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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 02-26-10, 07:55 AM   #1
bobthib
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N+1 - What type? Help me decided!

So I posted this over in the 50+ forum and the overwhelming recommendations was to go with a CX bike.


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Ok, so I've got a '02 Diamondback Wildwood hybrid for leisurely sidewalk rides to Starbucks (matches my wife's) and Road bike ('09 Moto I'pro) for club hammerfests, and a Road Tandem for when the wife wants to join the club rides. My son has a Trek 400 mtb I use for off road/trail rides.

I'm really jones'n for a CX bike, but 1) I'm too old to do CX competitively (62) and 2) CX is not very popular here in So. Fla. let alone Senior CX races. It looks like a heap of fun, but I think I would just be "in the way" of the real competitors. I'd just be another obstacle!

I would like a beater road or CX bike, but I'm just not sure. What to you think?
So now I'm looking for guidance on size. Note that I'm never going to get into a CX race (hell, I'm 62, I'd get slaughtered!) but I do want a more versatile bike, and one for my son to use for road.

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Ok. we're getting close. I'm going to do a CX bike (the 29er is very tempting!!!) and I'm thinking of this one:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/cyclo.htm


I've kinda had my eye on it for a while, but I've been waffling and balking. I'm thinking of getting a 61cm and here's the reasons why.

I'm 6'0" and my son is 6'4" He tried road biking but I had him on my old beater bike ('89 Trek 1200, 54cm) and it was small for me. Obviously on the 3 or so rides he did, it didn't turn him on, although he is very fit and did very well. When I got a new road bike, I was vacillating between a 56 and 58. I decided on a 56 as I read some where that for road bikes when in between go small. The 56 works for me great. But I could use a 58 no problem. The 61 would be a stretch, but I wouldn't be putting big miles on it. It would just, for me, replace my beater bike and I would do some off road stuff. But it would be my son's main on and off road bike.
So should I go for the 61 or the 58?

BTW, I don't want to turn this into a BD "shill" rant or BD vs LBS diatribe. Stick to the topic, please!
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Old 02-26-10, 08:45 AM   #2
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I'm also 50+, 6" 0" and 205 lbs. I use a 60cm size Soma Double Cross for road travel. Most of my riding is 35 to 60 mile fun& fitness riding. I'll also finish a few century rides each month during the summer. A CX bike is more comfortable than a road bike due to a more upright riding position and the ability to use bigger tires. I use 700x28 slick road tires. I would remove the CX tires on the bike ASAP.

You should be fine on a 58cm size.

Cx bikes are great and the Windsor is a great value. Go for it!


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Old 02-26-10, 08:48 AM   #3
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If you're comfortable on a 56cm road bike, use the same top tube length as your guide. I would think that you'd ride a 56cm or 58cm Windsor, judging by the geometry chart. One consideration is how high do you want the handlebars relative to the saddle. A 58cm would raise them higher (due to longer head tube length) but more stretched out. I wouldn't opt for a stem length shorter than 90mm.

I'm 5'11" with normal torso and arm proportions, and I'd lean toward the 56cm, which has a 56cm top tube. Note, the Windsor has a level top tube, so if you need to use the "effective" top tube length if your other bikes are sloping.

Last edited by veloduffer; 02-26-10 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 02-26-10, 07:32 PM   #4
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I'm 65 aKona Jake that I ride at the local mtn bike trails and CX courses (the day after the races).
I'm 6'-0", 30" inseam and have a 56cm road bike. My Kona Jake is 55cm. Both are very comfortable. I had a 57cm CX bike and it just seemed a little too big and I didn't feel comfortable riding it off road.

I looked at the BD bikes before I got my Jake. They seem like good bikes and good deals.
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Old 02-27-10, 08:16 AM   #5
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Btw, no one is "in the way" in a Cat4 CX race. That's just part of the game. There will always be people getting lapped but they are still having a blast. And you're never too old.
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Old 02-27-10, 12:17 PM   #6
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You say senior races are not too popular there. You do realize that means if you do race, the chances of getting on the podium are far greater and increase the older you get.

Racing cross is fun. At minimum you'll be rewarded with a muddy race number and some cool photos of you carrying your bike over the barriers.
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Old 02-27-10, 01:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrCjolsen View Post
You say senior races are not too popular there. You do realize that means if you do race, the chances of getting on the podium are far greater and increase the older you get.

Racing cross is fun. At minimum you'll be rewarded with a muddy race number and some cool photos of you carrying your bike over the barriers.
I think there are 3 or 4 CX races per year in all of So Fla. No Fla, Ga, SC, NC and such it's a lot more popular and there are a lot more races. And racers.

True, fewer racres improve one's chances, but fewer racers also mean fewer age groups. 55+ vs 60+ is a big difference. The unfortunate reality of life is that from age 1 to 15 (16, 17, 18, somewhere in there) a few years makes a lot of difference. From 18 - 50 something the changes tend to be slower, baring any major physical malady.

Somewhere after 60 it just gets harder to keep up, and each year takes a bigger toll. It's just a sad fact of life. I can only control what I can control. Despite my best efforts, my max HR (and yours) will decrease.
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