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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 12-22-10, 08:09 PM   #1
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Is a cyclocross bike what I need?

I currently have a road bikes and a hybrid bike. I only use the hybrid on paths, and trails of crushed limestone. I am planning a ride with my son in May to go on from St Louis to Kansas City on a Rail-to-trail path of cushed limestone. Its 245 miles nd we should do it in 3 days. I was going to use my hybrid, but I don't like riding it too long because of the straigth handle bars and lack of hand positions. Therefore, I am considering selling my hybrid (Trek 7.6 FX) and buying a cyclocross baike for the non road rides. I would also use the bike on rainy days. Is this an overkill buying a cyclocross bike since I probably won't be doing and cyclo racing?

I was looking at the Specialized Tricross Comp....any thoughts on it?

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Old 12-22-10, 08:18 PM   #2
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I have a Specialized Tricross Comp and I think it would be perfect for the crushed limestone paths. I was riding mine on the road most of this year then decided to install some tires with a more aggressive tread and ride it on the dirt roads. I think you'll be very happy with your choice.
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Old 12-22-10, 11:22 PM   #3
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I also have a TriCross Comp and agree that it's a great choice for the riding you describe. You get the hand positions of the road bike, some decent vibration damping out of the frame, mount points for racks, and three water bottle cage positions (though I think the bottom one is best for a storage bottle). Throw some skinny tires on it and it makes a decent backup road bike too.

I swapped out the tires on mine for the Armadillo Elite version of the Borough CX tires that came stock on it -- no flats in three years (several thousand miles) since I did that. The version that came with the bike flatted fairly easily.
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Old 12-22-10, 11:54 PM   #4
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whats the Hybrid, what kind of wheel/tire?

Last edited by fietsbob; 12-22-10 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 12-23-10, 09:57 AM   #5
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My hybrid is a trek 7.6 fx

The tires are road tires that are wider than my road bike
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Old 12-23-10, 10:09 AM   #6
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The Specialized Tri-Comp is a good suggestion and the Giant TCX is even spec'd better for less money. However, really a touring bike (not stretched out) is probably your best bet. Althought really, If you road bike has rear rack eyelets, I would just buy new tires for that thing and call it a day.
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Old 12-23-10, 11:04 AM   #7
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A cyclocross bike would be great for you, IMO. You are used to road bike geometry and handling, so the switch to a 'cross bike will be very natural for you. Cross bikes are great for many different things - they're fast on roads, comfortable on dirt/trails, handle well on singletrack, are dependable in the rain, and really comfortable to ride. I use my Surly Steamroller, set up as a single speed crosser, for everything from 40+ dirt road rides, to single-track mountain biking, to commuting, to cross racing.
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Old 12-23-10, 06:49 PM   #8
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Get some tires like Ritchey Speedmax, and keep the PSI around 40. That Katy trail will beat on you pretty bad. Not that it isn't mostly smooth, but something about's just bumpy enough to wear your arse out after 60-70 miles. Make sure your new bike has rack/pannier mounts too. You don't want to carry all your gear in a backpack. I did that once, and regretted it. Deeply. Have fun on the Katy! It's a great time.
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Old 12-23-10, 11:26 PM   #9
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Several years ago I bought a cyclocross bike specifically for use on the Katy trail. I wanted a "road bike" setup and the cyclocross seemed to be best. I've loved it. The only suggestions - my tires really picked up thorns - flat tires constantly until I filled my tubes with slime. There are also other things to use, but consider some sort of extra flat protection. Second thought. My cyclocross bike came with 36/50 chainrings and a 12-25 cluster. I changed them to a 36/46 chainring and 13-25 cluster. The Katy trail is flat. I didn't need high and low gears. Now I have lots of close ratio gears in the middle. One other story to tell. Last spring I rode from my St. Louis County home to Sedalia on Katy trail in 4 days on my Cannondale Touring bike, full loaded, 4 panniers, tent, sleeping bag, etc. It's tires are the same size as those on my hybrid - something like 700x38's (70 lbs. pressure). I was curious how they'd do once I got off the paved roads between my house and the trail and onto the Katy trail gravel. They didn't even notice the difference. For this trip, I again changed the gearing from the 11-34 standard gearing of the touring bike to a 12-25 cluster (the original one from the cyclocross bike). That gearing was perfect for the flat trail. I think any wide tired bike would work. From what you're describing I think the cyclocross would have much more versatility than the touring bike. Most cyclocross bikes have a double crank and more "racing" geometry - they are racing bikes - but if you want more of a "touring" cyclocross bike Bianchi makes (made?) a steel framed, triple crank bike with cyclocross type tires and brakes. The model is maybe the "Volpe". I saw some in A-1 bike in Kirkwood today (I hope we're allowed to give business names on this site.)>
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Old 12-24-10, 03:46 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for the great input!!!!

The info from experienced katy trail riders was really helpful. I would like to chat with you guys about the trip since it will be my first on the katy trail. Can you guys email me

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Old 12-29-10, 12:13 PM   #11
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It is

It is, Here is what I took on the Katy Trail last summer, cross bike is perfect.

I am selling that bike since I bought a bike I love more, the surly cross check (robin's egg blue)
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