Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-01-10, 04:07 PM   #1
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Cyclocross as a commuter

My commuter Dahon folder is too small for me (I'm 6"6') so I'm considering buying a "proper" full-size bike for my daily commute and am considering a cyclocross for commuting and occasional weekend off-road riding (canal paths and dirt tracks, nothing heavy), fitting mudguards and a pannier rack.

Is a cyclocross bike suitable for my intended purpose? What models do you recommend for a budget of 500 - 850? So far I've considered the Specialized Tricross and Trek XO 1 but any other recommendations or info would be most welcome.

TIA

Johno
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-10, 07:24 PM   #2
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
Posts: 13,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Any ideas here?
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-for-commuting
BarracksSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-10, 10:11 PM   #3
gerv 
In the right lane
 
gerv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Des Moines
Bikes: 1974 Huffy 3 speed
Posts: 9,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
I really like the look and ride of a Surley Cross Check. I wouldn't mind owning one...
gerv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-10, 04:22 AM   #4
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for that
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-10, 03:56 PM   #5
nelson249
"Per Ardua ad Surly"
 
nelson249's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
Bikes: Bianchi Specialissima, Mongoose Hilltopper ATB, Surly Cross-Check, Norco City Glide
Posts: 1,416
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
I really like the look and ride of a Surly Cross Check. I wouldn't mind owning one...
They're great. Mine is the best bike I have ever owned. I don't know how much they sell for in the UK, however.
nelson249 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-10, 08:26 PM   #6
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Bikes: too many
Posts: 28,046
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
I have a Surly Cross Check. It strikes me as one of the most versatile bikes. I've been riding it with narrow, extra-light wheels. I have fenders (aka mudguards) on it. It's wonderful.

And of course, you can put huge, knobby tires on it.
__________________
Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-02-10, 10:12 PM   #7
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You could also look at the Kona Jake. Most of the ones in your price range have triple chainrings which would be useful if you are going to carry baggage. For your type of riding you should get smooth tire in either 28 or 32 mm width.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 03:32 PM   #8
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for all your feedback, I must admit I do like the look and spec of the Kona Jake The Snake but then came across the Verenti Kilmeston which looks absolutely gorgeous but isn't a cyclo-crosser, just a tough road bike complete with mudguards and eyelets for mounting a rack, so I'm smitten.
What are the main differences between a cyclo-crosser and a road-bike? I understand that there's more ground clearance for the bottom bracket (so I guess bigger wheels) on a CX compared with a roadie, but are there (m)any other differences? What I'm finding is that quite a few CX bikes can't take mudguards and a pannier rack and also the CX bikes tend not to have quick release hubs, which given their intended purpose, is understandable.

As I said, I'm looking for a (mostly) roadbike that I can confidently use for commuting all year round with the odd bit of off-road riding on bridle and canal paths, but am wondering if a tough road bike will handle that? Maybe a CX bike is overkill?
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 03:39 PM   #9
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Bikes: 7
Posts: 22,176
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1132 Post(s)
In General.. a more durable wheel with a 32 tire will fit easily in Cyclocross frames .
and the same function well even when mud plugging... nature of cantilever brakes also benefits as there will be plenty of room
for mudguards .

in the space left .. that was put there to keep the wheels turning ..
when having an extra inch or so thick of mud sticking to them.

better still when the pros make disc brakes fashionable ,
the bike companys will make more for the rabble like that.
fietsbob is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 03:50 PM   #10
cappuccino911
Banned.
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
a cross bike is meant for speed on dirt tracks. your not usually racing with stuff packed on a bike. however, it seems that many cross bikes do have mounts to put a rack on. Speed of the bike is determined by weight of the wheels and how aero you can get on the bike. weight of the frame isn't a big deal.

honestly, just stick some knobby 32 or 35 tires on instead of slick 32 or 35's if you want to do the occassional dirt path ride on your commuter. Thats what I just did, it works great.
cappuccino911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 04:05 PM   #11
GP 
Senior Member
 
GP's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 7,587
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccino911 View Post
honestly, just stick some knobby 32 or 35 tires on instead of slick 32 or 35's if you want to do the occassional dirt path ride on your commuter. Thats what I just did, it works great.
Will 35s fit on a Dahon?

I use an almost stock Cross Check. The only mods are the seatpost, saddle and Panaracer Pasela tires.
GP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 05:03 PM   #12
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Of the bikes mentioned, the Jake tends to be the best bargain in the UK. Whichever one buy, have the store swap the pre-cut straddle on the front brake for a hand cut one and have them fit a fork mounted canti hanger. Or do it yourself. (Cross bikes have one bad habit - squealing and under-powered front brakes. This is the result of a decision by manufacturers to de-ball them for legal reasons.) Search or ask on the cross forum if you more help.

Don't forget that your experienced of test riding a crosser will be heavily biased by the tyres it has fitted; all things equal the more they are suitable for off road the worse they will ride on it.
meanwhile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 05:05 PM   #13
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccino911 View Post
a cross bike is meant for speed on dirt tracks. your not usually racing with stuff packed on a bike. however, it seems that many cross bikes do have mounts to put a rack on.
The entry level Jake and the Cross Check aren't really meant as racers. They're all-rounders.

Quote:
Speed of the bike is determined by weight of the wheels
Not really.
meanwhile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 05:07 PM   #14
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewP View Post
You could also look at the Kona Jake. Most of the ones in your price range have triple chainrings which would be useful if you are going to carry baggage. For your type of riding you should get smooth tire in either 28 or 32 mm width.
The guy is 6'6'' - a 32 tyre off road may well be a disaster for him; he probably weighs well over 200lbs. 35mm or 40mm Schwalbe Duremes are fast on the road and somewhat dirt capable.
meanwhile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 05:25 PM   #15
cappuccino911
Banned.
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Bikes:
Posts: 732
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
The entry level Jake and the Cross Check aren't really meant as racers. They're all-rounders.



Not really.
ummm, yes really. An extra lb of weight on the rims slows a bike down a helluva lot more than an extra lb on the frame does.

what does being 6'6" have to do with tire size? why aren't we focused on his weight. I'm 235lbs with 35c tires light knobby tires on my bike, it easily handles dirt trails. He didn't say he want's to do full on cyclocross, just that he may take the occasional ride on a bridal path. Knobby 32or 35c tires will handle that easily.

OP, I wasn't suggesting larger tires on the dahon, I meant that in terms of a road bike, just find any road bike with clearance for larger tires. My giant Rapid 3 is a flat bar road bike that can probably fit 700x40 if I wanted it to. I have 700x35c on their and they easily clear the caliper brakes and it makes ahuge difference when riding these nasty potholed nyc streets and I take it on a dirt bridal path in Central Park without any issue.
cappuccino911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 07:25 PM   #16
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
Posts: 13,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
As I said, I'm looking for a (mostly) roadbike that I can confidently use for commuting all year round with the odd bit of off-road riding on bridle and canal paths, but am wondering if a tough road bike will handle that? Maybe a CX bike is overkill?
Nah, a 'cross bike isn't overkill. All you need is something that'll take tires as fat as you want to ride on the surfaces on which you want to travel.

I think we're overthinking this too much. If you had just one shop and they had only a couple brands of bikes, we'd have narrowed it down to just one or two models already.

(personally, I had more fun on a local canal path with my full suspension MTB than I did when I tried using a hybrid; humming along at 18-20 mph floating over dried ruts was a real kick )
BarracksSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 09:21 PM   #17
ratell
Senior Member
 
ratell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Portland, OR
Bikes:
Posts: 357
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the Masi Speciale CX is beautiful. That's why I bought one. It rides great also...
http://www.masibikes.com/steel/speciale-cx/
ratell is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-10, 09:36 PM   #18
BarracksSi
Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped.
 
BarracksSi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Bikes: Some bikes. Hell, they're all the same, ain't they?
Posts: 13,858
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
Thanks for all your feedback, I must admit I do like the look and spec of the Kona Jake The Snake but then came across the Verenti Kilmeston which looks absolutely gorgeous but isn't a cyclo-crosser, just a tough road bike complete with mudguards and eyelets for mounting a rack, so I'm smitten.
http://www.verentibikes.com/bikes/kilmeston-alloy
http://****************/2010/07/veren...ton-road-bike/
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/catego...eston-10-39111

Okay, that's really, really slick. I like it. My only reservation about it is whether you'll be able to fit dirt-worthy tires on it, although the Bike Radar review has pictures of riding on a gravel road.

The Tricross you mentioned at the beginning is cool, too, and quite close to what I would use for a commuter (I'd put a dynohub on it, too).
BarracksSi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 12:20 AM   #19
Loose Chain
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Love my Cross Check, best all around do everything well bicycle I have owned.
Loose Chain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 03:38 AM   #20
giskard
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake
Posts: 328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
My only reservation about it is whether you'll be able to fit dirt-worthy tires on it, although the Bike Radar review has pictures of riding on a gravel road.
Yeah, that's what I need to check otherwise the bike will be a road bike and nothing else.
giskard is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 07:27 AM   #21
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Bikes: too many
Posts: 28,046
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
There are very slight differences between a road racing bike and a cyclo cross bike. The cyclo cross is far more versatile. To me, the biggest difference is the versatility, since it has room for the fenders and fat tires. I feel my Cross Check doesn't compromise handling, i.e. it's not slower at maneuvers. I really see no advantage to a non-cyclo-cross bike. If you can get your hands on a good one at a good price, you're best off.
__________________
Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 09:18 AM   #22
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccino911 View Post
ummm, yes really. An extra lb of weight on the rims slows a bike down a helluva lot more than an extra lb on the frame does.
Yes, you're silly enough to believe this. No, you don't have a good reason for your belief. If you want to understand how foolish you are I'd suggest the MIT Press book "Bicycling Science" - a standard read for any designing a bicycle. As you're probably too lazy to read it, you might skim the dummies version at

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_performance


Quote:
what does being 6'6" have to do with tire size?
Because people who are taller tend to weigh more, Braniac. And the tyre width you need for a given surface depends on weight.

Quote:
why aren't we focused on his weight. I'm 235lbs with 35c tires light knobby tires on my bike, it easily handles dirt trails. He didn't say he want's to do full on cyclocross, just that he may take the occasional ride on a bridal path.
It's bridle path. And a standard cross tyre - intended for a 160lb ish rider - is 35mm. So for a reasonable weight for a 6-6er, 35mm is about right right for a bridle path. 40mm would actually be better - wider tyres are banned from cross racing because they are an unfair advantage and would "de-skill" handling.
meanwhile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 09:27 AM   #23
meanwhile
Senior Member
 
meanwhile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 4,033
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by giskard View Post
Yeah, that's what I need to check otherwise the bike will be a road bike and nothing else.
The bike has caliper brakes. If you're very lucky, it will handle 28mm tyres. Don't forget that the width of tyre you will need is going to be greater than a lighter rider will need. A typical bike reviewer weighs 140lb-160lb, you probably weigh a lot more, so it doesn't mean much that BikeRadar showed one of their reviewers riding on (gosh!) gravel. As stock, the bike comes with 23mm tyres.

Also: those wheels are NOT a good design for a heavy rider - too few spokes, wrong spoke pattern. I can't see any sign at all this bike is designed for the type of riding you mentioned; it's just a pretty road bike that can take mudguards.
meanwhile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 09:37 AM   #24
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Bikes: too many
Posts: 28,046
Mentioned: 57 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 727 Post(s)
I don't see the need to insult someone to make your point.
__________________
Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-04-10, 10:13 PM   #25
Loose Chain
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports
Posts: 1,620
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 79 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
There are very slight differences between a road racing bike and a cyclo cross bike. The cyclo cross is far more versatile. To me, the biggest difference is the versatility, since it has room for the fenders and fat tires. I feel my Cross Check doesn't compromise handling, i.e. it's not slower at maneuvers. I really see no advantage to a non-cyclo-cross bike. If you can get your hands on a good one at a good price, you're best off.
Yeah, well, like I said, I love my Surly but it is no Pinarello Trevisio, The Surly CC is a tank, the Trevisio Victory is a knife fighter, it is far quicker, far faster, handles much better, but it is a full on road race bike, not a semi-serious cross bike, jack of all trades.
Loose Chain is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:02 PM.