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  1. #1
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    Anyone buy a CX bike and regret it?

    Thought we could save some time on all the future "should I buy a CX bike" threads So, has anyone ever bought a cyclocross bike (or know someone who has), then ended up replacing it with a road or mountain bike?
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  2. #2
    Hello. crushkilldstroy's Avatar
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    I bought a cyclocross bike when I should have bought groceries. Short term regret I suppose.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jacquie Phelan
    Until mountain biking came along, the bike scene was ruled by a small elite cadre of people who seemed allergic to enthusiasm.

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    I already had a 2006 Tricross comp that I had relegated to cross racing and purchased a new 2008 Tricross Sport for a road bike. I was quite disappointed with the Sport as a road only bike. Was quite a bit slower than the road bikes I've had in the past. I ended up selling it and buying a road bike.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  4. #4
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Maybe this needs to be more specific. Let's say put yourself in one of the following categories:

    1. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing.

    2. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for commuting/general purpose.

    3. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for road riding.

    4. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for commuting/general purpose and road riding.

    5. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose

    6. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for cyclocross racing

    7. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for road riding

    8. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for road riding and cyclocross racing

    9. Wanted a bike for road riding

    10. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for commuting/general purpose

    11. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for cyclocross racing

    12. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for commuting/general purpose and cyclocross racing

    I think that just about covers it. I further think that category 9 is the only one where you'll be disappointed with a cyclocross bike, assuming that you get one with braze-onds/eyelets for rack and fenders if you're in any of the commuting/general purpose categories. I further further think that a cyclocross bike is the best choice for any but category 5 and category 9, and maybe even for category 5, depending on circumstances. YMMV.

    FWIW, I was in category 7 when I bought my Kona Jake, and I am absolutely and without qualification happy with the choice. I subsequently drifted into category 8, which made it an even better choice.

    I left out choices involving touring/light touring.
    Last edited by Andy_K; 06-16-09 at 08:52 AM.

  5. #5
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Maybe this needs to be more specific. Let's say put yourself in one of the following categories:

    1. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing.

    2. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for commuting/general purpose.

    3. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for road riding.

    4. Wanted a bike for cyclocross racing that I could also use for commuting/general purpose and road riding.

    5. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose

    6. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for cyclocross racing

    7. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for road riding

    8. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for road riding and cyclocross racing

    9. Wanted a bike for road riding

    10. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for commuting/general purpose

    11. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for cyclocross racing

    12. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for commuting/general purpose and cyclocross racing

    I think that just about covers it. I further think that category 9 is the only one where you'll be disappointed with a cyclocross bike, assuming that you get one with braze-onds/eyelets for rack and fenders if you're in any of the commuting/general purpose categories. I further further think that a cyclocross bike is the best choice for any but category 5 and category 9, and maybe even for category 5, depending on circumstances. YMMV.

    FWIW, I was in category 7 when I bought my Kona Jake, and I am absolutely and without qualification happy with the choice. I subsequently drifted into category 8, which made it an even better choice.


    I also fit in #7 and am happy with a CX bike.

    Since I suffer from n + 1, my next bike will be a fast long distance road bike like the Salsa Pistola. This will be a little better for group rides and centuries.

    My Soma Double Cross might get converted to credit card touring usage after the Pistola is added.

    A good steel CX bike can be reconfigured quickly and cost effectively. Mine has evolved from commuter to road bike to century bike. With a change in gearing and a light & compact set of racks & panniers it will become a light touring bike next.

    Michael
    Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-16-09 at 09:26 AM.
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  6. #6
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    It would help to know what you're starting with and what you intend to use it for. I bought a cyclocross bike as a first/only bike last year and its been great so far. I'm not doing group rides or racing, but it seems fast enough on the roads and still capable on the light trails. This lets you sample the riding in your area to see which you prefer. If you intend on having only one bike, then a used CX bike might be a good idea to play around with, then sell it when you know what you want to ride.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mad Scientist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box View Post
    ... If you intend on having only one bike, then a used CX bike might be a good idea to play around with, then sell it when you know what you want to ride.
    I've been following this thread because I want to avoid doing this.

    I bought a hybrid/mountain bike a few years ago after not having anything for a decade. It turns out to be a poor match for the way I ride -- which is generally as fast as I can. I want something with a more aggressive riding posture. I do not want a rack or panniers. I have not decided if I will ride my new bike in the winter or if I'll ride my current bike. Ultimately, I'm worried that if I buy a CX bike, I will regret it and wish I had a road bike. So, like the OP, I'm curious if anyone has had this regret.

  8. #8
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    If you already know you want to go fast, you can decide based on your intended terrain and if you're riding with experienced people on road bikes that you need to keep up with. You can still set up a CX bike for aggressive posture. Go for some test rides on road and CX bikes and see what you think.

    No interest in gravel/dirt? probably road bike. Maybe gravel/dirt? CX bike. I've mixed pavement with some dirt, grass, and gravel in one ride with the Ritchey Speedmax tires that came with my bike and i'm happy. A 2nd set of road tires (and wheels?) would let you specialize your rides a bit more. When I was looking for info, most people said a CX bike with swapped tires would be nearly as fast as a road bike.
    Last edited by black_box; 06-16-09 at 11:10 AM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Maybe this needs to be more specific. Let's say put yourself in one of the following categories:
    ....

    7. Wanted a bike for commuting/general purpose that I could also use for road riding

    ......

    10. Wanted a bike for road riding that I could also use for commuting/general purpose


    I think that just about covers it. I further think that category 9 is the only one where you'll be disappointed with a cyclocross bike, assuming that you get one with braze-onds/eyelets for rack and fenders if you're in any of the commuting/general purpose categories. I further think that a cyclocross bike is the best choice for any but category 5 and category 9, and maybe even for category 5, depending on circumstances. YMMV.

    FWIW, I was in category 7 when I bought my Kona Jake, and I am absolutely and without qualification happy with the choice. I subsequently drifted into category 8, which made it an even better choice.

    I left out choices involving touring/light touring.
    I do subscribe to category #7 in this list, may be with a smidgen of #10 and strong desire to reduce this country's dependence on foreign oil, one person at a time, starting with me. Add "FAST" to category #5 an CX rules there, no competition. I am in love with my cyclotank

    Good Luck and Safe Ride

    SF

  10. #10
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mad Scientist View Post
    I've been following this thread because I want to avoid doing this.

    I bought a hybrid/mountain bike a few years ago after not having anything for a decade. It turns out to be a poor match for the way I ride -- which is generally as fast as I can. I want something with a more aggressive riding posture. I do not want a rack or panniers. I have not decided if I will ride my new bike in the winter or if I'll ride my current bike. Ultimately, I'm worried that if I buy a CX bike, I will regret it and wish I had a road bike. So, like the OP, I'm curious if anyone has had this regret.
    If your priority is going as fast as you can on good roads AND you don't want the ability to add a rack and fenders AND you don't intend to ride in the winter (i.e. run wide tires), then I think a road bike is probably the way to go. But if you're wavering on any of these points, a CX bike could be a hedge as it is nearly as fast as a road bike and can do the other things too.

  11. #11
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    I regret it.

    I want a cross country mtb, but I can't justify it - My cyclocross handles any of the trails, singletrack and fireroads I can find..
    I also want a road bike, but I can't justify that, either - the cyclocross goes plenty fast, and the 1 or 2 mph from the tires just isn't worth the price.

    Stupid f---ing practicality.
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  12. #12
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I don't regret my purchase of a cyclocross bike in the least. Recently, I went on an 80 mile ride, mostly road, but included some singletrack trail. Having the versatility of a cx bike is a good thing. I got quite a few looks on the trail - mostly the what is that person doing on a road bike look. Its fun. I'd take it to Mammoth Mountain if it weren't for a couple of stretches, just to mess with people. I use it for commuting, touring, fun rides... just about everything.

  13. #13
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I totally left mountain biking out of my list of categories. I'll need to redo the list with touring and mountain biking to create a comprehensive list of 80 categories.

    With regard to mountain biking, if you really want to do mountain biking (beyond the standard fare non-technical singletrack) then that's probably another place where a CX bike would be a bad choice. But I suspect that most people, especially those wondering if a CX bike might work for them, aren't ever (ever) really going to do much more than non-technical singletrack.

  14. #14
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    That's me. I just snagged a CX frame off eBay, primarily for racing this fall, but before that I'll ride the many miles of non-technical trails in Burton Creek State Park up at Tahoe City.
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  15. #15
    I am Joe's lactic acid. Big M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    With regard to mountain biking, if you really want to do mountain biking (beyond the standard fare non-technical singletrack) then that's probably another place where a CX bike would be a bad choice. But I suspect that most people, especially those wondering if a CX bike might work for them, aren't ever (ever) really going to do much more than non-technical singletrack.
    Agreed. I don't do any technical mountain biking, so there's no reason to get a mtb. The CX bike can handle it.

    It's more of an "I want one!" kind of thing with the mountain bike. It would be nice to have a fat-tired front suspensioned bike to beat on riding the trails once in a while. Just to mix things up. But it's not really necessary unless I find some harsher off-road trails.
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    I definitely have never regretted buying my cyclocross bike(s). Having said that I did/do own a mountain bike and road bike already. Nowadays the road bike see almost no use. I think that I've ridden it twice in the last year. I've gotten so comfortable on the 'cross bike that I prefer to swap wheels and tires and ride the 'cross bike on the road. I have found it to be just as fast as my road bike.
    I also use my 'cross bike for racing, trail riding, and touring. I have been riding my mountain bike quite a bit lately.

  17. #17
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    i bought a road bike and i probably should have gotten a cx bike. i keep heading off on gravel and i seem to be a little more abusive to my road bike than i should.
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  18. #18
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    CX is the best ...

    CX is the better general purpose bike platform. There is no reason you can't be "fast" on a CX bike. If skinnie tires are your thing, you can use skinnie tires. I'm sure the head tubes are low enough for pretty much anybody on a CX bike.

  19. #19
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    I don't regret building up my CX bike... I grew into it after about ten years of riding road and mtn machines. When I first got back into riding, cyclocross bikes weren't popular. If you wanted a "do-it-all" bike back then, you got talked into a hybrid, which could indeed do it all - just none of it well.

    Cyclocross bikes are such an improvement on the hybrid concept... Instead of taking a light mtb frame; adding crappy 700c wheels; a wimpy fork; and freezing the rider in one position... CX's take the opposite tack: Mildly beef up a road frame; add a strong, light wheelset; a selection of tires to fit any terrain; and a comfortable but fairly aero riding position with drop bars - and you hit much closer to a combination that works in the real world.

    The only ways I could regret purchasing a CX bike would be; A) if it just plain didn't fit B) if I wanted something for technical off-roading, or C) If I just had to have the fastest, lightest, most responsive bike for a serious group ride or race. For everything else a CX is awesome.

  20. #20
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    I partially regret getting a cross bike, 'partially' meaning there are aspects of it that I still like, but emerging aspects that I don't...

    To me my bike is starting to feel too stiff for trail use. It does climb like mad but if I go downhill or pick up any speed, the ride is just too jarring. It serves as a blatant reminder as to why nearly all mountain bikes have at least front suspensions.

    On pavement, if I run the oem 700x32 tires at about 75/85psi front/rear, it feels like the bike rolls about as slowly as a mountain bike and transmits power about as poorly as one. When I roll over something that I can't avoid, though, and the tires have absorbed as much shock as they can, it feels like my frameset transmits all of the remaining shock to me. Ouch.

    If I run 700x28 conti gatorskins at 95/100psi front/rear, I get what feels like a stiffer ride than I do with my road bike with the same tires at the same pressures. Both bikes run 32 3x wheelsets, btw.

    To summarize, it seems to combine the weaknesses of a road bike- the vertical stiffness- and those of a mountain bike- high rolling resistance and poor power transmission- while not performing as well as either for their respective purposes.

    I'm thinking about selling the cross bike and replacing it with a single or double suspension mtb while keeping my road bike.
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  21. #21
    This town needs an enema.
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    I would certainly fall on the "regret" side of ownership. Maybe it comes down to bad fit for person and purpose, but I have a strong affinity toward vintage steel road bikes.
    Last edited by cradduck; 06-17-09 at 08:29 AM.

  22. #22
    I Love My Dream
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    Regret? Yes! I regret not buying a cross bike sooner.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big M View Post
    I regret it.

    I want a cross country mtb, but I can't justify it - My cyclocross handles any of the trails, singletrack and fireroads I can find..
    I also want a road bike, but I can't justify that, either - the cyclocross goes plenty fast, and the 1 or 2 mph from the tires just isn't worth the price.

    Stupid f---ing practicality.
    Hey, me too. I vaguely want to buy another bike, but realistically the only thing the Tricross isn't good for is gnarly downhill mountain biking. How often have I done that? For approximately 45 minutes in the last 5 years, not counting overseas trips.

    Fwiw, here's what not to do with your Tricross: Load it up for touring, with slick tyres. Take it to the top of a steep mountain on a rainy, haily day. Leave the seat in its normal raised position. Ignore the loose brakes, because you're too lazy. Wear thick ski gloves because it's cold. Now, go down a steep muddy goat track marked "Danger, no bikes". Ugh.

    (Though I actually think it could have survived the track with the right tyres, no panniers, proper set up, and no mud.)
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009. Giant Yukon FX 3.

  24. #24
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    I guess one way to look at this thread is to imagine a continuum:
    <Downhill mountain biking ---------------- general commuting ------------------- long distance road riding>

    A CX bike cover a broad stretch of the middle ground well, better than a hybrid, for example. But if most of your riding is at both extremes, you'll probably be disappointed, and much prefer to have two bikes. The same could be said with another continuum for touring: if you either commute or do 2 month tours, you would probably prefer "the ultimate touring bike".

    I think I'm lucky that so much of my riding is still in the sweet spot - commuting, short tours, mostly non-technical singletrack with non hardcore mtb'ers, shortish road rides, no racing....

    Steve

  25. #25
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    I don't so much regret buying the cross bike as who I bought it from.
    It served me well enough and continues to when called upon.
    It lives in the garage mostly now as my full fendered rain bike.

    Probably a 5 or 9. At the time I didn't want a Trek, and really dislike the Specialized dealer, Felt/Bianchi dealer was the only other local option. He only deals in cross and mountain bikes and pours out some pretty good cross bike Kool aid.
    Live and Learn I guess, haven't been back in his store for nearly 2 years.

    Still have visions of actually using the cross bike as a cross bike at some point in time though.

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