Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Aus
    Posts
    632
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    CX for beginner?

    Hi everyone,

    I recently went into an LBS to try and get the lowdown on what is available in my pricerange. I wasn't really there for a test ride, I just wanted to feel around to narrow down my choices for a bike.

    Basically I plan to use it mostly on the road, but would also like to commute. So from what I have read I should consider Cyclocross bikes as a contender. I ended up explaining that I want something that did a bit of everything, but all on the road.

    However, after saying I have never ridden a road bike before (only MTB) they steered my away from cyclocross without even showing me any. I asked them why I shouldn't consider them and the dude said that the bottom bracket was higher from the ground to give more ground clearance when really CX riding and this makes them harder to balance and control.

    Was he right?
    If he was, how much harder to control are they really?
    Last edited by damnable; 08-05-09 at 08:18 PM.
    I want to live.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Southeast
    My Bikes
    cyclotank
    Posts
    720
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Huh? I am riding Tricross Comp here for commute and it is an extremely stable and agile machine. Yes, the BB is higher off the ground, but quite comparable with MTB. Longer wheelbase makes it more stable (I prefer "less squirrely" term, sorry, roadies.....). As far as sizing of the cyclocross - all bets are off, gotta try it and get fit for it. And even after finding what looks like a good fit - still try riding one size up and one size down.

    Take it for a test ride and have fun.

    SF

  3. #3
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    My Bikes
    2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Posts
    7,003
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I can't imagine what he was saying. I commute on a cross bike (Kona Jake) and I think it's perfect for that task. I also use it for riding centuries and cyclocross racing. It does both of those well too. I've never had an issue with balance or control.

    The cross bike was my first road bike, BTW, upgrading from a MTB. It felt great from the start. YMMV, so take a test ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    My Bikes
    Dawes Kalahari, Puch Prima Super Sport, Graham Weigh 853
    Posts
    1,990
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think what he is saying is that for your intended purposes, i.e. riding on the road, a road bike would be a better bet than a cyclocross bike. This is assuming that that shop stocks a road bike that can fit all the accesories you will want for commuting. Fwiw, cross bikes only recently became commute type bikes, and that was because road bikes were too focused on racing. Proper cross bikes don't have fender mounts, rack mounts or water bottle mounts at all! Which would make for a terrible commuting bike...

  5. #5
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Beaverton, OR
    My Bikes
    2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
    Posts
    7,003
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by acorn_user View Post
    Proper cross bikes don't have fender mounts, rack mounts or water bottle mounts at all!
    Yeah, the weight of those extra braze-on bolts can cost you precious nanoseconds in a race. Of course, the weight savings from having the holes tapped for the fender mounts helps a little.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Aus
    Posts
    632
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by acorn_user View Post
    I think what he is saying is that for your intended purposes, i.e. riding on the road, a road bike would be a better bet than a cyclocross bike.
    Ohh haha. The same guy also took one look at me and said I would never be comfortable on a road bike. In the end he ended up suggested hybrids to me.

    I just wanted to know if he was talking out of his arse the entire time or just part way through. I am considering getting a CX bike for my next bike and dedicated commuter.

    I do own a road bike now too. And I am comfortable.
    I want to live.

  7. #7
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,033
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Most stores don't keep CX bikes in stock; this may explain the salesman's reaction.

    CX BB's can be slightly higher (but no higher than an MTB, I'd have thought) but otoh the frame angles will typically be set to give more stability and you'll probably run a wider tyre - so the handling advantage will be to the CX bike.

    As for which bike - why not look around for a used bike? Otherwise it would help to know your budget.

  8. #8
    Senior Member hocker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Denver
    My Bikes
    Road and Mountain
    Posts
    619
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    Most stores don't keep CX bikes in stock; this may explain the salesman's reaction.
    I agree. I think there is a large knowledge gap between folks in shops that do carry a lot CX bikes and those that don't. For example, everywhere and everyone I have spoke to has said to size down or stay the same size as my road bike. One shop here in Denver, very popular shop, a guy told me to size up two sizes..huh???

    OP, get the bike you want. For commuting, I can't think of a better bike than a CX bike as the raised BB would seem to be an advantage riding around town with curbs, bike racks and such. Plus, you can take them on dirt/gravel if you want. What is your budget?

  9. #9
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,782
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    Yeah, the weight of those extra braze-on bolts can cost you precious nanoseconds in a race. Of course, the weight savings from having the holes tapped for the fender mounts helps a little.
    True, but if the bike is only going to be a race bike and never see any other action, then why would you put those in at all? Just places to take in water and mud.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  10. #10
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    DC
    My Bikes
    Surly CC, Raleigh Team Pro, Specialized Rockhopper
    Posts
    950
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by damnable View Post
    Ohh haha. The same guy also took one look at me and said I would never be comfortable on a road bike.

    I do own a road bike now too. And I am comfortable.

    Get a CX bike that has eyelets so you can throw a rack and fenders on it. And you can swap out the tires when the seasons change.
    As for the comfort aspect, I think you are more upright on a CX so if you are already comfortable on your road, you'll probably be even more comfortable on the cx. Plenty of hand positions with drops but not so bent over like a road bike.

  11. #11
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,782
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    OP, also look at touring bikes. They will have all the mounting points for racks and fenders but will be more sturdier than a road bike. Like CX bikes, a lot of stores don't carry them either. If you have a Trek store near you, have a look at the Trek 520. Performance Bikes carries the Fuji Touring and this is also a very nice touring bike.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  12. #12
    Makeshift kbjack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    My Bikes
    2002 Bianchi Vigorelli, 2002 S-works CX, 1973 Raleigh Super Course conversion, 1979 Raleigh Competition, 1973 Raleigh Professional Track, 1980 Austro Daimler Inter-10
    Posts
    627
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by knobster View Post
    OP, also look at touring bikes. They will have all the mounting points for racks and fenders but will be more sturdier than a road bike. Like CX bikes, a lot of stores don't carry them either. If you have a Trek store near you, have a look at the Trek 520. Performance Bikes carries the Fuji Touring and this is also a very nice touring bike.
    Though also keep in mind that a touring frame designed for loaded touring is probably going to have more fork rake and more trail, which makes for a different feel (not sure how to describe it...) to steering when unloaded. That said, the Trek and Fuji tourers look like ideal commuting bikes.

    A CX bike with the right braze-ons would make a great commuter IMO (not sure where the shop employee's comments about handling came from. Maybe he was thinking that the higher BB means a higher standover height--which could be a (slight) factor when it comes to mounting/dismounting...but definitely a minor consideration at best, not a deal breaker).

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Aus
    Posts
    632
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by hocker View Post
    Plus, you can take them on dirt/gravel if you want.

    What is your budget?
    The budget aspect is something that is very vague to me. With more expensive purchases (like a bike) I normally look around, see what I want (or need) that adjust the time I need to save up accordingly. Something under $1500 would be good, but to be honest I don't really know what is around.

    Being less common is also hard as well. I can probably find a way to order bikes or frames in, but it's really the sort of thing you want to test ride as well.
    I want to live.

  14. #14
    Hmm
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    '05 Specialized Tricross
    Posts
    22
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'd really suggest a CX bike as a transition from a MTB to a road bike. They are the jack of all trades: Nearly as fast as a road bike with slicks, perfect for trails, fine on rugged ground, and are quite comfortable usually. I never had any stability issues at all; not sure what the LBS guy was saying.
    If you're looking for a more laid-back ride, I'd suggest getting interrupter brake levers. They're a second set of brakes about where mountain bikes would go.

  15. #15
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    chicago burbs
    My Bikes
    '07 fuji cross pro, '10 gary fisher x-caliber
    Posts
    849
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I got my CX bike last year. I was a complete bike newb. Aside from a few short rides on a borrowed hybrid the previous year, I hadn't even ridden a bike in at least 10 years (kid bikes and mtn bike then). It'd been so long that I was shaking when trying to go slow, my gf made fun of me

    I was a little squirrelly at first with the CX bike(no surprise), but not to the point I was scared of suddenly falling over. Its my only bike and I'm very happy with it since it can do everything I need: road, gravel, and light single-track.
    Last edited by black_box; 08-12-09 at 10:04 AM.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    NE Mass
    My Bikes
    Bianchi Volpe, Raliegh M80
    Posts
    45
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    For good general purpose riding, you could take a look at the Bianchi Volpe -

    Its a decent compromice between touring and cross, not quite as hard edged about the cross aspect compared to the more recent cross bikes out there. Ive had one for 5+ years, it is the bike I bought when I transitioned from MTB.

    Comfortable and capable, braze ons for fenders and racks, steel frame, heavy duty wheels and rims, a nice all arounder.

    If your not really looking to be on trails or dirt, there is no reason why a road bike or even a hybrid wouldnt work well for commuting.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    My Bikes
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2009, Giant Yukon FX3
    Posts
    1,472
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Though also keep in mind that a touring frame designed for loaded touring is probably going to have more fork rake and more trail, which makes for a different feel (not sure how to describe it...)
    "Boring" is the word you're looking for.

  18. #18
    .
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hillsboro, Oregon
    My Bikes
    Moots Psychlo-x ybb, Soma ES, Trek 950
    Posts
    3,782
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    haha. Yeah. The one thing I've noticed when it comes to wheelbase is holding my line. On a touring bike, I can look around, balance my checkbook, do my taxes, eat lunch and still be on the same line I was before. Short wheelbase race bike I have to keep my eyes on the road or I'll be somewhere I definitely don't want to be.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •