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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 11-15-07, 02:34 PM   #1
TBatty
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CX bike for long rides?

I'm getting ready to purchase a new bike, and one of my experienced riding buddies suggested I look at a cross bike as a do all "road" bike. My use for a road bike includes recreational and fitness rides, eventually commuting, and perhaps light ("credit card") tourig. My only hesitation is I am very interested in doing very long rides, centuries, doubles, perhaps even longer brevets. With road tires, is a cross bike a good option? There is a definite possibility that i will at some point try cyclocross racing, but for giggles, not with any thought of becoming the next great thing in cross racing.

Opinions?
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Old 11-15-07, 07:25 PM   #2
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Soma Double Cross
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Old 11-15-07, 07:32 PM   #3
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Cross bikes will be a good starting point since it generally has more versatility than a road specific bike. My recommendation is to go and test ride some at a bike shop. Geometry on a cross bike favors distance compared to say a crit race road frame.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:43 PM   #4
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That said, some aluminum cross bikes are built stiff for racing. As an example, the Canti or Disc version of the Lemond Poprad would be a great do all bike, and certainly would not limit you if you choose to race. A Redline Conquest is built for racing, and the one that's priced around 1000 dollars has pretty much no concessions for long distance comfort--even the fork is aluminum.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:51 PM   #5
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surly crosscheck.
jamis aurora elite.
2007 jamis nova (similar to 2008 jamis aurora elite)

steel steel and steel.
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Old 11-15-07, 07:53 PM   #6
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Take a look at a Planet-X Kaffenbach........ nice steel frame with a bit more road geometry, but still some of the benefits of a cross frame. Just got one the other week...... a much nicer ride than my Ridley or Van Dessel .... both which were more racing frames.
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Old 11-15-07, 08:06 PM   #7
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There's enough difference in cross bike design to warrant test riding several. Also consider whether you'll eventually want racks and fenders and whether the bike can accommodate them. I ride pretty similar to you, and had my LBS build up a Po' mans custom.

http://centurycycles.com/page.cfm?PageID=520
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Old 11-16-07, 11:20 AM   #8
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A 'cross bike will be fine for long road rides. Just throw some road tires on it and go. I do long road rides on my Trek XO2.
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Old 11-16-07, 11:38 AM   #9
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I have a 2006 Specialized Tricross Comp that I got used off Craigslist for $900. It's been the best bike I've ever had. I use it for commuting, touring, some light off roading, rec rides and long distance rides. Have completed two centuries on it so far and it was far more comfortable than any other bike I've ridden. Mine is aluminum and has a carbon fork and seatpost. Rough roads are easily absorbed by this bike. I bought a second wheelset for it for road tires (I run 25's) and can easily switch between the two when needed. I'm not saying that the Tricross is the best bike, but instead I'm saying that a cross bike is perfectly suited for long distance riding and just about anything else you may want to do. I'll never own anything but.
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Old 11-16-07, 11:39 AM   #10
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I've done a few centuries and double metrics on a CX bike. It's fine (assuming it's properly set up for the rider).

But, if you are really only interested in road (or light trail) riding, why not just get a road bike? Way more options to choose from.
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Old 11-16-07, 03:32 PM   #11
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Has anyone ever gotten a shop to swap wheelsets for a testride on a CX bike? I tried a Cannondale CX bike with the same logic - versatility - but the tires made for an unpleasant ride on the smooth pavement. What do you think my chances are of them swapping out wheels for something with a more road-friendly tire?
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Old 11-16-07, 03:44 PM   #12
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There is no reason why they shouldn't. If they want to sell a bike that is. Any 700c wheel should work just fine as long as the number of cogs on the cassette are the same.
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Old 11-16-07, 11:17 PM   #13
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T Batty,

Go with a cx bike preferaby one with a carbon fork. Last year I got an '07 Kona JTS cross bike last year for the exact same reason as you. It has been a better all around bike than I could ever imagine. It made an outstanding light touring bike (Allegeny Passage/C&O Canal), a very good century bike with road tires, and a pretty fair dirt trail bike with the original CX tires. Hands down it has become my favorite ride. Good luck and enjoy the ride.

Bill J
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Old 11-16-07, 11:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster View Post
I have a 2006 Specialized Tricross Comp that I got used off Craigslist for $900. It's been the best bike I've ever had. I use it for commuting, touring, some light off roading, rec rides and long distance rides. Have completed two centuries on it so far and it was far more comfortable than any other bike I've ridden. Mine is aluminum and has a carbon fork and seatpost. Rough roads are easily absorbed by this bike. I bought a second wheelset for it for road tires (I run 25's) and can easily switch between the two when needed. I'm not saying that the Tricross is the best bike, but instead I'm saying that a cross bike is perfectly suited for long distance riding and just about anything else you may want to do. I'll never own anything but.
I may be getting this bike next year. The only negative I have heard of was people think the carbon forks are not good for a loaded tour. How much weight have you carried on it? How much do you normally carry?

Thanks
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Old 11-17-07, 12:11 AM   #15
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Ever seen a tricross fork in person? Those things are almost absurdly beefy. I wouldn't feel nervous about loading up the front end of a tricross.
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Old 11-17-07, 12:29 AM   #16
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We got into a debate at the shop the other night even though there was really could be no argument...if I could only have one bike it would be a cross bike as they can and do almost everything well and many are well suited for epic rides.

With two wheelsets you can have the best of both worlds... I just set up a pair of road wheels for my converted Trek 7500 which is presently running CX tires for the commute and winter riding.
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Old 11-17-07, 08:37 AM   #17
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Soma Double Cross, Bianchi Volpe, Surly Cross Check. All three are solid, basic, versatile designs. The Cross Check and Volpe are built up with sensible stuff---no bling factor, but good.

The triple chainring on the Volpe FTW.

Nobody has mentioned the importance of the fit of the bike for long rides. The fit of the bike trumps every other factor. I recommend reading (then re-reading) Grant Petersen's treatise on choosing a frame size:
http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_...g_a_frame_size

In particular:
Top tubes of a given length tend to feel shorter on bigger frames than on smaller ones, so if you currently ride a 56cm bike with a 55cm top tube, but you know you can fit a 58cm frame, don't be scared off it just because it has a 57cm top tube.
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Old 11-18-07, 06:39 PM   #18
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I'd say that I think most cross bikes make better road bikes than most road bikes--unless you're crit racing, then a road bike would likely be better, since they're basically racing bikes. But a cross bike (except one designed for hard core racing) should have a more upright position and the ability to run bigger tires and fenders. Those are nice features if you're going long.

Eric
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Old 11-19-07, 06:30 PM   #19
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Go Steel or Ti for long range comfort, and dont get your tires to small or to hard. Stay with a 25 at about 90-100 lbs.
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Carpe who?
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Old 11-20-07, 12:22 AM   #20
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I have a Marinoni Fango CX steel and it is the most comfortable bike for long rides. I run 28 tires on it and the geometry never leaves me with aches or pains. Plus a brooks saddle.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:17 PM   #21
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Thanks for all the input. I've gotten some encouragement to simply do a few upgrades on my current bike, but if i do decide to go new, I will test ride a few cross bikes, it sounds like if I pick the right one, it could do very well for me.

I'm sure I will be back with more questions. thanks again.
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Old 11-21-07, 05:57 AM   #22
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Jamis Nova/Super Nova

I have a Jamis Super Nova 2005 (was offered as a frameset 06' only) which is 853 steel. I went from a bianchi axis which I did tons of riding on the road with, to the Jamis because the Bianchi cracked. So I wanted steel. The Jamis is nice I just did a 42mile dirt road ride last weekend and it handled great. I found that if I put a longer stem to get that "road" position I rides great there too.
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