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  1. #1
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    Anyone ride a cyclocross bike on road/trails only?

    Cross bike seems like a good option for a road bike for a heavy rider. Anyone ride one? I'm 6', 220, new to the sport, thinking about Surly or Lemond Proprad or Kona Jake or JTS, as my everyday do it all ride---roads, hills, and packed gravel trails in WA state.

    Thanks for your replies.

  2. #2
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    Make sure you get a do it all tire that will handle trail and road riding equally well. For instance the WTB Cross Wolf, 700x32c.

  3. #3
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    While my hybrid was very comfortable to ride it was slow even on descents so I got a Cyclocross bike. I'm still over 300lbs and ride a Bianci Axis with 700x35c tires (with Kevlar protection) on Mavic Rims (w heavy duty rim tape) and a Phil Wood rear hub with a 48 spoke wheelset. I also have a stem extension, a comfort saddle and knee saver pedal extenders on my Time Z mountain bike clipless pedals. I had these upgrades done when I bought the bike and haven't had any problems.

  4. #4
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Hi nochrome!

    Have you looked at the Specialized TriCross? Seems like a contender to me... I'm considering rewarding myself with one next year if I meet my weight loss target.

  5. #5
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    I got a Surly Crosscheck 2.5 years ago. I've ridden it on trails ... but lately it has only been on roads. I commuted 23 miles a day on it for the first 1.5 years and after my move to Dallas I've ridden it regularly on group road rides. It's had everything from 32mm cross tires to 23 mm road tires. Currently 23 Vredstein Fortezza SE's.

    It has just about 12,000 miles on it and has held up great with only normal maintenance. I'm 6'2 and have fluctuated from 220# to 195# and back. Have had some rear wheel spoke problems, but with a Spin Doctor stand and a friend talked me through the truing process so that has been a minimal issue.

    The models you are evaluating were the choices I looked at ... couldn't find a JTS to test ride, liked the 105 on the poprad but not the ride, really wanted 105 but went with the Surly and figured I would replace with 105 when the Tiagra wore out ... still waiting I also liked the Surly versitility, with fender/rack eyes. I had fenders on it in it's commuting version.

  6. #6
    NCAA - DUAL CHAMPIONS! a2psyklnut's Avatar
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    I ride a Bianchi Axis as well. I'm about 250 - 270, pretty stock except for different stem length.

    I use it for my training rides on the road and across these grass fields by my home.
    "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, "WOW, What a Ride!" - unknown
    "Your Bike Sucks" - Sky Yaeger

  7. #7
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    I just bought a Kona Jake The Snake. I've been riding it exclusively on gravel roads and it has been fantastic. I'm just re-entering the cycling world, so it's nice to ride on very lightly travelled roads. I'm much happier with my JTS than a mountain bike as I am able to cruise by the mountain bikers I've seen on the roads.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies. I guess I was worried about the poser aspect, having a cyclocross bike but never racing cross. I like the idea of a steel frame, so the Surly is at the top of the list, I just have to find a good shop in the Seattle area that has them to test. Oregon seems to be better for the Surly. The price is nice. Less than the Proprad, though I've seen a deal on a 2005 Proprad, so I'll have to test it.

    I tested the Specialized TriCross, and I dunno, it just didn't say, "ride me, big boy". Maybe it was the components? The 2006 Kona JTS was the bike I wanted, cool orange color, but I waited too long on it, sold out. If anyone has a line on a orange 2006 JTS, let me know. The 2007 JTS went upmarket and it's now out of my range.

    And thanks for the tire tips.

  9. #9
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    I've got an Airbone Ti CX Carpe Diem and a Bianchi CX bike. I've got 3 sets of wheels with 23's, 25's and 32's. These bikes will do about anything I want them to.
    Carpe who?

  10. #10
    Lurker extraordinaire Golf XRay Tango's Avatar
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    I just got a Poprad about a month ago. I ride it on my commute, and on occasional long rides on rough roads. I've had it off-road on rough-surface trails a few times.

    For longer rides on smooth roads I still ride my Allez because the skinny tires just feel a little faster.

    I think the cross bike makes a perfect 'efficient hybrid'. You don't really lose much efficiency over a road bike, but it definitely handles marginal conditions better.

    I'm 5'11 and 195lbs, down from 230lbs 18 months ago. I assume that I can still post in here :-)

  11. #11
    Mmmmm potatoes idcruiserman's Avatar
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    I was preparing myself to plunk down for a Felt F1X when I found a used road bike. I still think a cross bike would be excellent for commuting for clydes, especially over non-ideal terrain.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I have a Steelman cross 525 that I use for everything. Commuting, roadrides dirt trails. All Ihave to do is switch tires.

  13. #13
    SERENITY NOW!!! jyossarian's Avatar
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    I ride an IRO Rob Roy fixed gear cyclocross bike for everyday riding on practically anything. It's the first bike I think of when I want to ride.
    HHCMF - Take pride in your ability to amaze lesser mortals! - MikeR



    We demand rigidly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty!

  14. #14
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nochrome
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I was worried about the poser aspect, having a cyclocross bike but never racing cross. I like the idea of a steel frame, so the Surly is at the top of the list, I just have to find a good shop in the Seattle area that has them to test.
    After all the OCP roadies out there who ride $9000 Disco Treks, and never race and all the hipsters who ride track bikes and never go near a track, I don't think anyone is going to give you any grief over riding a cross bike and not racing cross.

    I commute 25 miles a day on a Crosscheck and it's great. I don't know if any shop will have one for you to test ride. Most people either special order them or get the frame and build it up themselves. I was super, super lucky and found one used. What you can do, however, is test ride a Bianchi Volpe. The 58 has almost the exact same geometry as the Crosscheck.

    Tires -- just use road tires and keep the knobbies for the days you want to hit the trail. 28mm Gatorskins are my reccomendations. I just got Serfas Secas. Nice, but I did flat once already. A staple in the sidewall. Not sure if any tire could have prevented that. But they ride real sweet and corner very nice.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    After all the OCP roadies out there who ride $9000 Disco Treks, and never race and all the hipsters who ride track bikes and never go near a track, I don't think anyone is going to give you any grief over riding a cross bike and not racing cross.
    I always wondered, what's the weight limit on the Disco Trek anyway, 30kg, maybe 45 tops?

  16. #16
    Composed Mainly of Beer
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    I have a CrossCheck and love it. I don't race cross but commute on it and just generally ride it around.
    I bought the complete bike and had to have the rear wheel rebuilt. I broke a spoke on it 2 separate times prior to the rebuild. I got it because it's a do everything bike and it's the bean green color.

    Today, I'd seriously consider a Bianchi Volpe. Looks great in the celeste color and has 36 spoke wheels.

  17. #17
    Coyote!
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    OK, at 188 pounds, I'm not Clydesdale Class [maybe Missouri Mule, their mothers being Clydesdale or Percheron]. I ride a Cannondale Optimo Cyclocross on the road, on gravel, and on the more forgiving trails. . .most often on the same outing. Works like a charm and provides a nice hedge of stability for 50+ Missouri Mule like me. BTW, I don't race nor any of that other "white knuckle" stuff. . .hopefully all those broken bones are behind me now and anyway the open road is "white knuckle" enough. I don't see you going wrong with a 'cross.

  18. #18
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Two Cross-Checks here, one built as a commu-tour and the other fixed gear.

    Both have seen lots of action as commuters, day-trippers and general knock arounds. Seen pavement, gravel roads and ATV trails. The fixed is currently outfitted with big-ass 700x42 cyclocross tires and we just ran 42 miles round Rutland Rails the other day.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/fixedty...7594333371264/
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  19. #19
    POWERCRANK addict markhr's Avatar
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    I do - check the link in my sig - go for a disc brake CX bike - condor cycles, redline, salsa, voodoo, etc

    Perfect do it all bike
    shameless POWERCRANK plug
    Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
    Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
    Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

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