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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 05-18-10, 06:52 PM   #1
TXBDan
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Finally found a short top tube cross bike! Ridley Crossbow

Hey guys,

I've been hunting high and low for a cross bike that feels right. I'm about 6'3.5", 200lbs now coming out of winter, with about a 36" pelvic inseam. Apparently i have a short torso and/or arms as top tubes are always too long for me. I generally like the seat tubes of 60cm bikes and the top tubes of 58cm bikes. Until now the best fit i could find was a 60cm Spec Tricross w/a shorter and flipped stem.

Today i stepped by a random shop on my way home and they had a 2010 Ridley Crossbow http://www.ridley-bikes.com/pd/us/en...cross/crossbow. I hopped on it and was like wow, this feels pretty good. The cockpit felt right on, the reach was great. The seat was also in a fine place right off the back, not crazy high or anything. I then checked the size and it was a 56cm!

Basically the geometry boils down to having a 60cm C-T seat tube and a 56cm C-C top tube. Pretty unusual, but it felt great to me. We tried longer stems and it got reachy again. the Stock 110mm was fine.

According to their sizing guide: http://data.ridley-bikes.com/sizes/sizes-en.pdf, i'm right in the leg and height range for the 56cm so i guess i'm not totally off base.

I plan to use this bike 75% for commuting (26 miles each way, but not every day), riding trails and single track, ~15mile road rides w/ roadies at work. I've never cross raced, but i have a friend who does and i'm super eager to try it this season.

The setup on the bike is SRAM Rival shifters and derailuers, gossemer 46/36 cranks, Avid shortys, Shimano RS20 wheels for $1600. A very nice bike, but def high in the cost range for me.
Do you guys think this bike is too racey for commuting decent distances? Any advice?
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Old 05-18-10, 09:19 PM   #2
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So are you saying that you've been looking at too large frames this whole time or that their bike fit is different? So they are listing the bike's size based on the top tube right?

Cool, I always need a shorter TT as well. I have a short reach and it is annoying to have to do short stems and compact bars.

If it fits great, hey, commute, race, ride the thing like heck, that's what it's there for! It's got room for big comfy touring tires for the commute if that's your style. I'm commuting on my Redline conquest with 700x25 road tires and it's a blast. I don't want to ride a slow bike every day.
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Old 05-18-10, 10:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
So are you saying that you've been looking at too large frames this whole time or that their bike fit is different? So they are listing the bike's size based on the top tube right?

Cool, I always need a shorter TT as well. I have a short reach and it is annoying to have to do short stems and compact bars.

If it fits great, hey, commute, race, ride the thing like heck, that's what it's there for! It's got room for big comfy touring tires for the commute if that's your style. I'm commuting on my Redline conquest with 700x25 road tires and it's a blast. I don't want to ride a slow bike every day.
Sorry, i was unclear in my excitement. I'm saying that every other bike brand i've tried (almost every one in Boston which is a lot) has had either a "square" geometry where the ST and TT are similar or a "long" geometry where the TT is longer than the ST. BTW, i rode a 2008 Conquest Pro and its TT was quite long.

The Ridley is the first bike i've come across with a TT shorter than the ST, and significantly so. It seems like they size they label a bike refers to its TT instead of ST. The 56cm Crossbow has a 56cm TT and a 60cm ST and seems to fit me well. The only con is its price, but it sure is pretty.
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Old 05-19-10, 08:10 AM   #4
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I think it would be fine for most of what you're talking about. I have a Ridley X-fire that I commute on most days and plan to race soon. My commute is only about 6 miles most days but I pretty regularly take a 20 mile ride on it before work and it's not at all uncomfortable. I have not yet taken it on singletrack but plan to try that soon as well.

If it fits and you can afford it then I see no reason not to go for it. Geometry-wise my understanding is that a race oriented cross frame will likely still probably be no more aggressive than many road bikes that aren't considered race bikes.
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Old 05-20-10, 12:44 PM   #5
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I ride my Ridley X-Fire to work everyday (30 miles RT) and use it for club rides and century rides on the weekend.




Last edited by NoRacer; 05-20-10 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 05-21-10, 10:07 PM   #6
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Nice! I'm picking up mine tomorrow. They're swapping out to wider handlebars and adding cross levers. got a heck of a deal, too.
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Old 06-12-11, 10:33 AM   #7
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sorry to resurrect an old thread, but does anyone else know of some tall ST OR HT/short TT CX geo bikes like the ridley? I am in the same boat as the OP... I currently ride a 64cm BD bike (first bike purchase), and am near the max seatpost (85cm bb to seat), but that puts me way too stretched out with a 610TT... have been looking at ridleys.. anything else to look for?
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