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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 10-16-04, 11:43 PM   #1
stbussey
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Using a cyclocross bike for the road

I just moved to the Northwest and am looking into getting a new bike. I haven't bought a bike since I was a kid and don't really know much about them anymore. I'm interested in using it for commuting, road riding and if I can cyclocross style riding as well. So, what I'm wondering is if it is possibe (and makes sense) to get a cyclocross bike, ride it in the fall and winter as is and then in spring and summer put road tires on it and use if for road riding? I don't have the cash to buy a mtn bike, road bike, and cyclocross bike but would like to do some off and some one road riding. Some times one or the other exclusively. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks.
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Old 10-17-04, 08:36 AM   #2
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I am of the opinion that a cx bike is the most versatile bike around. I think it is perfect for someone like you who wants an all round bike. My girlfriends Poprad for example she got the triple 105 and so far has used it as a commutter, loaded touring bike, raced cx, and road fitness. Perfect.
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Old 10-17-04, 09:25 AM   #3
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A CX bike is a perfect solution. I use my Poprad for commuting, bad weather, and the occasional off-pavement ride. I like the fact that I put together a mix of paved and dirt on a ride.
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Old 10-17-04, 09:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stbussey
I just moved to the Northwest and am looking into getting a new bike. I haven't bought a bike since I was a kid and don't really know much about them anymore. I'm interested in using it for commuting, road riding and if I can cyclocross style riding as well. So, what I'm wondering is if it is possibe (and makes sense) to get a cyclocross bike, ride it in the fall and winter as is and then in spring and summer put road tires on it and use if for road riding? I don't have the cash to buy a mtn bike, road bike, and cyclocross bike but would like to do some off and some one road riding. Some times one or the other exclusively. Let me know your thoughts.

Thanks.
I bought a cx bike this year for a variety of reasons. I use it as my training road bike, I've communted on it, I'll run it in the winter, I'll do a few cx races, and I'll also do some touring with it next year. CX bikes are really the do-all bike. Here's a pix of her with my new Old Man Mountain rear rack mounted:
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Old 10-17-04, 10:14 AM   #5
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I'm having my Surly Crosscheck frame retro-fitted with S&S Machine's frame couplers, allowing the frame to be separated in two parts for easy traveling on a plane, etc... It'll be the perfect road/cross/foul weather/commuting/light-touring/loaded-touring/travel bike.
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Old 10-17-04, 10:20 AM   #6
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do it. i just got a bianchi axis and love it. eventually i'd like a 2nd wheelset to swap slicks and knobbies but it seems to me like cyclocross bikes like bianchi's, redlines, surly's etc. offer the best value for the dollar in the bike industry.
if i'm not mistaken Thomas Frischknecht showed up at some road races this year on his road wheel equipped cross bike and did quite well.
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Old 10-17-04, 12:53 PM   #7
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I had a Poprad while in Ireland and enjoyed it. I sold it when I left and am now looking at the 2005 Poprad. I really didnít have any idea how much I would miss the Poprad until later. It really fits a niche that my Gary Fisher Hoo Koo E Koo, Touring bike, Lemond Zurich, and Trek 830 MTB donít fill. As a road rider I like my MTB but not on the road and paved trails. On a packed limestone trail the GF is over kill but the Zurich is not happy there either (or maybe it is my butt that complains). In the winter here in MN I donít want my Zurich out in the salt and at 145 lbs I find the 2.1 tires on the Gary Fisher too wide to let me cut through the snow. Iím looking at buying the 2005 for winter and other riding.

With a Cyclocross as your everyday bike you canít go far wrong. Once you find out your riding and training needs. You might think about another set of wheels with narrower road tires or maybe studded winter tires so you can fit all riding conditions.

Cheers
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Old 10-17-04, 03:32 PM   #8
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I am actually in the process of swapping all my parts off of my road bike (Orbea Altec w/ Campy Chorus) to my cross bike (Kelly Knobby-X.) Mainly because I do LONG rides in the winter, and love the comfort of the OX Platinum. An extra bonus is running canti's so I can run wider tires (between 28-32 depending on the weather.)

I'm simply waiting for a cassette for my XT wheel to make into a 10speed campy compatible wheel.

I'll post pics when it's all done.
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Old 10-17-04, 05:53 PM   #9
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In spring, summer, fall, slap road tires on, & you are good for the daily commute, the odd duathlon / triathlon, & some spirited riding. Fall / winter, put the cx tires on & go racing in the mud!
You'll love it! Now the hard part, which one ....
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Old 10-17-04, 09:45 PM   #10
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I just got a 2004 Redline Conquest off eBay. Everything is great except I was expecting it to have provisions for mounting front and rear racks so I could use it as my all-around everything bike like you guys all talk about. The price was right so I can't complain but now I'm looking for ways to mount racks on a bike that wasn't born with that in mind. I'm sure it can be done and, bac, it looks like you have something interesting mounted on the back of your new ride (very cool bike, by the way). Anyone have any experience with this kind of improvisation? I'd love to find out that this isn't a big hurdle so I can go back to nuzzling and fondling my new bike with no regrets.

-Chris
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Old 10-18-04, 12:46 AM   #11
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Just thought I'd confirm what all the other posters have: cyclocross is the best type of bike widely available in the U.S. They're the closet thing to a general purpose road bike made by major manufacturers. I've had a Trek XO-1 for the last 3 years and love the thing. I've made a few changes as parts have worn out. It has 105 wheels, Specialized Nimbus Armadillo Tires 700x38, a Deore LX rear derailleur, and bar-end shifters.

I use it as my everyday commuter, light off-road riding, and occasional light touring. I don't even have to make any changes to switch from one type of riding to another: The Armadillo tires are wide with enough groves (grip) for dirt and rocky terrain, but smooth enough for efficient road riding. Cyclocross are the ideal bike if you only want one because they can do just about anything except hard core off-road. They aren't ideal for fully-loaded touring, but with some modifications (fork with braze-ons, or a trailer) it's certainly possible.
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Old 10-18-04, 06:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txthroop
I just got a 2004 Redline Conquest off eBay. Everything is great except I was expecting it to have provisions for mounting front and rear racks so I could use it as my all-around everything bike like you guys all talk about. The price was right so I can't complain but now I'm looking for ways to mount racks on a bike that wasn't born with that in mind. I'm sure it can be done and, bac, it looks like you have something interesting mounted on the back of your new ride (very cool bike, by the way). Anyone have any experience with this kind of improvisation? I'd love to find out that this isn't a big hurdle so I can go back to nuzzling and fondling my new bike with no regrets.

-Chris

There is a clamp with rubber coating that come with most racks in the rack hardware baggy.. if they don't have any in the bag, ask your LBS- they come in 2 or 3 different diamaters
It clamps on around your seat stays where you would of had your braze ons..
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Old 10-18-04, 12:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Txthroop
Everything is great except I was expecting it to have provisions for mounting front and rear racks so I could use it as my all-around everything bike like you guys all talk about. The price was right so I can't complain but now I'm looking for ways to mount racks on a bike that wasn't born with that in mind. I'm sure it can be done and, bac, it looks like you have something interesting mounted on the back of your new ride (very cool bike, by the way). Anyone have any experience with this kind of improvisation? I'd love to find out that this isn't a big hurdle so I can go back to nuzzling and fondling my new bike with no regrets.

-Chris
Hi Chris. Well, the only real hurdle (in terms of a rack for a bike not designed for one) is the price tag. I got my rack from Old Man Mountain. They are one of the few (if not the only) maker of racks that fit bikes with no braze-ons. They even make racks for bikes with suspension forks, and/or disc brakes. I got the Sherpa rack, and thus far it's been VERY SOLID. It's a bit pricy (about $100), but I feel like it's a good deal given the craftsmanship, and its unique ability to snap onto about any bike.
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Old 10-18-04, 01:12 PM   #14
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Hi Chris. Well, the only real hurdle (in terms of a rack for a bike not designed for one) is the price tag. I got my rack from Old Man Mountain. They are one of the few (if not the only) maker of racks that fit bikes with no braze-ons. They even make racks for bikes with suspension forks, and/or disc brakes. I got the Sherpa rack, and thus far it's been VERY SOLID. It's a bit pricy (about $100), but I feel like it's a good deal given the craftsmanship, and its unique ability to snap onto about any bike.
there are actually quite a few options for rear racks with bikes that have no braze ons. those Old Man Mountain racks are beautiful, and for sure a top choice. if you don't want to spend the $100+ for those, you can look into Nitto racks ( http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/baggage_racks/ ). i just bought one last week. it hasn't arrived yet, but i've heard good things.

there's a thread with other options here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-64380
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Old 10-18-04, 01:30 PM   #15
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there are actually quite a few options for rear racks with bikes that have no braze ons. those Old Man Mountain racks are beautiful, and for sure a top choice. if you don't want to spend the $100+ for those, you can look into Nitto racks ( http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/webalog/baggage_racks/ ). i just bought one last week. it hasn't arrived yet, but i've heard good things.

there's a thread with other options here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/index.php/t-64380
I like some of the rivendellbicycles racks - some very good options there! Unfortunately, I had to deal with a frame with no rack braze-ons, and with disc brakes installed. I also didn't want to go with a seat-post mounted rack, as I'm planning on loading up past their limit. Therefore, my options were very limited.
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Old 10-18-04, 02:26 PM   #16
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Iím one more person who thinks that cross bikes are the most versatile bikes out there. My Crosscheck is a year-round commuter. I put 28 slicks on it spring through fall and Nokian studded 35ís when it snows. I can fully load it with a rack, panniers, etc. for commuting, or ride it much lighter for weekend jaunts. It can handle off-road rides, but the 35ís make that easier than the 28ís.
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Old 10-18-04, 02:28 PM   #17
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II put 28 slicks on it spring through fall and Nokian studded 35ís when it snows.
How do you like your Nokian 700 tires? I'm considering a set for my Salsa this winter. ThanX!
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Old 10-18-04, 02:59 PM   #18
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American Classic makes a campy 10 compatible cassette that fits Shimano 9 wheels. It's not inexpensive... but it would let you re-use that wheel.
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Old 10-18-04, 07:53 PM   #19
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How's this for a versatile bike: Surly CrossCheck with Ultegra triple group, 12-27 rear cassette, Shimano XT V-brakes via Travel Agent adapter pully, retro-fitted with S&S Machine Bicycle Couplers. The couplers are low-profile "bolts" placed in the top tube and down tube which allow the bike to be separated into two halves for traveling purposes and loaded into a 26" suitcase, thus avoiding the large fee for flying with a full-size bike case. So my crosscheck becomes the perfect road/cross/travel/touring/commuter bike!
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Old 10-19-04, 03:53 AM   #20
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How do you like your Nokian 700 tires? I'm considering a set for my Salsa this winter. ThanX!
I have the 106's and love them. As long as you're careful, you can bike across an ice rink on them. The only thing they can't handle is rutty ice, like when pedestrians punch holes in not-quite-completely-frozen ice just before it becomes completely frozen. They also do OK on dry pavement. If you are used to slicks, you can really feel the drag of the 106's, but that's better than wiping out because of a tiny patch of black ice.
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Old 10-19-04, 06:57 AM   #21
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I have the 106's and love them. As long as you're careful, you can bike across an ice rink on them. The only thing they can't handle is rutty ice, like when pedestrians punch holes in not-quite-completely-frozen ice just before it becomes completely frozen. They also do OK on dry pavement. If you are used to slicks, you can really feel the drag of the 106's, but that's better than wiping out because of a tiny patch of black ice.
ThanX for the reply! I'm going to run my single-speed mtb this winter, as I did last. I got a set of the Nokian studded tires for this year, as I grew tired of picking my carcass off the icy pavement last winter. However, I am also planning on riding the cross machine on the days when the weather is relatively nice, and studs aren't necessarily required. Now, I may just strap on a set of the 106's, and ride the cross bike more than a bit this winter. My only concern is running the studs in the dry.

You state the the 106's have much more drag (not a problem @ all), but how do they handle in the dry? ThanX again!!
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Old 10-19-04, 07:37 AM   #22
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My girlfriends Poprad for example...
Wow you have more than one girlfriend and they share a Poprad, that is awesome!
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Old 10-19-04, 08:46 AM   #23
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ThanX for the reply! I'm going to run my single-speed mtb this winter, as I did last. I got a set of the Nokian studded tires for this year, as I grew tired of picking my carcass off the icy pavement last winter. However, I am also planning on riding the cross machine on the days when the weather is relatively nice, and studs aren't necessarily required. Now, I may just strap on a set of the 106's, and ride the cross bike more than a bit this winter. My only concern is running the studs in the dry.

You state the the 106's have much more drag (not a problem @ all), but how do they handle in the dry? ThanX again!!
I am more cautious about cornering because I don't want to rip out a stud, but that may not be justified. Overall, they do fine. They also make a really cool rumbling noise.

Changing the subject back to ice-riding, I think the best example of the effectiveness of 106's is that they make riding on flat ice roughly the same as riding on wet leaves with your slicks on. You can do just fine going straight. You can corner or stop at a reasonable pace. But if you go barreling around a corner at 25 mph, you will wreck.

For a few more opinions, look here.

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Old 10-19-04, 08:44 PM   #24
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Thanks for the suggestions about racks that work without braze-ons and such. Looks like touring will be a definite possibility...provided I can find the time!

-Chris
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Old 10-20-04, 03:41 AM   #25
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Thanks for the suggestions about racks that work without braze-ons and such. Looks like touring will be a definite possibility...provided I can find the time!
If you are looking a touring bikes, check out the Surly Long Haul Trucker. It's a new bike, but there are already a few threads about it on the Bike Forums already. It is designed to go long distances under a load. As a nice touch, it has braze-ons for three water bottles. As far as I can tell, you can only buy the frame. You (or your LBS) has to build it up.

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