my hair brained schemes to race a mountain bike in the modern cyclocross races have always failed. in the past, trying to use a lighted 26" wheel bike against the 700c cross bikes has just ended with me getting a cross bike. there is more to it than the bike, of course, but i went better with the right bike. however, i am limited in my budget, and limited in my time to adapt to a road bike off road. having a very light, high performance 29" wheel (essentially, a 700c wheel) mountain bike has turned into another scheme.
i have a large cache of extra parts, and came up with a dura ace rear derailleur, and a 12-26 9 speed cassette.
i found that the hutchinson bulldogs come in a tubeless ready version to go with my shimano xt 775 tubeless 29'er wheelset. they popped into the bead so tight that i will not be able to take them off without mechanical assistance. a bit of stan's sealant makes them air tight. 25-30 psi? i think so.
a generic carbon fiber rigid fork with disc brake mounts seals the deal. all in all, i saved almost 5 pounds from an already light mountain bike. it comes in at 18.5lbs. add the weight savings to the correct sized wheels, and i will be racing cross as well as i can. my bike handling is SO MUCH better on a mountain bike than on a cross bike, so i'm hoping that will be the big factor for me.
regardless, i am very excited about racing cross. i am even doing some cross specific training, if you can believe that. we shall see.