Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Long rides on cyclocross bike?

    Newbie looking for advise from cyclocross experts:

    I started biking back in May this year and improved my distance from 8-10 miles / per ride to 25-35 miles. My goal is to increase it up to 60-70 miles next season and may be even do a century. In order to ride longer distances I need to upgrade from my hybrid Trek 7500.
    So I am loking for new bike that is better fit for longer road rides ( 5-6 hrs or more).

    Being a big guy ( 6'5" , 285lb) I read Clidesdale forum and many people there recommend to buy cyclocross as road bike. ( to handle my big weight).

    If I understand it right - cyclocross bikes ( geometry, drive terrain) designed for cyclocross races that are short rides under 1 hour.

    My question is - how CX bikes behave on longer rides of 5-6 hrs? Same as road bikes or different?

    I tested several bikes , road and CX ( Trek 1500, Kona Jake the Snake, Bianchi Axis) and did not feel any significant difference during short 5 min tests on LBS parking lot ( but Axis is my favorite so far...)

    Thanks for advise.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Bikes
    A few more than my fair share.
    Posts
    159
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I suggest checking out steel cross bikes. In my experience, steel is more comfortable over longer distances. There are plenty of steel cross bikes out there. For what you describe, I'd look for one that isn't designed solely for racing. Something with eyelets for fenders or a rack maybe. These are wonderful, all-around bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    635
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Comfort of cyclocross bikes is very good due to the longer wheelbase. I use my crossbikes for all my long rides.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    146
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Timo
    Comfort of cyclocross bikes is very good due to the longer wheelbase. I use my crossbikes for all my long rides.
    I am a newbie and was just wondering how does the longer wheelbase make it more comfortable?

  5. #5
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    No permanent address, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,701
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Electric_Elvis
    I am a newbie and was just wondering how does the longer wheelbase make it more comfortable?
    I'm pretty noobish too but I'll give this one a go longer wheel base means the handling is much more stable...modern roadbikes are designed around criterium geometry, and are therefor noodly as hell. This is fine for racing around tight corners (and is extremely fun for inner city riding) but for distance riding, it's alot more comfortable to have something with a longer well base, as you'll expend less effort keeping it straight (especially on speedy downhills:O)

    that and I think longer wheel bases soak up the bumps better.

  6. #6
    251
    251 is offline
    Senior Member 251's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    134
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I rode my Gunnar Crosshairs a little over 200 miles in two days on a ('06 MS 150, century option both days). It was a great bike, very comfotable and no major issues. I test rode several cross bikes before going with the Gunnar. Of all of the bikes I rode, I liked the aluminum bikes the least. My top choices were the Poprad and the Crosshairs. In my limited experience, steel bikes are generally more comfotable, but this is not always the case.

    I have a Specialized Stumpjumper M2 FS (mountain bike), which is a super stiff aluminum/ceramic frame that I've used three times for the MS 150. While the M2 was not nearly as nice as the Gunnar, it was acceptable. On the flip side, I have a steel commuter bike that I built out of garage sale parts. The frame is a little too small, and on rides longer than 20-25 miles it gets uncomfortable. I'd get a bike with a geometry that fits you, and worry about the frame material second.

    From what you've said, it sounds like you may want to look at a touring frame.
    Dave
    '08 Kent Eriksen Ti Hardtail
    '01 Gunnar Crosshairs
    '97 GT Avalanche LE
    '95 Specialized Stumpjumper M2 FS (singlespeed)

  7. #7
    ROM 6:23 flipped4bikes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Comp, Lemond Tourmalet, Bridgestone MB-5
    Posts
    1,713
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I recently took a tour of Nova Scotia on my Tricross. It was 63 miles of nasty headwinds and crosswinds. The bike was extremely stable. When I was crossing the causeway to Cape Sable Island, the crosswinds were really bad, but the Tricross stayed on course. It was kind of scary especiallly with trying to negotiate the road with cars. The bike stayed on the line I pointed it.

    If your 'cross has a long wheelbase and a relaxed geometry, it makes for excellent long rides. I wouldn't hestitate to ride the TriX on centuries and more multiday tours...
    Every time we let a vehicle pass there is a little bit of compromise. But compromise allows the city to function and allows cyclists to function in the city. The trick is not to eliminate compromise but to learn how to work safely within it.

    --Robert Hurst

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    193
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks, everyone! Great responses and recommendations. Looks like CX bikes will be staying on my "wish list"... Choices , choices...

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    georgia
    My Bikes
    Caloi MTB, Raleigh heritage international
    Posts
    301
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know if the jamis nova counts as a real cross bike but I use mine for long rides. I even slap panniers on it from time to time. I like it cause it's a steel frame and very comfortable for me. I'm short so I have a problem with toe clip overlap but I'm used to it. Good thing cause the 700X38 tires and fenders make it even worse. I know my stem looks funny but believe it or not I'm not really that upright when I'm on the top of the bar. Mostly I ride stretched out on the hoods when I ride the nova. I have short arms or something, the stem police are always on my case. I got the nova cause that's what they had around here, everybody seems to like the surlys.

    Here are a couple shots of mine.



  10. #10
    Senior Member Timo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    635
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    javna golinas explanation is spot on! Exactly what I mean

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,413
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by wireless
    Being a big guy ( 6'5" , 285lb) I read Clidesdale forum and many people there recommend to buy cyclocross as road bike. ( to handle my big weight).
    I suggest you buy a steel framed road bike. There isn't a huge selection but there are enough around to be able to find one without too much trouble.

    Cyclocross bikes have just about NOTHING going for them for the sort of use you're contemplating. Newer designs have funny geometry that are ideas of the different designers. In particular cases each one of these geometries have their purpose - for instance - high bottom bracket CX bikes such as Redline work very well in deep mud, low BB bikes work better in ice with their lower CG. But as a road bike used almost exclusively in good weather you are limited by the quirks of a CX design.

    This isn't to say that ALL CX bikes are quirky but enough are that it's a crap shoot on your part.

    You are big and heavy but you aren't rediculously big and heavy. I just rode today with a guy that's 6'
    8" and 245 lbs that rides a 68 cm bike. He FOUND a custom bike in his size! You'd probably be fine with a steel framed 64 cm road bike.

    I'm 6'4" and around 200 lbs and ride a 61 or 62 cm bike without a problem. I've found MOST of my large stable on the internet so you can too.

  12. #12
    Member chairmandave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    42
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The 2007 lemond poprad comes in steel and has OEM disc brakes. I'd imagine stronger brakes are more of an issue for clydesdale riders:

    http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cyc...oprad_disc.php


  13. #13
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    40205 'ViLLeBiLLie
    My Bikes
    Sngl Spd's, 70's- 80's vintage, D-tube Folder
    Posts
    7,804
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I had a Surly CrossCheck and there was no reason in the world
    that that bike couldnt be used for any type of riding, comfortably.

  14. #14
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Davis CA
    My Bikes
    Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
    Posts
    3,954
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Two weeks ago I rode a century on my Surly Crosscheck. 113 miles including the ride to and from the start. No problems with comfort.

  15. #15
    Senior Member slagjumper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Down on East End Avenue.
    My Bikes
    Salsa Las Cruces, Burley R&R and a boat load of others.
    Posts
    1,815
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another consideration for CX frame comfort is riding position. Specifically, how far forward you are reaching has a big impact on comfort. This is often tricky with a CX frame for two reasons. First is that CX racers often want the frame smaller than what they might use on a road bike, second is that many CX frame manufactures adjust geometry to adjust for that desire and so have longer top tubes for smaller sizes of frames.

    I find that I am comfortable when my arms are bent. If you are all stretched out, that is not going to be a comfort ride.

    One way to reduce the length that your arms must go is to cut your fork high. What I mean is that the amount of fork tube that extends above the ster tube is of the order of 3 -4 inches. This has the effect of bringing your bars at or above the seat height. This can work better than using the short 90 mm stems.

    So if you are able to specify the fork tube length you might want to make it longer and use spacers to compensate.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    My Bikes
    Cinelli Supercoursa 69, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Mondonico Diamond Extra 05, Coors Light Greg Lemond (built by Scapin) 88, Scapin MTB, Stumpjumper 83, Specialized Stumpjumper M4, Lemond Poprad 2001
    Posts
    1,366
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Being a big guy ( 6'5" , 285lb) I read Clidesdale forum and many people there recommend to buy cyclocross as road bike. ( to handle my big weight).

    If you are a big guy and you are I would recommend a builder in Boulder Colorado named Lennard Zinn. He is a big guy and specializes in building custom bikes for large people. If you get a nice light steel cross bike you can ride it with either cross or road wheels making the transition to long rides very easy. I recommend steel because it would be a lifetime bike for you. I would recommend against Aluminum (limited life frames and aluminum fails catastrophically), carbon and/or Ti (too expensive). Don't let big fat aluminum tubes and fancy decals fool you.
    Steel is real. Lennard Zinn is the author of Zinn and the Art of Road (and MTB) bike maintenance. He is the real deal. Check out his website Google Lenard Zinn or Zinncycles.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Deanster04's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Boulder, Colorado
    My Bikes
    Cinelli Supercoursa 69, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Mondonico Diamond Extra 05, Coors Light Greg Lemond (built by Scapin) 88, Scapin MTB, Stumpjumper 83, Specialized Stumpjumper M4, Lemond Poprad 2001
    Posts
    1,366
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess I should have read all the posts before I replied. There are some great bikes recommended. The Gunnar, Jamis, Surly, and Lemond Poprad are all great steel bikes. I don't see any reason why you can't ride long distances on them. I have been riding the Bicycle Tour of Colorado for the last 5 years on a road bike. This next year I am switching to a Cross bike so I can use a rack to carry clothing and food for the very long and highly variable weather conditions on the ride. I will be using road wheels and Continental Grand Prix 4000s for the ride. I am just tired of using plastic garbage bags and electrical tape for protection against the elements. Good Luck.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Severn, MD
    My Bikes
    Airborne Carpe Diem; Trek 520
    Posts
    841
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Deanster04
    I don't see any reason why you can't ride long distances on them. I have been riding the Bicycle Tour of Colorado for the last 5 years on a road bike. This next year I am switching to a Cross bike so I can use a rack to carry clothing and food for the very long and highly variable weather conditions on the ride.
    There are quite a few randonneurs (self-supported, ultra-long-distance types) who favor 'cross bikes over standard road bikes for that exact reason (plus 'cross bikes have the clearance to accommodate fatter tires for greater comfort/durability, and fenders for those 300+ mile rides in the rain.)

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    7
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    no cyclocross expert but i am 6'7" with a 39" inseam

    Hey,

    If price isn't an issue then you should look at zinncycles.com. I know someone already mentioned it, but i think that it is worth mentioning again. He is the only frame builder who really builds frames for us. The main, and most important difference between Lennard Zinn and everybody else is that Zinn builds his bikes around custom crank arms.

    When you get on your bike next time, notice how little the circles are that your feet make when you ride. The crank arms on your bike are only 170, maybe 175 mm long and were designed for someone who is 5'7". at 6'5", you need crank arms that are 200 mm long. This will help you to use the full length of all your leg muscles, which means more of your strength getting to the road.

    Lennard builds bikes for giant football players and extremely tall basketball players. He knows how to make a bike that is made for you, and he is the only one who does it.

    You can get something else for now, because a custom bike from Zinn isn't cheap, but if you are serious about cycling and it sounds like you are, I suggest you start your Zinn Bike piggy bank and put money in it every chance you get.

    Russell

  20. #20
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    58
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i to am looking for a cross bike that may be suitable for longer rides 50 60 miles or so and was wondering what a good wheel base is fro a cross bike hopefully someday ill be buying the spec tricross single but for now ill have to settle w/ a used build from my bike shops basement. theres a few good looking steel frames down there and would it be out rages to put a front shock on a bike w/ drop bars i guess iv never seen it done so it must not be a great idea

  21. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    eldridge iowa
    My Bikes
    lynskey cross 29 er teesdale custom snow bike
    Posts
    200
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I have a habanero cross that is the best long distance bike I have.Mark was a great guy to work with and the price was great.Oh it is titanium not sure how that fits for you

  22. #22
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Volpe '07
    Posts
    863
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Just another vote for steel 'cross. I have a Bianchi Volpe that I've ridden on numerous metrics and centuries and I must say it's extremely comfy. I'd recommend it to anyone looking to ride distance but not wanting to commit to an aggressive geometry.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •