Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Will a cyclocross bike work for me?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Will a cyclocross bike work for me?

Old 05-02-11, 03:36 PM
  #1  
my nose itches
Thread Starter
 
starla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Temple, Texas
Posts: 579

Bikes: 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2013 Redline Conquest Disc

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Will a cyclocross bike work for me?

My commute is about 10.5 miles each way. Roughly 1.5 miles of that is on gravel road. And I'm not talking cute little gravel, either. I'm talking about teeth-jarring 2" diameter gravel.

I'm gonna be in the market for a new bike soon. I'd like my bike to double as a possible touring bike but it would primarily be a commuter. My question is, can I get a more knobby tire and put it on a bike such as the Kona ***** Inc, and be okay on that hellacious gravel, or would I be better off just getting a 'cross bike? Will that work? I imagine that I'd have a second wheel set eventually, for touring.

The 'cross bikes I like that are in my price range are the Specialized Tricross Sport, Raleigh RX 1.0, Bianchi Axis, and Cannondale Cyclocross 5. But are these too racy? Should I look for something more relaxed, and if so, any suggestions?

Or am I just completely off? I appreciate any and all input!
starla is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 04:15 PM
  #2  
Will ride anywhere
 
cyclist5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Louisvlle, KY
Posts: 180

Bikes: 2009 Trek XO-1, 2006 Trek 7000

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ride a Trek XO-1 CX bike. It works for my commute which ranges from 11-15mi to sometimes 20. It ate gravel fine. The thing with cross bikes that you like is if you want to go faster just put on some skinnier tires or if you want to go off-roading put on some knobbies. I go everywhere with mine, including the 20+mph group rides with guys riding road-racing bikes.
cyclist5 is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 04:19 PM
  #3  
On a Mission from God
 
FunkyStickman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thibodaux, LA
Posts: 2,010

Bikes: '10 Surly LHT, Rat-rod Klunker, '82 Peugeot PH12 Centennial

Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
A cross bike should work fine, just make sure you get big enough tires to soak up the gravel. My 10 mile route has about a half mile of gravel, so I understand where you're coming from. I use 40mm tires (1.5") and I may even go wider than that.
FunkyStickman is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 04:55 PM
  #4  
NYC
 
nycphotography's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 3,714
Liked 107 Times in 62 Posts
Just about any CX bike would be perfect for that gravel road. If not 28mm slicks, Ritchey speedmax pro (very low profile knobs).

I happen to have a Blue CXC (lugged carbon CX bike) w/ 105 and AC aluminum wheels... that I should have sold but haven't gotten around to yet.

I raced it 6 times a couple years ago, lost the will to drive to CX races the following season, and there it sits, barely used. I think it's a 57, but I'm not sure. If you (or anyone else) are interested, send me a PM and I'll see what I can sell it for.
nycphotography is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 06:02 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,925
Liked 1,281 Times in 816 Posts
My commute is very similar. I have a cyclocross bike with 32mm road tires. I have mine set up with a road triple drive train rather than typical cross type crank and cassette.

The road tires (minimal - mostly cosmetic - tread only) work the best on wet or dry pavement, and in my opinion, unless you'll actually be riding on grass or mud, work well on gravel too. I wouldn't buy treaded tires unless you actually plan to do trail riding.

It works very well on the horrible large gravel/chuckhole/washboard portion of the commute, is smooth and fast on the pavement, and soaks up the cracks, manhole covers, etc. on the city streets.

I have the cockpit set up pretty much the same as my road bike and the frame has eyelets for fenders, and a rear rack.

It's almost as much fun - actually often more fun - than my lightweight road bike.
Camilo is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 07:21 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
 
Mardmakarm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Thailand
Posts: 164

Bikes: Kona Sutra

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I recommended Gios ****io to you, very comfortable for daily commute and able to load much enough for longer tour.
Mardmakarm is offline  
Old 05-02-11, 07:42 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, ma
Posts: 123

Bikes: 2011 Surly Cross Check

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Totally digging my Surly Cross Check. I don't have those kinds of dirt roads to deal with, though some would say that the poorly paved/ patched roads in New England might as well be dirt. I weighed down my Bontrager rack and panniers with about thirty pounds today - no problem.
paperbackbiker is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 06:00 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,896

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
A cross bike would work as well as bikes such as the Bianchi Volpe and Salsa Casseroll that are sort of a road/cross/sport touring mix. My Casseroll has canti brakes and can handle tires up to 38 mm. I just bought some 32 mm cross tires (Ritchey Pro Max) to install when I plan to ride trails, gravel roads, unpaved paths, etc.
tarwheel is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 07:22 AM
  #9  
my nose itches
Thread Starter
 
starla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Temple, Texas
Posts: 579

Bikes: 1986 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2013 Redline Conquest Disc

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Awesome...this is just what I wanted to hear! Now it's just a matter of saving a little and trying them out!
starla is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 07:26 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 158
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Connondale's T-1 & t-2 touring models & their cx counterparts are or were the same frame , different forks . I have a 08 T-2 that was built up from a bare frame (new $600) very stable ride . And yeah I do lots of gravel.

Take a look/ride on one

cheers
Hopslam is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 09:01 AM
  #11  
Infamous Member
 
chipcom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 24,360

Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, Fuji World, 80ish Bianchi

Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 4 Posts
YMMV, but I kinda like the older xcross frames that sported a higher BB. Modern conventional logic says that the higher BB is of no benefit, but one of the big reasons why my old 80-something Bianchi is still my favorite bike and hasn't had its old, ugly frame replaced by a new one, is the BB height.
__________________
"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
chipcom is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 09:49 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 85
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I second the Bianchi Volpe vote.
happa95 is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 12:05 PM
  #13  
Papaya King
 
waynesworld's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Columbus, Ohio (Grandview area)
Posts: 1,640

Bikes: 2009 Felt X City D, 1985 (?) Trek 400, 1995 (?) Specialized Rockhopper, 1995 Trek 850

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I can certainly recommend the 2010 Kona Jake, as I recently got one and love it. They've changed the geometry this year, with a 1cm shorter chainstay, and different head tube and seat tube angles. I'm not sure what this would mean to you. Or me, for that matter.

I would think a ***** Inc would be fine, as long as it fits big enough tires, if you like the ride. I've only seen pictures on the web.
waynesworld is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 12:13 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Posts: 216

Bikes: 2019 Giant Contend 3

Liked 8 Times in 3 Posts
+1 on either the Bianchi Volpe or Surly Cross Check
phx1973 is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 12:27 PM
  #15  
nashcommguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: nashville, tn
Posts: 2,499

Bikes: Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Same thing here. I've got about 1 mile of gravel road and part of it is pretty rough. The bike I chose is this one: https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx2.htm It's got a rack, bags, lights, fenders, etc. Got it in May of 2008. Over 15,000 commuter/utility miles...still going strong. Changed out the stock tires to Schwalbe Marathon Plus 28mm as most of my 40 mi rt commute is on pavement and the stock tires were too soft. Mine's yellow. Just recently did a strip down/re-pack/lube, etc. Great bike for the money. Comes 90% assembled. Took 4 days from order date.
nashcommguy is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 12:49 PM
  #16  
Will ride anywhere
 
cyclist5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Louisvlle, KY
Posts: 180

Bikes: 2009 Trek XO-1, 2006 Trek 7000

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Out of curiousity is Trek not a big bike company for commuters? I've been here a few months and nobody seems to ride Treks for commuting. I ride my XO-1. But everyone else is Surley, Cannondale, Biannichi, Kohna, etc. Kinda makes me feel out of place :/
cyclist5 is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 12:59 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 2,896

Bikes: Workcycles FR8, 2016 Jamis Coda Comp, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Test ride them all and see which one you like. I know the CC will fit fatter tires, but I am not familiar with the others.
exile is offline  
Old 05-03-11, 01:03 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
exile's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Binghamton, NY
Posts: 2,896

Bikes: Workcycles FR8, 2016 Jamis Coda Comp, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by cyclist5
Out of curiousity is Trek not a big bike company for commuters? I've been here a few months and nobody seems to ride Treks for commuting. I ride my XO-1. But everyone else is Surley, Cannondale, Biannichi, Kohna, etc. Kinda makes me feel out of place :/
Trek is still a big company. However they seem to have more competition. Without BF I don't think I would have heard about Surly, Kona, or Bianchi. I would have just gone to a LBS and bought whatever they carry. The 3 LBS in my area sell Cannondale, Specialized, Trek, Giant, and Redline.
exile is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
mdadams1
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
12
09-19-19 09:31 AM
salad_goat
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
15
06-18-19 09:05 AM
ADAP7IVE
General Cycling Discussion
6
08-22-16 07:34 AM
Ghostcode
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
10
04-16-16 04:11 PM
dabee1106
General Cycling Discussion
7
08-29-14 01:19 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.