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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 10-16-06, 08:32 PM   #1
IchbinJay
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Non-competitive Cross Riding

As anyone from Massachusetts will tell you, the roads here are awful from all the plowing, salt and frost heaves. So, being more of a roadie than anything, I've been riding a touring/cross bike primarily on the street. I was wondering if anyone else is doing or has done the same? Do any people from New England or other areas with rough roads find the wider tires and upright posture better for riding road?
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Old 10-17-06, 06:24 AM   #2
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The reason I have a cross bike is that I wanted a bike to take me down a dirt road if that dirt road looked like it lead someplace interesting.
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Old 10-17-06, 07:36 AM   #3
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Cross bikes are fairly popular for commuting here. I have a geared cross bike (Poprad) and fixed (San Jose) for commuting and general road riding purposes. I like them, especially the San Jose, and do enjoy the wider tire and more upright stance. And fender room/eyelets!
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Old 10-17-06, 10:59 AM   #4
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What is this noncompetitive you speak of? Is it available in the men's department?



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Old 10-17-06, 02:35 PM   #5
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Around here when they are not being used to race, We use them for winter night rides Mount the lights and head for amish country, dirt roads, rotten chip and seal, pot holes that would eat a truck and the like.
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Old 10-17-06, 05:30 PM   #6
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Usually, my cross bike is my daily commuter to/from work. For the heck of it, I will race the odd duathlon with it & when the time is right, cyclocross! Not that I am very good at it... to tell the truth, I am quite bad at cyclocross .... but is is fun! I have been coming back for more since the 2003 season!
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Old 10-18-06, 06:07 AM   #7
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I think as road bikes have gotten more focused towards road racing (skinny tires, low handlebars), cross bikes make more sense for most people for any non-competitive road riding. Perhaps the new crop of "performance" road bikes (with taller head tubes and shorter top tubes) will slow this trend down. Me, I've used my Gunnar Crosshairs primarily for general purpose road riding, works great at it.

ERic
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Old 10-18-06, 07:09 PM   #8
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I recently bought a Poprad as an all-rounder. It's my second bike (and it quickly became the first one out the door with me). I'd been riding a fixed for commutes/centuries/rambles, but knees began to hurt. I've never raced and don't have serious plans to, but the cross seems just right in a lot of ways for me. Steel, room for big tires, fenders, eyelets for racks, etc. Can use it as a commuter, road, tourer, light off-road. Really fits all bills for me--far better than most road specific bikes would.

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Old 10-19-06, 10:01 AM   #9
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I use my CX as a road bike, (fast training rides etc) and it does just fine. I have two wheel sets, one for off road, one for road, with gearing to suit. I feel no need to buy a dedicated road bike-no advantage for me.
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Old 10-19-06, 10:52 AM   #10
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Don't know why I didn't see the light sooner. With a 'cross, you get drop bars where you can use all hand positions without throwing out your back. You go from 23c to 32c (or wider) tires, and roll over 90% of road hazards without getting killed. The other 10% cars wouldn't try anyway.
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Old 10-19-06, 01:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flipped4bikes
Don't know why I didn't see the light sooner. With a 'cross, you get drop bars where you can use all hand positions without throwing out your back. You go from 23c to 32c (or wider) tires, and roll over 90% of road hazards without getting killed. The other 10% cars wouldn't try anyway.

Totally. Freeroad-I like it. Anyway, the only downside I see is occasionally one of the guys I ride with will ask me when I am going to get a "real" road bike. I just smile to myself and wonder the same thing about whatever plastic fantastic thing he happens to be riding. To me, it doesn't get any more real-my bike rocks.
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Old 10-19-06, 03:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkmother
Totally. Freeroad-I like it. Anyway, the only downside I see is occasionally one of the guys I ride with will ask me when I am going to get a "real" road bike. I just smile to myself and wonder the same thing about whatever plastic fantastic thing he happens to be riding. To me, it doesn't get any more real-my bike rocks.
Real bike test:
- cx bike
- plastic bike
- fleight of stairs

First one to ride down it and not shatter wins.

*raises cx bike in the air*
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Old 10-19-06, 07:30 PM   #13
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My reasons are in line with most of yours as well. I had a road bike for a while and it was really aggravating to be going a long the road and get jarred by all the frost heaves. Same thing with my fixed gear bike (yet people in Boston ride them anyway...go figure,probably the worst roads in the country. Big Dig need I say more?). It's good to know I'm not the only one out there. Anyone know exactly what free road is? I think Specialized has really coined that term.
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Old 10-19-06, 08:22 PM   #14
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I don't think freeroad is 'exactly' anything...that's the idea! It can be the road, a trail or no road at all. Actually as you suggested... I'm paraphrasing that from the Specialized site.
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Old 10-19-06, 08:29 PM   #15
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Jay, I'm sorta in New England, too (NE NY), and more rural (read: municipalities with a road crew of one). About this time last year I swapped some of the guts from my road bike onto a Surly CC frame to do 'cross. I have a set of road wheels and pop 'em on the CC for training rides. Although I do switch back to the road frame come RR season, I really like firing up the Surly- My Giant TCR feels like a nervous, twitchy (but fast) sprinter, and my CC just feels like a BIKE, and a damned good one at that. It's so nice not having to listen to every pea-size piece of gravel go PING as it shoots out from under my bazillion PSI Vreddy's.... What the cross frame does is really let me enjoy the ride. I'm glad I'm not alone.
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Old 10-20-06, 04:03 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkmother
Totally. Freeroad-I like it. Anyway, the only downside I see is occasionally one of the guys I ride with will ask me when I am going to get a "real" road bike. I just smile to myself and wonder the same thing about whatever plastic fantastic thing he happens to be riding. To me, it doesn't get any more real-my bike rocks.
Yea, but the guys on the real road bikes, hate it when you take the sprints from them on you cross bike.
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Old 10-20-06, 11:01 AM   #17
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Definitely. Going on a road ride with a cross bike, I always get left behind. But it's those rare moments when we're doing a hill that I can sneak up on the others.
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Old 12-25-06, 05:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IchbinJay
Definitely. Going on a road ride with a cross bike, I always get left behind. But it's those rare moments when we're doing a hill that I can sneak up on the others.
is this just a gearing issue
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Old 12-25-06, 10:01 PM   #19
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Sounds like "freeroad" is become a new buzzword in the cycling industry. Not that I really know what it means, but it sounds like all-around, general, go anywhere, do anything cycling. To match it, the industry is starting to gear lower-end, non-race specific cross bikes and beefed-up "sport-touring" road bikes to a new breed of cyclists.

AS for "non-competative" cyclocross, it's kind of an oxymoron, but there is nothing wrong with owning, riding, and experimenting with a CX bike. For me, my CX is my "attention deficit disorder" bike, as well as my push-the-limits bike, though I would like to actually race it this coming autumn. Either way, you can ride CX bikes for fun, for a killer workout, or for true, muddy, ol' skool 'cross racing.
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Old 12-27-06, 04:40 AM   #20
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On this subject- a CX bike really appeals to me; i love riding off-road but the current generation of BMX/Dirt-bike 40lb mountain bikes don't appeal as i'm not 19 any more... I used to ride an MTB back in the late 80's/early 90's when the emphasis was on cross-country riding and light weight, with rigid forks and a low stretched riding position... How much pounding can a CX bike take compared to say a '90-'91 25lb MTB?
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Old 12-29-06, 12:38 AM   #21
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ooo.....those mountain bikes are great. I've been racing cross on an old KHS, and its so much fun to beat people on beautiful custum cross bikes (even if it does cost me a few....or many....places).

That said, I'm not really convinced you are really gaining anything by riding a cross bike on the road. Caliper brakes should be plenty strong (the real benifit of the canti's is mud && stick clearence), and I see no reason why a high bottom bracket should help at all. And as for the strength of "plastic fantastic" road frames......I've put about 5000 miles on my carbon/aluminum Felt F70 without a single problem (and the roads around my house are absolutly terrible, and I take every dirt road that I can :-) )
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Old 12-30-06, 03:48 PM   #22
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I live in Western Massachusetts and have definitely found that riding a cross bike on the road beneficial... Particularly this time of year... It's actually snowing today!

Further, in my area, a few miles road riding in any direction can lead to off-road trails. Where, obviously you're golden.

Over a Dogfish Head 90-minute a wise man once said, "Nothing's better than passing a dude on a $4000 full-suspension mountain bike on a $500 cross rig you built yourself."


Quote:
Originally Posted by IchbinJay
As anyone from Massachusetts will tell you, the roads here are awful from all the plowing, salt and frost heaves. So, being more of a roadie than anything, I've been riding a touring/cross bike primarily on the street. I was wondering if anyone else is doing or has done the same? Do any people from New England or other areas with rough roads find the wider tires and upright posture better for riding road?
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Old 12-31-06, 02:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shapelike
Real bike test:
- cx bike
- plastic bike
- fleight of stairs

First one to ride down it and not shatter wins.

*raises cx bike in the air*

a cervelo R3 cross would win... and it's made of plastic

R3 cross... about halfway down....
http://www.cervelo.com/bikes.aspx?bike=R32007

I rode my X01 on and off road for a year and it worked out very nicely. 2 sets of wheels... a quick switch and I'd be off.
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