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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 09-11-09, 12:17 PM   #1
futuregrace
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Single Speed vs Geared CX?

I'm going to race my first CX race in a week. Just learned of the sport and it looks amazing. I'm considering the purchase of a CX bike and I'm wondering what the trend it for CX. Is it to Single Speed or geared?

Single Speed sounds fun, but as someone who will never be great at it, is the competition in single speed tougher? Do all races have a singles speed race or would I be racing geared speed at times?

Any thoughts on this would be helpful.
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Old 09-11-09, 12:38 PM   #2
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Singlespeed cross is cool, and on the right day on the right course it might be your first choice.

But on the other hand, it can suck to watch someone power away from you on a flat and not be able to respond.

Read this:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/singlecross.html
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Old 09-11-09, 12:46 PM   #3
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Not all races have a separate SS class, in fact, I've only seen a handful. And the ones I've seen with a separate SS class were open race, so you can be going up against some cat 1/2's. But of course you can race your SS in whatever category race you're in, but you'll be racing against geared bikes.

Since this is going to be your 1st cross bike, I would go geared. It's a lot more flexible. Later on, if you want to go SS, you can always convert it (there are many ways, including an ENO hub'd-wheel)

Last edited by bitterken; 09-11-09 at 12:49 PM.
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Old 09-11-09, 12:59 PM   #4
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go with a geared bike.
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Old 09-11-09, 01:31 PM   #5
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Thanks

Looks like geared is the way to go, Thanks. Is there a site with cyclocross bike reviews like there is for Mountain and Road bikes? Thanks for your advice on this.
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Old 09-11-09, 02:50 PM   #6
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Around here, the singlespeed guys are fast, comparable to the B's. Of course, you can use SS in any category. Gears are nice, but they give you a lot more things that can break. I hear a lot of horror stories about broken derailleurs, but I haven't had it happen to me yet. I suspect that becomes more common the more aggressively you ride.
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Old 09-11-09, 04:14 PM   #7
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Looks like geared is the way to go, Thanks. Is there a site with cyclocross bike reviews like there is for Mountain and Road bikes? Thanks for your advice on this.
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...S_5670crx.aspx

The three obvious entry level picks are the Kona Jake, Tricross, and the new Raleigh cross bike (which has the advantage of an SRAM power train and costing less.)

Bikesdirect have some spectacularly cheap crossers, and people here have reported positively on them - although it helps to mechanically competent to troubleshoot the problems the bikes sometimes come with.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:16 PM   #8
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I raced a few ss last year, the series I race has ss class for all races. It's lots of fun and there hasn't been anything I haven't been able to ride that geared guys can ride.

No dropped chains or missed shifts and it's a little cheaper to get started w/ a ss bike.
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Old 09-12-09, 10:53 AM   #9
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It's like asking whats better.. pizza or sushi.. when the truth is they are both delicious!
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Old 09-12-09, 12:08 PM   #10
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It's like asking whats better.. pizza or sushi.. when the truth is they are both delicious!
Pizza is for people. Sushi is for cats.
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Old 09-12-09, 05:13 PM   #11
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The Bianchi San Jose rides like a dream. I just like a pure SS. Its a great ride!
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Old 09-12-09, 06:36 PM   #12
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Pizza is for people. Sushi is for cats.
That's because you live in boulder.. I wouldn't eat the sushi there either! Come to think of it, I couldn't eat any ethnic food when I lived there.. it was all terrible.

Though I worked at Abo's and that sucked too.. whatever you do.. don't eat the mushrooms! They don't wash that ****. And I mean **** literally.
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Old 09-13-09, 08:09 PM   #13
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>Pizza is for people. Sushi is for cats.

I got a sudden flashback of the Samurai Pizza Cats...
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Old 09-14-09, 11:42 AM   #14
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I can see advantages either way, but I chose a SS when i decided to buy a cross bike. I watched the races one season, saw lots of riders who DNF'd with broken rear derailleurs or hangers. I raced my first season (last year) in beginner class, which contained a mix of every bike imaginable. There was one race in the series where I felt more gears would have made a noticeable difference, but it was overall flat enough that just a smaller rear cog would have helped.

As Andy pointed out, the SS guys around here are pretty hard core, I'm giving myself one more season, and one more year of serious training, before i mix it up with them.

Also, NormanF has it right- Bianchi San Jose is a great bike, my 'cross bike of choice but also makes a good commuter or charity ride bike.

What ever bike you choose, cyclocross is a blast!
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