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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 09-04-11, 08:40 PM   #1
Myosmith
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Cyclocross frame and fork for tougher than average road bike

I have been riding a MTB hybrid fitness/touring bike and am looking at getting a road bike. My concerns are that I am a big guy at 6'0" 230 pounds and ride many less than ideal roads including some gravel and broken pavement. I'm considering getting a cyclocross frame and fork and building a "road" bike around it. I'm not worried about super light weight and have no delusions of or aspirations to competitive road racing, but I want something that will perform similar to a mid-level road bike. My main focus is recreation/fitness and participating in non-competitive group and charity rides.

Is this a good idea? Any suggestions on the frame and/or build?
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Old 09-04-11, 09:28 PM   #2
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A stock Surly Cross Check sounds right up your alley. If you want to build from the F&F up, you can definitely set it up the way you want, although it will cost more unless the stock CC has too many components that you will want to replace. For a variety of riding, a cross bike is an excellent choice. It isn't the best at anything (except cross) but it is good at everything.

If you have the coin, I would also look at the Gunnar Cross-hairs. This is a high end steel cross bike made in the USA.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:35 AM   #3
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I have been very pleased with my Fuji Cross Comp with 105's. I have ridden probably 99.95% of the miles I have since purchasing it on the road - I use 28's for tires. Have commuted most of the summer, lots of rides on the road (several centuries), and am totally happy with the bike. I did install an 11-28 cassette to help with hills, but otherwise it's pretty much the bike I brought home from the store (Performance). Aluminum frame, carbon fork, nice bike. Paid $849, got 20% rebate after that - was a steal of a deal.
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Old 09-05-11, 01:09 PM   #4
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I doubt that a CX bike is any studier than a comparable road bike. Most any non-featherweight road bike would work fine for your proposed gravel riding if it will accomidate sufficiently wide tires (such as 700x30mm). Road bike brakes stop better IF you dont need the mud clearance that cantilevers provide. The geometry of a dedicated CX bike is made with compromises that may make it less than ideal than a good fitting road bike if you are doing long road rides.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:04 AM   #5
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I doubt that a CX bike is any studier than a comparable road bike. Most any non-featherweight road bike would work fine for your proposed gravel riding if it will accomidate sufficiently wide tires (such as 700x30mm). Road bike brakes stop better IF you dont need the mud clearance that cantilevers provide. The geometry of a dedicated CX bike is made with compromises that may make it less than ideal than a good fitting road bike if you are doing long road rides.
I agree about the toughness of the bikes in general, but a cross bike will allow for more tire clearance and will likely be less aggressive in geometry. Having been 6'1" and 230 lbs before, a cross bike really did fit the bill, going from a Giant Rainier MTB set up for road to a Fuji Cross Comp. I now ride a Felt, which before I converted it was a hybrid. The question about brakes is easily solved by using mini-V brakes instead of cantis and stop better once adjusted, IMHO.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:05 PM   #6
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Most road bikes are using short reach brakes and are limited to 700x25 size tires. My Titanium road bike with an Alpha Q fork is no-where as beefy as my Soma Double Cross with a Ridley fork.

I'm also 6' and about 210 lbs. See this: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...a+double+cross

http://www.somafab.com/frames.html

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Old 09-06-11, 07:22 PM   #7
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why do people think that road bikes are so wimpy? A entry level Allez (for example) is much more sturdy then an expensive hybrid.
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Old 09-06-11, 07:29 PM   #8
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why do people think that road bikes are so wimpy? A entry level Allez (for example) is much more sturdy then an expensive hybrid.
Some road bikes & CX bikes get a bit flexy in the larger sizes. A good CX bike has a stiffer fork than most road bikes. The fork on a CX bike needs to be stiffer to withstand off-road use and to reduce brake shudder. A normal or lighter rider has less need for a beefy bike than a XL rider.
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Old 09-06-11, 08:50 PM   #9
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Some road bikes & CX bikes get a bit flexy in the larger sizes. A good CX bike has a stiffer fork than most road bikes. The fork on a CX bike needs to be stiffer to withstand off-road use and to reduce brake shudder. A normal or lighter rider has less need for a beefy bike than a XL rider.
any bike can get flexy in a larger size. A road bike is by design something that people with a lot of power-output are trying to flex the hell out of. Sure racers are traditionally small guys but what they are doing to a frame is much worse then what an XL rider is doing to a frame.
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Old 09-07-11, 07:26 AM   #10
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any bike can get flexy in a larger size. A road bike is by design something that people with a lot of power-output are trying to flex the hell out of. Sure racers are traditionally small guys but what they are doing to a frame is much worse then what an XL rider is doing to a frame.
For practical purposes, pedaling forces are static forces, and are much less significant than the dynamic forces of rolling over uneven surfaces at high speed. I would bet dollars to donuts that the heavier riders exert much higher dynamic loads than the static loads that even the strongest racers can muster.
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Old 09-07-11, 07:51 AM   #11
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For what the OP wants to do with his bike, a cx bike seems unnecessary. not that it would be bad, just overkill. lots of people (even heavy ones) ride road bikes over rough terrain with no ill effects. if building a bike from the frame up, i would be primarily concerned with getting a quality hand built wheelset rather than a burlier frameset.
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