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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross vs Roadbike sizing

    So I was at the LBS again, this time looking more into cyclocross bikes rather than road bikes. They carry mostly Trek and Specialized bikes. Road bikes, 60cm feels great for me, with 58cm just a bit too small.

    However when it comes to cross bikes both Trek and Specialized seem to only go up to 58 or 61 while their road bikes are 62-64 or so. This leads me to the main question, do cross bikes typically run 1-2 cm smaller than their roadbike counterpart? ie if a 60cm is great for a roadbike for me would I love to rock a 58cm cross bike?


    Side question: Trek/Specialized I'd have to special order, pay full price (about $1800-2200 for the ones I'm looking at), would it be looked down upon to hit up some place like REI (or Performance) and get one for $1500 with full Ultegra, etc? Their 'Rivet' cross bike looks decent, but I haven't heard much about their house brand. The LBS has a 1 year free fit guarantee where they swap components for free (or pay the difference for upgrades), but this limits me to more expensive brands like Trek/Specialized, and having to order them and pay full price. Can't discount on a model they have to special order


    Thanks,

    Bill

  2. #2
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    This will explain the sizing in detail:

    Sizing And Cyclocross Bikes

    However I think the gist is that you should drop 1 size (2cm) for cyclocross.

  3. #3
    nowheels
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    Yes cyclocross bike run about a size smaller. I ride a 56 in a road bike and a 54 in a cross. Don't know much about thise bikes....fot that type of change, you might want to look into building your own bike from scratch. I partial to Ridley frames my self.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the extra info, the LBS agrees as well. I'm psyched about getting a cross bike, it should be a slightly easier shift from all mountain bikes to cross bike, rather than straight to a road bike. With that said, everyone I've talked to about it (friends, other bikers, LBS people, etc...) have all said that any decent cross bike ($1500+) can come extremely close if not match the performance of a road bike on pavement if you just toss on smaller tires. Bonus.

    Thanks again! This forum is quickly becoming another favorite of mine.

    -Bill

  5. #5
    cs1
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    Senior Member cs1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glacious
    So I was at the LBS again, this time looking more into cyclocross bikes rather than road bikes. They carry mostly Trek and Specialized bikes. Road bikes, 60cm feels great for me, with 58cm just a bit too small.

    However when it comes to cross bikes both Trek and Specialized seem to only go up to 58 or 61 while their road bikes are 62-64 or so. This leads me to the main question, do cross bikes typically run 1-2 cm smaller than their roadbike counterpart? ie if a 60cm is great for a roadbike for me would I love to rock a 58cm cross bike?


    Side question: Trek/Specialized I'd have to special order, pay full price (about $1800-2200 for the ones I'm looking at), would it be looked down upon to hit up some place like REI (or Performance) and get one for $1500 with full Ultegra, etc? Their 'Rivet' cross bike looks decent, but I haven't heard much about their house brand. The LBS has a 1 year free fit guarantee where they swap components for free (or pay the difference for upgrades), but this limits me to more expensive brands like Trek/Specialized, and having to order them and pay full price. Can't discount on a model they have to special order


    Thanks,

    Bill
    The answer is yes and no. If you use the seat tube size then yes, you should buy one size smaller. If you use the correct top tube then no. Look for a cross bike with your size top tube and standover height. Because of the increased BB height, it will have a 2 CM smaller seat tube than you usually ride. All the other dimensions should be comparable. Good luck

    Tim
    1999 Waterford RSE-11, 1995 Waterford 1200, 1989 Specialized Rockhopper Comp
    1989 Raleigh Technium, 1989 Schwinn Traveler, 1986 Specialized Rockhopper
    1984 Specialized Stumpjumper, 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper and just way too many projects to list.

  6. #6
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    drop 1 size is correct.. I ride a 60cm road bike and a 58cm cross fits me perfectly..

  7. #7
    Double Secret Member CaptMatt15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cs1
    The answer is yes and no. If you use the seat tube size then yes, you should buy one size smaller. If you use the correct top tube then no. Look for a cross bike with your size top tube and standover height. Because of the increased BB height, it will have a 2 CM smaller seat tube than you usually ride. All the other dimensions should be comparable. Good luck

    Tim
    Follow THIS advice, don't drop a size recklessly, follow Top Tube fit first!
    2007 Redline Conquest
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  8. #8
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    I downsized on the cyclocross as well. If you look at the Specialized website, the Tricross standover height is equiv. to a larger sized Specialized road bike. Also one the reasons I chose cyclocross over a road bike was because I wanted a more relax geometry and upright riding positon (shorter toptube) - I'm getting old. You can also fine tune your reach by swapping a handbar stem.

  9. #9
    titleless Houston's Avatar
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    First post. I do not have a road bike and I want to get a cyclocross bike for commuting. Where to start? Top tube on mountain bike is 59 cm. and fits me well, inseam 34.5". Obviously a trip to the LBS would be advisable but it is a long way from here and I want to prepare.

  10. #10
    Hoosier runner Valpo Hawkeye's Avatar
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    I'm 6'3", 34" inseam and the 58cm Tricross fits me perfectly.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Timo's Avatar
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    Top tube on a cyclocross bike should be at least 3 to 4 cm shorter than on a mountain bike. So I'd check out some bikes with a 55 or 56 cm top tube.

  12. #12
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    Great advice, thanks again everyone. Looks like I'm going with a 58cm tricross, usually 60cm road bike. Gonna test ride one sometime this week/weekend and probably take the plunge. Money well spent

    Now I just have to find a pair of road bike tires (probably 25-27) that will work well for the longer all pavement rides with my buddies. I assume the slightly wider rim on a cross bike will still take the standard width roadbike tires?

    -Bill

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