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Old 12-30-09, 02:09 PM   #1
fungirl
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cyclocross bike for long distance?

I am training for a long distance charity ride (two days bike ride) in June 2010. I train on my MTB which is great for winter time. I am looking for another bike, on which I will do the charity ride, probably in next three months. I first thought getting a roadbike but now I consider a cyclocross bike. The thing is, I don't know yet if I will do races in future, or be really into road cycling. I love going faster on the road than I do with my MTB but I also like to do trails, gravel. I go out the door and there are a lot of trails (flat) along the dykes which I love. I can switch to trails/roads anytime which is great. What would you think? Or maybe a cyclocross bike and put slicks for long distance? And how is the Kona Jake (is on sale now for $ 899 CAD)?
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Old 12-30-09, 02:45 PM   #2
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I am a mountain biker and a road rider. Really like the road bikes and have thought about getting a Cyclocross to do the gentle trails offroad. I did at one point convert my old OCR into a more suitable bike for the trails with far stronger wheels and knobbly tyres for the odd offroad link between road routes.

For me that was a disaster. The bike lost the bit of "oomph" that it used to have on the road and on the trails- I lost the control on the rough stuff and comfort was completely lost

Offroad and road are completely different and do require different bikes to get the best out of either. But if you are doing both types of riding- then a cyclocross is a good compromise. But I managed to convert the MTB into a sensible Road going bike by fitting a 1.5 slick and it was still good offroad on dry hardpack with the same tyres and no aggressive riding.

If you are not certain about road riding being your thing- Then try converting the MTB to something that can do Road rides. Could be a cheaper way to find out if you like road riding.
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Old 12-30-09, 03:11 PM   #3
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I ride my cross bike everywhere. Crushed limestone trails, mtn bike trails, rails to trails, bike paths, gravel and streets. It's really nice to be able to jump down into a limestone or mtn bike path just because you're close. Then jumping back on the paved path and continuing what you were doing. Or taking the long gravel route home instead of sticking to the bike path. I also enjoy riding the 10 miles of pavement to get to the mtn bike trails, doing a few laps, then riding back home. Lots of variety in one ride and one bike. If you're considering road racing or triathlons I would go the road bike route. Otherwise I would vote cross bike.

The Kona Jake is a great bike. 899CAD is probably not a bad price. It retails for $899.
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Old 12-30-09, 08:26 PM   #4
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IMO cross bikes are the best of all worlds... durability goes a long way on the road, too...

as for distance riding, I dont see why not, if you read some stuff in the touring forums, you will see that some riders are using them for loaded tours.

personally, I like the specialized tricross... there is one at my LBS (that just happens to be in my size...) that I have been drooling on for a couple of months now. I told him he needs to sell it to somebody else pronto or I am going to be in trouble at home...
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Old 12-30-09, 08:52 PM   #5
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I told him he needs to sell it to somebody else pronto or I am going to be in trouble at home...[/QUOTE]
I like that!
Yeah I think I'm going to test ride a few cross bikes. And then see what I am going to bring home !
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Old 12-30-09, 09:02 PM   #6
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I told him he needs to sell it to somebody else pronto or I am going to be in trouble at home...
I like that!
Yeah I think I'm going to test ride a few cross bikes. And then see what I am going to bring home !
I wish I was kidding So tempted to buy but she wouldn't be a happy wife...

I got to thinking... man I've spent about 400 bucks on my build this winter... I could have put that towards the tricross & sold my road bike... and been almost there!

Good luck with your test rides, make sure you report back!
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Old 12-30-09, 09:51 PM   #7
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I have done a lot of single track riding, rail trail and road riding all on my Specialized Tricross. I have also done century and double century rides on it. Put slicks on for long road rides or buy some hybrid tires for it and you can do everything. Very capable bikes and yes, the Kona Jake is fine. See you at the start line in June!
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Old 12-30-09, 11:18 PM   #8
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The thing to remember is a Cycle cross bike will be the best for cycle cross just like a MTB will be best for MTB trails and Road bikes are best for road rides. Trying to make a one bike fits all bike typically doesn’t work. That is one of the reasons for the N+1 rule. Touring bikes typically make better bikes for touring for a reason. If you are going to keep your MTB and you want to tour getting a touring bike seems like a better idea. But it is always what you think is best for your budget. Just don’t be surprised if you get into road riding and you start to feel the Cycle cross isn’t quite what you wanted. I’ve been there.
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Old 12-31-09, 12:44 PM   #9
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The thing to remember is a Cycle cross bike will be the best for cycle cross just like a MTB will be best for MTB trails and Road bikes are best for road rides. Trying to make a one bike fits all bike typically doesnít work. That is one of the reasons for the N+1 rule. Touring bikes typically make better bikes for touring for a reason. If you are going to keep your MTB and you want to tour getting a touring bike seems like a better idea. But it is always what you think is best for your budget. Just donít be surprised if you get into road riding and you start to feel the Cycle cross isnít quite what you wanted. Iíve been there.
From all posts and comments from this forum, I totally agree with you. I think I'm going to focus on a road bike. Probably in the next few weeks/months I will be back here and post a nice picture
Yes I do like to keep and use my mtb, and I think that if I would get a cross bike, I won't use this bike anymore. One mtb for trails and one road bike for touring/charity rides. Thanks Robert!
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Old 12-31-09, 02:21 PM   #10
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The thing to remember is a Cycle cross bike will be the best for cycle cross
The other thing to remember is don't take advice from someone that doesn't know it's Cyclocross rather than Cycle Cross

They're great all around bikes, and will do long distances comfortably. Ask in the commuting forum, many there use them daily. I have done numerous centuries on mine, and is frequently the bike I'll take when I know I'm doing a decent distance.

For the most part, a road bike isn't made for "road" as much as it's made to go fast on the road at the sacrifice of weight and comfort. If you want a comfort geometry you should be looking at a touring or cross bike.

I'm not saying that a road bike can't be comfortable over distance mind you, they certainly can if fitted well. It's just that you shouldn't limit what you look at based on a road/mtb/hybrid/etc moniker.

Last edited by CCrew; 12-31-09 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 12-31-09, 02:39 PM   #11
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From all posts and comments from this forum, I totally agree with you. I think I'm going to focus on a road bike. Probably in the next few weeks/months I will be back here and post a nice picture
Yes I do like to keep and use my mtb, and I think that if I would get a cross bike, I won't use this bike anymore. One mtb for trails and one road bike for touring/charity rides. Thanks Robert!
...

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They're great all around bikes, and will do long distances comfortably. Ask in the commuting forum, many there use them daily. I have done numerous centuries on mine, and is frequently the bike I'll take when I know I'm doing a decent distance.

For the most part, a road bike isn't made for "road" as much as it's made to go fast on the road at the sacrifice of weight and comfort. If you want a comfort geometry you should be looking at a touring or cross bike.

I'm not saying that a road bike can't be comfortable over distance mind you, they certainly can if fitted well. It's just that you shouldn't limit what you look at based on a road/mtb/hybrid/etc moniker.
There ya go... I was going to make note of this when I read you were going to look at road bikes. There are a lot of decent flat bar commuters out there that you may like for a distance ride too... unless you're looking specifically for a drop bar road bike. When I ride my road bike, I worry a lot more about bent rims and flats, touring/commuting/cross bikes have heavier duty components for stuff like this. I have a feeling that when my winter build is done, my road bike wont get many miles for exactly that reason.

If I was in your shoes, I'd go to the local shop, tell them what you're looking to use the bike for, and let them recommend a few different options. Offer the suggestion that you were considering a cross bike, see what they say. I personally like cross bikes for daily/commuter/touring duty but some will argue that the bb is too high, that aluminum frames arent as favorable for comforts sake over distances, etc.

I'm also a big pro for going to a couple of different shops to pick their brains unless you have a good relationship with one place. We have 2 locals that I stop into, however one less than the other... both are good but one seems more driven to sell me expensive stuff. Their expertise is appreciated but I dont rely on them for much else. The other place does a great job of answering my questions, offering me advice, and understanding that not everybody wants to spend 3k on a bike and have the latest/greatest. You can probably guess which one gets my money. All of that said, it never hurts to have a 2nd opinion.
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Old 12-31-09, 02:43 PM   #12
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nm

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Old 12-31-09, 04:40 PM   #13
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I am training for a long distance charity ride (two days bike ride) in June 2010. I train on my MTB which is great for winter time. I am looking for another bike, on which I will do the charity ride, probably in next three months. I first thought getting a roadbike but now I consider a cyclocross bike. The thing is, I don't know yet if I will do races in future, or be really into road cycling. I love going faster on the road than I do with my MTB but I also like to do trails, gravel. I go out the door and there are a lot of trails (flat) along the dykes which I love. I can switch to trails/roads anytime which is great. What would you think? Or maybe a cyclocross bike and put slicks for long distance? And how is the Kona Jake (is on sale now for $ 899 CAD)?
"Ride to Conquer Cancer" Yes?

I did the Alberta one on an old tourer, somewhat modernized.

Most of the riders were on pretty much full road/race bikes. At least half of them.

Everyone else was on a mixture of just about everything you could imagine. Including one nutter who did the whole thing, 200km on a BMX! My tentmate did it on a 50 year old 55lb Russian built SS.

For comfort, a tourer is hard to beat, but takes more effort than a road/racer type. Cyclocross would be closer, in the comfort stakes than a road racer, but not giving up much in the speed stakes, assuming you get some suitable tirees, Marathon Supremes are pricey, but nice.

There is good support on the ride, but if you hit weather, remember you will need to pack some clothing to suit. You should at least carry a spare tube and means to change it. i carried a full weather change in clothing, ( weather here can change markedly from the forecast ) along with an extensive range of tools and spare. i didn't use any of it, except to help about 8 others who didn't have the stuff, or knowledge, to fix their own flats or whatever.

For me, the Jake is a good choice, change the tires for a nice smooth tread 700x32 or 35 , put on a small rack and trunk bag, small selection of spares, jacket, etc. Go for it.

P.S. If it is the Ride to Cure Cancer, it's a great weekend, you'll have fun.

Feel free to P.M. me if you need further tips.
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Old 01-01-10, 03:16 PM   #14
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Moto' CX 1x9 setup for long distance, whether it be on or off road.

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Old 01-04-10, 01:07 AM   #15
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Certainly a cross bike will work for long distance but IMO aren't ideal because they tend to have a high bottom bracket, so if you don't plan on doing anything particularly roughl, a "sport tourer" (like this) will be livelier. If you planned to do lots of (non-technical) trails like, say, the Galloping Goose on Vancouver Island, then the perfect machine for that is a 650b bike, which a lot of marathon riders choose even for tarmac, due to their very comfortable characteristics.

As you will see if you follow the above links, I have both in my stable but if I had to choose one it would probably be the 650b bike as it can do both jobs very well.

BTW, I'll have a feature up soon that illustrates a variety of approaches to long-distance bikes by my readers.
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Old 01-04-10, 12:48 PM   #16
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I wouldn't let the category define your needs but let your needs/test rides pick the bike. Whether it's a sport/touring, touring or cyclocross bike.
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Old 01-04-10, 04:01 PM   #17
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Moto' CX 1x9 setup for long distance, whether it be on or off road.
Do you find the 1x9 setup limiting at all? Also, interesting 3rd water bottle mount
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Old 01-04-10, 07:19 PM   #18
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Do you find the 1x9 setup limiting at all? Also, interesting 3rd water bottle mount
Yes and no. Depends are where I'm riding. I'll be getting a 42T and 11-36T in the near future. As far as the bottle/cage, I used the zip ties (heavy-duty & reusable) and rubber tabs that came with a Topeak Road Morph G frame pump. Once I mount that puppy, it isn't going anywhere. And it takes less than a minute to remove.
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Old 01-21-10, 06:19 AM   #19
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I say go for it. My 'cross bike has seen centuries, gnarly mtb trails, a few 'cross races. To me, it's very comfortable, I give up little in the way of speed vs. a modern roadie machine when I put slicks on it. Much slower going on the rooty, rocky off-road stuff vs. a MTB, but you'll have that.

As for the 'cross bikes having a higher bottom bracket, it depends any more. Some do, some don't. More don't have a high bottom bracket. And to some people, the higher bottom bracket means nothing, some people get all worked up about it.

Thing is, what you need to do is get on a few and ride them around. For me, it works wonderfully. And I'm not stuck riding 23c tires that I have to pump up to 100 lbs. that will then shake the crap out of me if we hit chip-seal road.
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Old 01-21-10, 07:38 AM   #20
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Trek 520.

But now trek has switched the OEM crank to mountain bike gearing, great for touring but less for the club and century rider.

Personally, i think a more relaxed bike with long chainstays and a low bottom bracket is more 'comfortable' and stable than typical cyclocross geometry for long distance riding, it is by no means a deal killer.

Additionally, with fair to good bike handling skills, gravel and trails can be ridden very comfortably on tires that will fit under Long Reach Brakes - which brings a LOT of sport touring bikes and even some of the entry level road bikes from Trek and Specialized this year.

Soma Smoothie ES, Trek 1.1, 1.2 and there's the specialized Allez steel (with downtube shifters!) these have brakes that will take a panaracer cyclocross knobby for muddy conditions or any number of microtreaded tires.

The Jake would be fine too. i've never been fond of the straight forks on the konas.
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Old 01-21-10, 08:05 AM   #21
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maybe its been said but the inexpensive way out of this is to put road slicks on to your current ride. You will spend way less money, get a quicker ride and you are already (presumably) comfortable with your MTB. Many people ride charity rides, like the MS-150, on MTBs.
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