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  1. #26
    Riding like its 1990 thenomad's Avatar
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    I may put one back on soon, it can be encouraging to see improvement and idle curiosity of speed, distance, and a running odo. Just haven't had the need just yet.
    My blog about rides, bikes and builds: ridesgoneby.blogspot.com

  2. #27
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thenomad View Post
    I may put one back on soon, it can be encouraging to see improvement and idle curiosity of speed, distance, and a running odo. Just haven't had the need just yet.
    If nothing else, a computer will remember your total mileage for you.
    Badly-behaved cyclists are usually just cyclists with inadequate infrastructure. Or none at all. - Mikael Colville-Andersen

  3. #28
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    I just got a Ridley cx bike and, in its current form, it is noticeably slower than my Madone 6.9 on the road. My Madone feels about 5-6lbs lighter, much more nimble, and power transfer is more immediate/efficient. With that said, my cx bike has 105 components, a heavy SRAM crankset, heavy wheels and tires (Stan's Ironcross w/32c Challenge Griffos), and a more upright position. It's about 4-5 km/h slower over a two hour ride than my Madone according to my ride data, but I put that down to the fat nubby tires and heavy wheels. The level of effort for climbing is also higher for the cx bike.

    With narrower slicks, lighter wheels, and perhaps a slightly more aero setup, I think the speed difference would be much less but that would defeat the purpose of having a cx bike; I bought my cx bike to explore gravel roads and the various trails/single-track stuff around here. My road bike is infinitely slower in that regard ...
    2015 Norco Threshold SL Ultegra | 2012 Trek Madone 6.9 SSL w/Di2

  4. #29
    Senior Member grolby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dc.cyclocross View Post
    Thomas Frisnecht rode the olympic road race on a CX bike. Marianne Vos trains on her CX bike on the road.
    Vos training on her CX bike on the road really isn't relevant. ALL pro cyclocross racers (and the smart amateurs) will do 100% of their 'cross season training, on-road or off, on the 'cross bike. It's about getting in the miles in the cyclocross racing position, which is different from the road racing position. Vos is certainly going to have a slower average speed on her 'cross training rides than road training rides, because the fit is much less aero. And that's what the question comes down to: what's your fit like? That's why knowing that Frisnecht rode a 'cross bike in the Olympics RR isn't enough to answer the question, either. Did he have it set up with his 'cross fit, or a road racing fit? How did he do? Was he in the top 20?

    There's a lot of talk about comparing apples to oranges here, but when it comes to a road racing bike vs. a cross bike, there's no good reason to compare apples. If a road bike and a 'cross bike are set up appropriately, they'll have different fits, and the 'cross bike will be slower, period. If someone is using the exact same fit between a 'cross bike and a pure road bike, one of them is setup less than optimally. Even if you're riding on gravel roads or touring, rather than racing 'cross, those uses call for a more upright, less aero fit than a road bike.

  5. #30
    fueled by chocolate milk Fishmonger's Avatar
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    It all comes down to the bike. I sold my road bike and bought a cyclocross, and I usually have a faster commute time.

  6. #31
    Ghost Ryding 24/7 Ghost Ryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TTON View Post
    thanks for the replies. Sounds like the differences might be small to not really notice. Maybe someone that commutes daily between a CX and road bike would have some more insight.
    I commute on both my CX, & road bikes.
    Winter is here so its CX time. My Commuter CX rig is 8 lbs heavier than my roadie. My commute to work is roughly the same total time. I never really compare my top speed cause I'm.just commuting. I think my Tank/CX is faster cause I ride through almost everything, while on my roadie, I'll avoid most bumps, gravel, etc.


    Quote Originally Posted by hodag View Post
    Compare the crank sets, there's your loss of speed.
    This make sense but it would be minimal on flats, you'd really feel it on descents though.
    Giant Defy Dura Ace : Rip/Hammer-Specialized Allez Ultegra/105 : Recovery/Spinner-Specialized Allez Red : Trainer-Kona Major(Rad) Jake : Down & Dirty

  7. #32
    Senior Member Jiggle's Avatar
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    My CX bike with road wheels is around the same weight as my road bike - 15.2 lbs. The only difference I can tell is when going up steep climbs out of the saddle the rear tire slips a lot easier. I guess that's due to the increased trail.

  8. #33
    Senior Member NatUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revracer View Post
    I agree with the OP and Kopsis. I have a Felt F65X CX that was recommended in size 57 (22lbs) for me and a Cannondale Synapse in size 61 (19lbs) and I feel a noticeable difference in that I can achieve 1-2mph more on the Synapse road bike. I am somewhat doubtful of the aero advantage due to the high seat position I ride on the CX bike due to the 57. I have often wondered, is it:

    1) 3lbs of difference (I can gain/lose 3lbs and I ride heavier steel road bikes that are still faster)
    2) Wheel weight, Felt probably carries an extra pound in the wheels
    3) Aero, while 57 makes me get lower, the CX has shallow drops
    4) Geometry, there is something about pushing on the pedals of the road bike that feels easier
    5) Tire size - I have never tried a 700x23 on the CX, but even rolling down a hill the Synapse is faster
    6) Aluminum vs Carbon, is the stiffness of the CX bike burdensome? It should be faster due to stiffness I think

    Is has been an interesting consideration for me, as I thought after getting the CX, it could be a be all bike for me, but the road bike (and even a few vintage steel road bikes) are able to maintain better speed on the roads.

    Great topic of debate!
    I can't exactly tell from your post, but it sounds like you are comparing the CX with 'cross tires to the Synapse with 23mm slicks. If that's the case, then I'd be willing to bet item number 5 is indeed nearly all of the noticeable difference.

    I consider my 'cross bike to be two bikes in one, depending on whether I use my 'cross tires or my road tires.

  9. #34
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The only difference I can tell is when going up steep climbs out of the saddle the rear tire slips a lot easier.

    I guess that's due to the increased trail.
    trail is the front fork geometry data. how do you think it effects your climbing traction,

    you just need to have more weight on the rear wheel , Rider , not the ride..

  10. #35
    Senior Member
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    It's a case of horses for courses. Of course a road bike should feel (and be) somewhat faster than a 'cross bike on straight roads (or curvy ones for that matter). I rode my 'cross bike for commuting, general riding, charity rides, fast training rides, i.e. everything (except actual cyclocross!) for a while. This year I got a real road bike and set the 'cross frame up for 'cross and I can tell the difference. It is so nice to have the options. As someone mentioned it is important to compare apples to apples and no one really does. Someone above actually said maybe it was the knobby tires on the CX bike! Sheesh, at least put road slicks on the CX bike, the feel and drag of the knobbies will completely drown out any other other difference that may be detectable between the two frames. In my case, both bikes are lugged steel frames with approx the same level of componentry. I.e. the weight is probably close. However the gearing is not. My road frame just feels more secure in high speed road situations, the BB is quite a bit lower and geometry allows me to get lower. This is also theoretically faster but I haven't measured it. It also feels slightly stiffer and more response (twitchy). Perhaps if I deliberately sprinted the same stretch, there wouldn't be much difference between the two but that would be b/c of rider effort. As the miles roll on, I'd much rather be on the road frame.

    I don't know if the OP is trying for this, and I can understand why people would try to have "one bike to rule them all" but I'd rather have a quiver of bikes to choose from. But then I'm a bike nerd who likes to tinker and I have a shed to store the bikes and do that in. Sure cost is a factor, but I'd rather hunt around for deals, and build up say two bikes for different tasks (I.e. cross and road) than spend every last shekel on one super bling bike and then try to force it to do everything. I'm not a weight weenie (within reason) so that helps. You can get or build up a 'cross bike for relatively cheap and given the nature of 'cross (short, high intensity races, loading down your bike with grass and muck as you go) you won't gain much advantage from spending oodles on the super bling light stuff. If you do a lot of road riding, I'd spend more effort and money on the road steed. Not only might you notice differences in weight or geometry over a long road ride, but you're in contact with your bike and components for much longer periods and will appreciate the subtle differences in quality.

    I guess you can set up the cross bike to do road, but it takes some doing. If you're actually racing your cross bike here's what you'll have to do every time you want to ride it on the road:

    - swap the tires and tubes. (or wheels if you have a spare set)
    - put on the fenders (if you're talking about winter riding). This step is not a quick one either.
    - put on the water bottle cage.
    - put on a bell, and lights. These are not needed or desirable for cross, but you'll sure want them on the road.
    - put on the rack (if you're commuting on it) or saddlebags etc.
    - swap out the chainring/crank and/or cassette. Depends on your set up of course, but generally your 'cross bike will not have high enough gearing for the road. Mine doesn't have low enough gearing either. I live in a very hilly area and like to do longer rides so I run a road triple. For cross I don't need the lower gears because I'm racing and I'm running up anything steep. If you do anything to the drivetrain, you'll probably have to swap the chain too to account for chainwrap differences.

    'cross season is several months long not counting any training so you're going to want to also be doing some road riding in there too. Wouldn't you rather a ride a road bike on the road, all set up how you like it, and when it comes time for a 'cross race (or gravel ride or single track ride etc) pull down the right tool for the job?

  11. #36
    Senior Member
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    I ride a Specialized Crux as my "road" bike. Here are spme of my observations:

    1. The tires make a huge difference, switching from 32 small block tires to 28 road tires changes the handling, speed, and comfort. Some in good ways some in bad.
    2. Comparing my bike to other true road bikes that I test rode, my Crux it is slow to accelerate and doesn't quite handle as nimble.

    That all being said it works plenty fine as a road bike. And when you factor in the ability to ride just about any terrain with it, if you can't have one of each the cross bike is the way to go for an all arounder.

  12. #37
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The Fat 33.3 wide Jack Brown tires are very nice rolling (on my '90 Pinarello steel Cross bike
    [bought as frame and fork]) .

    but speed? you got me, I dont measure that, I'm just happy to cruse along and enjoy the ride ..

    Bike may be sorta like the Cross Checks that sell so well, now, in a touring drivetrain set-up..

  13. #38
    Senior Member NatUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fishmonger View Post
    It all comes down to the bike. I sold my road bike and bought a cyclocross, and I usually have a faster commute time.
    I have a theory that the majority of bike purchases come around the same time as an increase in enthusiasm, time or training intensity spent on the sport. Might not be true for you, but when people buy a new bike to go with their increased focus on cycling, it's no surprise their performance usually improves.

    There's no equipment change anywhere near as powerful as an engine upgrade.

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