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  1. #1
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    The right tool for the job

    Am I crazy for wanting a bike for the type of riding I do? I have a nice road bike which I use primarily on the roads. Skinny tires, carbon fork, fits great and I can ride comfortably for a long time 50+ miles. I have a mountain bike I built on the cheap, may be just a teeny bit on the small side for me and it's an older model(1994) so the geometry is a little different that MTBs built today. With the MTB it serves it's purpose for me because the MTB riding around here you are not in the saddle for extended periods of time because you are climbing/descending/technical riding most of the time. It gets uncomfortable after riding the long flat fire roads to get to the trail heads sometimes. I am thinking I am in the need of a cross type bike to ride long distances on rail trails so I can comfortably ride 50+ miles in a day and not feel beat up. I have an old hybrid which is on the small side and I am thinking that I need something a little bigger with drop bars. I would love something like my road bike but with some bigger tires that would absorb the bumpiness of rail trails and I am thinking the carbon fork would not last very long on a rail trail. Is this a sickness needing 3 different bikes depending on the type of riding I am doing? I have 3 kids so I just need to be able to hop on the bike and go and not change wheelsets or make other adjustments, etc.

  2. #2
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    If you can afford it, then go for it. I was looking at the bikesdirect crossbike- the Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro Cyclocross Bike

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...oss_pro_IX.htm


    I've got 2 road bikes, but nothing for gravel roads, or bad weather.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    The number of bikes you need is N+1...

    Seriously it is NOT crazy to have different bikes for different needs. I currently have three bikes.

    I started with a hybrid that is setup for year round commuting. It is a good solid bike and servers its duties very well. What is doesn't do well is long rides. It is just not efficient to have fun doing a metric century. That is where bike #2 comes into play. I got a road bike and it makes club rides so much more fun. I can also ride a century and not be sweeped off the course. That would be impossible with the hybrid, I'd be way to slow. I then added bike #3, a cheap tandem. This is so I can get some riding done with my wife. This gets the least amount of use, but it was inexpensive and serves is purpose just fine.

    You need to figure out what budget you have and what your priorities are.
    - What kind of riding do you do most (or are prevented from doing due to inappropriate gear)?
    - What is your alternate riding need (aka if long distance is your 1st need, what is your 2nd highest need. Is it off road riding, going to store, commute, etc)

    How much can you spend in total and how to do want to allocate the money? A descent road bike for instance starts around $1000. Spend a whoe lot less and you won't get one that will be particularly efficient or have descent shifting. Spending between $1000 and $25000 and you can find lots of excellent bikes. Spend over $2500 and you will get a bike with excellent components. Just make sure the bike fits YOU.

    You mention looking a cyclocross bike. You may be able to get this bike to complete two functions if you get two sets of wheels. One set of wheels and tires can be for off road riding with 32 mm tire with some off road tread and a 2nd set of wheels with 23 or 25 mm smooth tires that are ideal for efficient long distance riding. Swapping wheels takes very little time on a good bike (with quick disconnects).

    Happy riding,
    André

  4. #4
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Not crazy at all. The nice thing about having extra bikes around is that if a friend comes to visit you can suggest taking a short ride and have an extra bike handy. Last year after a few little 2-mile rides, a friend ended up buying a bike of his own because he loved it so much. I really like having a variety of bikes that I can choose from depending on the riding I'm doing. Of course my bikes are all 2-nd hand and I maintain/fix them up myself so it's not a strain on the family budget.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    I have had a desire for a cross bike for a while now. My reasons are a little different then yours, but the bike makes sense to me also. They are Clyde friendly with the extra heavy build and can take a little punishment, plus with drop bars, make a nice road bike too. I would like to use one as bad weather training bike that would double as a commuter. I could also use it to ride on some of the logging roads around here and not worry about breaking things. The only real problem that I have heard of from people that use cross bikes on the road is that the gearing can be a little low at times. I have looked at the
    Kona Jake
    and really think it fits the bill. It had a triple front chaining, so it is a little more road friendly. The only thing holding my back is the $900 purchase price. :It is a good price, but we just don't have the spare cash right now. So, my long winded answer is yes, go ahead and get a cross bike !!!!

  6. #6
    I Ride, Therefore I Am BigUgly's Avatar
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    Thanks. I need to get other opinions sometime to make sure I am not losing my mind. I am getting up there in years I would like a bike I can do 50+ miles on hard packed gravel rail trails. I was thinking of getting another wheelset and switching them out on my road bike. If I get another wheelset(my Lemond Etape has quick releases on the wheels so it may not be an issue since I need to drive to get to the longer trails) my only concern would be the carbon fork. Would the vibration or bouncing on a rail trail compromise it? Make it weak and then it catastrophically fail on a road ride while descending down a mountain at 35-40mph?

  7. #7
    Mike the Bike
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    The carbon fork should handle it no problem. If you look at most of the mid to top end cross bikes they ALL have carbon forks. You might have an issue going with larger tires on the road bike. Depending on the bike 25c may be as big as you can go without rubbing issues.

    You might get a good cyclocross bike and a set of skinny tires and sell your current road bike if the spousal unit has an issue with space in the garage

    At one point I had 4 bikes, A road bike for racing and time trialing, hybrid for commuting, hard tail mountain bike for XC and a DS mountain bike for downhill. My rule is if you don't let a bike sit for more than 2 weeks a month, you're justified in having it.

  8. #8
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    N+1! If you have a specific use for it, can afford it and will enjoy it, Go For It!
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    I have 3 bikes, 1 road, 1 mountain and 1 hybrid. Each has their own niche to fill.
    Brian | 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 3 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigUgly View Post
    Am I crazy for wanting a bike for the type of riding I do? I have a nice road bike which I use primarily on the roads. Skinny tires, carbon fork, fits great and I can ride comfortably for a long time 50+ miles. I have a mountain bike I built on the cheap, may be just a teeny bit on the small side for me and it's an older model(1994) so the geometry is a little different that MTBs built today. With the MTB it serves it's purpose for me because the MTB riding around here you are not in the saddle for extended periods of time because you are climbing/descending/technical riding most of the time. It gets uncomfortable after riding the long flat fire roads to get to the trail heads sometimes. I am thinking I am in the need of a cross type bike to ride long distances on rail trails so I can comfortably ride 50+ miles in a day and not feel beat up. I have an old hybrid which is on the small side and I am thinking that I need something a little bigger with drop bars. I would love something like my road bike but with some bigger tires that would absorb the bumpiness of rail trails and I am thinking the carbon fork would not last very long on a rail trail. Is this a sickness needing 3 different bikes depending on the type of riding I am doing? I have 3 kids so I just need to be able to hop on the bike and go and not change wheelsets or make other adjustments, etc.
    Many times this comes up for people who think that, like with a car, you need one bicycle to do everything. You need to think of a bicycle as a transportation tool, therefore you need the right tool, for the job your trying to do. Bicycles are relatively inexpensive, so as long as you have storage space..... Personally I would like 3 bikes as well, a nice touring bike, a nice fast road bike, and my current bike as a shopping and grocery getter.

  11. #11
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    The answer to your question, as most have allready pointed out, is NO! You are most certainly not crazy. Well, not for wanting a cross bike anyway.... I have a hard tail mountain bike (my beater, back up commuter and trail bike) Also a pretty nice touring bike that I get 75% of my saddle time on. Mostly commuting. I keep looking at my wifes carbon fork, carbon seat stay, skinny tire road bike and lusting for one. If it is a sickness to want three diffferentt kinds of bikes to cover all the types of riding you do, then I'm a sick sick man.

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