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  1. #1
    Senior Member mjwarner's Avatar
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    Difference between flat-bar cyclocross and hybrid

    So, what is the difference between a flat-bar modified cyclocross bike, such as the Bianchi Volpe, and a hybrid, such as the Scott Sub 30 classic?
    They both have 700cc wheels, canti brakes, and, it seems, similiar gearing.
    Could you throw some WTB Interwolf or Crosswolf tires on a hybrid like the Scott Sub 30 and call it a cyclocross bike?
    Yes, I know one is aluminium and the other is steel - but many cyclocross bikes are aluminum...

    I'm confused about the difference, as I want an all-around bike like a cyclocross bike but can't manage to convince myself to spend double the money on a cyclocross than a hybrid when the main difference I see is drop handle bars.

    Thanks...
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  2. #2
    Portland, OR i_r_beej's Avatar
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    Wellll...

    Take a good look at the Scott. It doesn't look like the frame or fork has clearance for knobby CX tires. You can do a side-by-side and pay attention to the distance between the bottom of the head-tube and the top of the tire. You can see how the Volpe has quite a bit more clearance. It's more difficult to tell at the seat- and chain-stays. The Scott also has a triple crankset. When you get in goopy mud, that extra chainring is a liability. Many cyclocrossers convert to a SINGLE chainring as shifting is really fairly minimal compared to other types of riding. (I know-- i rode my MTB my first season of CX and the triple crank just gummed up with mud and ceased functioning!)

    Also, you'll be paying more for the Bianchi brand-name, despite the fact that most of their frames are made in TAIWAN!

    When i was shopping for a 'cross bike (for actual cyclocross racing) i noticed that Bianchis were significantly more than similarly spec'd competitors.

    In the final analysis-- a "hybrid" is really designed with pavement in mind, despite the presence of canti brakes. The bike it doubtless aimed at touring. A cyclocross bike is designed with ALL surfaces in mind. pavement, dirt, grass, mud, mud, mud, snow, whatever.

    If you're going to race 'cross, get a 'cross bike. If you just want a touring/commuter bike, get a hybrid.

  3. #3
    Padovano Mike552's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_r_beej
    Wellll...

    Take a good look at the Scott. It doesn't look like the frame or fork has clearance for knobby CX tires. You can do a side-by-side and pay attention to the distance between the bottom of the head-tube and the top of the tire. You can see how the Volpe has quite a bit more clearance. It's more difficult to tell at the seat- and chain-stays. The Scott also has a triple crankset. When you get in goopy mud, that extra chainring is a liability. Many cyclocrossers convert to a SINGLE chainring as shifting is really fairly minimal compared to other types of riding. (I know-- i rode my MTB my first season of CX and the triple crank just gummed up with mud and ceased functioning!)

    Also, you'll be paying more for the Bianchi brand-name, despite the fact that most of their frames are made in TAIWAN!

    When i was shopping for a 'cross bike (for actual cyclocross racing) i noticed that Bianchis were significantly more than similarly spec'd competitors.

    In the final analysis-- a "hybrid" is really designed with pavement in mind, despite the presence of canti brakes. The bike it doubtless aimed at touring. A cyclocross bike is designed with ALL surfaces in mind. pavement, dirt, grass, mud, mud, mud, snow, whatever.

    If you're going to race 'cross, get a 'cross bike. If you just want a touring/commuter bike, get a hybrid.
    I'm pretty sure the Scott pictured in the link is a small size with 26" wheels. So the comparison given by i_r_beej doesn't apply... no offense dog. If you compare geometries however, you'd see that the Scott size medium and the Volpe 52 are VERY similar. The only real difference being the Bianchi's chainstay length of 43 vs. the chainstay length of 45cm on the Scott. This can result in either a lower BB or a longer wheelbase... as the seat tube angles seem to be very similar as well. Of course, the scott has V brakes, not canti brakes. but that can easily be switched out later as the brake mounts are the same.
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  4. #4
    sport fanatic
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    If you're going to race 'cross, get a 'cross bike. If you just want a touring/commuter bike, get a hybrid.
    Disagree.

    If you're going to race 'cross, get a 'cross bike. If you just want a touring/commuter bike, get a 'cross bike.

    With the proviso that it should have the braze-ons for rack
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  5. #5
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    I've recently seen some very good deals on Ebay for cross bikes and frames. In particular there was a Flyte model frame (apparently related to Airborne in some capacity) that came with a stem, seatpost and handlebars (don't remember about fork) with a buy it now price of $199.

    I very nearly bought it to build a second bike, but I was afraid it might be nicer than my JTS - then I would have two bikes that are too nice to leave anywhere!

    You might check there if you decide on a CX bike.

  6. #6
    Race to train jrennie's Avatar
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    25lbs for the scott and then add another 2-3 pounds for pedals, cages, water, HD wheels and cross tires and your almost tipping 30lbs. I did my first cross race today on a mtn bike that is 22lbs and that was heavy enough.

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