Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 02-22-09, 08:24 PM   #1
scrifkin
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Bikes:
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
LBS trying to talk me out of Cyclocross

I went into my LBS today to ask about getting a cyclocross. I commute to work (10 miles each way) and here are some of the points the employee said:

1) The wider tires 25-32cm (with Gatorskins or other flat reducing tire) in comparison to 23cm, will not get less pinch flats in potholes if tires are inflated correctly. Also they might get more regular flats since they have more chance of picking up sharp object b/cuz of increased surface area.

2) If you have the right fit, wider tires on similar priced new bikes, will not give you any more control in cornering (or amongst cars in traffic)

3) Unless you have a need to go offroad or put on racks (I use a backpack) then there is absolutely no need to get a cyclocross as a commuter, for the same price, they are not any more durable and slower then equivalent quailty road bikes.

I was honestly a little taken aback by the insistence of this guy to talk me out of a cyclocross for commuting. I ride on bike path and city streets of varriying quality and traffic. Does anyone know if there are higher profit margins on road bikes vs cx? Also any thoughts on the points above. I want less flats, comfort, control and speed. (Obviously I would be riding with slicks)

thanks
scrifkin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-09, 08:50 PM   #2
nitropowered
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Athens, Ohio
Bikes: Custom Custom Custom
Posts: 5,104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Go to a different shop.

1. CX bikes make excellent commuter bikes. If you don't like the wide tires, you can always go narrower. You can't go wider on a road bike. I've experienced less pinches on wider tires compared to a 23c.
2. Yes, you do lose a little quickness with wider tires like a 32c. When I switch to a road bike, it definitely feels quicker and more agile compared to wide cx tires. You can get durable semi-slick CX tires like Ritchey Speed Max
3. People get CX bikes for versitility. More tire clearance. But if you are absolutely not going to ride in gravel or some light trail, there is little advantage to getting a CX bike.
nitropowered is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-09, 08:56 PM   #3
wearyourtruth
Ride for Life
 
wearyourtruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Baltimore
Bikes:
Posts: 2,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
the guy seems to just be a pretentious roadie

almost no one who seriously commutes does so on 23's (it's not cm, btw) city riding is just too rough for most. if you look at ANY bike that is sold as a "commuter" it will have larger tires on it (compared to a true "road" bike)

if you are commuting in a city, you don't need THAT much control in cornering. you probably aren't going to be flying through turns at 30+ mph, i consider #2 a mute point

the difference between riding a 'cross bike with slicks and a road bike in terms of one being "slower" is SO negligible that any other number of factors will much more greatly affect the outcome of how "fast" you are, i.e. what you ate, how much water you've had, how much is in your bag, how many lights you catch, wet roads, etc etc etc etc

in conclusion, and i believe anyone in the commuting forum would agree, a 'cross bike is FINE if not preferred by many commuters. what bike shop is this anyway?
wearyourtruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-09, 09:11 PM   #4
iamtim
Senior Member
 
iamtim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes: 2012 Motobecane Vent Noir; 2016 Mercier Kilo TT Pro
Posts: 3,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
go to a different shop.
+1.
iamtim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-09, 09:30 PM   #5
knobster
.
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
Bikes: Specialized Roubaix Comp, Soma ES
Posts: 3,979
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Did the shop even have any cyclocross bikes? I've seen shops try and talk people into bikes that they had on their floor verses selling someone exactly what they want.
__________________
Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.
knobster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-09, 09:58 PM   #6
AndrewP
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Montreal
Bikes: Peugeot Hybrid, Minelli Hybrid
Posts: 6,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The amount of flats depends on the type of tire not the type of bike. If any of the bike paths you use are unpaved you will not need a road bike with 23 mm tires. The advantage of a road bike would be the ability to use double pivot caliper brakes, but fenders would be a big problem.
AndrewP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 07:39 AM   #7
knucklesandwich
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Somewhere
Bikes: Kona Jake (2006)
Posts: 909
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by knobster View Post
Did the shop even have any cyclocross bikes? I've seen shops try and talk people into bikes that they had on their floor verses selling someone exactly what they want.
This was my first thought as well.
Dollars to donuts he was trying to sell you something he had in stock at that moment.
knucklesandwich is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 07:47 AM   #8
late
Senior Member
 
late's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Southern Maine
Bikes:
Posts: 8,388
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 352 Post(s)
The guys not just a dork. Most of what he's saying is wrong.

A Cross bike makes a good commuter. So does a touring bike like the Surly LHT.
I use a sport bike. Sport bikes, like my Gunnar Sport, have geometry halfway between a touring bike and a roadie.

Just for giggles, take a look at this, it's Gunnar's new frame. It's got me drooling.
late is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 08:35 AM   #9
flargle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 2,118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
There's a kernel of truth in what he said. You don't need a cross bike for light commuting, and a road bike could work very well, depending.

If I were buying a bike strictly for commuting, though, I would want clearance for wider tires, fenders, and racks.
flargle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 08:46 AM   #10
scattered73
Justin
 
scattered73's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Bayou City
Bikes: Soma Double Cross, KHS Urban Uno
Posts: 1,051
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I had a similar experience with a shop except he said no on road and cross bikes. His opinion was hybrids were the only city bikes. I just bought else where.
scattered73 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 08:52 AM   #11
Saddle Up
I Love My Dream
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 1,076
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think a cross bike may actually be faster for commutting in the city. I fly through/over stuff that I would normally have to slow down for/avoid if I was on a road bike. Riding a cyclocross bike in the city is huge fun. Find a shop that has staff that want you on a bike best suited to you.
Saddle Up is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 09:08 AM   #12
Crast
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Port Jefferson, NY
Bikes:
Posts: 469
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrifkin View Post
3) Unless you have a need to go offroad or put on racks (I use a backpack) then there is absolutely no need to get a cyclocross as a commuter, for the same price, they are not any more durable and slower then equivalent quailty road bikes.
You may not want racks, but you may like:
- clearance for fenders, which most newer road bikes won't have
- brakes are not caliper brakes, giving options for mounting wider tires, fenders, and not having snow gunk up the works
- Many cross bikes have interrupter brake levers; I find these great when going at low speed (such as 5mph around campus between classes weaving through a throng of students) as my hands tend to gravitate towards the tops at low speeds, so I can sit up straight and control the bike easier.

I have a second set of wheels with 23C tires for my cross bike, and it's nearly indistinguishable from a comparably set up road bike with skinny tires.


My experience with my LBS was that the shop only carried Trek cross bikes, leaving my options to the XO-1 and XO-2, both very high end and flashy bikes; not what I was looking for (and also not in stock, so I'd have to wait for him to order it); so I ended up buying online. He wasn't against CX bikes, but from his point of view the CX bikes were only for racing CX (and at the cost / setup of the two he offered, I could see why he'd get that opinion)
Crast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 12:18 PM   #13
Aeroplane
jack of one or two trades
 
Aeroplane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Suburbia, CT
Bikes: Old-ass gearie hardtail MTB, fix-converted Centurion LeMans commuter, SS hardtail monster MTB
Posts: 5,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
The salesman's points are mostly valid.

The main argument FOR a cross bike as a commuter is clearance for fenders, IMHO. Most road bikes have clearance for maybe 27mm tires (23's have worked fine for me for a long time), but fenders are very welcome on those mornings after a late-night rain or when the snow starts melting in March. If you are into racks, that's another pro.
Aeroplane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 01:27 PM   #14
sharkey00
Senior Member
 
sharkey00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wearyourtruth View Post
the guy seems to just be a pretentious roadie

almost no one who seriously commutes does so on 23's (it's not cm, btw) city riding is just too rough for most. if you look at ANY bike that is sold as a "commuter" it will have larger tires on it (compared to a true "road" bike)
This is just silliness. How are 23s too rough for "commuting roads" but fine for general road riding? Sure 25s can make things more comfortable but the idea that you cannot commute on 23s is silly.

As for the mechanics points:
1: I agree with the pinch flat thing. You won't get them with good tire pressure. I regularly ride 30 psi under recommended without issue (on 23s by the way). Second, I don't believe you will get more flats. You have more rubber on the road but less pressure at each point.

2: Cornering is insignificant.

3: I have changed my mind a few times on racks. The option to put them on is not a bad thing.
sharkey00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 01:31 PM   #15
sharkey00
Senior Member
 
sharkey00's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 560
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You may want to look at touring bikes or a road bike that can accommodate racks, fenders ect. but there is nothing wrong with a cross bike for commuting if that fits your needs.

Last edited by sharkey00; 02-25-09 at 03:32 PM.
sharkey00 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 01:48 PM   #16
jfmckenna
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.
Posts: 5,440
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
The question is, what was he trying to sell you? Don't get a hybrid. They are a bad idea, upright geometry leads to a sloppy bike fit and they tend to weigh a ton.
jfmckenna is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 02:46 PM   #17
Andy_K 
Senior Member
 
Andy_K's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Beaverton, OR
Bikes: 2013 Kona Jake, 2015 Kona Jake the Snake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 2006 Kona Kula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2001 LeMond Buenos Aires, 1984 Pinarello Gran Turismo, 1982 Trek 614, 1979 Austro-Daimler, 1974 Steyr Clubman
Posts: 8,747
Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 130 Post(s)
I went to my LBS last year looking for a road bike for under $1000 that could take a rack and fenders. The sales guy tried to find something that met my requirements, but in the end, he pointed me toward a CX bike (which he didn't have in stock, BTW) as the best bike to do what I was after. A week later, when the Kona Jake came in for a test ride, I bought it.

It's been a great commuting bike. I usually use it with 25mm tires, but I kept the stock CX tires. It turned out that the biggest advantage was that when fall came around, and I started hearing the buzz about cyclocross racing, I had a bike ready to do it. I'm not a racer, per se, and when I bought the bike I had no intention of using it for that, but cyclocross is such great fun that you shouldn't rule this out as a possible advantage.

Another thing to consider is riding position. A cross bike doesn't put you in quite as aggressive of a position as your typical road bike, which I think tends to be better for commuting.
Andy_K is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 02:48 PM   #18
cs1
Senior Member
 
cs1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clev Oh
Bikes: Specialized, Schwinn
Posts: 6,669
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by late View Post
The guys not just a dork. Most of what he's saying is wrong.

A Cross bike makes a good commuter. So does a touring bike like the Surly LHT.
I use a sport bike. Sport bikes, like my Gunnar Sport, have geometry halfway between a touring bike and a roadie.

Just for giggles, take a look at this, it's Gunnar's new frame. It's got me drooling.
I like the look of that frame. It has disc tabs I see. Is it spaced 130 or 135? What kind of fork would you use?
cs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 03:22 PM   #19
redxj
N+1
 
redxj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: A few
Posts: 1,315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
+1 on finding a new LBS. Skinny tires are fine for commuting, but running fatter tires with less pressure equals a more comfortable ride. With skinny tires and potholes you really need to be careful about were you are riding because you could get a pinch flat or worse (rim damage). In my last year of commuting I had one flat that was actually a torn sidewall. My coworker riding 3 miles each way (compared to my 10 miles each way) often had multiple flats in a week. He even had two in the same day. He is riding a fixed gear bike with 23 and I am ridding a touring bike with 32s. My commuting duties this year will get split between a vintage touring bike, new touring bike, and two cross bikes depending on my mood and the weather.

My biggest reason for wider tires is my commute has two miles of dirt roads before I hit pavement. I wouldn't want to ride 23mm tires everyday for that. The smallest I would go is 28 and I find I prefer 30-35mm tires for that (either touring/road tires or cross tires).

Oh, one more thing for commuting get a rack and panniers. A backpack/messenger bag is fine for short trips and I was commuting with one for a few months before I got a rack and panniers. Since I got them I always commute with them, no more sweaty back and I feel much more comfortable on the ride to/from work.
redxj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 03:30 PM   #20
daintonj
Senior Member
 
daintonj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Bikes:
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use a 'cross bike for commuting, trail riding, audaxes and fast road rides.

On my route to work I have 7 miles of canal towpath and 3 miles of road and tend to use 37c semi slicks in dryer weather, in soaking weather I switch to Conti Speed Kings in 35c. For audaxes and fast road riding I use 25c tyres and have had no problem.

Even with a 37c tyre I can quite comfortably average 15mph on my commute.
daintonj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 04:26 PM   #21
Sawtooth
All Bikes All The Time
 
Sawtooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Bikes: Giant TCR 0, Lemond Zurich, Giant NRS 1, Jamis Explorer Beater/Commuter, Peugeot converted single speed
Posts: 2,343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
I like the look of that frame. It has disc tabs I see. Is it spaced 130 or 135? What kind of fork would you use?

I like that it does not have the word "SPORT" written on the top tube....I always thougth that looked incredibly silly for a frame of it's quality.
Sawtooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-09, 08:45 PM   #22
bsyptak
Luggite
 
bsyptak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,906
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've got a Jamis Coda Elite hybrid and a Habanero cross bike. I use them for different things and they are both great in my application for each. I have rack, panniers and fenders on the Jamis. All in, it's well over 30 lbs. Not fun per se, but it carries a ton of stuff and keeps me clean when the roads are wet.

The Habanero I use on dry days when everything fits in my messenger bag. It's a speed demon compared to the Jamis and I'm glad I have the option of keeping it fast, nimble and fun by not weighing it down with rack, panniers and fenders. Like others, I have a second set of wheels and road tires which turns it into a respectable 18.5lb road bike.

A cross bike is the best of both worlds, a cross bike and a road bike should you choose to keep a spare set of wheels around. Can't turn a road bike into a cross bike.
bsyptak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-24-09, 01:09 PM   #23
Sawtooth
All Bikes All The Time
 
Sawtooth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Boise, ID
Bikes: Giant TCR 0, Lemond Zurich, Giant NRS 1, Jamis Explorer Beater/Commuter, Peugeot converted single speed
Posts: 2,343
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak View Post

a cross bike is the best of both worlds, a cross bike and a road bike should you choose to keep a spare set of wheels around. Can't turn a road bike into a cross bike.
+1
Sawtooth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-09, 07:45 AM   #24
markhr
POWERCRANK addict
 
markhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Acton, West London, UK
Bikes:
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered View Post
Go to a different shop...
I'd recomend trying at least some of these bikes

drop bar, discbrake, 700c, off the peg
__________________
shameless POWERCRANK plug
Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
markhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-09, 02:40 PM   #25
redxj
N+1
 
redxj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Bikes: A few
Posts: 1,315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
I like the look of that frame. It has disc tabs I see. Is it spaced 130 or 135? What kind of fork would you use?
I would guess 135mm or maybe the between size of 132.5mm so you could use 130 or 135mm spaced hubs. I say 135mm because there are no disc hubs in anything smaller than a 135mm spacing that I know of.
redxj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:24 PM.