im an avid roadie and i just went out on a single track ride with my brother for the first time. im already hooked. so much that i am considering selling my road bike to build a cyclocross. on our ride i was using a friends MTB bike with shocks and it was still a pretty rough ride. i must only have one bike period.. because of budget and space. i would like to use this for work, commuting, touring, and single track. anyone know how a cyclocross would add up to a MTB for (somewhat rough) single track riding?
in the handling?
can i add a suspension fork to a cyclocross without toe overlap or a severe change in geometry?
the specific model im looking at is the lemond poprad....is there enough tire clearance on this?
It's definitely possible. It will be a little more rough than with a cross country bike. There are a few things you might want to look for and consider in a cx bike you're planning on doing some serious off roading with.
a) consider buying a set of sturdier rims for off roading. Having a set of heavier, sturdier rims for hitting the trails would be good, so you don't kill your faster road/cross rims
b) get some wider tires (around 700x45c to 700x50c) for off roading (and stick them on your off road rims.) Having wider tires with make the ride smoother and easier on you and the bike
c) make sure you get a robust cross bike
d) make sure your cross bike has good tire clearance to accommodate at least 700x45c tires. 700x50c tire clearance would be sweet, but I don't think many cx frames are made for that.
e) get a good headset, off roading eats them
f) I'd suggest a surly cross check
g) you might want to get a softride suspension stem for off roading. keeps your bike's geometry the same, and would take the edge off the trails. They're hard to find though.
I've had both the Crosscheck and the Karate Monkey. The Karate Monkey is more versatile but heavier. I didn't like the 132.5mm spacing on the rear of the Crosscheck - when I put road wheels on it, sometimes when cranking out of the saddle the rear wheel would come loose. The Monkey would allow you to run whatever tires you wanted and is disc brake compatible. If I could only have one bike, it would be the Karate Monkey for sure.
I rode this last summer on a stock Bianchi San Jose, with Ritchey Speedmax 700 x 35 tires. Single track on a cross bike? Definately. You might also consider a Jamis Nova. Good bike for the money. Whatever you do, DO NOT go to a cross race. It's all uphill from there. Hooked is an understatement.
The San Jose will take the WTB Mutano Raptor, 700 x 44. It's tight but very rideable. I have ridden these for quite a while in dry and muddy conditions with great results. Not a race tire, just great for technical single track. They are very forgiving at about 45 psi. I paid $599 for the bike and am really happy with it.
The trail is on Mt. Hood. The first 2 1/2 miles were up that creekbed, followed by really nice tread and alot of climbing. One of my favorites.