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Thread: Speed Question

  1. #1
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    Speed Question

    I hope you guys can help me with this. I just bought my first cross bike & I'm getting quite frustrated with it.

    A little history: My prior bike is a Trek mountain bike with slick tires. I was looking for something lighter that would allow me to go a little faster. (Most of my riding is on paved trails & roads)

    I've been riding the cross bike, but I'm getting blown away by guys on mountain bikes. I recently timed myself on both bikes & I'm actually going faster on my old mountain bike.

    1. I feel like I'm not as strong when I pedal the cross bike due to the position of my body. Will I get used to this & gain speed as I go?

    2. Is it possible that the knobbier tires on the cross bike are slowing me down so much that it's making me slower?

    Any advice would be appreciated as I'm feeling like I just wasted a boatload of cash on a bike that will just sit in my garage.

  2. #2
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Can you put the mountain bike tires on your cross bike and find out?
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

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    1. Yes
    2. Yes

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    Thanks, flargle. Maybe I'll switch out the tires & see if that helps.

    Is this common? The guys at the bike shop thought it was crazy that I was faster on the mountain bike.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    you may want to change the stem and adjust the saddle position
    to get a lower more aero dynamic position,
    your bike shop can help you choose and source a different stem.

    and also, do put slick tires on your cross bike, the knobs move, and absorb energy..

    Rivendale's Jack Brown are a nice light but comfortably wide tire,
    of a 32 mm wide type .. Panasonic Pasela is another option,
    With or without the kevlar puncture-resistant belt is an option on both tires.

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    Thanks. I'll look at switching out the tires.

    I'm very surprised at how much stronger my legs feel on the mountain bike. Has anyone else heard of this? Is it common?

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    If you're not comfortable on the bike, all bets are off.

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    What does that mean?

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    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    Ride position is different, on your MTB you may be mashing and your doing the same thing on your cross bike. Anyway, big difference for my cross was changing the wheelset to something road worthy; the stock cross wheelset was very heavy, flexy. Tires too. You can get the cross bike up to road bikes speed but you have to set it up as such and take advantage of the aero qualities and spin it up to speed.

  10. #10
    Fax Transport Specialist black_box's Avatar
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    how fast are you going that you're getting blown away? this is on pavement, correct?

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    Try getting some slicks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by black_box View Post
    how fast are you going that you're getting blown away? this is on pavement, correct?
    Yes, I was riding on pavement. I was about 18.

  13. #13
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    The difference in gearing might also be something you need to adapt to. Not knowing what your gearing is on either bike, this is just a shot in the dark, but I know that when I go from riding my CX bike a lot to riding my mountain bike, I have to think more intentionally about my shifting, otherwise I end up in the 32T middle ring wondering why I've got to spin so much to get up to speed. You're going the other direction, so I'm not sure how it would work for you, but it's something to think about. Which gears do you generally use on the MTB? Which gears on the CX bike?

    That said, I see about a 2 mph difference in average speed on smooth pavement between knobby CX tires and slick road tires. I've got 700x28 Conti GP 4 Seasons on my CX bike right now, and I highly recommend them.

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    Senior Member sk0tt's Avatar
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    Do the wheels spin freely on the new bike when you lift it off the ground? Maybe the brakes are rubbing, or the bearings are to tight. Do both bikes have the same gearing?
    Giant doesn’t honour warranties.

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    Well here's what I bought, if that helps:

    http://www.downcycles.com/store/2011...ra-p-1269.html

    Frame CAADX Cyclocross, Optimized 6061 Alloy
    Fork Cannondale Ultra X, carbon blades
    Rims Maddux DRX-6000
    Hubs Formula RB-91 front, RB-32 rear, 32 hole
    Spokes Stainless Steel XD Black
    Tires Continental Cyclocross Speed, 700x35C
    Pedals Wellgo Composite body Alloy Cage
    Crank FSA Omega Mega Exo, 46/36, Option: FSA Omega Mega Exo, 50/39/30
    Bottom Bracket FSA Mega Exo
    Chain Shimano HG-53
    Rear Cogs SRAM PG 950, 12-26
    Front Derailleur Shimano Tiagra, 34.9mm clamp
    Rear Derailleur Shimano Tiagra
    Shifters Shimano Tiagra
    Handlebars Cannondale C4 Compact
    Stem Cannondale C4, 31.8mm
    Headset CAADX, Si, 1⅛"
    Brakes Tektro CR520, silver
    Brake Levers Shimano Tiagra
    Saddle Cannondale w/ Crmo Rails
    Seat Post Cannondale C3, Alloy, 31.6mm, 300mm

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    Post a photo of your bike taken from the side, so we can see if there's anything obviously whacky with your setup. When people switch from flat bars to drop bars they can do some nutty things.

  17. #17
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    Much less tread on those than on the Conti Speed Kings that came on my Jake. But still, I would get some nice road tires in whatever size you like.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
    2011 BMC SR02, 2010 Kona Jake, 2009 Felt X City D, 1984 (?) Trek 400, 1995 Trek 850

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Post a photo of your bike taken from the side, so we can see if there's anything obviously whacky with your setup. When people switch from flat bars to drop bars they can do some nutty things.
    Here it is:


  19. #19
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    There's no reason that bike shouldn't be as fast as you are capable of riding it. Have you compared the saddle position relative to the bottom bracket with the setup on your mountain bike? What kind of tire pressire are you using?

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    That setup looks pretty reasonable to me, on the face of it. Does it feel comfortable? Do you feel too stretched out? Not enough? Can you ride in each of the four positions (tops, corners, hoods, drops) with reasonable comfort?

    Also, have you compared your measurements between the two bikes? How does the reach from saddle to bars compare? Also, width of the bars, I'd guess the mtb bars are wider. This all takes a while to get used to.

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    Fargle,

    I can ride in all 4 positions, but none of them feel as comfortable as my mtn bike. (That mtn bike is all I've ever known as an adult) Probably because of the upright position and wider handles.

    The thing that really surprises me is how much weaker I feel at pedaling the cross bike. Also, climbs just feel awkward compared to the mountain bike.

  22. #22
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    It might just be a matter of getting used to the bike. Or you might want to look into getting a shorter and/or steeper stem. But I'd give it several weeks before that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    It might just be a matter of getting used to the bike. Or you might want to look into getting a shorter and/or steeper stem. But I'd give it several weeks before that.
    Thanks, fargle. That's going to have to be my plan. I don't really have any other options. I have reverted back to my old mountain bike for several rides recently for the speed & comfort, but I hate the idea of dropping all of that $$$ on a bike I may never ride so I'll keep practicing with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulPuppy View Post
    Thanks, fargle. That's going to have to be my plan. I don't really have any other options. I have reverted back to my old mountain bike for several rides recently for the speed & comfort, but I hate the idea of dropping all of that $$$ on a bike I may never ride so I'll keep practicing with it.
    You might also want to try getting with some roadies (say, a group ride out of a local shop or whatever) and just sort of look around at how other people ride. I don't know what your situation is, but it's nice to get a reality check. Over the years I've asked several different people what they think of my setup, just as a snicker-test.

  25. #25
    Senior Member tessartype's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoulPuppy View Post
    The thing that really surprises me is how much weaker I feel at pedaling the cross bike. Also, climbs just feel awkward compared to the mountain bike.
    Are you climbing on the tops? Because they're a relatively weak position from my experience, and I reserve them for relaxed cruising-speed or light hills. Stand up, lean forward and pull yourself into the hoods while pedaling for some massive acceleration - or better yet, once you feel in control, do that from the drops. The sort of explosive power you can deliver will take you up any hill faster than any MTBer.

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