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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 09-03-08, 05:46 AM   #1
NealH 
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For those that don't race...

where do you typically ride your cross bike - or for what general purpose? I am very tempted to buy a cross bike but, I've always sort of connected this style bike with racing, which is really what the term "cross" refers to - I think. Anyway, do you commute with it, ride fire trails, substitute it for lighter mountain riding, short touring, etc?
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Old 09-03-08, 06:00 AM   #2
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I haven't taken delivery of my cross bike yet, but I can tell you why I'm buying it.

During the week, my schedule requires riding in the early morning hours -- 3/4 of the year, at least part of my weekday ride is in the dark. Also, in this area, there seems to be a lot of glass and other sharp-edged debris on the shoulders of roads that have shoulders. In the dark, that debris is hard to spot, resulting in tons of flats for my road bike.

An MTB or 'cross tire is far more resistant to flats. Also, if I have to dodge into a ditch, the 'cross bike is more up to the task without risking damage. So, why a 'cross bike? For me, it's to have a more bullet-proof bike for early morning training rides in the dark.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I haven't taken delivery of my cross bike yet, but I can tell you why I'm buying it.

During the week, my schedule requires riding in the early morning hours -- 3/4 of the year, at least part of my weekday ride is in the dark. Also, in this area, there seems to be a lot of glass and other sharp-edged debris on the shoulders of roads that have shoulders. In the dark, that debris is hard to spot, resulting in tons of flats for my road bike.

An MTB or 'cross tire is far more resistant to flats. Also, if I have to dodge into a ditch, the 'cross bike is more up to the task without risking damage. So, why a 'cross bike? For me, it's to have a more bullet-proof bike for early morning training rides in the dark.
Ditto.


Clearance for large tire sizes is the #1 reason I'm building a Cross bike. Toughness is reason #2, speed is #3.

I'm a 70% commuter (35 miles RT), 10% fun rides user. Next year I'll try a few century rides.

I'm a bigger guy at 230#'s. I was using a 700 x 28 size tire but suffered from pinch flats on the pot-holed & patched-over streets of Chicago. A 700 x 38 sized Armadillo tires solved the problem. They are heavy, but zero flats in over 1000 miles.

My Soma Double Cross build will fit 700 x 38 tires with room for fenders. I'm going with a carbon fork and a mix of 105 & Ultegra. The bike will come in at about 23#'s. Not bad for a steel frame with heavy 32 spoke wheels & heavy tires. I'll add a set of lighter wheels and 700 x 28 size tires for fun rides. The bike could be as light a 20#'s on normal road wheels & tires.

The steel frame and carbon fork will make for a very plush ride. Perfect for my long commute and next years Century rides. The bike will be as tough as a rigid MTB, and nearly as fast as a sport road bike.

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Last edited by Barrettscv; 09-03-08 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:51 AM   #4
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I've been riding on the weekends in a rural mountain area with lots of dirt roads, atv trails, mtb trails, etc. The trails are rocky and frequently muddy. I typically ride a bit on a dirt road until I can find something a bit more interesting like an atv or horse trail. Soon I'll put on some slicks and commute a bit. The tire clearance is sweet.
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Old 09-03-08, 07:54 AM   #5
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Went with cross for versatility and toughness. I run about 230, 6'3.5, and i stand to climb. I break bikes.

I use my cross bike (Kona JTS) for nearly everything. 90% of the time I use road wheels and tires (albeit 28s) and I do fast weekend rides, self-supported centuries and commute 1-2 times a week (it's a long ride at 40 miles return, and I travel a lot). 10% of the time I put on the stock wheels with 38s and go play in the mud, on dirt roads or along a crushed limestone tow path.

6,000 miles and counting, including a significant crash, and the thing is rock solid. I can hang with roadies and I can do things they can't. Most fun ever -- there's a stretch on a path I love that's crushed stone. Rode through there in an inch of snow in the winter and got covered with mud. Try that on a $5k roadie...
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Old 09-03-08, 07:59 AM   #6
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eventually, i would like to get a cross bike. i am not into racing, and there are some light trails that i could see riding on a cross bike. I never really liked the mountain bikes, although i am trying. I would like a bike that has a road-like geometry, but has clearance for fenders, and braze ons for a rear rack.
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