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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 06-14-03, 05:17 PM   #1
kurt64
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Road performance of a CX bike???

I am only accustomed to either an off-road bike or a pure street racer. What kind of speed and performance should I expect from a CX bike when riding on the pavement?
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Old 06-14-03, 08:00 PM   #2
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On-road performance of a CX bike is really quite good. It is not as fast as a road bike but tends to feel more stable and offers a smoother ride due to the larger diameter tires. Cross bikes are great for riding around town running errands or commuting to work through the city as they can handle a tad more abuse ahem, aggressive riding than a road bike. I have a great time on mine wherever I go.

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Old 06-15-03, 05:44 AM   #3
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Is the speed reduction mainly due to the different gearing or is there another major factor involved? I don't want to win any road races with a CX bike...LOL...but, I would like to be able to participate in some of the road rides (some are not that smooth) that the local bike club takes, without a major struggle just trying to keep up.
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Old 06-15-03, 11:45 AM   #4
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You can put road tires (even skinny ones!) on your cross bike and it will go nearly as fast as a road bike. My bike is geared 48/39 and I have no problems keeping up on group rides here, and I've even raced it a few times with decent results. I think the beefier fork makes it a more comfortable ride on bumpy roads too.
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Old 06-15-03, 03:02 PM   #5
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My Cross Check does well on group road rides of all types. I got a second set of lightweight wheels with some skinny tires. I don't think I'm at any disadvantage compaired to other road riders. The only drawback to my bike is that it weighs about 5 lbs heavier than the average bike on a group ride. Thats not as bad as it sounds though, considering I am 220 lbs anyway.
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Old 06-15-03, 03:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by kurt64
Is the speed reduction mainly due to the different gearing or is there another major factor involved? I don't want to win any road races with a CX bike...LOL...but, I would like to be able to participate in some of the road rides (some are not that smooth) that the local bike club takes, without a major struggle just trying to keep up.
The only thing that will hold you back is gearing. The faster the group ride, the more difficult it will be since you will run out of gears before everyone else who are riding with 53/11 or 12 gearing.

With a 46/12, you will be able to stay in the pack comfortably unless they start going 30+mph.

If you have cross tires on, just pump them up to 65-70psi and you will be fine.
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Old 06-15-03, 03:14 PM   #7
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Unless you have a cx bike with 53/11 gears anyway.
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Old 06-15-03, 03:26 PM   #8
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It's all in how you set it up, of course. My Carpe Diem is a cyclocross frame, nominally, but it can be set up as a touring bike or as a road bike. As a road bike, the only odd feature would be cantilever brakes and a little more clearance under the BB shell than racing bikes have.

If you put heavy wheels, cyclocross tires, and mud gearing on the bike then, sure, you're going to have to work a little harder than you would on a racer; nothing major, maybe 1mph or something like that. You might miss the really tall gears if you don't like to spin on descents and your group likes to go 35mph downhill; otherwise the gearing shouldn't make much difference.

If you're not actually doing cyclocross and are buying a 'cross bike as more of an all-rounder, then I think reasonable wheel and tire choices are all you have to make to bring the bike close enough to the racers that you won't feel particularly disadvantaged. ANd of course you'll also have a much more versatile bike.

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Old 06-15-03, 04:59 PM   #9
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Thanks for all of the great input everyone. I guess the main reason I want the CX bike is just to have an all-around ride that will take some of the rougher terrain that I encounter. I dont plan on doing any CX racing at all.....I just want a bike with some speed that will also take some bumps. Our local bike clubs go on the 30+ MPH rides but also the leasurely tours through the countryside on the off-road paths. The CX bike seems the natural choice. Now I just have to decide on which one...LOL
Thanks again everyone!
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Old 06-16-03, 01:54 AM   #10
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Just my 2 cents in this thread: do notice that the longer wheelbase of a Cyclocross bike means that you'll have a disadvantage in tight cornering compared to pure roadbikes. On the other hand it will be more steady when driving on straight stetches of road.

Hope this helps,
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Old 06-16-03, 11:34 AM   #11
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kurt64,

I think a 'cross bike would be great for your intended purposes. I built up a Lemond Poprad frameset as a commuter and to ride on fire roads and non-technical trails. I like the fact that I don't have to put the bike into the car when I want to do my off-pavement riding. I just ride to the end of the pavement and keep going. Unless you're doing crits, I wouldn't worry too much about cornering. Some lighter wheels/tires would help for your club rides. Otherwise, I wouldn't think you'd have trouble keeping up.

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Old 06-16-03, 12:02 PM   #12
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I think a cyclocross bike fits your needs perfectly. The Surly Crosscheck is a good one for this. I have Ultegra double on mine and some Mavic OP's with Ultegra hubs and Conti Ultra 2000(700x25C) and I can easily keep up with group rides and it is a great training rig. You can install full fenders and ride in the rain easy with it too. Very versatile bike.
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Old 08-11-03, 08:20 AM   #13
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I ride almost exclusively on the road, and I love my CX (Poprad - the white one). Mine is all 105 except I got an Ultegra BB. I put the following components on to reduce the weight - Cinelli Salida stem, Thomson Elite post, Matrix/105 rims, Bontrager Race Lite bar, Performance Ti pedals, SRAM chain, and Conti Ultra 2000 tires. My Poprad is now at about 18-19 lbs and it is so super smooth. Even with my 43 yr old skinny legs, I'm avg'ing about 17 mph on our hilly NC roads. When I want to go offroad, I just swap the tires with a set of Perfomance Cross-X tires.
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Old 09-02-03, 02:56 PM   #14
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Another choice is to have another set of wheels for your 'cross bike. Perhaps a super-light set of road wheels with 700 x 20 or 23 tires and a 12-21 cassette for the fast-paced road rides and the stock 'cross wheel-tire combination for everyday or off-road use. This would be ideal if you had only one bike.
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Old 09-02-03, 03:01 PM   #15
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Along these lines, what about the off-road performance of a CX bike compared to a mountain bike. I'm not talking about drops and the like, I'm thinking on forest service roads, etc. How much faster will a cross bike be on this type of trail? Advantages/Disadvantages when climbing? Descending??? Seems to me that on technical descents you'd probably be at a disadvantage, but climbing (staying seated) and flats you'd probably roll faster. How much?
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Old 09-02-03, 04:05 PM   #16
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The only advantage over a xc mtb is on smooth, flat fireroad. Climbing would be about the same but the steeper and more rough, the more advantage to a mtb. Descending definitely a mtb will be faster. This is all variable depending on rider skill too.
How much faster is wildly variable and impossible to measure.
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Old 10-08-03, 12:49 PM   #17
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I ride an Airborne Carpe Diem CX. Alpha Q CX fork, Velomax Circuit comp wheels with Conti top touring 2000 tires. Bike weighs in about 19.5 lbs.With speedplays. It's got 52/42/39 up front with a 12/27 in the rear. It's just a matter of how much motor I have, not gears.
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Old 10-12-03, 08:44 PM   #18
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I race my 'cross bike with my local club every Tuesday and I do pretty good.I do a 100k ride every Sunday and I can keep up in the fast group.We have some of the better riders in Ontario in our club.Just put some road tires on and you'll be fine.I have Ultegra cranks 53/39 and a 12-27 cassette.
I also ride this bike in the trails.It's great BUT your hands take a beating.After a couple of hours of riding with a rigid fork and squeezing the wimpy brakes my hands are toast.I used to put a big XT 11-34 cassette on in the winter to ride the trails but now I don't bother.If I can't ride up the hill I just run up it.It's a good workout.
A cross bike in fine for eveything except for serious racing/training.
It's the rider not the bike.
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Old 10-14-03, 09:57 PM   #19
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Reduced speed for me is the single chain ring in front and bigger tires, as well as the heavier steel frame over my carbon road bike.
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