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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 08-13-14, 09:21 PM   #1
ct03si
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cyclecross noob setting up and buying bike

So I'm about to purchase my first cyclecross/road bike. I have always been a recreational mountain bike guy, I currently own a jamis Dakar cross country bike that I built from the frame up with my LBS I would like to get something for recreation/fitness that I can just jump on right from my house and ride instead of having to drive to the closest trails.
I'm pretty set on the TREK crossrip comp as I don't need anything super high end but I do want the disc brakes and love the style of the bike as well.
Having built a bike before I want to add a little of my own touch to this bike I'm thinking of upgrading the derailleurs and possibly the wheel set for something a little nicer. I don't want to break the bank tho.
I came across the Reynolds stratus elite disc wheels, they look pretty nice and seem to have good overall reviews plus they wont bust my wallet. As for the derailleurs I have no clue what to do seeing that this bike has an 8 speed setup.
The last thing I have to think about is the pedal setup. I have always been a toe cage guy. But going from mtb to road and rail trails would it be hugely beneficial to jump into clipless pedals?

Any insight on setting this bike up would be wonderful. Just remember this wont be for racing I just want something fairly decent for having fun around my quiet country NE town.
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Old 08-14-14, 05:09 AM   #2
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If you're coming from an MTB background I'd suggest fitting wider handle bars like Salsa Bell Laps and maybe a higher stem. Put plenty of padding on the bars - use gel or two layers of tape. And if you're not going to race, then put wider but high quality tyres on the bike - a 40mm tyre is much better offroad than the stock 32mm ones.

As for clipless pedals: people have measured the difference in pedalling efficiency with power meters and (except for short standing sprints) it's zero. I'd suggest staying with what you know until you have a reason to change - adapting to a thin tyre offroad is going to be a big challenge without throwing new pedals in to the mix.

Re. wheel improvements, reducing rotating weight doesn't have nearly the benefits people think: How much time does extra weight cost on Alpe d?Huez? Re. the derailers: why change unless you have a problem when you ride the bike?

Other than the Bell Laps with their greater comfort, better power position for uphills and better steering offroad, I'd suggest considering a tubeless conversion and having two pairs of wheels so you can have one set up for trail riding and the other for pure road. Getting your tyre mix right can take quite a lot of experimenting, so keep money handy for this - it's probably the biggest influence on performance on a narrow tyred offroader, especially if you want a bike that can ride a good distance to the trails efficiently. You may want to try something like a Racing Ralph on the front and a slick on the back, or Conti Double Fighters on both wheels, or even 40mm slicks on both wheels but made out of a sticky compound like Marathon Supremes. Leave money in the budget for this, and for high grip offroad tyres like Ralphs wearing out quickly on tarmac. Then there's the option of using offroad touring tyres like Marathon Extremes - it gets complex, and you can only decide by trial and error.

Last edited by meanwhile; 08-14-14 at 05:29 AM.
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Old 08-14-14, 08:04 AM   #3
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I have always been one to run skinny bars, holding closer to the middle feels natural to me. I believe the bike already comes with a gel grip tape.
And with the second wheel set in mind I would be doing mostly road riding but some of the roads around me have less than perfect pavement, I'm figuring the slightly beefier tires will help avoid pinch flats better if I hit rough spots but a set with grippier rubber for rail trails might be nice.
I will stick with the stock derailleurs for now but I have heard those are junk so I'm keeping that swap in mind in case I don't like them
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Old 08-16-14, 05:14 PM   #4
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My 2 cents: I was looking at similar bikes a month or two ago, and really liked the Fuji Cross 1.5 disc (posted about it in another thread). It runs about $100 more than the crossrip comp disc, but has 2x10 tiagra fd/rd/brifters. Anyway, I rode both of these bikes and really liked the Fuji. Nothing wrong with the Trek certainly, and it might even have a higher resale value than the Fuji due to the name recognition (I can't comment about reliability since I didn't end up buying either bike). As far as the upgrades, my research into bikes has told me (1) upgrades are expensive and (2) just about every config you could want is being made by somebody. So if I were you I'd look for something that's more "ready to roll" right off the shelf...if you're sold on the Crossrip Comp, maybe check out the Crossrip Elite?
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Old 08-16-14, 08:34 PM   #5
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I have always liked trek but never owned one. My father and 2 brothers have treks and love them so it's my turn mow. Sounds silly I know but what are you gonna do. And I did look at the elite. It's nice but I just can't get past that God awful blue color. I would rather throw an extra $300 into the comp than ride a bike that color
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Old 08-16-14, 10:39 PM   #6
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Keep in mind on a traditional CX bike, you will have to go down a frame size to compensate for a higher bottom bracket.
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Old 08-17-14, 04:18 AM   #7
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Keep in mind on a traditional CX bike, you will have to go down a frame size to compensate for a higher bottom bracket.
No, you won't. I've explained in other threads where you've posted this bad advice why it's not true.
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Old 08-17-14, 11:17 AM   #8
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No, you won't. I've explained in other threads where you've posted this bad advice why it's not true.
I'm interested in the reasons. May I get some links?
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Old 08-17-14, 11:51 AM   #9
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..I'm just amazed someone can buy a bike by theoretical fit. My combination of incompetence and weird body geometry means I to try at least two different sizes of any frame and then do desperately odd things with bars and stems.
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Old 08-17-14, 01:43 PM   #10
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I'm interested in the reasons. May I get some links?
In the olden days of toe clips, they had to raise the bottom bracket really high so you wouldn't drag your clips in the mud. And a bike "size" was a single number, seat tube length from center of BB to top of seat tube. So if you got the same seat tube as your road bike, the top tube was too long.

Nowadays it's irrelevant. All bikes come with geometry charts, and you choose the best size based on that. If you just blindly some rule of thumb to "size down", you could end up with a really uncomfortable bike and/or require a whole bunch of spacers on the steerer tube.
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Old 08-17-14, 01:45 PM   #11
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..I'm just amazed someone can buy a bike by theoretical fit.
Most geometry charts these days come with stack and reach, so if you know that for your current bike, it's pretty straightforward to choose a new one based on those metrics.
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Old 08-17-14, 02:34 PM   #12
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Test ride multiple bikes. Finding the right fit is far more important than selecting upgrades. Purchasing a 2x10 Fuji at Performance bike has merit. They have a liberal return policy if you change your opinion as to what fits.
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Old 08-17-14, 03:50 PM   #13
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Riding to a few trails is hardly like cyclocross , though it will do dirt OK you have to carry the bike over stuff that a MTB may Plough over and through , because the tires are thinner ..

crash and injure your self Makes a Buddy plan a safety measure .

And then you are lusting after fancy wheels before even owning the bike .. keep the horse ahead of the cart .
get the bike first.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-14 at 03:54 PM.
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Old 08-17-14, 05:49 PM   #14
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Hm, good to know. I thought you sized down for a tighter fit: I find when I'm going over off-road stuff, I don't stay in my seat too often.
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Old 08-22-14, 07:17 AM   #15
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I wasn't really going for fancy wheels rather an easier swap between road rides and rail trail rides. Much easier to just swap the wheels than remove and mount new tires. That is down the road a bit anyway. After talking to a few people the pedal thing has come up again. That is something I want to do with the bike purchase. I'm kinda leaning towards trying clipless vs toe cages. Now I have to choose a style.
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Old 08-22-14, 05:24 PM   #16
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For clipless on a CX bike you want MTB style pedals since
a. you need to leap off your bike and run to or three times a lap so you need shoes you can run in.
b. you need pedals that resist clogging with mud.
The most common pedals I see are Shimano SPD M-520/M-540 (or the XT/XTR equivalent), Crankbrothers Eggebeaters and Candies, plus the occasional Time ATAC.
The second set of wheels is useful, I typically run slicks and knobbies to switch between road and dirt but I sometimes run a second set of cross tires for pit stops or different conditions like hardpack versus mud.
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Old 08-29-14, 04:59 PM   #17
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Ordered my bike today, I ended up going with the trek crossrip elite. And eggbeater 3 pedals with mtb shoes. Should all be here in about a week!!
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