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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 07-29-10, 08:34 AM   #1
MacAttack
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Do I Really Want a Cyclocross?

Bike newbie here.

I love the idea of the cyclocross and being able to put a wide variety of tires on it. What I want it for is road-riding and logging road/fire road riding and basically every other kind of riding.

The thing is we have mountains here and I envision riding up & up & up & up a mountain road and then turning off onto some logging roads for some trail riding.

I won't be racing, won't be doing hardcore mtnbike trails.

Is there another kind of bike that would be better for me, or cheaper?
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Old 07-29-10, 09:05 AM   #2
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Still at it? Have you tried to go to you LBS and try out some of the different bikes? Hybrid? Cyclocross?

I think you should test ride some of the following and see how you feel on them.

Fuji Absolute 1 or 2
Giant Dash 0
Specialized Sirrus Comp
Trek FX 7.5
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Old 07-29-10, 09:20 AM   #3
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I haven't had any free time to go to the bike store due to overtime & medical appts due to dislocating my kneecap, so I'm just over-researching on the internet until I get some free time.
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Old 07-29-10, 09:41 AM   #4
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Still at it? Have you tried to go to you LBS and try out some of the different bikes? Hybrid? Cyclocross?

I think you should test ride some of the following and see how you feel on them.

Fuji Absolute 1 or 2
Giant Dash 0
Specialized Sirrus Comp
Trek FX 7.5
All of those bikes look really nice, but can they handle logging roads?
I'm not talking a nice, smooth dirt road; they can get pretty rough depending on where you go.
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Old 07-29-10, 09:45 AM   #5
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I haven't had any free time to go to the bike store due to overtime & medical appts due to dislocating my kneecap, so I'm just over-researching on the internet until I get some free time.
The kneecap might keep you off the bike for a while. Hope you're feeling better.
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Old 07-29-10, 10:03 AM   #6
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I had a CX bike built with Tiagra triple 22-36-46 and Deore RD, because I suck at hills, but I think this is what you need. You can use a 12-23 close ratio cassette, which you can switch for one with 28 or 30 for the brutal hills.
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Old 07-29-10, 10:22 AM   #7
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I rode my CX bike above Tahoe City last week on just the kinds of trails you're describing. My low gear is 39/27 and my wheelset is Ultegra/Open Pro with 34mm knobbies. Worked fine. Better than fine, it was awesome.
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Old 07-29-10, 11:33 AM   #8
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All of those bikes look really nice, but can they handle logging roads?
I'm not talking a nice, smooth dirt road; they can get pretty rough depending on where you go.
A crosser can handle pretty rough going - but can your knee? The way to handle really rough ground on all rigid bike is to use your arms and legs for suspension. If this is a problem, you might want to look at a 29er with low travel suspension.
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Old 07-29-10, 11:53 AM   #9
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A crosser can handle pretty rough going - but can your knee? The way to handle really rough ground on all rigid bike is to use your arms and legs for suspension. If this is a problem, you might want to look at a 29er with low travel suspension.
I plan on having an almost normal knee in a few months, so hopefully I'll be ok. I'm going to be a little iffy when it comes to sideways movments or movments that torque the knee which could cause another dislocation, but straight ahead or up & down movements should be ok. That's why biking has just instantly become a new hobby of mine.
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Old 07-29-10, 02:27 PM   #10
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In a word: yes. CX bikes are a jack of all trades, master of none.

A CX bike is able to keep up with roadies when you throw slicks on it, handle off-road for most mountain biking ventures with knobbies, and be able to tour loaded up easily when you throw a rack or two on it. Its not as fast as a roadie, as absorbing as a mnt, or as smooth as a touring bike. It is just an incredible blend of the three. Plus if you want, they invented a sport to use the bike perfectly! IMHO: if you want a bike to perform better at any one of the three above mentioned styles then you need to buy a specific bike for each of the styles you want to ride.

I pulled the trigger on a 10 Specialized Comp and am happier than I could have imagined before buying the bike. I hope your knee heals up perfectly and quick like a bunny
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Old 07-29-10, 05:35 PM   #11
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In a word: yes. CX bikes are a jack of all trades, master of none.
Not quite true. A crosser (especially if configured with wider than race legal tyres) will blast along fireroads and even light singletrack faster than any other recognized bike class. You should read Will's posts about ultra fast touring on limestone roads.
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Old 07-29-10, 05:38 PM   #12
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I plan on having an almost normal knee in a few months, so hopefully I'll be ok. I'm going to be a little iffy when it comes to sideways movments or movments that torque the knee which could cause another dislocation, but straight ahead or up & down movements should be ok. That's why biking has just instantly become a new hobby of mine.
You should talk very carefully to your doctor: your knee will take sideways strains (if not movements) if you use your legs as suspension.

I love my crosser, but if I was you I'd play it safe and buy a fast 29er MTB with short travel suspension - you could add a suspension seatpost to a suspension fork bike. If you wanted drop bars then you could have the store put Salsa Woodchippers on and use bar end shifters for gear changes.
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Old 08-02-10, 02:41 PM   #13
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I just got my cross so I'm no expert, mine handles well but does have alot of feedback from the road. If you get one I recommend getting the triple crankset in the front for climbing as mine is not geared as low as I would like for the hills I have around here. That being said most of my problem is conditioning.

Do ride a Hybrid, Cross, and even a Touring bike before dropping alot of money. Also try to ride in conditions aproximating as closely as possible, those that you intend to do.
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Old 08-07-10, 12:17 AM   #14
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I ended up buying a weird oddity of a bike, the Kona Dew Drop for $560. It's not labeled "cyclocross", but it has drop bars, sort of a mtn bike frame, good granny gearing for my knees, & will take huge tires, so it fits what I wanted which was a bike for riding on paved roads & the ability to turn off on some logging roads when I felt like it. It's pretty heavy, but as a beginner that means pretty much nothing to me. Felt comfortable because it has a little more upright riding position & I liked it's weirdness, and the price was right.

I tested cyclocross bikes, hard-tail mtn bikes, & full suspension mtn bikes & was ready to spend over $1000 if I got on something & just loved it, but nothing felt right. Then I was about to leave one of the stores & happened to see the Dew Drop in my size sitting there, so I figured what the heck, and it turned out to be my favorite. None of the bikes really bothered my knee too much, so that's good. They sure do hurt your butt though.

Anyway I'm glad to be done shopping. Since I didn't spend much I figure I can always upgrade later on if I figure out I want something completely different.



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Old 08-07-10, 07:25 AM   #15
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Congrats! Photos.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:39 AM   #16
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Congrats MacAttack sounds like you got it right. It's nice when things just work out. Good luck and be safe out there.
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