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Old 12-08-12, 05:39 PM   #1
bwfox
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CX Bike; A new Direction?

So I was pretty content this year just pedaling around on my new Salsa Fargo, a drop bar 29er Adventure bike. Then my son and daughter, both married with families, decided to jump into cycling again and start riding. My son ended up with an ultralight Ultegra CF road bike. It was so light, I started thinking about another bike. I bought a CF Specialized Roubaix. It was pretty comfortable and I thought it would be great. Now I live 20 miles out of town and it is 4 miles of dirt/gravel to get to the mail box and +5 miles to pavement. Eventually, I realized it pissed me off to have load the bike on the truck every time I wanted to ride it. I found myself riding the Fargo all the time because I could leave from the house. I started researching cyclocross bikes because I could ride everywhere I did on the Fargo. I wanted something a little more relaxed than a racing CX bike. I'm not a fan of aluminum bikes unless I can isolate some of the harshness. While steel bikes ride nice, it takes a fair amount of money to get a steel bike light and my Fargo is probably close to 30#. After studying all the affordable CX bikes, I found two that seemed to be the relaxed ride I was looking for and they had CF forks and I would use a CF seatpost or a thudbuster to try and isolate the road shock. I found a Giant TCX at a dealer that is 200 miles away. My local LBS gave me a good deal on a CAADX bike and I had him order me one. Now I am waiting for the bike to get here and I hope I find it someting I will use.....
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Old 12-08-12, 05:51 PM   #2
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Cross bikes are a fine choice for your situation. You will love it. We're going to need pictures soon or reports will have to be filed.
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Old 12-08-12, 06:07 PM   #3
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Yea, I've been remiss in that aspect. I will learn how to do it when the new bike arrives. I promise.....
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Old 12-08-12, 06:58 PM   #4
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+1 on having a Cyclocross bike as a do-it-all bike. Enjoy!
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Old 12-08-12, 06:59 PM   #5
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That looks like a very sweet bike. But which model of CADDX? You can let us know when you post the pictures and a ride report!
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Old 12-09-12, 07:07 AM   #6
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I am new to cross bikes this year and all I can say is "Wow!" This thing is more fun than I ever imagined. We have a 60 mile system of rail/trails with an entrance about a mile down the street from our house. It's just such amazing fun riding this bike. Just a Raleigh AL frame with 105 but I love this thing. It doesn't hurt that it looks really cool too.

http://www.raleighusa.com/archive/2011-road/rx1-11/
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Old 12-09-12, 08:40 AM   #7
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bwfox: I returned to biking after about three decades of absence. I tried a whole lot of bikes and at the end I bought a 2012 Giant TCX 2. I like it! It is probably heavier than other equivalent road bikes, but I feel confident that it can handle crushed stone trail, paved trail with cracked pavement, etc. Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 12-09-12, 10:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwfox View Post
So I was pretty content this year just pedaling around on my new Salsa Fargo, a drop bar 29er Adventure bike. Then my son and daughter, both married with families, decided to jump into cycling again and start riding. My son ended up with an ultralight Ultegra CF road bike. It was so light, I started thinking about another bike. I bought a CF Specialized Roubaix. It was pretty comfortable and I thought it would be great. Now I live 20 miles out of town and it is 4 miles of dirt/gravel to get to the mail box and +5 miles to pavement. Eventually, I realized it pissed me off to have load the bike on the truck every time I wanted to ride it. I found myself riding the Fargo all the time because I could leave from the house.
I'm very interested to know more about your experience with the Fargo. How does it function as a 50% on-road and 50% off-road bike? I would expect the Fargo to be sluggish on pavement, but what kind of performance is attainable on smooth gravel or paved roads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bwfox View Post
I started researching cyclocross bikes because I could ride everywhere I did on the Fargo. I wanted something a little more relaxed than a racing CX bike. I'm not a fan of aluminum bikes unless I can isolate some of the harshness. While steel bikes ride nice, it takes a fair amount of money to get a steel bike light and my Fargo is probably close to 30#. After studying all the affordable CX bikes, I found two that seemed to be the relaxed ride I was looking for and they had CF forks and I would use a CF seatpost or a thudbuster to try and isolate the road shock. I found a Giant TCX at a dealer that is 200 miles away. My local LBS gave me a good deal on a CAADX bike and I had him order me one. Now I am waiting for the bike to get here and I hope I find it someting I will use.....
Another way to improve the ride of a Cyclocross bike is to use a 700x35 or 700x38 tire that is supple and can be used at moderate PSI. Vittoria, Kenda and Clement produce tires with a supple 120 TPI construction that ride like-a-dream in the 60 to 85 psi range. Consider these models;

http://clementcycling.com/214/ush

http://www.kendausa.com/en/home/bicy...py-medium.aspx

http://www.vittoria.com/product/touring/

These tires are very fast on pavement while doing well on gravel or trails. I use the Vittoria Hyper in both the 32 and 38 size. They are as fast as the 700x28 Gatorskins that I used to use. I've had zero flats after more than 1000 miles. It's a great do-it-all tire, but its ride quality is the best benefit of its design and construction.
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 12-09-12 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 12-09-12, 01:16 PM   #9
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Thank you all for your comments, suggestions and encouragement.
I have a lot of years of cycling over the years with interruptions and pauses whilst I pursued my other hobby of motorcycles. The loss of my leg was a result of 50 years of living with T1 diabetes. Cycling was the exercise that I knew I could and would do, so I returned this year to get devoted to it as a lifestyle.
Regarding the Salsa Fargo, it is a bike I have considered since it's intro in 2008. I finally decided while recuperating from the amputation, that it was time for that bike. It is an amazingly versatile bike. If my garage could only have 1 bike, it would be the Fargo with two sets of wheels and maybe two handlebar set ups. I can tour with it, I can make it in to a very good classic mountain bike hardtail, I can do gravel rides, ride pavement, and singletrack with depending on what my plans are.
Currrently it is set up with mtn bars and controls which it is supremely comfortable with a Selle An atomical Titanico saddle. Since it is doing so well this way, I wanted a CX bike for some of the same rides with shallow drops, 35 tires instead of 2.0 and a bit lighter.
I will let you know with a ride report with pics in the next week or so depending on our winter weather.
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