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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 08-24-08, 12:10 PM   #1
BassManNate
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Not sure of my next bike

Hello,

I currently have a mountain bike but have found myself riding more and more on roads. I was thinking that my next bike should be a cyclocross bike but I'm not sure.

I've been riding mostly on roads for the past year or so and sometimes I'll go off onto gravel or dirt trails. This is mostly because I just haven't had good mountain bike trails available to me.

I'm currently planning on keeping the mountain bike but want something that will work better on roads than it does. A cyclocross bike would be a great all around bike but if I still have the mountain bike do I really need something for more all around use? Would I be more happy with a road bike for roads and use the mountain bike for the occasional trail?

I plan on saving up and building the bike up myself so I still have plenty of time to think about it.
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Old 08-24-08, 01:06 PM   #2
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If you're even asking, get a cross frameset. But build it up like a road bike.

There's a big range of cross frames out there to match all but the very lightest and raciest road frames. It's just a matter of your budget and what is important to you.

Depending on your tastes, you might want to use Tektro Mini-V brakes instead of cantilevers. They work with short-pull (road) levers, don't need cable hangers, and some people prefer their performance.

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Old 08-24-08, 01:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. That gives me lots to think about.

That would be nice to start off with a cross frame and build it like a road bike. If I ever wanted to do some more serious off road stuff I could throw some fatter knobbier tires on and I'm good to go. I might even be able to get rid of the mountain bike that way and use the money for it toward parts.

Edit: I suppose I could even cut down on initial cost by "borrowing" some components from my mountain bike (as long as they fit) to build the cross bike.

Last edited by BassManNate; 08-24-08 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 08-25-08, 02:14 PM   #4
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Hi BassManNate, I am riding daily on a hybride Trek Soho 2 - I am also thinkin' about a cyclocross bike as it can be fitted with road tires - and be as light as a road bike - and still leaves the posibility to change to nobbed wheels for example in winter.
I am especially interested in people having experience in both types of bikes: CX or road. As a critical note here on the forum said that CX bikes being a mixed sort of bike it should not excel in either areas.
What should drive the final decision whether to go for a road of a CX - especially when riding only on roads?
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Old 08-25-08, 03:31 PM   #5
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If you can only afford one bike, I'd go with a CX bike. You can do a lot with it. If you can afford more than one, I would use a road bike for road riding. I have a Specialized Tricross that I use for road riding and other stuff, but it is nowhere near as fast as my Eddy Merckx that I sold. That bike would fly. The CX bike is more fun though as I take it down trails and dirt roads that I wouldn't even consider on the Merckx.
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Old 08-25-08, 03:41 PM   #6
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I finally cobbled a cx bike together- it's based around a motobecane fantom cx frame- I've got 35c touring/randaneuueurueurur tires on it (kenda kwest) and I've been able to take it no problem on a short nearby trail. I wouldn't hesitate to ride fireroads or the like with it as is. It's squirly in gravel b/cuz of the tires but not terrible. On the road it's really fast. I've never owned a proper, movern road bike so I'm sure I'd notice a difference if I got on one, but I can say I'm perfectly happy with it as a road bike.
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Old 08-28-08, 07:47 AM   #7
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Yeah, I'm definitely leaning towards a cx bike right now. I'm doing a lot more riding on roads and hardly any on trails. I still go on trails that I don't think I would be comfortable on if I was on a road bike.

A road bike is probably going to be lighter than any cx bike I build but just about any cx bike is going to be lighter than my current set up.
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Old 08-28-08, 12:56 PM   #8
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I own both a top notch racing Road bike(TCR0) and a top notch racing cross bike (Kona Major Jake). They are both very very fast on the road. At speeds above 25 mph on the flats the TCR begins to be more efficient. Below that speed, the cx bike fit with road or even hybrid tires (I use the Michelin Transworld Cities) are about equal with a slight edge going to the cx bike if the road is rough chip seal or something.

I absolutely love my CX bike and just about always chose it over the road bike (unless I know it is going to be a slug fest).

We did the MS 150 this weekend and spent two days well above 23 mph (we were usually running around 25 but often up to 28 on the flats). I was on my road bike and near my limit all the time but my buddy was on his cross bike with well worn Ritchey Speed Max Knobbies and was not only hanging but often driving the speed up.

As long as your rides on the road are not races, you will be just fine out there on a cx bike with the right tires (and even with knobbies ).

Moreover, my cx bike will climb incredible off road trails without a 2nd thought (even with slicks). It just isn't the best off road descender.

Get a cx bike if you have a desire for one. You wont be sorry if you do mixed riding. I commute about 30 miles/day on mine and LOVE IT.
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Old 08-28-08, 01:09 PM   #9
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Just to reiterate and belabor the point, many of the bikes ridden at Paris-Roubaix are built around what are essentially cyclocross frames and/or forks:
http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2006...roubaix_bikes1
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Old 08-28-08, 01:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BassManNate View Post
A road bike is probably going to be lighter than any cx bike I build
Probably not as big a difference as one might think. Both of my bikes are well under 20 lbs when they are set up with their sexy gear.

For commuting, I chose heavier parts. The cx bike is not inherently heavier.
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Old 08-28-08, 02:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
Depending on your tastes, you might want to use Tektro Mini-V brakes instead of cantilevers. They work with short-pull (road) levers, don't need cable hangers, and some people prefer their performance.

How do they work. I've been toying with the idea of a set of Campy Veloce Mini-V Brakes. Campy says they're 85mm. About what size are yours? Are you using them with Ergo or STI levers?
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Old 08-29-08, 06:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
If you're even asking, get a cross frameset. But build it up like a road bike.

There's a big range of cross frames out there to match all but the very lightest and raciest road frames. It's just a matter of your budget and what is important to you.

Depending on your tastes, you might want to use Tektro Mini-V brakes instead of cantilevers. They work with short-pull (road) levers, don't need cable hangers, and some people prefer their performance.
so you are capable of a helpful response.
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