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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-09-05, 02:44 PM   #1
incanus
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Is a Cyclocross Bike the best Choice?

I live in a city with lots of cracks and bumps in the streets. I am thinking of buying a new bike, and i want the feeling of a road bike with the strength of a mountain bike tires. Is a cyclocross bike the best option for me?

Thanks for answering!
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Old 08-09-05, 02:51 PM   #2
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You pretty much described the cyclocross bike imo except for the bit about the tires? Maybe just say its, "the feeling of a road bike with the strength of a mountain bike". And understand that it won't feel quite like a road bike and it won't have quite the strength of a mountain bike and you get the idea. Since a cyclocross bike is really a bike that is designed to race in the sport of cyclocross and that sport includes riding on roads, through fields, ocasional single track, dirt and gravel, while being light enough to pick up and run with they also make excellent commuter bikes if not for all the same reasons. In fact a lot of them will be built with braze ons for racks and fenders.
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Old 08-09-05, 03:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incanus
I live in a city with lots of cracks and bumps in the streets. I am thinking of buying a new bike, and i want the feeling of a road bike with the strength of a mountain bike tires. Is a cyclocross bike the best option for me?

Thanks for answering!
A CX is at least a very good choice, but it's best to evaluate the kind of riding that you'll be doing short and long term, and where you'll be riding, before you settle on a style of bike.

I live in New York City and I bought a Cannondale Cyclocross. While I've always wanted a 'cross bike and one day I might just try a 'cross race, the bike seemed to be the perfect fit for the riding I pictured I'd be doing. My rides in NYC take me along smooth roads, gnarly chewed-up roads, rough cobbles, rough dirt trails, gravel, up and over curbs, and in between taxis, trucks, buses, and pedestrians. The 'Dale is perfect for this varied riding, and enjoyable at low and high speeds. I swapped out my 'cross tyres for some 700x32c slick tyres, though 28c's will work just as well.

Overall, the bike is solid, responive, and fast when I need it to be, and a joy to ride. It has a nice "road bike" feel since I was custom fitted on a fit-kit, and it handles very well in the dirt. Choosing to go with a CX bike is an easy choice, but which CX is another choice. Some bikes like the Bianchi Cross Concept are race bikes, while bikes like the Bianchi Axis are more of a 'cross/touring/commuter/road bike. Do some research before deciding on a specific CX bike.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-11-05, 10:11 PM   #4
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I stumbled into a 'cross bike as my first "serious" bike, on advice from the previous owner. My style is: mostly road, some trails, do not want to hoist heavy MTB.

I now have it set up with slicks, as I find myself on the road most of the time. Probably when winter rolls around I'll be on the trails again, and probably switch back over to touring or knobby tires.

I suppose if I had it to do over again, with unlimited amounts of cash, I'd go for a pure road bike and a separate MTB for trails. It's possible to set up a regular road bike for trail use. The 'cross bike is certainly not a bad choice; I love mine. I'm not sure it was the best choice, but I didn't really have a lot of choice.
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Old 08-12-05, 08:50 AM   #5
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I have a Surly CrossCheck, which I built up with a Shimano Ultegra triple road group and Avid Shorty breaks. In general I run skinny road-racing tires on it, on some really stout wheels. The frame allows me to run up 42mm tires. I also had the fram retro-fit with BTC frame couplers, so my frame can be split in half for taking on airplanes. So basically, it's a versatile bike. I can put on knobbies and ride 'cross, do fast training rides with a set of skinny road slicks, and with the couplers and mounts for panniers I can take it oversees and use it for touring. I like it! You should try one!
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Old 08-12-05, 10:53 PM   #6
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Either a CC or a Touring bike is great for normal commuting.
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Old 08-12-05, 11:11 PM   #7
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for an only bike i think a cx is a great choice. much better on roads than a mtn bik, and much better on trails (and rough roads) than a road bike. good in all weather, very versatile--you can still commute in snow and rain if you need to and rough roads are a breeze. i'm not an experienced cyclist and probably not your best adviser, but speaking as someone who does a bit of everything and doesn't specialize in much, buying a cyclo is the smartest thing i ever did.
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