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  1. #1
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    Cyclocross Suggestions?

    So I'm a complete new guy when it comes to the technical aspects of cyclocross bikes and had a question I couldn't find the answer to using the search function and Google. Is there a big difference in quality/durability between cyclocross bikes that cost $3000 and bikes that cost $800, disregarding the weight of the bike? I really want a solid durable bike that I'd use specifically for road cycling, if that's possible, because I'm on the larger side of cyclists and really put the wear and tear on my previous bikes. I want to start cycling again, the ideal bike I'd like for general-purpose riding is a cyclocross, and budget hopefully on the lower end of $1200-$800. Thanks for any info or suggestions.

    Also, I've been slowly getting more and more into the Shimano vs. Campagnolo debate issue, is there a big price difference between the two, or is it mostly a matter or preference; I'd assume the Italian Campagnolo would be more expensive than a Shimano but cyclocross is completely new to me.

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    both Companies, have several price points..

    what brands can you go to bike shops and test ride , since the background
    i sense in general , is better to go and see and test ride ..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty44 View Post
    Also, I've been slowly getting more and more into the Shimano vs. Campagnolo debate issue
    Whoa, time warp! What is this, 2003?

    You won't find Campag at your price point. IMO 105 is the product line to aim for in Shimano. It's not so much that Tiagra is cheesy, but if the bike comes with Tiagra it will generally come with lower quality cranks, wheels, etc. SRAM Rival is great, too, although it's been my experience that SRAM isn't as durable as Shimano.

    Wheels are the place where bike companies really cheap out to make their price point. IMO buy your bike with the idea that the stock wheels are (essentially) disposable and you will eventually upgrade to better ones.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Veloce is lots less than Chorus, the finish on lower price Campag
    is paint instead of hand polished.
    Aluminum instead of Carbon Fiber..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-02-12 at 12:07 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Veloce is lots less than Chorus, the finish on lower price Campag
    is paint instead of hand polished.
    Aluminum instead of Carbon Fiber..
    A lot of people seem to be big fans of the Veloce, I don't think I've read a single negative review. I'd definitely go for alloy or steel vs carbon fiber now, and hand polished seems like something purely aesthetic, so not an option. Also, there are many people saying that the difference between bikes that go up in the higher price ranges and reputable, lower cost bikes, is very small, something like 2 mph at most. Thanks for the info.

  6. #6
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    If you really must have Campy levers look into doing a Shimergo setup (using 10 speed Campy levers to shift 8 speed Shimano, or using 11 speed Campy levers to shift 9 speed Shimano). This is a pretty common setup on race bikes. You get the feel of the Campy shifting and the durability and budget-friendliness of running an 8 or 9 speed drivetrain.

    For a new cross bike I'd recommend Sram. Apex/Rival level is fine.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    + there is a Campag Made Freehub driver for using Shimano cogs, on a Campag freehub.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusty44 View Post
    I really want a solid durable bike that I'd use specifically for road cycling, if that's possible, because I'm on the larger side of cyclists and really put the wear and tear on my previous bikes. I want to start cycling again, the ideal bike I'd like for general-purpose riding is a cyclocross, and budget hopefully on the lower end of $1200-$800. Thanks for any info or suggestions.
    I'm confused. You've stated two different wants/goals that are contrary to each other, IMO. Do you want a bike specifically for road riding, or do you want a general purpose cross bike? If you are not going to use it off the pavement, I would recommend a road bike with a relaxed [touring] geometry rather than a cyclocross bike. Others will disagree with me, but choose the right tool for the job. A road/tourig bike will ultimately handle better and be more comfortable on the road than a cross bike.

    Don't limit yourself to cyclocross bikes specifically, and be honest with yourself about how you are going to use it. Test ride as many bikes as is feasible for you. The most important thing is how it fits. If you find a bike that fits and feels right, you are more likely to ride it. Components can be upgraded or downgraded to fit your budget. For the most part, components are the same for cross and road bikes. As long as you aren't abusive, even entry level components will last a long time. They just won't perform as nicely as higher end stuff.

    If you are looking at cross frames because you are more concerned about the ability to carry a large rider than how you are going to use it or how it fits, be assured there are plenty of road/touring frames that are every bit as durable as a cross frame. Not to mention a lot more choices at your price point. If you are looking at a cross bike because you want the option of disc brakes.....eh. They might be nice when you start loading up the bike with racks, fenders, heavy loads, or maybe commuting in adverse weather, but properly set up rim brakes will work just fine for 99.9% of riders.

    There is a pretty big grey area when defining a cyclocross bike, but IMO, the biggest difference between a CX bike and a touring bike is in the height of the bottom bracket. A true crosser has a taller BB for clearence over obstacles. Wheelbase, tire clearance, seat angle, and head tube angle are all very similar to a touring frame, unless you are talking about a performance CX. There are an awful lot of people that cross on touring frames. There are a lot people that use their crosser exclusively on the road.

    I have experimented with road tyres on my CX and ridden the same routes that I ride my road bike. I find that the elevated BB raises the center of gravity and makes the bike handle less favorably.....particularly at speed. If I knew I was not going to stray too far from the pavement, I wouldn't choose a CX bike.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Whoa, time warp! What is this, 2003?

    You won't find Campag at your price point. IMO 105 is the product line to aim for in Shimano. It's not so much that Tiagra is cheesy, but if the bike comes with Tiagra it will generally come with lower quality cranks, wheels, etc. SRAM Rival is great, too, although it's been my experience that SRAM isn't as durable as Shimano.

    Wheels are the place where bike companies really cheap out to make their price point. IMO buy your bike with the idea that the stock wheels are (essentially) disposable and you will eventually upgrade to better ones.
    Sounds like a good idea, cyclists always tell me that the wheels are probably the biggest portion of the whole bike equation in terms of gaining speed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Breathegood View Post
    I'm confused. You've stated two different wants/goals that are contrary to each other, IMO. Do you want a bike specifically for road riding, or do you want a general purpose cross bike? If you are not going to use it off the pavement, I would recommend a road bike with a relaxed [touring] geometry rather than a cyclocross bike. Others will disagree with me, but choose the right tool for the job. A road/tourig bike will ultimately handle better and be more comfortable on the road than a cross bike.

    Don't limit yourself to cyclocross bikes specifically, and be honest with yourself about how you are going to use it. Test ride as many bikes as is feasible for you. The most important thing is how it fits. If you find a bike that fits and feels right, you are more likely to ride it. Components can be upgraded or downgraded to fit your budget. For the most part, components are the same for cross and road bikes. As long as you aren't abusive, even entry level components will last a long time. They just won't perform as nicely as higher end stuff.

    If you are looking at cross frames because you are more concerned about the ability to carry a large rider than how you are going to use it or how it fits, be assured there are plenty of road/touring frames that are every bit as durable as a cross frame. Not to mention a lot more choices at your price point. If you are looking at a cross bike because you want the option of disc brakes.....eh. They might be nice when you start loading up the bike with racks, fenders, heavy loads, or maybe commuting in adverse weather, but properly set up rim brakes will work just fine for 99.9% of riders.

    There is a pretty big grey area when defining a cyclocross bike, but IMO, the biggest difference between a CX bike and a touring bike is in the height of the bottom bracket. A true crosser has a taller BB for clearence over obstacles. Wheelbase, tire clearance, seat angle, and head tube angle are all very similar to a touring frame, unless you are talking about a performance CX. There are an awful lot of people that cross on touring frames. There are a lot people that use their crosser exclusively on the road.

    I have experimented with road tyres on my CX and ridden the same routes that I ride my road bike. I find that the elevated BB raises the center of gravity and makes the bike handle less favorably.....particularly at speed. If I knew I was not going to stray too far from the pavement, I wouldn't choose a CX bike.
    Had to do a lot of supplemental reading to fully understand your post Thanks for the info

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