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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 08-06-06, 02:32 PM   #1
Bud_311
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How far does a cyclocross bike's ride differ from a road bike?

I'm currently riding my more upright hybrid around for commutes. It's been working well, but I feel like I have to output a lot more energy than I should just to stay up to a good speed (and most likely to counteract the suspension and head winds, which are pretty obvious when I'm on a good hill) Maybe it would be better suited for leisurely neighborhood strolls than trying to keep up with traffic...

Needless to say, I'm leaning more towards a distance and speed friendly bike without sacrificing too much utility or comfort. Would a cyclocross style bike be overkill? Are these more intended for riding trails?
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Old 08-06-06, 07:40 PM   #2
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I work at a shop that sells Fuji bikes, and I must say that I'm impressed! The fuji Ultegra cyclocross bike weighs only about a half a pound more than a comparable road bike. I'm considering buying a cyclocross bike soon, because I'll have the greatness of the road bike plus the possibility of wider tires, fenders for commuting, and even rack eyelets.
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Old 08-06-06, 08:29 PM   #3
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Well...

I have a cyclocross bike (Fuji Cross) and race it all the time on the road when the road bike has been in the shop and have had no problems. I raced in a crit and multiple circuit races and each time it has been excellent. I have alos raced it on mountain bike courses.

with the cross bike you get the best of both worlds. I love the Fuji cyclocross bikes!
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Old 08-06-06, 08:35 PM   #4
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The ride quality of a cyclocross bike, when used in non-CX racing purposes, will differ depending on the choice of wheels and tires. A CX bike with a CX wheelset, namely CX tires at, say 65 psi, will feel very sluggish on the road compared to a proper road wheelset with high-psi road tires. Likewise, you don't want to take those high-psi tires off the road the way you would with a proper CX wheelset.

In all reality, I advise people who are not going to ride or race cyclocross to get a road bike and invest in an extra set of wheels for multi-purpose wheels, ones that are stout, strong, and rugged.
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Old 08-06-06, 08:36 PM   #5
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The fuji cross has the eyelets for a rack and fenders, correct? I thought I saw them in the catalog picture.
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Old 08-06-06, 11:31 PM   #6
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I guess what I'm mainly wondering is if it'd be worth it to invest in a cyclocross bike almost entirely for road/commute use.
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Old 08-06-06, 11:38 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Bud_311
I guess what I'm mainly wondering is if it'd be worth it to invest in a cyclocross bike almost entirely for road/commute use.
you could, but whats the point? why not just get a "relaxed" road bike or a touring bike? or even an old touring bike? unless you plan on off roading, i dont see any reason to get a cx bike.
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Old 08-07-06, 12:37 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by xccx
you could, but whats the point? why not just get a "relaxed" road bike or a touring bike? or even an old touring bike? unless you plan on off roading, i dont see any reason to get a cx bike.
Just because you don't "plan" on offroading, it doesn't mean you won't want to go down a dirt road if you think it leads someplace interesting. I think that the great thing about a cx bike is knowing that you're just a tire change away from going places generally off limits to road bikes.

I have a Surly crosscheck. I'm pretty sure I'm every bit as fast on it as I was on my road bike.
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Old 08-07-06, 05:29 AM   #9
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Touring bikes are good all rounders fully capable of tackling tracks and trails and comfortable on the road. A midweight version such as Jamis Aurora is probably better than a heavyweight expedition tourer for everyday use.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:18 AM   #10
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As I said, I like my Crosscheck. Also, take a look at the Bianchi Volpe. The one thing to pay attention to is gearing. Generally, touring bikes have smaller triple setups in front (the Volpe has 48/38/38 Sugino cranks) with wider ranges in the back. For road applications, people generally like tighter gearing in back.

Cross bikes generally have compact doubles or a double with a smaller outside ring.
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Old 08-07-06, 07:34 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bud_311
I guess what I'm mainly wondering is if it'd be worth it to invest in a cyclocross bike almost entirely for road/commute use.
Yes
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Old 08-07-06, 09:34 AM   #12
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touring/CX merger

Some bikes, like the Surly Cross Check or Bianchi Volpe ... or to a lesser degree Kona Jake or Bianchi Axis combine touring features with CX features. IMO, these bikes are the best "if you can have only one bike" bikes on the market. I bought a used Axis to use for light touring (including dirt roads). It has since replaced my MTB on singletrack and my hybrid for most commuting. It's also great on the open road, but I still need a faster, lighter road bike some day.
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Old 08-07-06, 02:25 PM   #13
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I went with a CX for my road/commuter bike- it's already beefed up, it road much easier to my MTB body's usual, and I know that if I need to go off a curb, road, gravel, whatever I can. I test road the Felt and the Speicalized. The felt was very harsh to me- I'm used to a Haro with fat street tires and a front fork. The specialized felt like butter though. Very nice and smooth, felt much more like an extension to me.
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Old 08-08-06, 06:55 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bud_311
I guess what I'm mainly wondering is if it'd be worth it to invest in a cyclocross bike almost entirely for road/commute use.
Definitely.

I have a cross bike with two wheelsets. With the road wheels on, it feels very much like a fast road bike, and I use it for that. With the cross wheels on, I take it on dirt roads and some singletrack. A very fun and versatile bike!
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Old 08-11-06, 03:56 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bud_311
I guess what I'm mainly wondering is if it'd be worth it to invest in a cyclocross bike almost entirely for road/commute use.
There are differences, unless you are spending in excess of 2 hours in the saddle or riding with a fast group you probably wouldn't notice them although it really depends on the specific frame. Modern road frames don't have to be uncomfortable and serious competition cyclocross frames are often really stiff. Some of my local rides include a mile or two of gravel road, cyclocross tires feel a little better on the loose stuff but then they feel like pigs on the pavement, its a compromise either way. I ride on snow and ice enough that I like big fat studded tires in the winter so I commute on my CX bike.
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Old 08-11-06, 05:16 PM   #16
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I use a jake the snake as a road bike almost exclusively and love it for that. It converts well to a commuter. I do not feel slow on it and can ride for hours on it without becoming uncomfortable. At the moment, I can only afford one bike for the road, and since it has to do all, a cross bike rocks. Future plans include a road race bike and the cross bike as a foul weather/commuter/gravel road machine (I live in a rural area with a lot of gravel roads that would be a diversion to ride if nothing else).

Do be sure to at least swap the tires if you road ride a cross bike. Next spring, a set of mavic krysium equipes is going on this bike for road use, and the stock wheels are going to be knobbied back up again.
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Old 08-11-06, 06:01 PM   #17
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I plan on getting a Jake as well. I say do it. Everything to gain by having a road style bike that can pull double duty as a trailbike.

Do it, do it, do it.
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Old 08-12-06, 06:45 AM   #18
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I ride a combination of road and compacted stone (bicycle trails) and find my Jamis Nova is an ideal bike for this. I ride 50 miles with no problems. I changed to continental contact tires and a longer stem and a brooks saddle. I'll never go 50 mph, but 30 mph is plenty fast for me. I have never considered road racing or cyclocross racing. This is strictly a commute, fitness, fun ride bike.

Bottom line: cyclocross bikes are a great all round alternative.
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Old 08-19-06, 10:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xccx
you could, but whats the point? why not just get a "relaxed" road bike or a touring bike? or even an old touring bike? unless you plan on off roading, i dont see any reason to get a cx bike.
the thing about a road bike is the lack of tire clearence, and touring bikes are better for tire clearence but a cross bike will typically net you more than 35cm of tire clearence.

I use my cx bike mostly for commuting and it is great...with road tires, the bike feels pretty much as fast as my road bike and even with my cx tires pumped up to 90 psi, it feels like I'm not giving up much. and the canti brakes are just what I need for bombing down hills in the city.

I also don't like the handling of long wheelbases typical of touring bikes...also touring bikes are often heavier than cx bikes. not to say the cross check is not a heavy bike...oh yeah thats the other thing, I don't like steel for commuter bikes.
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