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Cross bike as a street bike?

Old 04-06-09, 11:31 PM
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Dan515
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Cross bike as a street bike?

I posted this in the cyclocross forum, but was recommended to cross-post it, so here goes:

I'm looking into getting a cyclocross bike and I need some help in choosing a bike/frameset.

I am really drawn to cyclocross bikes simply because they're so versatile - slap on some slicks and you've basically got a road bike, but put on some knobblier tires and you can do some moderate trail riding. Plus, they seem more agile and lighter than my mountain bike.

I plan on riding the bike 75% on the street, 25% on trails. In terms of racing/competition, I would consider doing it for fun once in a while.

What should I look for in a frameset/bike? Should I steer away from carbon (as in chainstays and forks, not a whole carbon frame)? Also, are those extra brake levers on the center of the bars necessary?

My price range is around $1100 CAD for a complete.

I've been looking at these:
Scattante Cyclocross
Redline Conquest
Kona Jake
Tricross Single
But I'm not sure how well an SS would fare here in the Lower Mainland... there are quite a few hills that I can imagine having a tough time on. However, I do like the simplicity.


And just in case it makes any difference, I'm pretty short - around 5' 4.5" tall, roughly 26" inseam.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by Dan515; 04-06-09 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 04-06-09, 11:44 PM
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Check this out.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:56 AM
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I would love to buy that if they shipped to Canada...
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Old 04-07-09, 03:51 AM
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A full carbon cyclocross bike is way out of your price range. But the carbon seat stays and fork on my Tri-cross expert double haven't caused any problems for me. I wouldn't go SS, but that's up to you. Those top bar levers are darn convenient. Convenient enough that I have actually considered adding them to my road bike. It is very comforting to be able to grab a big handful of brake easily when the rims get a little wet without going into the drops. I run 32 mm specialized burroughs tires, and they serve me well for street and limestone trail riding, saves me a lot of tire switching.

If I had to give up my bikes one by one, my Tri-cross would be the last to go.
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Old 04-07-09, 07:07 AM
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I got a Fuji Cross Pro (Ultegra/Dura Ace drivetrain) for $1170 (1060 or so when you include the Performance points) from PBS last year. This is it in commuting livery...

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Old 04-07-09, 07:17 AM
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Scroll down a bit to the Speciale Commuter. It's a singlespeed but you can always add gears later as it has horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger.

https://www.masibikes.com/tab4_subNav2.php


The Bianchi San Jose is a cyclocross bike that is SS/FG. Has cantilever brakes so it can take wider tires and fenders. I put road slicks on mine and use it as a commuter and also for long rides in the country. I added a rear rack and use grocery bag panniers to haul stuff.

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Old 04-07-09, 07:20 AM
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I upgraded my commuter last year to a Surly Crosscheck, and have been fairly happy with my decision. I really like the steel frame for its smooth ride, but I have definitely paid the price in weight. If you are looking at a bike that is going to see some racing I would suggest carbon components over steel, Its very rare that you will hear about someone having problems with carbon components during regular commuting, plus carbon is going to give you a smooth ride without all the weight.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:13 AM
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In addition to my comments on the CX forum;




See: https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/470912-soma-double-cross-commuter-build-finally-finished.html
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Old 04-07-09, 08:55 AM
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Cyclocross bikes are excellent for commuting. Just make sure that the frame has rack mounts. I personally like aluminum frames for that reason. I also prefer chromolly forks with front rack mount eyelets. Cyclocross bikes built with those features are TOUGH, can take multiple crashes (needed when I'm off the road), and you can also use them for touring.


Last edited by Pinyon; 04-07-09 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 04-07-09, 10:54 AM
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Might as well get disk brakes if you can....

https://www.rei.com/product/779985
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Old 04-07-09, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by bbattle View Post
Scroll down a bit to the Speciale Commuter. It's a singlespeed but you can always add gears later as it has horizontal dropouts and a derailleur hanger.

https://www.masibikes.com/tab4_subNav2.php


The Bianchi San Jose is a cyclocross bike that is SS/FG. Has cantilever brakes so it can take wider tires and fenders. I put road slicks on mine and use it as a commuter and also for long rides in the country. I added a rear rack and use grocery bag panniers to haul stuff.
I do like the concept of SS being more hassle-free, but again I'm not sure how easy it would be to ride around my city (Vancouver) since it's pretty hilly. Then again, slicks would make things a lot easier...

I think that I'm leaning more towards the Tricross or Conquest
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Old 04-07-09, 11:23 AM
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Hey kokomo61 - What tires are on that bike? They look pretty beefy
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Old 04-07-09, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Dan515 View Post
Tricross Single
But I'm not sure how well an SS would fare here in the Lower Mainland... there are quite a few hills that I can imagine having a tough time on.
That's why the cycling gods gave us Sturmey-Archer, my friend.

S-A is releasing bar-end shifters for their 3- and 5-speed hubs, BTW.

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Old 04-07-09, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bkbrouwer View Post
Might as well get disk brakes if you can....

https://www.rei.com/product/779985
Word. Cross canti brakes often suck.

Often.
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Old 04-07-09, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by kokomo61 View Post
I got a Fuji Cross Pro (Ultegra/Dura Ace drivetrain) for $1170 (1060 or so when you include the Performance points) from PBS last year. This is it in commuting livery...

Very nice hookup. How is the sitting position compared to a traditional road bike, is it a good bit more upright? Do you feel it's sturdy enough for city potholes and such?
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Old 04-07-09, 11:52 AM
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Bianchi Apex

I love my cross bike as a commuter. Now that winter is wrapping up I'll be going to some slicks soon probably 25's or 28's. The cross levers on the top bar are extremely convenient while riding in traffic and staying a heads up position. I added a rear rack and some panniers to mine.
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Old 04-07-09, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
That's why the cycling gods gave us Sturmey-Archer, my friend.

S-A is releasing bar-end shifters for their 3- and 5-speed hubs, BTW.

tcs
I'm out of the loop - could you explain to me how this works? It's an internal gearing system or something?
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Old 04-07-09, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan515 View Post
And just in case it makes any difference, I'm pretty short - around 5' 4.5" tall, roughly 26" inseam.
I would *seriously* doublecheck that measurement. Rivendell bikes has a good discussion on pubic bone height. If your bike inseam really is that short, you're kind of stuck. Even the Novara Pulse has a 27" standover. Terry bikes don't come small enough either. That means you're looking at custom... and you can't do custom for $1000. (Grant Peterson may be a vaguely crazy tall guy, who makes bikes for really tall people... but he's really good at explaining why you care about bike fit as a short person)

I'm 5'6", with a 29" inseam. That means I can juuuuuust manage a 700C bike, but there are some geometry compromises. These mostly go away on a 26" wheel. My friend who is 4'11" with a 28" inseam just plain can't. Most diamond frame bikes are too big in the top tube, and don't have a low enough standover. We both have ended up on step through frames, partly because of the leg length issue. Your inseam is short enough that you'd have geometry issues like mine... but with 26" wheels.

So measure again, Riv style. (and maybe get back to us with the size and model of your current bike?)
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Old 04-07-09, 01:32 PM
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I've got a Kona Jake that I use for commuting, centuries, and CX racing. I'm very happy with it. I don't think you can go wrong with any of these bikes.
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Old 04-07-09, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
Hey kokomo61 - What tires are on that bike? They look pretty beefy

They WERE Specialized Armadillo CX 32 tires.....they proved to be a bit TOO beefy. I went back to my trusty Gatorskin 28's, and all is right with the world.
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Old 04-07-09, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan515 View Post
I'm out of the loop - could you explain to me how this works? It's an internal gearing system or something?
Yes, it's a planetary gear train inside the rear hub, shifted by a cable. The first commercially successful one was introduced in 1896. Current models made by Rohloff, Schwinn, Shimano, SRAM-Sachs and SunRace Sturmey-Archer in 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 14-speed versions.

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Old 04-07-09, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Yes, it's a planetary gear train inside the rear hub, shifted by a cable. The first commercially successful one was introduced in 1896. Current models made by Rohloff, Schwinn, Shimano, SRAM-Sachs and SunRace Sturmey-Archer in 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 14-speed versions.

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So it basically replaces your rear derailleur? Is this a pretty common thing to use? How much do they run for?
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Old 04-07-09, 06:44 PM
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I used a Fuji Cross for 4 years as a commuter. It was excellent, it took my rack and panniers, it handled potholes and weather like a champ. I rode it hard and put it away wet for 4 years. I sold it when I got into recumbents. I loved my Fuji Cross and a nice woman in Vancouver, BC is now riding it as a commuter bike.
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Old 04-07-09, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Dan515 View Post
I do like the concept of SS being more hassle-free, but again I'm not sure how easy it would be to ride around my city (Vancouver) since it's pretty hilly. Then again, slicks would make things a lot easier...

I think that I'm leaning more towards the Tricross or Conquest
Set your bike to a gear that's comfy at a normal, slightly fast, cruising speed. Swear to yourself that you won't change it and don't change gears. If you like it then you'll like a single speed.
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Old 04-07-09, 08:37 PM
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You can probably get a Tricross Sport and maybe a Tricross Comp in your price range via eBay. It probably won't be brand new, but will be lightly used. It'll also be much more versatile than a new SS around Vancouver. I got a Tricross Expert that way and it's been WONDERFUL. I run it without a lot of add-ons, so it's quick. I've had no problems - I substituted 28c Conti 4 Season road tires for commuting. The knobbies were pretty loud on the street and it seemed a shame not to save them for the muck next winter.

I'm not totally sold on the V Brakes for commuting - they're touchy to get adjusted right with the SRAM Rival levers, and they're overkill on dry roads, but they do stop well in the wet. All in all, a hidden gem from Specialized.
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