Disgruntled Grad Student
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Bikes: CAAD 10, Cross Pro, Cross Comp, TK2
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well.. the bikes themselves are pretty similar. cross bikes are generally no sturdier than road bikes, they've just been tweaked for racing cross (accommodations for wider tires, canti's instead of road calipers, and maybe slight tweaks in geo). Everything else is pretty similar - groupsets, bars, wheels, etc etc.
keep in mind that you can always retrofit one bike to do the job of the other, but to make things easiest:
if you want to do road riding/racing, get a road bike. cross gearing will probably be too short, and depending on the geo of the bike, your position and bike handling characteristics wont be optimal for road.
if you want to race cross, or commute by bike, get a cross bike. For racing, I think it goes without explanation. For commuting, lower gearing/bigger tires help for hauling stuff and tackling all sorts of weather conditions. Also, most manufacturers realize the usefulness of cross bikes for commuting purposes also, and entry to mid level bikes tend to come with a whole host of eyelets for rack, pannier, fender options. A road bike will do, but tighter clearances might limit your tire size, and a more aggressive position and lack eyelets might limit commuting options.
prices will be comparable for comparably spec'd bikes.
you may be a heavier guy, but you're certainly not out of weight limits for a road bike. if you want a road bike, get a road bike.