Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - 52 cm a gamble?
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I always thought that if I were to have only one bike, it would be a crosser. Now that I've pulled my two road bikes and one mtb out of my garage in New Orleans (all trashed), I have just that decision to make. I really like the new Poprad's orangeness and always wanted to steel bike, but I'm not sure about the sizing. Poprads jump from 52 to 55cm, and I was riding 54 Fuji and 56 Cannondale road bikes. I know that convention dictates a smaller frame, so I'm sure the 52 coupled with Lemond's sizing will fit the bill. However, this seems like a big gamble since my new "home" here in Florida is totally devoid of any Poprads, crossbikes, or knowledge of the term "crossbike" at any dealer I've yet encountered. Any mention of the word cyclocross has so far garnered nothing but bewildered and/or discusted looks from shops. Needless to say, no one will order one unless I'm buying it. So, any advice on any of the above rant?
10-28-05, 10:04 PM
a quick peek at the poprad geometry shows a 542mm top tube on the 52, the 55 has a 560mm effective toptube, i would let that be your guide. i just got a new cervelo frame and was kinda in the middle sizes. i went with the smaller of the two and it's working out with the switch to some slightly deeper reach bars.
btw it's not steel but i have a 55cm bianchi axis and it's a great bike.
Im 5'9" 150lbs, totally average build. I ride a 52cm Poprad 2004 and it fits fine. about 1.5-2" of clearance at the top tube. Sometimes I feel a little bit too laid out over the top tube and my seat is almost maxed forward, I guess this is the "long top tube" of lemond lore... but I ride in comfort for hours!!
good luck w/ your choice.
10-30-05, 08:23 PM
Another data point: just bought the new S-Works Tri-cross and have been totally blown away by it. I haven't touched my other bikes since (a Colnago, Orbea, and Lemond). If my wife gets totally fed up with my bike obsession and makes me choose just one, I would go with the S-Works. Bottom line, it's a blast to ride and seems to handle everything - commuting, cross racing, bike trails, climbing, sprinting. I'm 5' 9" 155 lbs, the 54 cm frame fits me perfectly. Might be out of your price range, but if you're looking for one bike, this would do it. I have three wheel sets that I use depending on where I plan to ride. I might even get some skinny road wheels and see what happens.
Now that I've pulled my two road bikes and one mtb out of my garage in New Orleans (all trashed)
Is it possible that you have a frame that's not trashed, underneath the trashed componentry?
Also, for what it's worth on sizing, I'm not totally with you about "err on the small side." I was having very persistent knee pain and raising my seat a lot helped me out a bunch. I'm not a really tall guy (5'10") but if I were shopping for the perfect frame now I would buy a relatively large one.
Another thing, your mileage may vary, but in my opinion cranks should be proportional to rider size, and if you're less than 6 feet tall you'll probably be sold cranks that are too big for you. For my knees to stay within the range where I can pedal without pain, I need 165mm cranks, but cranks outside the 170-175mm range are rare these days.
11-01-05, 07:57 AM
Remember that on a cross bike you sit more upright normally and that the bike is usually 'larger' than it's size. Although you should probably try it out before buying it's sometimes hard to find a shop that wants to stock sizes just for standover. I would think that in your case it wouldn't be a problem since you're average size and cross bikes are hot right now.
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