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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 06-11-12, 02:00 PM   #1
ravenmore
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Giving cross a try

Hi all,

Ok, it all started commuting. I was trying to figure out a better way to get to work where I wouldn't have to deal with rear view mirrors in my ears. so I spent some time on Google maps. I found a bike path that was near my house that dumped on to a quiet neighborhood road. The problem is the road ended before it could connect me with another bike path. Then I switched to satellite view and notice it didn't end, it just wasn't paved. So I decided to check it out. Here's the area I'm talking about btw: http://goo.gl/maps/4CeF. It ended up being very rough single track type stuff. I said wth and road it anyway. A few minutes later I realize I'm grinning ear to ear bouncing along. Also realized though that 23mm road tires probably weren't ideal, and using my low spoke count racing wheels probably wasn't good either.

So I checked out the bike shop that sponsors our team, and they had a Tiagra equipped CruX in my size for $999. With my discount it was a bit over $900 + tax. Deal! Put a deposit on it - am picking it up Wed. and going to have a fitting done as well. Btw - do you do a fitting for cross the same as road? Just curious. Also, the thing is a little heavy. Do people weight weening cross bikes like they do road? I'm sure the components have to be a bit stouter than what you use riding road. I do think I'll try racing some as well as using it for commuting.
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Old 06-11-12, 02:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ravenmore View Post
Hi all,

Ok, it all started commuting. I was trying to figure out a better way to get to work where I wouldn't have to deal with rear view mirrors in my ears. so I spent some time on Google maps. I found a bike path that was near my house that dumped on to a quiet neighborhood road. The problem is the road ended before it could connect me with another bike path. Then I switched to satellite view and notice it didn't end, it just wasn't paved. So I decided to check it out. Here's the area I'm talking about btw: http://goo.gl/maps/4CeF. It ended up being very rough single track type stuff. I said wth and road it anyway. A few minutes later I realize I'm grinning ear to ear bouncing along. Also realized though that 23mm road tires probably weren't ideal, and using my low spoke count racing wheels probably wasn't good either.

So I checked out the bike shop that sponsors our team, and they had a Tiagra equipped CruX in my size for $999. With my discount it was a bit over $900 + tax. Deal! Put a deposit on it - am picking it up Wed. and going to have a fitting done as well. Btw - do you do a fitting for cross the same as road? Just curious. Also, the thing is a little heavy. Do people weight weening cross bikes like they do road? I'm sure the components have to be a bit stouter than what you use riding road. I do think I'll try racing some as well as using it for commuting.
I was in the same situation as you were. I was looking for an alternative route that would by pass about 3 km roadway that is constantly being driven by mad 18 wheeler trucks. It's especially worse in the winter and I always end up with salt and mud because the roadway is really narrow. Anyhow just like you, I found a bypass dirt single track which take me away from the traffic. View is nicer and is safer in the winter and I have the bright lights to do it. Tried it with my carbon Trek and 23 thinking carbon would help with the bumps. Nope; instead it became worst when dealing with bumps. So I got myself a Masi Speciale CX with 700x35c tires (took off the originals) and never looked back.
Fitting will be roughly the same, but you may notice that you'll have a shorter reach (1 to 2 cm) and a shorter seat tube length (1-2cm) compared to your standard road bike.
However, my case may be different than yours as my Masi and Trek geometry are almost identical for the size choosen. This was not the case with the Soma, Bianchi, Bikes Direct, Specialized, and Surly because all of these frames don't fit me as well. Anyhow, I took it for a spin and I was amazed by the steel frame and fork of the Masi. It was so compliant and springy, unlike carbon and aluminum which whacks and jolts at you. It was one of the very few steel frames that has a decent top tube length and anything else puts me on a super stretch position in a $1000 range. Don't want to compromise with a shorter seat tube length loosing handlebar height advantage either.

My road bike and cross were professionally fitted and that's what they came out of. Steel definitely has a very special comfort feel compared to all out carbon, especially dealing with rough single tracks. Both of them complement each other really well if fitted properly that is.

Last edited by pacificcyclist; 06-11-12 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 06-23-12, 09:54 PM   #3
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Just picked up a cross bike myself (crux comp with Apex), ready to give it a shot this year. I got the bike because it was a decent deal on a 2011 model, but it probably won't get too much use until the fall. I've heard cross racing is a blast and very painful, I had to give it a try this year.
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Old 06-24-12, 12:26 AM   #4
midschool22
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I've heard cross racing is a blast and very painful, I had to give it a try this year.
It is. The most pain you will ever feel all the while having the time of your life. Be prepared to go in the hurt locker. Cross racing is very addictive. I've planned my work vacation days AROUND the upcoming cross season.

Me at my first race in 2011.

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Old 06-25-12, 08:37 PM   #5
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It is. The most pain you will ever feel all the while having the time of your life. Be prepared to go in the hurt locker. Cross racing is very addictive. I've planned my work vacation days AROUND the upcoming cross season.

Me at my first race in 2011.

The thought of getting off the bike and carrying it... I think I'm going to struggle with that.
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Old 06-26-12, 05:22 AM   #6
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I know about the hurt locker but enjoying it feeling already. Just yesterday I was spinning up some really rocky rough (for me) terrain in 107 degree heat. My heart rate was pegged but I was loving the climb.

The new ride btw:

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