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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 06-24-08, 08:55 PM   #1
JayRod
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How Can I dampen front end jolts

I have test ridden a Fuji Cross Pro cyclocross bike that is really tight and light, I would like to use it for commuting and hopefully get started riding on and off road. However I noticed during a test ride in a parking lot that when I hit a bump (the kind I'm sure I would come across during my riding on the streets) there seemed to be noticeable jolt coming from the front end. Is there something that can be done to dampen this? Would gel handle bar wraps or suspension seat post make a real difference. I also rode a Specialized Tricross sport which rode smoother and has these rubber deals on the fork, but it was noticeably heavier too.
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Old 06-24-08, 09:18 PM   #2
c_m_shooter
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Bend your elbows. When you ride a cross bike on rough singletrack, it is best to not hang on the handlebars if you don't have to. Your neck will thank you.
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Old 06-24-08, 10:26 PM   #3
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Double wrapping the bar can make a big difference. I have used another tape across the top and bends or I have also used a small piece of cheap camping matt closed cell foam.

I can relate to your pain, but you should know that the jolts on a cyclocross bike on the road are much smoother than those same bumps on a road bike. I was off road on some bumpy single track today wishing I had front suspension so I could keep up with my buddy on his Epic MTB. But, once we turned uphill and the rigidity and stiffness of my bike began to shine, he was left in the dust on the climb. Cyclocross bikes are a give-and-take (for me, they give much more than they take).

I find my Major Jake many times more comfortable than my TCR even when tire size and pressure is controlled for. It is so comfortable, in fact, that I am considering using it for Seattle to Portland (200 miles in a day) this year instead of the TCR.

My strongly held belief is that you will never regret choosing a cyclocross bike for commuting and will come to love it for many other tasks as well. It took me a while to appreciate it, but my Kona is pretty much my favorite bike of the stable. There is just about nothing it can't do. I have a 28 mile RT commute and often ride off road during my lunch break. There is no way I am hauling my double boinger NRS 28 miles per day just so I can ride off road. So I started testing the limits of the cyclocross bike. I find that I can ride serious off road trails even without having knobbies. I have very good success with the Michelin Transworld Cities 700X32's. They don't do high speed carves into sandy corners well but I am at peace with that for the increased speed on everything else besides descending.

On the commute, the Kona is just about (there may be some difference but it is so small that it is more of a hunch than a confirmed performance difference) as fast as my TCR and has no problems hanging with my buddies (and often smoking them) on their road bikes at speeds well above 25 mph (we were running 30 mph through downtown Boise and in spots on Fairview this evening with the 700X32's!!!!).

Cyclocross bikes are the SHIZNIT. That stiffness you feel will be a wonderful thing when coaxing every bit of performance from your panting, drooling self.b

Last edited by Sawtooth; 06-24-08 at 10:46 PM.
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Old 06-25-08, 07:18 AM   #4
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The best, and cheapest, form of suspension is air in the tires. Big tires, low PSI. Oh, and maybe watch where you are going once in a while.

You can not attribute the ride difference in the Tricross to those Zertzes. Tire size, tread, and pressure have way more influence on ride quality.
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Old 06-25-08, 07:53 AM   #5
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ditto on tire size.. get some 32's and run 'em at 60 lbs if you need to seriously take that edge off.. Also, I have nashbars gel pads under my wrap and they definitely add a nice bit of squish to my drops..
~Steve
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Old 06-26-08, 07:14 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
The best, and cheapest, form of suspension is air in the tires. Big tires, low PSI. Oh, and maybe watch where you are going once in a while.

You can not attribute the ride difference in the Tricross to those Zertzes. Tire size, tread, and pressure have way more influence on ride quality.
This guy said it all. Some goo in the fork ain't no shock absorber. Get big tires and run em low if you want to eat up some road shock. Most pros and competitive racers run tubular tires for the sheer fact that they can get the tire pressures around the 40psi mark. Or ride a mountain bike. Or, better yet, don't run over big bumpy things.
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