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Old 03-17-06, 12:53 PM   #1
Doggus
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Specialized Tricross for touring?

We're headed for the UK in May, Land's End->John O'Groats and then Netherlands and Germany. Wondering if this bike would be suitable for the job? I'm mainly worried about the gearing. 12-25 cassette and 48x34 compact double. I'm kinda wishing it had a triple. Maybe switch to a 11-34 cassette to get that bail out gear? I'll probably end up pulling a Burley Nomad and wishing I had the granny ring.

What says the forum?
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Old 03-20-06, 01:45 AM   #2
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Probably would be ok, if the LBS is worth its salt it should change the cassette for you, so you can get that granny gear you're after. I'm not sure that I'd want to put too much load on the racks, but seeing as you will probably be pulling a trailer, you'd be fine, most likely. Heck, if I had the money, I'd seriously consider buying one myself. It looks like a sweet bike for touring, especially the lighter side of touring, commuting, or most kinds of riding, for that matter.
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Old 03-20-06, 09:50 AM   #3
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SW England doesnt have mountains but you will be travelling at 90 degrees to lots of rivers. Many of these have steep hills on either side, so you will want low gears.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:37 AM   #4
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It isn't clear to me if you already own the Tricross or not. If not, then you might want to consider other bikes that already have a triple or can easily be upgraded to one. I looked at the Tricross--nice bike, but I definitely wanted a triple and so went with a Surly--same sort of all-around bike, could be a bit cheaper too or at least spec'ed how you want it.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:44 AM   #5
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As people above said, you're kinda stuck: if you want a granny you'll need a new crank and BB. If you want an MTB cassette you'll need a new cassette and MTB derailleur. Personally, I use a compact crank and a 11-32. With <30lbs, this can get me up any hill I've enountered. I can't say I've ever rode those crazy British three-in-ones grades, though.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:57 PM   #6
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If you don't have the bike, as others have said, look elsewhere. A true touring bike will do everything the 'cross bikes will do and will carry a load better, to boot. Look at it this way: A cross bike is a road bike made for riding on the dirt. A touring bike is a bike made for riding on the dirt and the road and is designed and built to carry very heavy loads for days, weeks, months or even years at a time. And it is made to be relatively comfortable doing it.

If you have the 'cross bike already, it can be changed, rather easily, so that it has the proper gears. All it takes is money . You will need a new rear derailer even if you want to change from a 11-25 to an 11-34. If you leave it as a double, it might cost less than $150. If you want a triple, you will need a crank. I'd use an LX mountain bike 44/34/22 which shifts well and gives you a good range of gears (a little over 100 gear inches to around 20 gear inches). You will still need a new rear derailer (and probably chain) and cluster. I don't know if the front shifter is compatable with a triple (I suspect it might be) but if it isn't you'll need a new shifter. If you don't need the shifters, I'd say you could get away with $200 to $300 (if you do the work yourself. Much more if you have a shop do it.) If you need the shifter, add at least $150.
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Old 03-20-06, 06:45 PM   #7
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sorry I didn't mention...I do not have the bike yet. I'm contemplating building up my Trek 850 or going with the tricross. I don't really want a touring bike as it's mostly gonna see commuting duty outside of the small trips we may take.
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Old 03-21-06, 09:48 AM   #8
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Found a better option maybe...both have triples in front. May not even need to get the megarange cassette with one of these. Work as touring bike?


'06 Bianchi Volpe




Kona Jake

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Old 03-21-06, 09:54 AM   #9
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A friend has the Volpe and likes it quite well. I think the general sense is that it is a good all-around bike. I looked at one, but it didn't fit me. I've ridden the Kona and liked it--but not as much as my Surly. :-)
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Old 03-21-06, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggus
sorry I didn't mention...I do not have the bike yet. I'm contemplating building up my Trek 850 or going with the tricross. I don't really want a touring bike as it's mostly gonna see commuting duty outside of the small trips we may take.
But a touring bike is an ideal commuting bike. I ride one all the time. The bikes are built for toughness, they has lots of places to mount a rack and fenders, if you need them, and the longer wheelbase makes for a smoother ride on rough roads. And, if you want to load it up for trips from overnight to multiyears, it's ready to go. I've ridden centuries, club rides and multiweek tours on my touring bikes. I've also ridden centuries on race bikes and I can tell you that the touring bikes far more comfortable and nearly as fast. The geometry of most 'cross bikes is closer to that of a race bike then a touring bike.

Before you decide at least take a look at a Trek 520, a Fuji Tour, a Cannondale T800, a Surly LHT or even a Gordon BLT. You might be surprised by at what you'll find.
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Old 03-21-06, 06:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggus
Found a better option maybe...both have triples in front. May not even need to get the megarange cassette with one of these. Work as touring bike?


'06 Bianchi Volpe




Kona Jake

The Kona has more road gearing and the Volpe more MTB range. You probably won't need to change the gearing much on the Volpe. More likely to have gearing problems on the Kona.

I owned a Volpe. It was a nice bike but may be a bit wiggly under load.
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Old 03-23-06, 08:54 PM   #12
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I OWN a Tricross Comp. I understand your concern for a granny gear. I went from a triple to the compact double. Definitely not as low as I'm used to. Can't speak for touring, but maybe switching out the cassette will get you what you want. I haven't put a rack on it yet, but trying to put fenders on the bike has been PITA. The seatstay bridge uses the same eyelets. The cross carbon fork is really thick, and the center mounting hole requires longer hardware. No biggie, but something to consider. SKS fenders do not fit in the rear. The fender stays provided are too short!

The Tricross has complete eyelets front and rear racks, plus bosses for a third bottle cage underneath the downtube. You can also fit tires up to 38c. I love it in the short time I had it, and I think you should really give it a good look over. If you can get the gearing you like, let me know! HTH
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Old 03-25-06, 03:29 PM   #13
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Rather than the Jake - how about a Sutra?
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Old 03-26-06, 01:13 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by druidh
Rather than the Jake - how about a Sutra?
Um no. I and several other Sutra owners have had several common problems with the Sutra, including rear rack braze-ons falling off. I use mine for commuting, and have just built up a LHT for touring.

See the following threads for more info on the Sutra.


Kona Sutra?

My Rear Rack Brazon On My New Frame Just Cracked
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Old 03-28-07, 12:58 PM   #15
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The '07 Volpe does not have braze-ons for racks on the front fork. I don't know why they did this. I guess they are moving the Volpe to a tri-cross bike instead of a touring bike that people used to use it for. Also, the chain stays on the Volpe really are too short for a touring bike - 42.5 cm. I think 44 cm chain stays should be a minimum for a touring bike.
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Old 05-09-07, 05:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziemas
Um no. I and several other Sutra owners have had several common problems with the Sutra, including rear rack braze-ons falling off. I use mine for commuting, and have just built up a LHT for touring.

See the following threads for more info on the Sutra.


Kona Sutra?

My Rear Rack Brazon On My New Frame Just Cracked
That'll be you and ONE other owner then?
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Old 05-09-07, 08:18 PM   #17
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I have a Flyte cyclocross bike with a full Campy Centaur group with a compact double crank (110 BCD). To cure my triple ills I'm installing a triplizer from Interloc Racing. I might have to change the bottom bracket, but that's cheaper that a crank AND a bottom bracket. This will give me a 46-36-24 crank which will work the hills with the 10-speed 12-25 rear cassette.

If you want to do this, you'll need the triplizer, a 24-tooth 74 BCD inner chainring, which IRD also sells, chainring bolts and some 3mm chainring spacers from Harrris Cyclery.



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Old 05-09-07, 08:28 PM   #18
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My friend just bought a tricorss and it came wirth a triple..... maybe ask the dealer?

~Steve
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Old 05-10-07, 11:29 AM   #19
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I own a Specialized Tricross Sport '07. It is capable of carry racks and panniers. Mine was a triple though, i wasnt given the option of a double. For touring, the gears work well, especially on hills. However, in comparison to a pure tourer, the riding position is not as great. I attached aero bars and the experience was much better. If you are planning on lots of longs tours with heavy loads, i would advised against the tricross, purely for the riding position. the gears you can change, but the frame you cant. if however, communting and middle distance rides are both on your agenda then the tricross is an obvious bike. Just make sure you get the triple, they made the 06 model only a double but change the 07 to a triple for range.

hope this helps

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Old 04-02-08, 04:08 AM   #20
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Hi all,
Wonder if I could resurrect this thread to see if anyone else had done much touring with this bike. I test rode one today and really liked it. I'm probably unlikely to do more than, say, 3 four day tours and maybe a week long tour per year, but lots of commuting and maybe the odd stupidity (eg, riding down stairs). This is likely to be the only bike I own for a while, apart from my current ancient suspensionless steel frame MTB, which is likely to go into retirement.

It felt light and comfortable, and being unused to drop bars, the extra brake levers were reassuring. I'm mostly concerned about the frame being rigid enough to support big loads at speed, and these apparent problems with the fork shudder.

AFAIK the model I saw was this:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32209

So, 30:34 lowest gear - should be enough?

Steve
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Old 04-02-08, 08:28 AM   #21
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I have two friends who did a four day tour with me last year on Tricrosses. They seemed OK. I told them my worries about gearing, spokes, and carbon, but they got them anyway.

Anyway, they had no problems. One had rear panniers only, the other had a trailer only. It looked like some of the hills were rough, but they didn't complain :^)

They seem to me like a really nice ride-arounder, a not-bad commuter, and an adequate-but-not-ideal tourer.
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Old 04-02-08, 08:13 PM   #22
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What were your concerns about the gearing? I notice the 06 model had a double chainring, but since then they're triple, and should be adequate?

I think your description of "really nice ride-arounder, a not-bad commuter, and an adequate-but-not-ideal tourer" is probably right for me. Considering that my current, beloved, ~1994 steelframe suspensionless mtb has been doing all this stuff (commuting, touring, bike polo...) ok, this should be an improvement in every direction. Maybe not quite as perfect as a surly LHT or Trek 520 for serious long distance, but I don't know if that's really in my future anyway: I'm thinking more 200-1000ks, not 5000-20000 ks.

I wonder if I can get vbrakes rather than cantis here though: seems like some shops around the world have been selling them that way. Should reduce this chatter problem.

Steve
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Old 04-02-08, 09:48 PM   #23
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I read this thread with great interest about a year ago. At the time one of the only bikes that I could find to test ride was the Specialized Tricross. I was looking for a bike to do it all - daily commuting, trails, grocery getting, tours, and other random adventures - since my last bike was doing it all (Trek 820 mountain bike). I didn't see the need for a special bike for every pursuit. I bought the Tricross because it felt right, and it was available at the bike shop that also "felt" right.

Since then I've put over 3000 touring miles on it, and a few thousand more daily ride (commute, etc.) miles on it. It's a great bike, but I'm still curious about a pure touring bike, so I keep searching in hopes of finding one to ride. I don't think I'll really know the difference until I can make a direct physical comparison over hundreds of miles of ride time.

To directly address some of your comments:

After about three days of riding the drop bars, I never used the extra brake levers again. This was a big selling point for me because I had been riding my mountain bike for so long, but I acclimated to the drops so quickly that now I actually wish the extra brake levers weren't on the bike so I could easily mount a handlebar bag.

I had problems mounting a front rack to the bike, so I gave up. However, if you go to CrazyGuyonaBike.com, and search for Tricross, you will find a couple people who did mount front racks. They also have extensive tour diaries posted, so you can get more info on the Tricross for touring there.

I crossed the Sierra Nevada Mountains without any problems - I thought the gearing was fine, but again, I have nothing to compare it against.

Basically, it has been a great bike for me. I would be happy to share all the positives and the little drawbacks that I've found, but really, the more I think about gear ratios and chainstay lengths and everything, the more I wish for that level of ignorance that allows one to pull his bike up off the lawn where he dropped it yesterday, to get on and ride and ride. You know, maybe banana seats are ideal for touring, but we'll never know until we postulate about it for hours in internet forums. (and then someone will have to actually try it)
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Old 04-02-08, 10:04 PM   #24
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You know, maybe banana seats are ideal for touring, but we'll never know until we postulate about it for hours in internet forums. (and then someone will have to actually try it)
Unless it's a Brooks banana saddle, and then it's a sure two thumbs up
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Old 04-02-08, 10:12 PM   #25
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If you've done 5000 touring ks and crossed the Sierra Nevada then it's obviously good enough What problems did you have mounting a front rack? Considering the effort they've gone to to add mounting poinst to the carbon fork, it seems a shame if it doesn't work well?

Re: extra brake levers, do you ever do any kind of rough off road riding? Are they not removable? Maybe they are a gimmick after all...?

And I know what you mean about ignorance. The best tour I ever did was the first: took my untuned, unprepped, rackless mtb for 4 days through the Loire Valley (France), slept under a bridge in Paris etc. Carried everything in a massive backpack. No helmet, no lights, no reflectors, even when riding in the emergency lane of a major highway. Carried no tools, no tubes, no pump, no patches - and got away with it. Come to think of it, no water, no tent. Stopped and got help when my rear derailleur let go, and borrowed a file off a construction crew when my seat post bolt wore out. Now that I think about it, only one brake was working too. Hmm, maybe I don't need a new bike at all

One last question about the tricross: I noticed when I road it that the steering felt slightly 'twitchy', especially compared to a cannondale t800 I tried earlier. Supposedly you're meant to have "stable" steering for long distance touring - never a problem for you, I gather?

Also, at the risk of opening pandora's box, and other drawbacks you could mention would be great, even if they're minor. Have any problems with fork shudder, for instance?

Steve
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