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  1. #1
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    Finding the right bike

    I want to get into cycling but I don't think I want to go all out for a road bike. I'm planning on using the bike mainly for riding to school and long rides and possibly some trails on the weekends. Cyclocross bikes seem very interesting but I was wondering what was the difference between cx and hybrids? Which is lighter, faster etc. I've ridden my friends mountain bike a few times but I really want to go faster and I don't think I'm going to be on enough mountainous trails to get one. If I got a cx bike, would switching to road bike tires make it a "road bike" or are there other differences? Also, would this be a good bike for the occassional (not that competitive) triathlon? Thanks for the help, as you can tell I'm very new to all this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHoe
    I want to get into cycling but I don't think I want to go all out for a road bike. I'm planning on using the bike mainly for riding to school and long rides and possibly some trails on the weekends. Cyclocross bikes seem very interesting but I was wondering what was the difference between cx and hybrids? Which is lighter, faster etc. I've ridden my friends mountain bike a few times but I really want to go faster and I don't think I'm going to be on enough mountainous trails to get one. If I got a cx bike, would switching to road bike tires make it a "road bike" or are there other differences? Also, would this be a good bike for the occassional (not that competitive) triathlon? Thanks for the help, as you can tell I'm very new to all this.
    Here's some info on CX bikes that you may find helpful in your quest. The lighter & faster questions is more a matter of budget, personal usage & ability. But, since I ride an X01 pretty much like what you intend to do with your bike, my vote will be a CX bike.

    http://crossnationals.mbscycling.org...infoType=equip

    I do not compete in triathlons (swim like a big 155lb rock) but do compete in duathlons with my bike. Swapping tires is a good idea as using knobbies will leave you at a disadvantage due to rolling resistance of the wide tire & wasting knobbies (done 2 events with CX tires, so far). A better idea is to own a 2nd set of rims with road tires, much faster to swap rims & readjust the brakes. I completed 2 events with touring tires (700x28) & noticed an improved speed, perhaps for next season, I might actually splurge for racing tires just to see if I will go any faster. Mind you, in my case, some actual real training would probably be more profitable.
    Once you own a CX bike, you must give racing CX a try. You won't regret it & you will have tons of fun

    G' Luck!
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  3. #3
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    Thanks, the more I've been looking into cyclocross bikes, the more I really want to get into cyclocross itself. A couple other questions: what should I be looking for in frame material? ie which is fastest and which is best for cyclocross etc? Also do I want a two or three ring chainset? From what I understand a true cx bike would have two while a closer to touring bike would have three? Also, I have seen carbon fiber forks but not carbon frames. Is there a reason for this?

    Finally what kind of pedals do cx bikes typically have? I would like to not have to buy special shoes but just wondering.
    Last edited by JayHoe; 08-01-04 at 10:41 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHoe
    Thanks, the more I've been looking into cyclocross bikes, the more I really want to get into cyclocross itself. A couple other questions: what should I be looking for in frame material? ie which is fastest and which is best for cyclocross etc? Also do I want a two or three ring chainset? From what I understand a true cx bike would have two while a closer to touring bike would have three? Also, I have seen carbon fiber forks but not carbon frames. Is there a reason for this?

    Finally what kind of pedals do cx bikes typically have? I would like to not have to buy special shoes but just wondering.
    Hmmm....I'm not the expert in the materials field but here goes. There are many aluminum bikes out there, Trek, Kona, Bianchi, Cannondale, & Giant (frame only), Empella, Ridley, Redline, Fuji, Felt, comes to mind. Likewise there are many steel ones, Lemond, Surly, Steelman, Seven (Tsunami comes in titanium as well), Independent Fabrications. I hope I did not offend anyone if I forgotten a manfacturer or model. If you want the exotic stuff, in titanium, Seven & Moots, or carbon fiber, Aegis & Ridley which usually equates to very big $$$$ & major budgetary concerns. If you wreck badly enough.....

    More to point, from a buyers standpoint as well as a manufacturer's, we are back to the personal budget & how many super-duper high end bikes does the manufacturer want to sell in a very small niche market compared to a lower cost al unit for the rest. If you have the budget, you can trick out a rig with the latest CF or ti frame (per your like), all cf components, Campy or Shimano 10spd per your liking, and the fastest wheels/best tires that you can think of. In this view, you should come out with a very fast & light rig.

    I have not personally seen a CX bike outfitted with a triple chainring as the racing technique is such that if you are in the granny ring going for all you are worth up a hill, chances are you could shoulder the bike & run/walk up faster. Thus negating the requirement for a triple. I personally changed from an Ultegra 53/39 double to a FSA compact crank 50/34 (non carbon version) as I wanted lower gears. I could never push 53x12 on the road to begin with & needed more than 39x25 for climbing, so I figure by going with a compact crank, I get the best of both worlds, I think. It works well for me on the road & hilly duathlons so far & I am looking forward to fall for CX.

    I think most riders are using mtb pedals of one kind or another for mud shedding capabilities. Most use mtb shoes with toe spikes so they are able to run, through mud/snow, during the dismounted portions of the race. Though, I will readily admit that I use platform pedals with my good old running shoes, old being the operative word. As far as I know, I was the only one in last year's CX season with running shoes & I can count on 1 hand the number of people I have seen with platform pedals in 4 duathlon events too. For me, I am a bit of a 36yr old chicken when it comes to being bolted to my bike, whereas everyone else finds it absolutely normal. I will never be able to bunny hop due tio the same reason either.
    Give generously to The Heart & Stroke Foundation http://ww2.heartandstroke.ca/
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  5. #5
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHoe
    Also, I have seen carbon fiber forks but not carbon frames. Is there a reason for this?
    Aegis Shaman

    I know someone who has one. He went out and did 300 miles on it the first weekend he got it. Aegis has been making these things for over 5 years and they're proven reliable frames.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

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