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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 08-17-14, 04:28 PM   #1
AristoNYC
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First CX purchase, trying to understand sizing.

Hi,
I currently own a CAAD10 Force 2 in size 60cm, which fits me well.
I am looking to get a CX bike for recreational riding, don't think I will be doing any races. I like the idea of rear rack availability in case I want to use it as a light touring or commuting bike.
From what I have read I should be sizing down on the frame compared to my road bike. Is that is only a recommendation for people who plan on racing the bike? Is it safe to assume you size down to make getting off and on the bike easier for going over obstacles or is it to have a tighter geo due to shorter sprints during CX races?
If I don't plan on racing it would it be "OK" to get a bike with a similar size/geo to what I have now?

I was looking at 3 bikes right now:
Cannondale CAADX 105
Felt FX65
[Bikes Direct] Motobecane Cross TI Pro

My price range is under $2000 [closer to 1600 if possible]. Its not going to overtake my CAAD10 as a daily rider, but I like the idea of CX so I want to venture into it, and I can use it during the winter to ride].

Given my budget and listed bikes, what you recommend? The Motobecane isn't currently available in 58.

Thanks,
Aristo
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Old 08-17-14, 07:58 PM   #2
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After trying to compare the geometry & sizing of the bikes I have to say that the 61cm Motobecane seems like the right way to go.
The stand over height is shorter than both the 58 CAADX & my current 60CM CAAD10. the top tube length is the same as my current bike at 59cm. The only thing is the headtube length is shorter (16.5 vs 18)

Last edited by AristoNYC; 08-17-14 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 08-18-14, 11:42 PM   #3
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I measure out at 58cm for frame size on a standard road bike. This year I got a CAADX Tiagra ( the 105 or Ultegra wasn't available for me) which is the same frame as the 105. I talked with the guys at C'dale main offices, and they recommended going a size down to 56cm, so I did. The bike fits perfectly - a 58cm bike would have been too big for me. BTW, I love the bike!
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Old 08-19-14, 07:00 AM   #4
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The sizing-down myth is a zombie that won't go away.

Size a bike by its (1) stack and (2) reach. If you like the way your current bike fits you, then aim for the exact same numbers in your new bike.
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Old 08-19-14, 11:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by flargle View Post
The sizing-down myth is a zombie that won't go away.

Size a bike by its (1) stack and (2) reach. If you like the way your current bike fits you, then aim for the exact same numbers in your new bike.
I actually went up a size. I usually ride a 54cm in a Specialized road bike, but for a Specialized Tricross, I had to go to a 56cm.
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Old 08-19-14, 02:10 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for the responses.
I ended up ordering the 61cm Motobecane. Hopefully it fits well based of the geo chart. The headtube length is the only thing that scares me, I currently use spacers on my CAAD10 headset.
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Old 08-19-14, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
The headtube length is the only thing that scares me, I currently use spacers on my CAAD10 headset.
Hm, the BikesDirect geom charts don't list stack and reach. Quelle surprise.

Cross forks are longer than road forks, so you can't directly compare. The difference is around 3 to 4 cm.
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Old 08-20-14, 09:24 PM   #8
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5' 9/10" here but the 56cm Tricross was best for me. I hate the feel of a small frame and get full pedal potential with a frame at the larger end for my height.
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Old 09-19-14, 05:32 PM   #9
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I very recently bought a Focus Mares CX framest to build.

I come off a CAAD10 (or two) and had also been advised of the 'one size down' philosophy. I looked at the geometry of both bikes and found the 58cm (XL) in the Focus was almost exactly the same geometry as my CAAD10 - only exceptions being slightly different HT angle, 4mm shorter TT, so the stack was 13mm less (mostly due to the HT length of the Focus 140mm vs 175mm of the CAAD10) and the reach was virtually the same. I've set the bike up almost exactly the same as my CAAD10s, so I reckon it'll work very nicely for me.

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Old 09-19-14, 06:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
The sizing-down myth is a zombie that won't go away.

Size a bike by its (1) stack and (2) reach. If you like the way your current bike fits you, then aim for the exact same numbers in your new bike.
I completely agree. Also, once you're in the right ballpark you can usually make it work with a stem change.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
I ended up ordering the 61cm Motobecane. Hopefully it fits well based of the geo chart. The headtube length is the only thing that scares me, I currently use spacers on my CAAD10 headset.
I expect that'll work out for you, but it's a bit of a risk. The first thing to understand about sizing is that bike fit is not about numbers, it's about how it feels to ride the bike. But like flargle said CX forks are longer than road forks so you'll probably be close at least.
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Old 09-20-14, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AristoNYC View Post
Thanks everyone for the responses.
I ended up ordering the 61cm Motobecane. Hopefully it fits well based of the geo chart. The headtube length is the only thing that scares me, I currently use spacers on my CAAD10 headset.

I bought a Pro the first of the year and now have close to 3k miles on it. Also the 61cm.

I was about 20 lb heavier and coming off years of commuting on a MTB with an upright posture.

I ended up moving the entire stack of spacers underneath and fliping the steerer over. That produced a comfortable, bars almost level with the seat setup, but I had to change out the front brake cable to a longer one to do it.

BTW, I've now moved half the spacers back and am going to probably end up with the bars back in the original position as the gut continues to shrink.

(if the front brake squeal drives you crazy, go to the organic pads, That reduced the squeal by an order of magnitude, but didn't completely eliminate it.)

Last edited by TGT1; 09-20-14 at 08:50 PM.
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Old 09-21-14, 08:47 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flargle View Post
The sizing-down myth is a zombie that won't go away.

Size a bike by its (1) stack and (2) reach. If you like the way your current bike fits you, then aim for the exact same numbers in your new bike.
Dead on, when I got my Redline I bought the same nominal frame size as my road bike (56CM) and all I had to do was flip the stem to angle up. Also when I've ridden my son's 54CM Focus AX it feels cramped.
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