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  1. #1
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Specialized Tricross commuter - review (long)

    My commute is 11 miles one way and I needed something to replace my Allez for the colder months; In essece all I needed were fenders and rack/pannier but the 2006 Allez was not compatible with any of these so after a couple of test rides on various bikes, i chose a 2009 Tricross Sport. My favourite bike from all test rides was a Condor Agio but it was also more expensive.

    Today was my first real ride on the Tricross, the 11 mile journey home. First of all, it's VERY comfortable compared to the Allez and I attribute this mainly to the 32mm tires and also to a slightly lesser part, the geometry that put me in a more upright position, with upward angled stem and shallow drop bars. I bought an Altura pannier for one side. I'll probably buy another pannier for the other side to balance things out and one side of hte bike certainly was weighty.

    I'm sure not going to win any speed contests on this bike! This is due to the 32mm tires and (I believe) the less-than-race-oriented geometry). Perhaps one day I'll try 25mm tires and if I dont like them, at least they can be installed on my Allez. I wont say the saddle is comfortable, for my ride was only 11 miles, but it's more spongy than the stock Allez saddle.

    Right now the front brakes are not shuddering a whole bunch, I just get a little tinge of shudder, no big deal, but I'm quite prepared for the dreaded shudder to come up at some point in the future. I hear this is common on carbon-forked CX bikes, though I've also heard of this problem on steel-forked CX bikes. Various fixed have been posted, you can look them up.

    I rode without clipless pedals today and have ordered Shimano M540. Also on order is a Cateye EL530 and Cateye LD1100. I'll supplement this with a Blackburn Mars 4.0 rear light and transfer the Blackburn Quadrant from the Allez; for winter commuting, I wanna be lit up pretty good and may invest in various other lights as I experiment with new products.

    I opted for SKS 45mm full size fenders and the front one hit my toes when turning at slow speed. I could attribute this to me using regular footwear with toe-clips. At the other end of my foot, I also got a very small amount of heel strike on the pannier, again, possibly due to not using clipless pedals/shoes combo.

    The colour, brown (looks like bronze) and black is striking and low key at hte same time, I think it's great but would be better with a less bold 'Specialized' on the down tube. It also has brake levers on the horizontal bars which makes me wonder how well my lights will fit. I dont bother with bells and GPS/HRMs - they're not for me.

    This is the first bike I've ever bought with utility in mind and before buying it, I thought I'd never sell any of my bikes and over the years build a small collection of bikes. It's early days yet and I may well get used to this bike, but already I can see that wouldn't care about parting with this bike if I needed to. Maybe I'll grow to appreciate it more as time goes on and I encounter bad weather. BUt what do I want in bad weather? Speed to get me home quickly, or a comfortable ride to roll through the winter rain and wind?

    I got a very slight back ache when I reached home. Am I glad I bought this bike? Well, I even though it's more expensve, I think I wuld have been happier with the Agio. AS it goes, I'm still happy I bouht this bike. In time I'll either grow to like it, or learn my lesson that I should have spent more money on a bike that I liked a lot more than the Tricross. After the first ride, I wonder all the people who love their Tricross, have they ever ridden a race bike? I hope to like my Tricross more as time goes on.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
    2006 Specialized Allez
    2008 Specialized HotWalk, son's bike
    2009 Specialized Tricross, gone
    2010 Ridgeback Honey, daughter's bike
    2012 Islabikes Beinn, daughter's 2nd bike
    2012 Focus Mares
    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

  2. #2
    Human Powered Vehiclist
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    Great review! When shopping for my first commuter bike I tested out both a Specialized Sirrus and a Tricross. Because I was fairly new to road biking I choose the Sirrus because it felt more like my old Specialized Hardrock that I road in high school. Hindsight I should have got the Tricross instead. I hope you enjoy the bike!
    Specialized Tricross Singlecross

  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Why not try the Tricross with the Allez wheels? It wouldn't cost you anything but the time to switch the wheels and adjust the brakes, and it would definitively answer the question about how much the tires are contributing to things like slowness and comfort.

    I love my cross bike (not a Tricross), but I haven't ever ridden a road race bike, so I'm curious about the comparison.

    I feel obliged to note that cyclocross bikes are, by definition, race bikes. They just aren't road race bikes. You should try out cyclocross racing. It will help you develop a new appreciation for your Tricross. I know there were times last year where I just stared at my bike in admiration of what it was able to do.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I'm sure not going to win any speed contests on this bike! This is due to the 32mm tires and (I believe) the less-than-race-oriented geometry). Perhaps one day I'll try 25mm tires and if I dont like them, at least they can be installed on my Allez.
    Probably, the tires mostly if there is a real difference. If wider tires means you have fewer flats, the bike will be much faster overall! On rougher surfaces, the wider tires would likely allow you to ride faster than the Allez.

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I wont say the saddle is comfortable, for my ride was only 11 miles, but it's more spongy than the stock Allez saddle.
    Saddles are a personal preference. If you can solve that problem by getting the same saddle as on your Allez, you'd be doing great!

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I opted for SKS 45mm full size fenders and the front one hit my toes when turning at slow speed. I could attribute this to me using regular footwear with toe-clips.
    Clipless will give you more clearance. If you still have the toe-overlap issue and are aware of it, it probably won't work out to be a real issue (just keep the inside foot up around turns).

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I got a very slight back ache when I reached home.
    Probably not unexpected give the change in position. I'd bet this goes away.

    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    After the first ride, I wonder all the people who love their Tricross, have they ever ridden a race bike? I hope to like my Tricross more as time goes on.
    Any bike is a compromise. A racing bike wouldn't take fenders as well and wouldn't take the wider tires.

    I'd say the Tricross is a very good fit for what you want to do with it.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 09-03-09 at 04:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Cold Rain and Snow Hot Potato's Avatar
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    Depending on how far out from the stem your brake levers are placed, and what kind of light you have, you might need to be creative. If I ever have my cables re-done, I am going to ask for more real estate near the stem. Till then, I have solved the problem by using a topeak bar extender mounted under the stem. This also has the advantage of getting the headlight in front of the cables, so there are no annoying shadows.

    I never had any fork shudder that didn't go away by dragging the pads on the wet rim for a few feet to clear the rim of grime.
    Quietly elevating being dropped to an art form

  6. #6
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Why not try the Tricross with the Allez wheels? It wouldn't cost you anything but the time to switch the wheels and adjust the brakes, and it would definitively answer the question about how much the tires are contributing to things like slowness and comfort.
    I'd just change the tyres. The stock tyres on the Tricross are notoriously slow and it's not because of their width but the tyre compound used and it's thickness. Drop the cash on some Marathon Supremes and the bike will feel like an anchor has been taken off the back. You won't lose anything in comfort - it should go up - or puncture resistance. Supremes *are* pricey, but they're durable too.

    I'd also change the stock pads for Kool Stop Salmons, especially if this is your bad weather bike, and read Sheldon Brown's article on cantilever tweaking. I think you'll find that your Tricross is much more personable when you've fixed it's most notorious shortcomings this way.

    Good - very thoughtful - review.
    Last edited by meanwhile; 09-03-09 at 05:15 PM.

  7. #7
    Two H's!!! TWO!!!!! chephy's Avatar
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    I have a Tricross. I asked for tires to be swapped at the shop before I bought the bike. It's 25 mms and the bike's pretty fast and still quite comfortable. You can have drastically different stem/handlebar set ups, resulting in positions from quite upright to quite tucked in.
    Stomping as lightly as I can...

  8. #8
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    You bought the Tricross to be a utility bike, and it seems that most of the negative things you have to say in this review are that it's a utility bike...
    Good night...and good luck

  9. #9
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay D View Post
    Great review! When shopping for my first commuter bike I tested out both a Specialized Sirrus and a Tricross. Because I was fairly new to road biking I choose the Sirrus because it felt more like my old Specialized Hardrock that I road in high school. Hindsight I should have got the Tricross instead. I hope you enjoy the bike!
    I was going to test ride a Sirrus but instead I test rode a Marin Lucas Valley (similar concept, but I was gettting a great price on it). It was good but I wasn't sure I'd get accustomed to the flat bars, which were also too wide for me (I know they can be shortened, but they'd still be flat).

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Why not try the Tricross with the Allez wheels? It wouldn't cost you anything but the time to switch the wheels and adjust the brakes, and it would definitively answer the question about how much the tires are contributing to things like slowness and comfort.

    I love my cross bike (not a Tricross), but I haven't ever ridden a road race bike, so I'm curious about the comparison.

    I feel obliged to note that cyclocross bikes are, by definition, race bikes. They just aren't road race bikes. You should try out cyclocross racing. It will help you develop a new appreciation for your Tricross. I know there were times last year where I just stared at my bike in admiration of what it was able to do.
    Yeah I might give the Aksiums from the Allez a shot on the Tricross. We'll see. I doubt I'll do any CX racing, just lack of time. Althogh I dont mind mud, I just dont like spending time cleaning up afterwards. I prefer my exercise as clean as possible

    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    I'd just change the tyres. The stock tyres on the Tricross are notoriously slow and it's not because of their width but the tyre compound used and it's thickness. Drop the cash on some Marathon Supremes and the bike will feel like an anchor has been taken off the back. You won't lose anything in comfort - it should go up - or puncture resistance. Supremes *are* pricey, but they're durable too.

    I'd also change the stock pads for Kool Stop Salmons, especially if this is your bad weather bike, and read Sheldon Brown's article on cantilever tweaking. I think you'll find that your Tricross is much more personable when you've fixed it's most notorious shortcomings this way.

    Good - very thoughtful - review.
    I've been researching tires and Marathon Supremes will be a very early upgrade. Probably go for 28mm. Also I was thinking of trying 25mm tires like someone else mentioned. This way, if I didn't like the 25mm on the tricross, atleast they'd fit on my Allez.

    Quote Originally Posted by Banzai View Post
    You bought the Tricross to be a utility bike, and it seems that most of the negative things you have to say in this review are that it's a utility bike...
    LOL! Yeah yeah I know! When I test rode the Allez, I was immediately hooked. With the Tricross, I found no such immediate love.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
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    2008 Specialized HotWalk, son's bike
    2009 Specialized Tricross, gone
    2010 Ridgeback Honey, daughter's bike
    2012 Islabikes Beinn, daughter's 2nd bike
    2012 Focus Mares
    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

  10. #10
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    Probably, the tires mostly if there is a real difference. If wider tires means you have fewer flats, the bike will be much faster overall! On rougher surfaces, the wider tires would likely allow you to ride faster than the Allez.


    Saddles are a personal preference. If you can solve that problem by getting the same saddle as on your Allez, you'd be doing great!


    Clipless will give you more clearance. If you still have the toe-overlap issue and are aware of it, it probably won't work out to be a real issue (just keep the inside foot up around turns).


    Probably not unexpected give the change in position. I'd bet this goes away.


    Any bike is a compromise. A racing bike wouldn't take fenders as well and wouldn't take the wider tires.

    I'd say the Tricross is a very good fit for what you want to do with it.
    On my route, there is no place where the Allez is not faster. Even on the 500 yards of REALLY bumpy MUP, the Allez is quicker. A lot more shakier, but still quicker. On both bikes I put the gear into high ratio and get off the saddle. Allez is quicker. The only place the Tricross would be quicker is once in a while when I do about 1000 yards of off road, but that's only every couple of months, and only in summer.

    Saddles: yup, I agree. That reminds me, my Allez needs a new saddle son, as the centre part on the stock saddle, where the hole/slit is, is beginning to tear.

    Clipless: yeah, and also it'll give me more power transfer. My LBS sells Shimano M540 for 70. The other LBS for 60. I bought them online for 35 delivered. Should arrive soon.

    Yes every bike is a compromise. I have SKS Raceblades for the Allez, but the fitting isn't as sturdy as dedicated fenders. Also I wanted a rack. The Tricross has everything I wanted in a commuter bike and now I must work on making it just that little bit faster. It feels safe like you feel when driving a 4x4. Dunno if that makes sense?
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
    2006 Specialized Allez
    2008 Specialized HotWalk, son's bike
    2009 Specialized Tricross, gone
    2010 Ridgeback Honey, daughter's bike
    2012 Islabikes Beinn, daughter's 2nd bike
    2012 Focus Mares
    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

  11. #11
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I've been researching tires and Marathon Supremes will be a very early upgrade. Probably go for 28mm.
    I don't think these exist. You can get 32s. There wouldn't be much point to 28s on a Tricross - they'd actually have higher rolling resistance than 32s, although most people can't get their heads around how rolling resistance actually works. And if 32s are hard to find, I wouldn't have a qualm about running the more common 35s.

    If you're in the UK, then rain is another reason to upgrade - Spec tyres often have poor grip in the wet. And I'd change those pads for Kool Stop Salmons for the same reason.
    Last edited by meanwhile; 09-04-09 at 04:29 AM.

  12. #12
    Didn't make it Bat22's Avatar
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    My Tricross makes a great winter commuter. I felt that 28s' made the ride more harsh.
    Went back to 32s' with the belief that is the tire size the bike is engineered for.
    Added the Shimano flight deck and the Dinotte light fits just right between the
    front handlebar and safety brake levers. I use a pack instead of a rack.
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    Ride like a teen machine

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    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    I've been researching tires and Marathon Supremes will be a very early upgrade. Probably go for 28mm.
    I hope somebody from Schwalbe is reading this. We had a whole thread a few months ago about why they should offer a 700x28 Marathon Supreme.

    Of course, I actually think meanwhile is right about the 32's. My Marathon Supremes are 700x50, and they're awesome.

  14. #14
    Senior Member cod.peace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    On my route, there is no place where the Allez is not faster. Even on the 500 yards of REALLY bumpy MUP, the Allez is quicker. A lot more shakier, but still quicker. On both bikes I put the gear into high ratio and get off the saddle. Allez is quicker. The only place the Tricross would be quicker is once in a while when I do about 1000 yards of off road, but that's only every couple of months, and only in summer.
    Just a dumb question...but have you calibrated your cyclocomputer correctly, if you're using that to judge speed?
    old steel Specialized Hardrock

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    Quote Originally Posted by mustang1 View Post
    On my route, there is no place where the Allez is not faster. Even on the 500 yards of REALLY bumpy MUP, the Allez is quicker. A lot more shakier, but still quicker. On both bikes I put the gear into high ratio and get off the saddle. Allez is quicker. The only place the Tricross would be quicker is once in a while when I do about 1000 yards of off road, but that's only every couple of months, and only in summer.
    500 yards is a short distance. It's not a meaningful distance to determine relative speed. On longer distances over such terrain (or worse), it seems likely that the Tricross can be driven faster more comfortably.

    Without numbers, "faster" is kind of hard to attribute much meaning to. I'm assuming "high ratio" means the "highest gear". If so, it's likely that the Tricross is geared lower there. If you were using the same gear size and the same cadence, the bikes would have to be moving at the same speed (actually, the Tricross would be moving a tiny bit faster). Accelleration in the Allez (especially uphill) might be a bit quicker. Unless you are spending a large proportion of your travel time accellerating or climbing hills, the difference in the overall time over a a real distance would probably be rather small.

    And again, a lot of the difference (if there's a real difference) could be the tires.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 09-04-09 at 10:47 AM.

  16. #16
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    I've got over 4000 miles on my K2 Enemy CX bike. It's got a carbon fork, canti brakes and I have never had any problem with brake shudder.

    The bike came with 32c Vittoria tires. I swapped out to 23c gatorskins which are much faster, but I have had a lot of flat issues. I tried 32c Marathon Supremes - awesome tire, but compared to the 23c tires they roll pretty slow (better than the 32c Vittoria tires though). I'm going to go to 25c or maybe 28c tires as a compromise. Speed-wise, tires make all the differnce.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    If out of the saddle acceleration is not a quick as the Allez I would attribute most of that to the tires. Aerodynamics and geometry wouldn't really come in to play. Weight of the bike and tires will contribute some.

    If cruising along in the drops is slower, that again could be tires but aerodynamics will start to matter. Lowering the bars to get you more "aero" would help but might cause other problems. I'm not sure about the relative differences in geometry between the Tricoss and the Allez. If the Tricoss has a slacker seat tube angle then lower bars might be more uncomfortable than they would be on the Allez at a similar height. It might also lead to a loss of power. This is because your knees will end up closer to your chest while pedaling, - you'd have to scrunch more. You can get around this to some degree by moving your seat forward, - which may require a longer stem, - which could lead to handling weirdness.

    Moving the seat forward is a trick triathletes use on standard road bikes to get the geometry closer to that of a tri-bike. The idea is to allow you to get your upper body lower without having to scrunch so much.

    That's why I question the value of aero bars on hybrids, - at least hybrids designed with upright riding in mind. Riding lower on a bike like that will be more uncomfortable than it would be on a bike designed to be ridden that way.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 09-04-09 at 12:19 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    I hope somebody from Schwalbe is reading this. We had a whole thread a few months ago about why they should offer a 700x28 Marathon Supreme.

    Of course, I actually think meanwhile is right about the 32's. My Marathon Supremes are 700x50, and they're awesome.
    I'm right but you're right too - there are a lot of road bikes with pivot brakes and limited clearance that could benefit from a 28mm Supreme. But the only reason not to put, say, 35mm Supremes on a Tricross would be to put the Supreme's borcher cousin the Extreme on, for its off road grip.

  19. #19
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    If out of the saddle acceleration is not a quick as the Allez I would attribute most of that to the tires.
    As Keith Bontrager wrote in one of his famous "rants" (the one on frame flex) rider impressions are often exactly wrong on speed and acceleration. And even when Rider A is correct in thinking he rides faster on Bike B than Bike C, it is quite likely that he simply prefers B and the placebo effect has taken over.

    (I almost had a very nasty experience indeed the other day - I was several minutes ahead of where I thought I was on my new crosser. The damn bike - which I like a lot - handles so well I didn't realize how far I'd gone or how fast I was going. Until I had to brake to avoid going through an anti-quad bike barrier on the trail. I almost went through that barrier like a human egg through a slicer. Otoh when I had to brake suddenly, on 30mm knobblies with their poor adhesion, suddenly my perceived speed went off the scale.)

  20. #20
    Cold Rain and Snow Hot Potato's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodway View Post
    I've got over 4000 miles on my K2 Enemy CX bike. It's got a carbon fork, canti brakes and I have never had any problem with brake shudder.

    The bike came with 32c Vittoria tires. I swapped out to 23c gatorskins which are much faster, but I have had a lot of flat issues. I tried 32c Marathon Supremes - awesome tire, but compared to the 23c tires they roll pretty slow (better than the 32c Vittoria tires though). I'm going to go to 25c or maybe 28c tires as a compromise. Speed-wise, tires make all the differnce.

    I have not had a flat since switching to Specialized Armadillo tires. I was getting at least one flat a month on the stock tires prior to the switch. I think I have 28's on my road bike, I might try 25's when I wear them out.
    Quietly elevating being dropped to an art form

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    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
    I have not had a flat since switching to Specialized Armadillo tires. I was getting at least one flat a month on the stock tires prior to the switch. I think I have 28's on my road bike, I might try 25's when I wear them out.
    Armadillos. A buddy gave me a used set to try last year. Great tire for flat resistance I am sure. Felt like I was riding in sand though. Talk about rolling resistance, whew.

  22. #22
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bat22 View Post
    My Tricross makes a great winter commuter. I felt that 28s' made the ride more harsh.
    Went back to 32s' with the belief that is the tire size the bike is engineered for.
    Added the Shimano flight deck and the Dinotte light fits just right between the
    front handlebar and safety brake levers. I use a pack instead of a rack.
    Which Dinotte light are you using? I'm thinking of getting a 200L which seems highly regarded here.

    Quote Originally Posted by cod.peace View Post
    Just a dumb question...but have you calibrated your cyclocomputer correctly, if you're using that to judge speed?
    Sure, my computer consists of, er, my gut feelings

    Ps: when I say I was in a high gear, I mean high enough to allow me to step gently on the pedals and keep my ass off the saddle (to stay away from the bump). The Tricross was HUGELY more comfortable than the Allez over these bumps, but even then I felt I needed to get off the saddle.

    I guess the best way to put this speed thing to rest is for me to do some time measurements. On the Allez my 11 mile commute, while stopping at all lights and riding safely in traffic, is 40 minutes, if I'm not particularly pushing it, dropping to 35 minutes when I really wanna '***' it.

    Quote Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
    500 yards is a short distance. It's not a meaningful distance to determine relative speed. On longer distances over such terrain (or worse), it seems likely that the Tricross can be driven faster more comfortably.

    Without numbers, "faster" is kind of hard to attribute much meaning to. I'm assuming "high ratio" means the "highest gear". If so, it's likely that the Tricross is geared lower there. If you were using the same gear size and the same cadence, the bikes would have to be moving at the same speed (actually, the Tricross would be moving a tiny bit faster). Accelleration in the Allez (especially uphill) might be a bit quicker. Unless you are spending a large proportion of your travel time accellerating or climbing hills, the difference in the overall time over a a real distance would probably be rather small.

    And again, a lot of the difference (if there's a real difference) could be the tires.
    I think I'll enjoy the Tricross a whole lot more once I've installed clipless pedals.

    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    If out of the saddle acceleration is not a quick as the Allez I would attribute most of that to the tires. Aerodynamics and geometry wouldn't really come in to play. Weight of the bike and tires will contribute some.

    If cruising along in the drops is slower, that again could be tires but aerodynamics will start to matter. Lowering the bars to get you more "aero" would help but might cause other problems. I'm not sure about the relative differences in geometry between the Tricoss and the Allez. If the Tricoss has a slacker seat tube angle then lower bars might be more uncomfortable than they would be on the Allez at a similar height. It might also lead to a loss of power. This is because your knees will end up closer to your chest while pedaling, - you'd have to scrunch more. You can get around this to some degree by moving your seat forward, - which may require a longer stem, - which could lead to handling weirdness.

    Moving the seat forward is a trick triathletes use on standard road bikes to get the geometry closer to that of a tri-bike. The idea is to allow you to get your upper body lower without having to scrunch so much.

    That's why I question the value of aero bars on hybrids, - at least hybrids designed with upright riding in mind. Riding lower on a bike like that will be more uncomfortable than it would be on a bike designed to be ridden that way.
    Yeah, my out of saddle acceleration isn't as fast as Allez. I too attribute this to weight (and probably width) of tire, and I guess the wheels are a little heavier than my Askiums too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
    I have not had a flat since switching to Specialized Armadillo tires. I was getting at least one flat a month on the stock tires prior to the switch. I think I have 28's on my road bike, I might try 25's when I wear them out.
    I was looking forward to my ride home this ewvening, on the Allez. Dm thing had a flat. Still, my Conti Gatorskins have been pretty good for the last 7 months, only over the last month or so I've been getting a couple of flats.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
    2006 Specialized Allez
    2008 Specialized HotWalk, son's bike
    2009 Specialized Tricross, gone
    2010 Ridgeback Honey, daughter's bike
    2012 Islabikes Beinn, daughter's 2nd bike
    2012 Focus Mares
    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

  23. #23
    Senior Member mustang1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    If out of the saddle acceleration is not a quick as the Allez I would attribute most of that to the tires. Aerodynamics and geometry wouldn't really come in to play. Weight of the bike and tires will contribute some.

    If cruising along in the drops is slower, that again could be tires but aerodynamics will start to matter. Lowering the bars to get you more "aero" would help but might cause other problems. I'm not sure about the relative differences in geometry between the Tricoss and the Allez. If the Tricoss has a slacker seat tube angle then lower bars might be more uncomfortable than they would be on the Allez at a similar height. It might also lead to a loss of power. This is because your knees will end up closer to your chest while pedaling, - you'd have to scrunch more. You can get around this to some degree by moving your seat forward, - which may require a longer stem, - which could lead to handling weirdness.

    Moving the seat forward is a trick triathletes use on standard road bikes to get the geometry closer to that of a tri-bike. The idea is to allow you to get your upper body lower without having to scrunch so much.

    That's why I question the value of aero bars on hybrids, - at least hybrids designed with upright riding in mind. Riding lower on a bike like that will be more uncomfortable than it would be on a bike designed to be ridden that way.
    I found Tricross geo was much more comfortable than the Allez, the bars felt more comfortable to hold whether on the flats, or the drops, back position wasn't as aerodynamic which meant more comfort. I didn't have to move off the saddle for bumps, and I found myself not having to avoid bumps as much either.

    When I first got my Allez, I had the saddle pretty high up, and also agreesively pointed down, and I felt a lot of power transfer. I done this purely to experiment and had no idea TT riders also do something similar. But all the 'fit' websites told me I should keep the saddle level. I might try the angled approach again soon.



    BTW, thanks to everyone who pointed out there's no such thing as Marathon Supremes at 28mm, sometimes I read so much I get the details mixed up.
    1992 Peugeot mtb, gone
    2006 Specialized Allez
    2008 Specialized HotWalk, son's bike
    2009 Specialized Tricross, gone
    2010 Ridgeback Honey, daughter's bike
    2012 Islabikes Beinn, daughter's 2nd bike
    2012 Focus Mares
    2012 Cannondale SuperSix

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    My Tricross is 4 minutes slower over 20 miles to work compared to my Cannondale road bike. I attribute about half the difference to the tires. 28c Conti 4 Season on the Tricross. 23c Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick on the Cannondale. SPD pedals on both bikes. The Tricross is a more solid ride, and it actually FEELS faster than the road bike though the watch says otherwise.

  25. #25
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    You won't lose anything in comfort - it should go up - or puncture resistance. Supremes *are* pricey, but they're durable too.
    I'll put another vote in for Supremes, I can confirm their priceyness, puncture resistance and comfort. Also, very secure feeling, and great grip in the wet. Don't worry so much about the width, get the 35s if the 32 aren't immediately available. Try experimenting with pressure, say 70psi. I can tell the increase in resistance, between that and 85-90, but it's tiny, and the ride is very comfy at the lower pressure.

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