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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross bike for road racing, long distance?

    After test riding a few road bikes, which still did not really do it for me, I get all excited by the looks/use of a cyclocross bike! Question is, before I jump on one of them, could i do racing with it too with putting other tires on it? I havent done racing yet but maybe want to try it out. Same as cyclocross racing, dont know if I will like it but it sounds more fun than racing on pavement. Its difficult to decide which direction I would like to go BEFORE purchasing a bike. I really really need an other bike than my mountainbike for a two day long distance ride. Recommendations, tips? Please...

  2. #2
    Broken for 4-6 jerlwe's Avatar
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    Cross bikes are usually more comfortable because of the more relaxed riding position you will find yourself in. Many people do long rides on their cross bikes because they are more comfortable. It is possible to switch tires on it and use it for road racing but I find my cross bike a little slower than my road bike, no matter what tires.

  3. #3
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    There are two reasons why a cyclocross bike is slightly slower than a true road racing bike - it is probably slightly heavier, which mainly matters on hilly courses and is less relevant on flat land, and it is slightly less aerodynamic since you typically don't get quite as low a head and shoulder position at the front.

    Neither of those should stop you succeeding as a beginner racer, in fact you can feel smug when you beat people with pure road racing bikes. However, they might become relevant when you move to higher categories and much stiffer competition.

    The cross bike is probably better for a two day ride, beause as jerlwe points out it is slightly more comfortable to sit up a little higher.

  4. #4
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    I've used my Kona Jake for several centuries and have no complaints other than not liking the stock saddle. I haven't done any racing other than cyclocross racing, but I think I'm going to try that this year. I don't expect the bike to be the limiting factor for me.

  5. #5
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Cross bikes often have inline brake levers on the tops of the bars, which makes riding around and looking at the scenery a bit safer and more comfortable.
    “Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm." (Churchill)

    "I am a courageous cyclist." (SpongeDad)

  6. #6
    Cyclocross - Go anywhere! sd_mike's Avatar
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    I've toured, commuted, and ridden just about everywhere in just about every condition on just about every type of trail on my Fuji Cross Comp. I've also stuck with the stock tires. I haven't noticed any problems with it. They are quite versatile.
    Finally riding again after my accident in Dec 2011.

  7. #7
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    I bought a brand new CAAD8 and pretty much use it to commute on every day. I don't race, and don't really plan on it, but I do take it out on long distance rides. I have only had it since mid January, but ride it nearly every day. It has been extremely comfortable for me so far. I'm sorry I can't offer much scoop on the racing, but it seems like some other people had great feed back there.

  8. #8
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    Love my Tricross Comp.

    You want a reasonably fast machine that stands up to abuse and - gasp - benign neglect - CX bikes.

    You want a versatile platform that can be roadified or commuterized - CX bikes.

    Generally shorter top tube is more comfortable for a chick - think WSD without all the hype and sickening pastels.

    Good luck

    SF
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  9. #9
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    i agree. I have 3 Tricross Comps. They are slower than road bikes I've had, but they are fast enough for riding with others that I ride with. The 32c tires that originally came with it sucked and were slow on the pavement. I bought the Armadillo version of the same tire and I'm quite impressed with the performance on the road. What I wanted was a setup that I could ride on the road at reasonable speed and could handle anything else that I came across. I don't like having to pick my routes that depend on the type of surface. With this setup and bike, I don't care one way or another.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  10. #10
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    Kish cyclocross - racer & tourer

    You could race a cross bike like this one I just had built by Jim Kish (www.kishbike.com). I wanted a titanium bike for cross riding and light touring, so it is spec'd with eyelets for racks and fenders. It's fairly light at 17.6 lbs, particularly for a cross bike, and could be a bit lighter if spec'd with lighter wheels and some other carbon bits (stem, seatpost).

    Jim and I discussed (by email and phone) the various things I wanted and would work (different sloping top tubes, head tube length, bb height, saddle to handlebar height difference, etc). We even discussed how the bike would look aesthetically to minimize the spacers.

    It's spec'd with Campy Athena 11 speed, and DT Swiss handbuilt wheels.
    It has enough clearance for 700x35 wide tires.

    It handles very well and you can dive into corners without hesitation. This could replace my road racers if I wanted to.

    Last edited by veloduffer; 02-25-10 at 06:16 PM.

  11. #11
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    Wow, awesome bike Veloduffer. I'd hate to see the price on that one though. But yes, this would be the ultimate bike if you could get it built exactly they way you wanted. That's the route I'd go if money wasn't an object.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobster View Post
    Wow, awesome bike Veloduffer. I'd hate to see the price on that one though. But yes, this would be the ultimate bike if you could get it built exactly they way you wanted. That's the route I'd go if money wasn't an object.
    As for the frame, it was quite reasonable at $2350 and paint was $500 extra. It was cheaper than buying a Moots, which would charge $600-700 extra for custom on top of the $2995 Psychlo-X (and without paint). Serotta is similar in price. My fork was about $550 or thereabouts.

    I looked around at different ti builders - Roark, DeSalvo, Ericksen, Black Sheep, Dean, Everti, Spectrum, Moots, Serotta - for a top quality build and good price. Kish fit the bill and I chose him after I solicited some references on different forums. The feedback that I got universally praised his workmanship, attention to detail, and ease to work with. This was important to me since he's on the left coast and I'm on the right coast. My previous custom build was my Richard Sachs, and I was personally fitted by him at his shop.

    All of the above builders would have built a great bike and since I had a good idea of my desired geometry & fit, it would not have been a difficulte build for them. I wanted to paint it, since I already have a bare ti bike (Seven Axiom, Serotta Concours cross). So getting a paint job into the price was also a consideration.

    Cheers.

  13. #13
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    If you're looking at touring, racing road & cross, then definitely get a cross bike. You should be able to find great deals on ebay/craigslist as cross racing season recently ended. Just get a 2nd set of wheels or comfortable swapping out tires.

  14. #14
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    Thanks everyone for all tips and advise. For sure I am getting a cross bike. I have three on my list that I want to test; Devinci Tosca SL1, Kona Jake and, but I don't read much about this one, Norco CCX2. All pretty similar in price. Can't wait!!

  15. #15
    bf is my facebook. ljrichar's Avatar
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    I don't own one but the Kona Jake always comes highly rated.

  16. #16
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    It will be either a Giant Avail 2 road bike or a Giant TCX cyclocross bike. TCX is a double compact, are all cross bikes double compact and never come with triple cranks? I live in a hilly area, definitely need my triple to get to my house for example. Any suggestions, experience that will lead me to the right bike?

  17. #17
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    I thought that I saw a Scattante at Performance Bikes that had a triple. Looking on the web right now, I'm not seeing that in the specs.
    30 front 25 rear on a triple gives 31.7 gear inches. A CX crank with 36 and a 25 gives 38. Is that enough to hurt? Changing to a 27 on your cassette would give 35.2; getting closer to that triple.
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  18. #18
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    The Kona Jake comes with a triple. You may be able to talk your LBS into doing a swap on the TCX at the time you buy it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The Kona Jake comes with a triple. You may be able to talk your LBS into doing a swap on the TCX at the time you buy it.
    Interesting to know about the Kona Jake. So if I set my mind on the TCX, it is possible to get the triple crank, and is that expensive? Sorry I have no idea about all this, maybe its a stupid question?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    The Kona Jake comes with a triple. You may be able to talk your LBS into doing a swap on the TCX at the time you buy it.
    Interesting to know about the Kona Jake. So if I set my mind on the TCX, it is possible to get the triple crank, and is that expensive? Sorry I have no idea about all this, maybe its a stupid question?

  21. #21
    vjp
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    Hey Fungirl,

    If you are in BC and not Washington, you should talk to Ed at Mighty Riders on B'way @ Ontario. The shop is VERY cross oriented and they carry/deal Opus, Brodie, Redline, BMC, Argon, Ridley and Marinoni cross bikes. The Marinoni Fango is a cool steel cross bike....

    Complete disclosure: I ride with their club, Mighty Cycling, I am very good friends with the Brodie crew and I personally believe that they are the last of the independent LBS that totally "get it" in Vancouver.

    vjp

  22. #22
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    The retail costs of the triple parts looks like it's about $50 total more than the equivalent double parts. My LBS will do part swaps at the time of sale for about retail price difference. Different shops will have different policies, depending on how easily they think they can re-sell the stock parts.

    If you're looking at the TCX2, you might want to compare it to something with Tiagra shifters. The Sora shifter mechanism is different from what Tiagra/105/Ultegra use. The Rival shifters on the TCX1 are also different. It looks like a big price jump from the TCX2 to the TCX1, but if you're doing a part swap anyway, you might be able to get the shifters you want for a reasonable price. Some people think the Sora are OK, but when I was bike shopping, I didn't like them.

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