainly use this when commuting to work, and seeing as I try to carry as little as possible this bag will be perfect.


The bag has cleverly contoured shoulder straps that feel like they disappear when in a riding position. Inside the bag there are multiple pockets for separating out all your stuff. The standard bag has no padding in the back but the one I got has a custom pocket for adding high density foam. Dave can also add other custom pockets inside the bag as per your requirements.

Check out the BO Gear website for more cycling bags, tool rolls, foot straps and pouches then you will ever wear out.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


As you can probably tell I am very much a tech head. I love trawling the net and finding what is newest, lightest and strongest gear. On my morning cruse through the forums I came across links to a new product from Retroshift

They are basically a way to run traditional down tube shifters on your break levers. The advantages are that they eliminate mud jamming up your shifters if you crash, they are also cheap to replace if that same crash destroys the shifter.

You can shift up or down the whole cassette with one swipe.

They have also been proven in race conditions.

Go and check out the full review including pricing at

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chain Catchers

A chain catcher is designed to stop your chain falling off when you shift down from the big to the small ring. They also help keep your chain in place when you ride over rough terrain and when dismounting and remounting. Chain catchers are an inexpensive upgrade (depending on which one you buy) that offer insurance that is hard to beat.

One of the cheapest on the market is the Deda Dog Fang. I run a very similar chain catcher on my cross bike - just a knock off I found on eBay for $5.

If you want to go more upmarket (and I suspect in weight) go for a K-Edge model. They come in about 8 different configurations including clamp or braze-on and one that sits between the bottom bracket and frame, like the one below.

This one, is a cyclocross specific model that can be mounted higher on the seat tube away from the a flared bottom bracket.

Check out the K-Edge website for all their products.

There are also examples of home made chain catchers using cable ties (is there anything they can't do?)

Cheap and awesome, a chain catcher will save you time and you won't even know it.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Local Content

I finally have some local content to add to my blog and I have to say it was well worth the wait. 

The most gracious organiser of our local Ipswich cyclocross races sent me these pictures of his (not so) recently pimped ride.

Carbon Ibis with Edge forks

Shimano CX70 Crankset

Shimano CX70 Brakes (Scott reports that they actually work - win!)

Every bike needs the name of it's pilot and the Lion of Flanders

Best rear cable hanger ever!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CX At The Winter Olympics?

Here is part of an article from the competitive cyclist blog about adding CX to the winter Olympics - I think that is the best idea I have heard all year.

Domestic racing is in the air here after we hosted a reception last week for USA Cycling and the promoters and organizers of the NRC races. While chatting with Todd Sowl, CFO of USA Cycling, I asked him something I'd long been curious about (and, interestingly, the uber-blog Inner Ring brought up on its own recently): Given the explosive popularity of cyclocross and the fading pulse of track cycling, why not expose cross to the masses through the Winter Olympics? 
If the Olympics are our best opportunity to introduce the wonders of bike racing to an all-new crowd, changing emphasis from track to CX seems like a no-brainer. Tactics-wise, with cyclocross what you see is what you get. Visually, the mud and suffering make it poetic. And the start-to-finish race length of one hour is long enough to push in TV commercials, but short enough to accomodate 21st Century attention spans. By comparison, track cycling is arcane, repetitive, and commercially unviable.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Tubeless Cyclocross Wheel Conversion

Cycling Dirt put together a how to video on setting up clinchers with a Stan's no tube tubeless wheel conversion kit (what a mouthful). This setup isn't exactly new, but as a crosser on a budget, this might be the perfect solution for getting those low pressures without spending the big bucks on going tubular.

Watch more video of NoTubes Iron Cross 2011 on

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jamis Disc CX

Snowflake from the CX forums (link on the sidebar) just got his hands on this disc equipped Jamis Nova cross bike.

While I am not a fan of disc brakes (call me retroly aggressive), I am a fan of the finish. Apparently the anodising looks awesome in person.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Gios Torino Cyclocross

This thing is absolutely beautiful. Dripping with Campy Record and a panto stem it is pure style. I am so glad it is not my size.

Check out the eBay listing for more pictures.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Taking Cow Bells To The Next Level

This is how they do cow bells in Tasmania and I have to say that I like it. Check out more from the bottles and chains blog here.

Monday, October 10, 2011



Mental note: when designing a CX course, add jumps.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Joey's Ok

More pictures of the now internet famous Joey failing massively can be found  HERE

OK last update I promise. Click through to the 50sec mark for another angle. Joey, you rule.

Oh and for the record - Joey was OK

CX in Adelaide

The final race of the Adelaide PACC cyclocross series was run over the weekend to 30 degree heat - ouch. Unfortunately the only casualty was one of sports greatest advocates (and all round nice guy) Andrew Blake, who rolled his ankle during a warmup session.

Full race report can be found HERE 

While you are there check out the cool animation that displays the race laps.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Live Coverage of CrossVegas

CX Magazine is presenting live coverage of CrossVegas right now!!!!

Once I find a video of the race I will put it up.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Looks Like It Was Fun... For a While

Stumbled across this picture of a nice Independent Fab bike that was having a rough day. Check out the derailleur placement in the second picture.

If I had a bike this nice I would probably break it too.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


The Eurobike trade show has just finished in Germany after 4 days of exhibition. There were heaps of cool pictures of cyclocross bikes coming out of there. One of my favorites is definitely this Firefly titanium number.

This bike comes in just on 6.5kgs, nice.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Slow Down Son

Two posts in one day? I better pace myself.

Got back from holidays in FNQ on Saturday and found this waiting for me.

I have only read the first two chapters and had a flick through some of the good stuff. I have to say that for anyone with an interest in 'cross, this is the book you want to get your hands on.

It is full of awesome information and you can tell from the writing that Simon loves his 'cross. I may just steal some of the best bits I find and share on here.

eBay Watch

I don't really like posting eBay sales but 'cross bikes in Brisbane are far and few between. This older Redline bike just turned up this morning, and would make a great first time ride. Link here

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Shimano Cyclocross Shoe

Rumors on the net point to a Shimano CX specific shoe in the works, I have no further details other then this picture. I will post more info as it comes to light.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Looking for trouble

Independent Fabrication would have to make some of my favorite cyclocross frames ever. This one just popped up on ebay link

I have to say big balls to the guy that put all the nice clean white parts on it.

Independent Fabrications website

Friday, July 29, 2011

Shimano CX70 Cyclocross Components

A rundown of the new Shimano CX specific mini-group.

Stolen straight from CX magazine.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Behind the Barriers

Today I stumbled across a "new" cyclocross site that follows Jeremy Powers through his cross seasons.

Almost everyday I go to Google and type in some type of cyclocross related query but I have never come across this video blog. The series is now into it's second year.

I have only had a quick look but I know what I am doing with the rest of my Friday. I have added the link to the side, so when this post is way back in the archives I will still remember to go and see how the pro's are rolling.

Behind the Barriers

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A Few Pictures As Promissed

This was my first portage, it is a great picture (thanks Justin) because I look like I am laying the smack down on the field, and it makes me feel like a winner when I look at it.

This one is of me riding down the hill that I broke my chain on a few laps later.

Last picture is of me on the creek crossing, which was cold and muddy :)

Even though my day was short it was still great fun and I can only hope cyclocross in the Brisbane area continues to grow.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Joy and Sadness

The wait for the second ever Ipswich cyclocross was 12 months.

The time I got to run my spaghetti legs around the course was 15 mins - Thanks to a broken chain.

I would like to make it sound like I was ripping the field apart with my love of the sport but the truth is I didn't train enough and I am a shit athlete. Half way though the first lap I was running DFL (dead fucking last). I was way out of my depth but kept pushing as hard as I felt I could. On the 3rd lap the guy in front went down on the creek crossing and like Steven Bradbury I took the place thanks to someone else's error.

That was the end of my gold medal moment, because on the hill leading back to the start line my chain popped and I rolled to a stop. Up until this point I was hurting, but not enough to brag about it, so I went to the bar and had a beer.

Thank you Scott and the team of volunteers that worked to put the race on.

Race picture to follow.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

7 Sleeps

The count down to the Ipswich Cyclocross is only 7 sleeps.

If you haven't trained as much as you would have liked or should have, sit at the back of the pack with me and share a spew.

It's going to hurt.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Old Skool Youtube Skills Video

I was watching some cyclocross stuff on youtube and came across this series of excellent skills/training videos. They were filmed in the late 90's but the information is still very relevant and a great resource for beginners and those looking for some more technical skills practice drills.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Seven Weeks

Only seven weeks until the one and only cyclocross race in Brisbane (more correctly Ipswich) this year. Time to start that last minute training and practice a few mounts and portages. Get over to the Ipswich cyclocross website and register early.

Link here.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Daisy Hill

I have been meaning to go over to Daisy Hill reserve for a while now and finally got around to it today. Daisy Hill is one of the few areas around Brisbane where you can ride off road without getting the hippies upset.

The weather was clear as I got there, but 10min into my ride it started to rain. I should have put the mud tyres on when I complained about them earlier - oh well. Daisy Hill is a fantastic setup lots of tracks running everywhere and I was a bit worried about getting lost so I just did loops from car park and back.

Very happy with the new cranks I put on, they are a real improvement as they offer a much better gear selection when riding up the hills.

I only saw 2 people out there and guess what - one was riding a cyclocross bike! I was so happy to see someone else out riding cross. I was tempted to wait around in the car park and check out his rig but I was wet and hungry.

I will be heading back out to Daisy Hill from time to time as there is so much riding to do out there it will be hard to resist.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Yamaguchi Single

Nice Yamaguchi single speed with disk brakes, it also sports a flattened top tube with integrated seat post clamp. It's not my kind of thing but it's different.

From here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

New Cranks

Got my new cranks in the mail yesterday so threw them on this morning. Now running a compact setup with 46/34 rings, should make riding off road heaps easier. Sorry for the crappy phone picture but you get the point.

Next mission is a new set of wheels, but only when the budget will allow them, so don't hold your breath.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Best Day Ever

I went for a ride today with a friend of mine over Ipswich way. We went on one of his regular mountain bike routes over a few hills and through a few creeks. It rained the day before and a bit this morning but was dry (it seemed) as we left - that was my first mistake. To follow on from my previous post in regards to tyre selection Vittoria Cross XN Pro's are not made for mud, so don't even try. I slipped almost everywhere I went off road and had to walk most of the hills due to lack of traction. My second mistake was trying to use a road gear ratio and match it uphill with a mountain biker - this will be the next part of my cross bike to be changed.

Despite all this I had a bunch of fun, I fell over in the thickest mud 3 times and pulled off a wicked rad bunny hop.

Mud on the rear brakes, you can see how much crap was in the pedals too.

Even with all the mud and grass and sticks all over my bike everything still worked perfectly which I was very impressed with. Except maybe the brakes, but they didn't work in the first place. Looking forward to my next cyclocross adventure after I tweak a few things.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Which Tyre to Choose?

When you start looking at tyres for your cross bike you soon notice that every manufacturer has a choice of mounting options, tread and sizes. When you add them all up you get about a kazillion different cyclocross tyre options. What do all the options mean and which is the best tyre for you?

Mounting Options

There are really only two mounting options tubular and clincher. Tubulars glue onto the rim surface and are lightweight, strong and can be run at lower pressures (10-15 psi) without risk of pinch flats. Tubulars also take longer to mount to a rim because of the gluing/curing process and they are more expensive. Just about every pro level racer will be using tubulars.

Clinchers on the other hand have the exact opposite pros/cons. They are heavier then tubulars and must be run at higher pressures (40-45 psi). However, flats are quick to change and they are cheaper then tubulars. Clinchers will be your choice for training or if you are beginning in the sport.

Tread Types

Lets break tread types down into 3 categories; all round, file tread and mud.

There are lots of choices for all round tyres, they will perform well on grass, loose dirt and mud. These tyres have wide spaced knobs to allow mud and dirt to fall off while still giving good grip. If you can only afford one set of tyres this will be them. Some examples are Continental Speed King Cross and Vittoria Cross XG Pro.

File tread work well on hard packed courses, but can also be useful as a front tyre in the mud because they 'cut' through the mud. Some examples are Continental Cyclocross Speed and Vittoria Cross XN Pro.

Finally there are mud tyres and they work best on muddy courses - der. The best of these would be the Michelin Mud 2.

Tyre Size

The majority of cross tyres will be between 28-35mm. The narrower tyres are suited to muddy conditions because they move through the mud, not over it. 32-34mm seems to be the sweet spot for all other racing. The wider the tyre the lower the tyre pressure you should be able to run. But to get the wider tyres on you will have to make sure you have the enough frame clearance. Some manufactures might not offer exactly the width you are after, but there's when you might have to muck around with tyre pressure to get the ride you like.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Hero Shall Emerge

So, the cyclocross scene in Brisbane is pretty pathetic.

Mudsters of the Universe blog intends to act as a resource and encourage the south east Queensland cycling community to get involved in the emerging local cyclocross scene.

Who knows, we might even organise a few events ourselves.