Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

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.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 03-31-05, 01:51 PM   #1
Contra Fixie
Cubicle warfare
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can cross bikes be as fast as road bikes?

Love the speed and simplicity of road geometry but secretly harbor a dream of touring from CA to CO. Love the utility of cross bikes and love occasional mellow singletrack but hate lagging / getting dropped on the road. Question: can a cross bike with road slicks be for all practical purposes as fast as a comprable road bike? I'm not looking to race or anything, am just new to the world of gears (selling the fixie) and want to fit in all my above desires in one bike d/t budget constraints.

Any reccomendations on a good, simple, inexpensive, geared steel cross bike with fairly aggressive geometry?

Thanks!
Contra Fixie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 03:34 PM   #2
tvphobic
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If cyclocross bikes were _just_ as fast as road bikes, you'd see 'cross geometry and clearances at USCF and UCI road races. Since you don't, there is a reason, or rather, a host of reasons. That being said, a 'cross bike is in my opinion the best all around bicycle that can be had and certainly will not contribute to your being dropped unless you're racing or on "A+" club rides. Define "inexpensive" as it applies to you and we'll all recommend away. First off, since you asked for steel, Jamis Nova, Soma Double-Cross build (I will refrain from droning on about my build recommendations yet), Lemond Poprad.
tvphobic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 03:35 PM   #3
markhr
POWERCRANK addict
 
markhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Acton, West London, UK
Bikes:
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Having used cyclocross bikes as commuters/road bikes for 5 years I'd say you should have no problem keeping up. Generally, they are strongly built and have quick handling that makes them a pleasure to ride in traffic and tight groups.

I didn't do much digging but I did struggle to find steel cross bikes. Condor Cycles, London, UK sells steel cross frames and could make up a custom order if you know exactly what you want though.

http://www.condorcycles.com/pages/about.htm

Personally went for an alu bike so I never have to worry about rust (sunny, sunny London). See the link at the very bottom for pics (...yes, I'm showing off now).
__________________
shameless POWERCRANK plug
Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
markhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 04:35 PM   #4
darkmother
Get the stick.
 
darkmother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: 12 Y.O. Litespeed MTB, IRO Jamie Roy fixie, Custom Habanero Ti 'Cross, No name SS MTB, Old school lugged steel track bike (soon)
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think the difference should be fairly small. From what I can see a cross bike has the following disadvantages built in, compared to a dedicated "road" bike:

Heavier Fork (usually)
Slightly heavier frame
negligibly higher aero drag on the bike itself.

Since you can set up a cross bike with road tires wheels and riding position, I figure they must be comparable. Am I missing something?
darkmother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-05, 07:29 PM   #5
markhr
POWERCRANK addict
 
markhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Acton, West London, UK
Bikes:
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
nope - you got it in one
__________________
shameless POWERCRANK plug
Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
markhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-05, 07:25 AM   #6
mgwadz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thomas Frishnecht rode his 'cross bike at the Atlanta Olympics , or so the story goes.

With road tires you will be just about as fast as you would on a road bike. ie indististinguishably.
Even with 'cross gearing (like 48 x12 high gear), a normal pedaling cadence will allow you to go over 30mph.

you can set up the bike to be essentially as aero as a road bike- the only difference i can see would be the added drag from cantilever brakes, but are we really going to worry about that? there are super light 'cross frames out (candium-Al, crabon) but you are looking for steel, so a fraction of a lb extra weigth shouldn't stress you.

so, a 'cross bike makes a great road bike.

Marc
mgwadz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-05, 07:51 AM   #7
shokhead
05 Roubaix Comp Double
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: So Cal
Bikes: 2012 Trek Madone 6.2
Posts: 4,659
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If your going to do a Ca to Co, being fast doesnt matter and dont worry about being dropped,its the riders fault,not the bike.{i hate that word,dropped.Its something small kids would use,general statement**
shokhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-05, 03:04 PM   #8
Scooby Snax
Guest
 
Bikes:
Posts: n/a
Mentioned: Post(s)
Tagged: Thread(s)
Quoted: Post(s)
I allways figured it was the rider that made the bike fast, not the other way around.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-05, 07:29 PM   #9
larue
Senior Member
 
larue's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Madison, WI
Bikes: Surly Pacer/Cutter/Viking
Posts: 1,511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I could be wrong but I think if you want a new steel cyclocross frame you are going to have to spend some money on something from a high-end and usually custom manufacturer like Independent Fabrication or a Vanilla. Most of the big name cyclocross I've seen have been aluminum.
larue is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-05, 06:00 AM   #10
Sloth
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 293
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by larue
I could be wrong but I think if you want a new steel cyclocross frame you are going to have to spend some money on something from a high-end and usually custom manufacturer like Independent Fabrication or a Vanilla. Most of the big name cyclocross I've seen have been aluminum.
Surly Crosscheck.

Soma Doublecross.
Sloth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-05, 06:32 AM   #11
Trekke
Lets Ride
 
Trekke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Biking Country, USA
Bikes: Trek 1200, Lemond Sarthe, Gary Fisher Tass
Posts: 1,102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgwadz
Thomas Frishnecht rode his 'cross bike at the Atlanta Olympics , or so the story goes.

With road tires you will be just about as fast as you would on a road bike. ie indististinguishably.
Even with 'cross gearing (like 48 x12 high gear), a normal pedaling cadence will allow you to go over 30mph.

you can set up the bike to be essentially as aero as a road bike- the only difference i can see would be the added drag from cantilever brakes, but are we really going to worry about that? there are super light 'cross frames out (candium-Al, crabon) but you are looking for steel, so a fraction of a lb extra weigth shouldn't stress you.

so, a 'cross bike makes a great road bike.

Marc
IMO the wider tires and heavier wheels would cause more rolling resistance.. Cantilever brakes or the whole aero thing is way over sold in my opinion.

Bottom Line. With exactly the same effort a cross bike will not reach the same speeds as a good road bike. The physics just do not support it. Will it meet your stated needs. I believe so and have considered this myself.
Trekke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-05, 07:04 AM   #12
bhchdh 
Senior Member
 
bhchdh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hampton Roads VA
Bikes: '07 Trek 520, '09 Gary Fisher Triton, '04 Trek 8000, '85 Trek 500, '84 Trek 610, '85 Trek 510, '92 Trek Multitrack 700
Posts: 1,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby Snax
I allways figured it was the rider that made the bike fast, not the other way around.
I agree. After all the money is spent, most of the performance is in the motor.
http://www.lemondbikes.com/2005_bikes/poprad.shtml
bhchdh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-03-05, 06:11 PM   #13
jjones
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Ritchey makes reasonably priced steel frames. http://ritcheylogic.com/frames.htm.

Jay
jjones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-05, 07:20 AM   #14
mgwadz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 80
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trekke
IMO the wider tires and heavier wheels would cause more rolling resistance.. Cantilever brakes or the whole aero thing is way over sold in my opinion.

Bottom Line. With exactly the same effort a cross bike will not reach the same speeds as a good road bike. The physics just do not support it. Will it meet your stated needs. I believe so and have considered this myself.

Why must the wheels/tires be heavier? I use identical wheels on my road and cross bikes- Ultegra/Open pro (or sometimes tubular on my cross bike- ultefgra/reflex). If you aren't ride off road, then put on road tires, as thin and racy as you want.

i've done fast group rides on my cross bikes, and I've got a friend who races his steel cross bike in local races. The difference in speed between a road bike and a cross bike with road tires is small. (at some level that little bit matters perhaps, but that wasn't the question of the original poster)

-marc
mgwadz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 12:57 PM   #15
Timo
Senior Member
 
Timo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Bikes:
Posts: 681
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I see comments from people that make me doubt if they own a cycloscross bike themselves. I use one for daily commuting, solo road training group rides and cyclocross.

First of all: cross bikes don't have different wheels compared to road bikes. Same hubs, rims and spokes.

Second: the gears are no problem. One hardly pushes a gear bigger than 48 x 12 during regular group or solo rides because 48 x 12 equals a gear between 53 x 13 and 53 x 14.

Third: why on earth would one not swap the cross tires to regular 23 mm road tires (or simply swap the wheel set) when taking the cross bike out for a road trip?
Timo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-05, 01:06 PM   #16
darkmother
Get the stick.
 
darkmother's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Toronto, ON
Bikes: 12 Y.O. Litespeed MTB, IRO Jamie Roy fixie, Custom Habanero Ti 'Cross, No name SS MTB, Old school lugged steel track bike (soon)
Posts: 1,543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I run light narrow road rims (420 gr rims +14/15/14 db spokes) on my cross bike, complete with light, fast road tires. They are exactly what I would run on a "road bike". My riding position is also road, essentially as low and as I can comfortably get. So asside from maybe a pound of extra frame and fork weight, how am I going slower? That extra pound is less than a half of one percent of the vehicle weight-like adding 35 lb to your car and claiming it slows you down-I'm just not buying it. Sure, my bike doesn't *LOOK* as fast as a road bike, but that's part of the appeal.
darkmother is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-05, 01:27 PM   #17
ZenNMotion
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Inside the beltway
Bikes:
Posts: 236
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by tvphobic
If cyclocross bikes were _just_ as fast as road bikes, you'd see 'cross geometry and clearances at USCF and UCI road races.
Well, here's a couple from Paris-Roubaix... Almost like your average office park crit

http://www.cyclingnews.com/photos/20...obile/L1000225

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech.php?...pinarellob4290

Flecha didn't win the sprint on his Pinarello cross, but he took the early flyer into the 'drome and got third. Not too shabby...
ZenNMotion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-05, 01:26 AM   #18
mooncricket
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 290
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So you can set up a cross to go like a roadie, but can you set up a roadie to go like a cross? If you really had to do it against better your better judgement, how would you go about doing it given the limitations of a roadie?
mooncricket is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-05, 02:26 AM   #19
traveller5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Croatia, Zagreb
Bikes: buying new.....
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wonder how road bikes behave on uneven roads full of holes?
Does it mean that on that kind of roads you can't ride road bike?
I am planning to buy cross bike with front suspension (50 mm RST and lock-out),
with 700x35 tires (Panaraces Rolling Stone, semi slim), a gear 48x9.
I think that road bikes are good only if you have good roads in your living area.
I live in area where there are above mentioned roads so,
altough I would like a road bike, I don't have a choice.

I am interested, if I change tires to 700x28, do I get some
better performance, more speed?

Does anyone know something about Author bikes?
Here is the link
http://www.author.cz/cs/kola/katalog...112&cat_id=121
(Click "Vise" for details)

Regards,
Branimir
traveller5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-05, 02:42 AM   #20
markhr
POWERCRANK addict
 
markhr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: North Acton, West London, UK
Bikes:
Posts: 3,783
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Branmir this is OT - you may want to ask this question in either road or recreational. We could answer the question if the bike was a cyclocross bike. So if you change your mind on what you're going to buy feel free to come back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by traveller5
I am planning to buy cross bike with front suspension (50 mm RST and lock-out),
with 700x35 tires (Panaraces Rolling Stone, semi slim), a gear 48x9.

Does anyone know something about Author bikes?
Here is the link
http://www.author.cz/cs/kola/katalog...112&cat_id=121
(Click "Vise" for details)

Regards,
Branimir
I can almost hear Timo et al ROTFL but oh well
__________________
shameless POWERCRANK plug
Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!

Last edited by markhr; 04-20-05 at 05:59 AM. Reason: afterthought
markhr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-05, 06:28 AM   #21
traveller5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Croatia, Zagreb
Bikes: buying new.....
Posts: 17
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Yes, excuse me. I'll move to road bike forum with this question
traveller5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-05, 07:07 AM   #22
Bizikleto
Enamoured of bicycles
 
Bizikleto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: León, NW Spain
Bikes: 2 touring, 1 C-cross commuter
Posts: 95
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Contra Fixie
[...]touring from CA to CO. Love the utility of cross bikes [...] hate lagging / getting dropped on the road. [...] can a cross bike with road slicks be for all practical purposes as fast as a comprable road bike? [...] reccomendations on a good, simple, inexpensive, geared steel cross bike with fairly aggressive geometry?
First off, your post should be in the "Touring" section. That said, Surly CrossCheck is your babe if you can lay hands on one over there. They are made in steel, have a compromise nice geometry and accept anything between the slimmest tyre and 700x45c (personally, don't see point of anything beyond 40c in cyclocross bikes). The last trend in tourers is 26in-wheeled (like MTB) bikes, but for the kind of trip you plan to do, and considering the rest of use you'd give it, cyclocross bikes are just perfect. They are the best compromise in utility, speed and sturdiness. You won't lag or be dropped because of your bike if you are reasonably fit. If you clinch 25 mm to your cross bike, it'll ride like the blazes. In that setup in a 10-mile trip you'd gain half a second on a top-range, AL or carbon full roadie at full throttle. Full laden in your inter-state trip, you'd be just as fast as anyone else with your steel steed for sure---though not necessarily faster than others.

Good trip.
Bizikleto is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:50 PM.