Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Is This The Bike For Me???
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05-17-02, 08:07 PM
I have read these post about these cyclocross bikes and have a couple of questions. This may just be the bike I have been looking for. I have a road bike and a comfort mountain bike. I have found I enjoy the road bike more but hit areas that make me wish I was on the comfort mountain bike. I do a lot of road ridding and some trail ridding. I am in central Florida so the thrill of off road mountians are just a dream. I dont ride in soft sand it is mostly hard dirt trails. One question is ridding sidewalks and then running off to cross the road you sometimes hit the pavement where it is an inch or so high. On the cyclocross bikes would this be a problem with the rims? I know on my road bike Im sure it would crunch them pretty good. The other question is on these bikes I have read from a post that there are a few other differences besides tires that make it a cyclocross bike. I am looking for a bike to do a lot of road ridding and some light trail ridding with. Is this the bike for me?
05-19-02, 10:32 AM
Could well be...
I'm finding that a 'cross bike may well be the perfect all-around bike. One or two-inch drops shouldn't have any detrimental effect on any road wheel. You should avoid hitting the corers of sidewalks on the way up, however; that can cause a puncture if you're not careful.
I find that I much prefer my 'cross bike over my MTB for the vast majority of off-road riding that I do. Most of it isn't very technical, and I find that suspension is unnecessary most of the time. On the other hand, my 'cross bike is much lighter than most MTBs, with quicker handling, and I much prefer drop bars to flat bars. I expect I'll use my MTB for off-road night riding, though, since you never know what might come up and bite you in the dark.
With good semislicks or even slick touring tires [say, 28c], I think a cross bike would make an excellent commuter/city bike. The bottom bracket is high enough to get yough over curbs and other obstacles without much fus and I find that it is much easier to bunnyhop a 'cross bike than an MTB. [I think this is do to the lighter weight and the fact that you don't lose energy when the fork/suspension compresses.]
With a change of tires, a 'cross bike also makes a perfectly serviceable road bike for longish road rides. The position is a little more upright [you might prefer that] and the geometry doesn't exactly favour road racing, but it would be fine for a group ride. One of the guys I ride with rides his Litespeed Appalachian on road rides all the time.
Hie thee to a bike shop and try out a cyclocross bike; you'll see what I mean.
05-19-02, 11:15 AM
Thanks a lot. Thats what I was wondering. I guess the biggest problem with the comfort mountain is that it is a slow ride. I have seen some of the bikes and I have tried to read up on the feedback to cyclocross bikes but I find it is hard to find feedback on them. I dont know if these are bikes that are just coming into the picture or if they are bikes that not many people ride. The two bikes I have been looking at are the Bianchi Axis and the Cannondale Cyclocross. I know fit means a lot in a bike or everything but in the over all view which of these two bikes do you feel would be a good cyclocross bike, that for the money would be a good all around bike? I read just about all of your feed backs because it seems to me you write what the people are asking and you seem to have a lot of time on different bikes. I loved the pics you posted. Wish I was there.
05-19-02, 11:47 AM
Well... one thing you could do is wait until Dirtgrinder gets his Bianchi Axis on Wednesday, and ask him what he thinks.
I've never seen, let alone ridden a Cannondale Cross, but the spec looks good. On paper I would be inclined to go with the Bianchi for an all-around bike, just because of the carbon fork and the Easton Ultralite frame. I don't normally like aluminum frames, but I really like Easton Ultralite. The Axis has pretty nice gearing for someone who isn't used to road gearing.
On my Kona, I have 48/38 chainrings and a 12-25 cassette. That gives me a nice roadie-like spread of gears. The Cannondale has similar gearing [48/39 and 12-25], but the Bianchi has 48/36 chainrings and an 11-32 cassette. That gives you a really low climbing gear [36/32] that will make up for the lack of a third chainring, if you're used to MTB gearing. I personally wouldn't use that gear [though a 36/26 would be nice at times], but I can see it being useful on an all-around bike.
However, bike choice is very personal. What you should do is go down to as many bike shops as you can and see what they have. See if you like the feel of a cross ride, see if you can get a good fit. In terms of product quality, I'd say the Cannondale and Bianchi are probably about equal... the rest is preference.
05-19-02, 05:06 PM
Thanks for the insite. Believe it or not one of the biggest problems I have is finding a bike shop that has any cyclocross bike. They I guess arent very popular here in Central Florida. I have asked a few of the bike shops and they say that the cyclocross bike is more of a "Northern" bike. The funny thing is we have mountain bike after mountain bike in every bike shop and no mountians. I should say forget a mountain we dont even have hills! Thanks for all of your help. We have one rather large bike shop in my area that I am going to hit on Monday and see if they have anything. It really makes it hard to pick a bike when not only cant you ride one but you cant even see one. Even with all of this against me I wont give up.
05-19-02, 10:19 PM
I had the same problem Giant. Very few shops around here had any Cyclocross bikes to speak of. But in researching them, I found the Bianchi Axis to have the best components for the money. Second choice would have been a 2002 Kona "Jake the Snake". But of course nobody had one locally. Kinda glad they didn't now.:) Check out the Bianchi and see what you think. I ordered one last week. As Velocipedio said, I should get it Wednesday. (Hopefully)
05-19-02, 11:07 PM
Well to tell you the truth it was because of your post and your picture I turned to the Bianchi Axis. I pulled that picture up and read what people said and I figured that looks like the bike I need. I cant wait for you to get that thing and let us know how you like it. I have been looking at the cyclocross bikes and the Bianchi was one I really didnt even know about. I have to say I also wasnt sure about the color at first but after looking at it several times I have to say I love the looks of it. I love the looks with those wheels as well. I have read reports and I have read some feedback and right now that seems to be the bike to have. Please do us a favor and do an update on that bike. Keep us posted over the next weeks how you like it. I am going to probably go off of what you say about it. I feel there is no way I will be able to ride on and may not even be able to see one. We have some bike shops here that deal in Bianchi but it is a bike they seem to only carry in a road bike.
Could use some opinions if a cross bike would be a good choice for a 6 foot 240 pounder. I originally was planning on buying a new $1400 road bike but realized that I will be riding mostly bike paths, light off road, some bad roads. Have been riding a MB for some time but am getting tired of the small wheels and am really excited about the looks and specs of the cross bikes. And finally, do any of the Cross bikes come with a third ring?
Thanks to all
Sounds like you answered your own questions! CX bike sounds right for you if you are doing light off-road.
You can just put a MTB crank and front derailleur on the CX bike. You can run a granny ring on there.
On the upside, CX bikes are cheaper than road bikes so for $1400 you can get a top-line cx bike- or save some cash and get a $1000 cx bike.
Moline - I think a 'cross bike is a great idea for light trail use. It'll be a lot faster than a MTN bike. I put Michelin Sprint 700x32C tires on mine. It's great off-road and rides really nice on pavement. I think I've annoyed a few folks on road bikes by passing them on my fat tires!
I built up a Lemond Poprad frame/fork for off-road use using a Campy Racing-T crankset (30/40/50) and parts scrounged from my old Trek. I use it mainly on fire roads and a bit of single track. The frame is Reynolds 853 Select. I looked at both the C'dale 'cross bikes and Lemond. I found the Poprad a bit more comfortable and liked the idea of steel over aluminum. The Bianchi Axis is another nice bike to consider.
BTW - I am not a CX racer. I was looking for a bike I could use to ride to the trails from my front door and to do rides that mix pavement AND dirt.
09-19-02, 03:22 PM
Agree with SteveE on this. A cross bike is typically a little more adaptable to different riding conditions. I've converted a less expensive Jamis Nova (Cross Bike) to my commuter bike and it's completely awesome for the purpose.
Another cross frame to consider in the mix is a surley. I have a big friend (6'+ 230lbs) who really loves his.
Not the lightest cross frame out there, but they've have created themselves a nice niche market by making good, inexpensive frames.
09-19-02, 03:23 PM
Oh and I also have a Cross racing bike and have been racing for 6 years now. I don't race anything else except Cross.
I am the big guy with the surly frame. I have to say that's a very good frame, I use it on and off road, I love it, I acrually love it better than my now defunct Canondale.
It's steel, solid and a tad on the heavy side if you put light comps then you should be alright.
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