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  1. #1
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    This is a Test of the 50+ rapid response system

    So here's the item I posted in Cyclocross almost an hour and a half ago, with no replies yet. While I know most Yanks aren't awake yet, where are the Brits and the Russians?

    I am getting back into cycling after about a 20 year hiatus. I'm currently planning to buy a MTB for some single-track riding. At first, I was toying with the idea of a hybrid, but it wouldn't be good for mTB trails, and it isn't an effective road bike either.

    So I'm thinking of a MTB and a Road. But as I think about it even more, I'm wondering if a CX wouldn't be better for me. I'm not planning to compete in any CX races, but I'm thinking of liking the stability of wider tires on cornering and braking.

    When I was young, I used to own a 1985 Trek 300 steel frame road bike, and there were times when I felt it was real skittish under me, when dealing with all the road debris that winds up on the shoulder or at the edge of the road.

    Would a CX bike be an effective road bike, that would give me a little more stability...and probably more confidence when road riding?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    So now I'll see which forum gives me more useful replies and more entertainment for my internet dollar!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    Or, I could get a decent road bike and put wider tires on it, right?

    Is there a difference between the way a cyclocross frame is made compared to a road bikes? I believe touring bikes are road bikes, but don't thjey tend to have heavier frames?

    If I post this in the Touring forum (is there one?) I might not get useful replies, but it will put me one post closer to 50!

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    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    I use my cyclo cross bike as a road bike during the winter, rainy rides and for cyclo cross racing. The frame is heavier than my road bike frame, but putting regurlar tires on the bike does make it road riding suitable for most purposes. The V brakes allow more clearance for mud and snow that would catch on the sides of regular side pull brakes. The frame also has more clearance for the the wider tires needed for taking the bike off road. One thing the cross bike wont give you is the front suspension the MTB's have. Most cross bikes have carbon firber front forks which reduce some of the bumps and vibrations but do not eliminate it like the MTB's suspension fork does. If your single track is fairly smooth, without big roots and rocks the cross bike would be a great fit.
    Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 09-09-10 at 07:21 AM.
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  5. #5
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    What?

  6. #6
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    I assume you are talking about MTB + CX bike vs MTB + road bike.

    The differences between CX and road frames most pertinent to your situation in my estimation would be bottom bracket height and brake type. CX bikes have higher BBs so they can clear obstacles. Road bikes have lower BBs which gives a lower center of gravity and tends to make the bikes more stable in a straight line. In fact, some bikes go a little lower than most (Rivendell et al) for even more stability.
    Most road bikes have caliper brakes and most CX bikes have cantilever brakes or V-brakes. Some bikes of both types use disc brakes. Disc and cantilever brakes give more room for wider tires and fenders than typical short reach caliper brakes, but some road bikes are set up to use long reach caliper brakes which allow wider tires.

    If I wanted a bike for road riding with the capability of slightly wider tire, say 35mm, for rougher roads and dirt roads, but not offroad, I would probably go for a road bike with long reach caliper brakes and a low BB. In fact, I did. My Salsa Casseroll has long reach caliper brakes, will fit up to 37mm tires (though I run 28), has a low BB and rides like a dream all day long.

    Touring bikes take it a step further with low BBs and either cantilever (or V) brakes or discs and heavier duty frames designed to carry a load on front and rear racks or in panniers.

    What you choose should depend on what you want to do on the bike. There is some overlap between what the different types of bike can do and what the excel at. That can make the choice more difficult, but maybe less critical.

    Confused enough?
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    I assume you are talking about MTB + CX bike vs MTB + road bike.

    The differences between CX and road frames most pertinent to your situation in my estimation would be bottom bracket height and brake type. CX bikes have higher BBs so they can clear obstacles. Road bikes have lower BBs which gives a lower center of gravity and tends to make the bikes more stable in a straight line. In fact, some bikes go a little lower than most (Rivendell et al) for even more stability.
    Most road bikes have caliper brakes and most CX bikes have cantilever brakes or V-brakes. Some bikes of both types use disc brakes. Disc and cantilever brakes give more room for wider tires and fenders than typical short reach caliper brakes, but some road bikes are set up to use long reach caliper brakes which allow wider tires.

    If I wanted a bike for road riding with the capability of slightly wider tire, say 35mm, for rougher roads and dirt roads, but not offroad, I would probably go for a road bike with long reach caliper brakes and a low BB. In fact, I did. My Salsa Casseroll has long reach caliper brakes, will fit up to 37mm tires (though I run 28), has a low BB and rides like a dream all day long.

    Touring bikes take it a step further with low BBs and either cantilever (or V) brakes or discs and heavier duty frames designed to carry a load on front and rear racks or in panniers.

    What you choose should depend on what you want to do on the bike. There is some overlap between what the different types of bike can do and what the excel at. That can make the choice more difficult, but maybe less critical.

    Confused enough?
    You nailed it. You absolutely understood my question. I must say Blues Dawg, I appreciate all the input and insight you've given so far.

    I am planning to get a MTB. Now I'm thinking ahead to the next purchase, which will be something more suited for road riding, and I'm exploring the whole hybrid (doubt it) CX or Road paradigm.

  8. #8
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    .

    If I wanted a bike for road riding with the capability of slightly wider tire, say 35mm, for rougher roads and dirt roads, but not offroad, I would probably go for a road bike with long reach caliper brakes and a low BB. In fact, I did. My Salsa Casseroll has long reach caliper brakes, will fit up to 37mm tires (though I run 28), has a low BB and rides like a dream all day long.
    Good post BD. My wife and I ride Specialized Tricross bike and like them a lot. The wider tires are good on the mixed roads and MUPs we ride. The are also are fine for carrying trunk bags for light credit card touring. If we replace them at some point it might make sense to go with something like your Salsa for the increased stability.
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  9. #9
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donheff View Post
    Good post BD. My wife and I ride Specialized Tricross bike and like them a lot. The wider tires are good on the mixed roads and MUPs we ride. The are also are fine for carrying trunk bags for light credit card touring. If we replace them at some point it might make sense to go with something like your Salsa for the increased stability.
    Others that follow that pattern are the Soma ES and the Rivendell Sam Hillborne. I'm sure there are others, too. Those are steel bikes, like the Casseroll. I think Jamis has a CF bike that uses long reach brakes, but I can't remember the model. <edit> It's the Endura.
    Last edited by BluesDawg; 09-09-10 at 11:26 AM.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    Cool. This same thread in Cyclocross has gotten ZERO replies so far.

  11. #11
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garilia View Post
    Cool. This same thread in Cyclocross has gotten ZERO replies so far.
    Thats because 1) CX has a much smaller reading/viewing audience and 2) many CX folks are just now getting back to reading threads in that forum. CX season starts in September in most places.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Garilia's Avatar
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    There have been some posts on other threads in there. I know nothing about Cyclocross as a sport, so I didn't know there was a season for it. Thank you.

  13. #13
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garilia View Post
    Cool. This same thread in Cyclocross has gotten ZERO replies so far.
    Most in the Cyclocross forum seem to be pretty much into racing and may not have a real keen interest in your question. And the readership is smaller a Ron said. I ride my CX bike almost as often as my road bikes and consider it nearly the equal of them for faster road rides provided that smaller tires (like 28mm) are used. They tend to be a bit longer than road bikes too, but not as long as touring bikes. They are great for supported touring and handle crushed limestone very well, IMO. With 32mm or larger tires you also have the luxury of not having to watch quite so carefully about where you put your wheel.

    Pedal Force makes a CF cross frame that will take fenders, FYI.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member rideorglide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garilia View Post
    So here's the item I posted in Cyclocross almost an hour and a half ago, with no replies yet. While I know most Yanks aren't awake yet, where are the Brits and the Russians?
    ...
    Would a CX bike be an effective road bike, that would give me a little more stability...and probably more confidence when road riding?
    The geometry I noticed (a few years ago when I was shopping bikes) on some, was a little more vertical oriented.

    Some CX bikes tend to have a higher standover.*

    Also most CX bikes have top-pull brakes, which I found didn't meet my needs for my weight and the long tall hills around here and braking in and around 35-42 mph for long periods of time. (self-preservation instincts kicking in and not wanting to go any faster, (which would be easy on these hills at my 192# riding weight).

    I have MTB and Road bikes. MTBs can be heavy and slow for road riding, although swapping out the tyres can change a lot of that.

    Road bikes with drops offer the advantages of multiple hand positions -- which for any kind of distance can be invaluable.

    (Ergon bar ends can compensate for that, somewhat, on a flat bar.)

    I ride road bikes 90% of the time on the road, but if with my kids, who have MTB's are riding, I'll gladly ride an MTB with them. MTBs are also good if you like to bank off tree roots and sidewalks or have mixed routes, choppy bike paths etc. (My MTB skills are eroded now, so no more of that!)

    Bottom line: road bikes are more suited to road, but other things can work, when modified or when expectations are matched up to the bike.

    Bottom Bottom line -- correct top tube and down tube size, geometry, stem, stem height stem length, saddle position and height -- all the things that equate with comfort, are IMO the golden key, and getting fitted — one way or another — for a bike that does not cause you problems derived from bad fit can be invaluable.

    Good luck and I hope your body cooperates ,too.


    * At the time I was looking for a top tube that matched my long torso. But my short legs/long torso ruled out a lot of CX bikes for me, from the get go. I ended up building a bike from parts to fit my needs which included very sturdy 28/32 spoke wheels.
    Last edited by rideorglide; 09-10-10 at 06:05 AM.
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  15. #15
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    Dawg, what is the advantage of caliper vs. V-brakes?

    I ride a hybrid. I guess the only advantage is they tend to cost a bit less. If you prefer flat bars, a hybrid might be good choice. I guess the geometry is something between road and touring.
    Last edited by qmsdc15; 09-10-10 at 06:22 AM.

  16. #16
    jjmctag
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    Like donheff, I ride a Specialized Tricross Sport and LOVE IT. I feel confident riding on Road, Rail trails or most one tracks with my Grandson.

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