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Old 11-05-07, 08:38 PM   #1
shumacher
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New aluminum cross bike vs. old steel - speed?

I'm wondering.

I have a 1992 Specialized Sirrus Triple. I have no idea what it weighs, but I'm thinking it's somewhere near 30lbs before bags. I have a rear rack on it, and use it for commuting, and recently, for some light touring. It has a steel frame, steel fork, and runs 700x23c tires.

I'm wondering if a new cross bike, like the Specialized Tricross Sport, would be slower or faster than my old Sirrus. The Tricross is newer, has nicer components, and an aluminum frame, but suffers wider tires. Will the fancy technology overcome the fat tires, or will I find the old Sirrus more efficient?

In particular, I'm considering the Tricross because I'm a little hemmed in where I live, and having a bit more tire would go a long way toward opening up a couple of gravel-shouldered, bike-adverse roads out of town.
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Old 11-06-07, 04:23 AM   #2
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changing tires is really not that hard and you know, they do wear out and then you have to change them.
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Old 11-06-07, 06:29 AM   #3
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Will the Sirrus take larger tires, cause that old steel bike is probably a good light tourer.
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Old 11-06-07, 06:53 AM   #4
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Will the Sirrus take larger tires, cause that old steel bike is probably a good light tourer.
I'd imagine it'd take a 28 easily. I had touring in mind when I bought it new, so yeah, it's pretty good there. I never measured it, but I think the wheelbase might be a tiny bit short for touring, otherwise, the triple chainrings, ton of braze-ons and mounts, and sufficient room for fenders make it pretty good at what it does. I guess I should add that I'm definitely buying a bike. I promised myself a new bike after I dropped 30lbs. I'm 28lbs toward my goal, so I'm just trying to get things narrowed down, and wondering how much overlap in function an aluminum cross bike would have with my old Sirrus. I remember the shock I had the first time I picked up an aluminum bike. For someone who's only owned steel, it's a big difference. A big enough difference to make me question the effort involved in pushing those fat tires on the Tricross.

My current list, from which I plan on choosing one bike:
Specialized Tricross Sport
Specialized Langster Seattle
Dahon Mu XL
Specialized Rockhopper 29er Disc
Felt Dispatch
Schwinn Madison
Trek Portland
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Old 11-06-07, 06:58 AM   #5
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changing tires is really not that hard and you know, they do wear out and then you have to change them.
I hadn't heard that. I think you're just trying to get me to void my warranty.
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Old 11-06-07, 07:41 AM   #6
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A bike is as fast as the legs powering it. :-)

I have a Flyte cyclocross bike which comes in at under 20lbs with Campy Centaur 10sp, carbon fork and a triplizer from IRD. It's a nice, smooth-yet-nimble do-it-all bike. I'm currently running 28c tires on it, but I have had 38c tires on it before with room to go bigger.

The Tricross, in terms of handling and acceleration, will feel sprightly compared to a Sirrus and in terms of ride it will be smooth. As far as touring on the Tricross, I'm not sure if I'd mount panniers on the front carbon fork, but I have heard of folks do weekend light touring on cyclocross bikes (which is part of the reason I bought my Flyte).
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