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  1. #1
    transport, not sport.
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    hybrid? cyclocross? tourer? for commuting

    can anybody please tell me what the actual differences are, among a hybrid, a cyclocross and a tourer?
    at the moment I am commuting on my dad's bike, a diamond back parkway, 90's I guess.
    I saw it listed at diamond back's website, as a cyclocross. equipped with upright handlebars, 700x38, originally, but I have added fenders, and a rack.
    If I was not telling you these specs, how would you know if it wasn't a tourer, from the looks, alone?
    Would the three types I mentioned ride and feel differently?
    thanks.

  2. #2
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    All of these bikes are capable of general purpose commuting.
    The more specialist (CX/touring) styles are generally only made in higher grades with better materials and workmanship so are more expensive.
    There are differences in
    wheelbase,
    steering agility,
    the variety of frame attatchment points (for racks and waterbottles, cable runs etc),
    the height of the bottom bracket (for ground clearance vs stability)
    tyres and fender clearance.
    IMHO, a full expedition touring bike is overkill for the commute.
    Medium and light touring bikes and touring style CX bikes are ideal.
    The modern style of flat-bar road bike (Specialzed Sirrus types) are also pretty good and better than the typical hybrid.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Thor29's Avatar
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    Usually the word hybrid refers to low end bikes that are supposedly "hybrids" of road and mountain bikes, but the only common denominator is that they don't have drop handlebars. This category seems to have been mostly replaced with the category of "comfort" bikes. Which are bikes for people who are afraid of bikes. The sportier version of hybrids are now "urban" or "flat-bar road bike".

    Cyclocross bikes and touring bikes are similar in that they usually have drop handlebars, cantilever brakes, and no suspension. (A few have disc brakes or V-brakes). The main differences between a "pure" cyclocross bike and a touring bike is that the cyclocross bike will have a quicker turning, shorter wheelbase and gear ratios that are not suited for climbing hills with a full load of gear. The touring bike will have longer seat stays for stability and heel clearance when rear panniers are mounted as well as lots of attachment points for racks, fenders, and water bottles. Since cyclocross bikes and touring bikes are so similar, there are bikes that are in between and could be used for cyclocross racing or touring, the Bianchi Volpe, for instance.

  4. #4
    your nightmare gal chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thor29
    Usually the word hybrid refers to low end bikes that are supposedly "hybrids" of road and mountain bikes, but the only common denominator is that they don't have drop handlebars. This category seems to have been mostly replaced with the category of "comfort" bikes. Which are bikes for people who are afraid of bikes. The sportier version of hybrids are now "urban" or "flat-bar road bike".

    Cyclocross bikes and touring bikes are similar in that they usually have drop handlebars, cantilever brakes, and no suspension. (A few have disc brakes or V-brakes). The main differences between a "pure" cyclocross bike and a touring bike is that the cyclocross bike will have a quicker turning, shorter wheelbase and gear ratios that are not suited for climbing hills with a full load of gear. The touring bike will have longer seat stays for stability and heel clearance when rear panniers are mounted as well as lots of attachment points for racks, fenders, and water bottles. Since cyclocross bikes and touring bikes are so similar, there are bikes that are in between and could be used for cyclocross racing or touring, the Bianchi Volpe, for instance.
    Props, Thor, very good explanation.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    If you are interested in a cross bike for commuting, check out this thread, which I started to solicit opinions on these bikes. Some very informative posts there.

    And for what it's worth, I'm leaning strongly towards the Surly Cross-Check. It's not a high-zoot race machine, but a do-it-all bomber.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  6. #6
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    There is one more difference. Touring bikes will have a shorter top tube than a cyclocross bike, meaning that touring bike has a more upright riding position.

    Go to the Surly website and compare the Cross-Check's geometry to the Long Haul Trucker's if you want an example.

  7. #7
    Barbieri Telefonico huhenio's Avatar
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    Terrain and budget please ....


    Get the stronges, lightest, easiest to roll bike you can afford. Regardless, I advocate for only one gear, fixed if possible.
    Giving Haircuts Over The Phone

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Thor29's post is succinct and replaces pages and pages of information compiled from here and elsehere. Wished I would have read Thor29's passage several months ago.

  9. #9
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    I have been following both threads on Cyclocross bikes. I have a Marin MTB that has a very light (for a MTB) yet sturdy frame and no suspension. It seems to me that if I added drop bars and thinner tires I would be very close to a cyclocross bike. Am I right about this?

  10. #10
    Sarcastic Member Urbanmonk's Avatar
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    But a touring frame is soooooooooooooooooooo comfortable; like loving a big fat woman.

    Cheers

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    My touring bike is heavier than my CX bike, and it doesn't ride smooth until it's fully loaded with 30+ lbs. of gear (needs more weight to flex) . Both have an equally comfortable riding position. I'd say get the CX bike unless you want to tour.

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