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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 04-14-08, 11:20 AM   #1
rbiked
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buying a bike... road racing and steel v aluminum

i've been looking for a new bike and my goal from the start was to get something that i could ride on the road and on crushed limestone trails... i started looking at the hybrids and found myself loving road bikes more and more..

cyclocross at the moment seems to offer everything i want... i will place road tires on it and ride some of the really long events in the area, i would like to be able to do 60 miles or more on this bike.
also i want the Shimano 105 or better..


so thee questions, do cyclocross bikes make good road bikes?

and aluminum or steel?

i'll be doing a lot of hills, bumpy roads, and distance on limestone trails... is cyclocross the best for this


currently i'm looking at the lemand poprad disc and the trek xo 1... both are close in price, does anyone have any advice between these two or a better one in the same range or for less?
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Old 04-14-08, 11:47 AM   #2
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You'll get lots of opinions on this...I'll start with mine.

1. yes, pretty good. Braking will not be as precise, and the bike will likely be a little heavier, so if you're road racing you'll be at a disadvantage. But it'll be 95% there with the right wheels and tires. I have a cross bike with a road-specific wheelset, and ride with roadies (though don't race) all the time.

2. your call. Standard argument is that steel is more compliant, more easily fixed and prone to rust and a little heavier. Aluminum less comfy, harder to fix, lighter, stiffer. In real life the difference IMHO are small.

3. Yup. the hillls may be a cause for some pause. Some cross bikles are compact doubles -- depending on your fitness triple may be a better bet.

I have a Kona JTS and love it. I'd suggest you add it to your test ride list. I'd also add a Specialized Tricross.
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Old 04-14-08, 02:49 PM   #3
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Are you actually planning on riding cross with it? You may want to look into getting a touring frame with some racy components. I think that's a great way to go for a zippy bike that is nice and predictable.
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Old 04-14-08, 02:59 PM   #4
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Are you actually planning on riding cross with it? You may want to look into getting a touring frame with some racy components. I think that's a great way to go for a zippy bike that is nice and predictable.
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Old 04-14-08, 04:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by rbiked View Post
...cyclocross at the moment seems to offer everything i want... i will place road tires on it and ride some of the really long events in the area, i would like to be able to do 60 miles or more on this bike.
also i want the Shimano 105 or better..

so thee questions, do cyclocross bikes make good road bikes?

and aluminum or steel?

i'll be doing a lot of hills, bumpy roads, and distance on limestone trails... is cyclocross the best for this

currently i'm looking at the lemand poprad disc and the trek xo 1... both are close in price, does anyone have any advice between these two or a better one in the same range or for less?
Personally, aluminium for the rust problem that is London humidity.

My CX bike long rides have been 5-6 hours and at least up to 60miles, possibly more.

CX bikes are what you make them - stripped down super duper racers (on and off road), high performance tourers, commuters, awesome training bikes and so on.

most of these range in price from USD1000 to USD1600

700c, drop bar, disc brake multi use bikes (cyclocross, touring, commuting, training, racing, etc.)

trek portland - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...land/portland/

cannondale cross xr7 - http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/08/c...del-8XR7C.html

Brodie Ronin '08 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ronin.php
Brodie romax '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/romax.php
brodie ronin '07 - http://www.brodiebikes.com/2007/2007_bikes/ronin.php

lemond poprad disc - http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cross/poprad_disc.php

rocky mountain sherpa - http://www.bikes.com/bikes/2007/TOURING/sherpa-10.aspx

kona sutra - http://www.konaworld.com/08_sutra_w.htm

orbea diem drop disc - http://www.orbea.com/ingles/interior...ilia=6&gama=13

focus cross disc - http://www.focusbikesuk.com/focuscyc...cross_disc.php

devinci caribou2 - http://www.devinci.com/10479_an.html

raleighusa sojourn - http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=5&itemid=427

rei novara element - http://www.rei.com/product/744808

co-motion mazama - http://www.co-motion.com/mazama.html

rocky mountain Solo CXD - http://bikes.com/2008_preview/2008_preview.html

rotwild rs1cx - http://www.rotwild.de/en/ (street bikes section)

fixie inc. pureblood - http://www.cycles-for-heroes.com/200...pureblood.html

maxx roadmaxx custom (you choose the color and parts at the LBS and the factory puts it together, i.e., not a custom frame) - http://www.maxx.de/frmain_bikes.htm (road - roadmaxx custom)

Salsa la Cruz - http://www.salsacycles.com/laCruzComp08.html
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Old 04-14-08, 06:00 PM   #6
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i'm not actually going to race cross... i will plan on coming close to racing some roadies who i know... i will be riding all sorts of terrain for sure.. its very hard for me to resist the woods. it will be rode hard under every condition and will likely see all sorts of terrain.


i do not plan on riding in the rain any time soon, and the bike will never chained up... it remains in my house or in the trunk of my car.... but this bike might be promoted from the garage to either my living room or bedroom, pending on how much i love it! i don't think i will have to worry about rust if i get a steel bike... i currently have steel bikes here and have never seen a spec of rust.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:29 PM   #7
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Take a look at the Jamis Aurora Elite. The frame is what used to be the Nova (their cyclocross bike) but it's been rebadged with a triple and slightly different fork and is now called a touring bike. Great frame and great parts for a pretty small price tag. Similar frame and parts to the Poprads but cheaper.

As far as discs go they may be a good option for you if you're sure you want to race neither road nor cross. I would go for the Trek Portland or Lemond Poprd disc (or one of the other bike son markhar's list) if you plan on lot sof off-road descents or lot sof rain/foul weather riding, too.
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Old 04-16-08, 08:56 AM   #8
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i'm 95% sure i'm going for the poprad disc... I'll also purchase some smaller road tires to swap on for when i will do longer road rides.
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Old 04-16-08, 09:08 AM   #9
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I own both a 17 lb road racer and a 20 lb racing cyclocross bike (Kona Major Jake). I have found that the Major Jake is a pretty great road bike with decent wheels and tires. When riding at speed on the flats, it does seem to limit me just a bit over 25 mph (when I am near my limit anyway) compared to the road racer. I am guessing it is the longer stays that make is slightly less responsive. Otherwise, it hangs just fine at a standard charity ride/group ride pace of 18-23 mph. It also handles extended road climbs and decents very well. I had it up over 52 mph the other day coming out of the mountains!!!!

For the added capabilities, I feel like if I had to have only one bike, it would definitely be the cross bike. It really is a great road bike and a wonderful off-roader as well.

The thing I love about it is the ability to handle an adventure ride where you don't know what you will encounter. My father and I took the Major Jake and an older road bike with clearance for knobbies on a mixed century last summer of 60 road miles and 40 off-road miles. It was one of the best rides of my life. Note: A tourer could also give you that capability.

I bought my Major Jake used with XTR V-brakes, and they were absolutely terrible (even with travel agents). I spent $40 for a set of Tektro cantilevers and absolutely love them. You can still get very good braking out of cantilevers. I will admit, however, that they do not come close to the stopping power of my Dura Ace road calipers.

I support your evaluation of the Poprad. The other bike I tested was a Poprad. And, if I could only have one bike and was buying today, I would buy the Poprad. It's geometry is a little more road than it is cross racing and you feel that after coming off the Major Jake onto the Poprad; yet the poprad still does very well off road. I love them both. But the Poprad will definitely behave more like a road bike than the Major Jake does.

Last edited by Sawtooth; 04-16-08 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 04-21-08, 07:29 AM   #10
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i purchased the lemond disc, wonderful bike. it truely is eye candy as well as a superior ride. i also purchased some light road tires to swap between later, should be fun!!
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Old 04-21-08, 07:58 AM   #11
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i purchased the lemond disc, wonderful bike. it truely is eye candy as well as a superior ride. i also purchased some light road tires to swap between later, should be fun!!
nice - pictures please?
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Old 04-21-08, 09:06 AM   #12
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The list forgot the Giant TCX, I just got one of these and it rides great!


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Old 04-27-08, 04:50 PM   #13
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i purchased the lemond disc, wonderful bike. it truely is eye candy as well as a superior ride. i also purchased some light road tires to swap between later, should be fun!!
pictures to come soon!!


i purchased some really nice skinny road tires to swap on. i also swapped on a larger front gear to increase my top speed. i did need a larger chain however to accommodate the new large gear in the front. i did manage to break the 30mph mark on a paved rails-to-trail recreational trail this week. it was on a railroad grade, so it was fairly flat. (i'll admit a slight slope helped) the joggers and other bikes who i blazed past likely crapped their pants but wow was it fun.. I'm impressed with the overall ride and quality of the bike. my local bike shop was very outstanding when it came to helping me get this bike going strong! It shouldn't be long before i can fully keep up with some of my roadie friends! having the ability to use cross tires off road is also very pleasing, it handles very well off road as well. my mountain bike isn't going to get much riding from me in the future!
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