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  1. #1
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    Road racing with cross bike?

    I've been riding my cross bike (redline conquest pro) all winter as a commuter and general training bike so I only have one bike to clean, considering that the first few races of the year will most likely have some crashes or rain I was thinking about just throwing on a 53/39T crankset on (it currently has a 46/34T) and using that for racing during the first few races. Does anyone do this? Use your cross bike for the first few races of the year or at least until you know you won't have to clean your race bike as much?
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
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  2. #2
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Bikes are meant to get dirty. Your race bike will not respect you if you baby it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    Bikes are meant to get dirty.
    That's not the point...bikes are not happy when dirty and I don't have the time to completely take it apart every week to thoroughly clean it. Then again I guess I"m a bit OCDish when it comes to dirt on my bikes.
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

  4. #4
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRLski
    I"m a bit OCDish when it comes to dirt on my bikes.
    If you're taking your bike to clean it on a regular basis, I'd say so.

    I have very little emotional attachment to sporting goods. That doesn't mean I don't love my bikes, but I paid a lot of money to have a nice bike to ride/race and I'm going to use it. Few things are as rewarding as buying a high-quality tool and using it for its intended purpose in all its glory.

  5. #5
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Oh, also, I think if you're doing road races and not super-twisty crit racing, your cross bike should handle it fine.

  6. #6
    hateful little monkey jim-bob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRLski
    ...bikes are not happy when dirty...
    I've never found this to be the case.

  7. #7
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    Don't go over 52/28 on that 110bcd crank. There is only one company (I belive) that makes 53/39 rings for a compact crank anyhow. That way you don't have to change the crank. Heck, even putting a 48T on there and leaving the 34T be would work, if you have an 11T cassette laying around. 48-11 is basically the same gear as a 53-12 anyhow.
    Get on a cross bike.... you'll like it ;)

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim-bob
    I've never found this to be the case.
    dirt = bad shifting and etc.
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

  9. #9
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Clean bikes are for posers.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I was stuck with one hybrid/cross bike once and struggled to hang on the back of a club ride/race. Until, just before the finish, the course went across seven parallel train tracks with rotten pavement. Some of those skinny tired geeks actually started to dismount to walk their bikes. I went into high gear, dailed it to the proverbial 400 watts and sprinted to the finish. Use your cross bike: "What does not kill you can only make you stronger."
    This space open

  11. #11
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    I used my cross bike in the first couple races, only because I hadn't finished putting my road bike back together. It was fine, but it definately was heavier and slower. Mainly a mental thing I guess. Instead of swapping out your crankset, put an 11-23 cassette on there, or an 11-21 if it's a nine speed.

    And what the heck, a 46/34 crankset? Does your grandma ride that bike?

  12. #12
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    Bikes are meant to get dirty. Your race bike will not respect you if you baby it.
    I think my race bike hates me for what I put it through.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  13. #13
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deyendznyr
    And what the heck, a 46/34 crankset? Does your grandma ride that bike?
    You've obviously never raced 'cross.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    You've obviously never raced 'cross.
    Well, the 34 is pretty lame for a real cross racing bike I sport the manly 36T Or a 38 or 39 if the course is a real cross course. Seems so many CX race courses in the states are designed poorly... more like a MTB course.... and that's why people end up with lower gears than a typical 48-48/38 setup.
    Get on a cross bike.... you'll like it ;)

  15. #15
    Custom User Title Quijibo187's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briscoelab
    Well, the 34 is pretty lame for a real cross racing bike I sport the manly 36T Or a 38 or 39 if the course is a real cross course. Seems so many CX race courses in the states are designed poorly... more like a MTB course.... and that's why people end up with lower gears than a typical 48-48/38 setup.
    so it's lame to have your bike setup for the races you're doing?
    "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it."
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    64 49' N Ernesto Schwein's Avatar
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    It depends on the bike but I don't find a true competition CX bike that comfortable for distances over 50 miles, I think most of the plush-ride people associate with cross bikes is the fat tires. You will also likely be giving away 2 or 3 lbs which is substantial. I've done it, but hanging with a fast pack on the CX bike wasn't fun.

  17. #17
    Senior Member I saw Elvis's Avatar
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    What's the old saying, 'If your bikes clean then you're not riding it enough'
    I grew up as a kid idolising those hero's in the Tour de France, Indurain and everyone like that. It was almost a childhood dream to ride the Tour de France. The last 2 years my childhood dream which became a reality has been pissed all over by certain members of the peloton. - Bradley Wiggins 27th July 2007.

    My Blog. http://onthebanking.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    34 seems very low for a cross bike, I race mine on 39-48 with a 12-25 on the back, rarely using the 48. A properly designed cross course should have run ups on any hill steep enough to make you want a lower gear than a 39 on the front.

    Regarding racing on the road, I'm not much of a road racer, but am pretty quick on an mountain bike or cross course and don't have a road bike. I've been racing my cross bike with the local road club for the past couple of years without any problems. I put on 23mm slicks on semi aero wheels (FSA RD200), flip the stem down and rock a 11-21 on the back which is doable as I can grind on our massive 3 minute climbs we have in Saskatchewan! I'm sure the 2-3 lb weight reduction of a real road bike would be nice on the climbs, but I'm just out for the fun/training anyways. I'm sure my bikes handling is slower than the road machines out there, but I seem to survive. This year I plan on doing some Provincial level road races in Cat4, applied for Cat3, but they wouldn't give it to me due to no road racing experience. So I'm hoping to win, or at least be in the top 3 on my crosser, hopefully it offends some OCP roadies!

  19. #19
    Just Peddlin' Along SaddleBags's Avatar
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    Besides the higher BB and more relaxed geometry on CX bikes, they also have longer chainstays which may inhibit sprinting.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    You've obviously never raced 'cross.
    My current cross bike came stock with 48/39... The one it replaced had 48/38
    Most of the bikes I looked at came stock with something pretty similar. When I was looking at new cross bikes I did see some with compact cranksets (50/34), but I never saw a 46/34 before.
    I think manufacturers wouldn't sell stock cyclo cranksets with that gearing for the very same reason that OP is complaining about. The gearing gets a little slack when you want to hammer.

  21. #21
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deyendznyr
    The gearing gets a little slack when you want to hammer.
    Hammer on the road or in a cross race? I can't imagine ever needing a 48x12 in a cross race. If you do then you might as well just ride a road bike. The manufacturers must sell these bikes assuming a large number of them will never be raced and must include appropriate road gearing or a compromise thereof. If you go to a pro race 46/38 or 46/36 is the most common setup and a 48 might only be used on a fast, dry course. Plus, what do you say to all the pros who run a 42 or 44 single ring up front? They're still fast as ****.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by thatguy
    Hammer on the road or in a cross race? I can't imagine ever needing a 48x12 in a cross race. If you do then you might as well just ride a road bike. The manufacturers must sell these bikes assuming a large number of them will never be raced and must include appropriate road gearing or a compromise thereof. If you go to a pro race 46/38 or 46/36 is the most common setup and a 48 might only be used on a fast, dry course. Plus, what do you say to all the pros who run a 42 or 44 single ring up front? They're still fast as ****.
    I was at quite a few UCI races this past fall. There were plenty single chainrings with 42 or 44. I can't honestly say that I paid attention to what was on the double chainrings, but if I can make it through a race in the B's with a 48/39, I'm sure the pros can as well. 34 is little slack for a cross race, especially if you've got a 12-25 on the back. Unless you're rocking your big chain ring and using the small ring for the steep parts. Everybody has their own strategy.

    But Cross season is short. I use my cross bike for winter training, and probably put on more miles for that than I do when I'm racing cross. If I had a 46/34, I'd rarely end up using the small ring.

    But how many PRO's buy stock cross bikes? Can you buy Ryan Trebon's Major Jake? No. Most bikes in the $1000-$1800 range are not set up with Pro's in mind, and that price range is where a lot of cross bikes fall into.

  23. #23
    hehe... member thatguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deyendznyr
    I]But how many PRO's buy stock cross bikes? Can you buy Ryan Trebon's Major Jake? No. Most bikes in the $1000-$1800 range are not set up with Pro's in mind, and that price range is where a lot of cross bikes fall into.
    This is exactly my point. No stock bike comes set up specifically for full-on racing. That is why you see so many with 48/39 or 50/39 setups. They have bottle cage bosses and rack mounts. It's a compromise. If it's mostly going to be a racing bike, you might want to swap for something a little lower. How low you go is up to you. I don't think 34 is unheard of, but whatever. I do think 48 is the upper limit and 50 is too high for 'cross.

    I don't know how we got on to this, but the OP asked about road racing his 'cross bike, and I think it's fine. You might want to swap the gearing for what's laying around or just go for it as is. I also think that bikes are made to be ridden and dirtied.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by deyendznyr
    And what the heck, a 46/34 crankset? Does your grandma ride that bike?
    did I say 46/34? It's a 46/36. Compact Cyclocross Crankset. Seems to work well for me so far...I only use the 36 on hillier courses and try to stay in the 46 for most of the time. This with a 12-25 on the back seems to give me all the gear ratios I need so far.
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by I saw Elvis
    What's the old saying, 'If your bikes clean then you're not riding it enough'
    yes...but when I'm not riding, I'm cleaning my bike. i.e. Sleep, eat, go riding, clean bike, sleep. What more do you need to do? I get plenty of riding in.
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

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