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Cyclocross for Mountain Trails

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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Cyclocross for Mountain Trails

Old 08-13-17, 12:38 AM
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RobiEli
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Cyclocross for Mountain Trails

Can someone recommend a cyclocross or gravel bike that can fit nice wide mountain bike tires? I want to do some mountain trails (some places are a bit rocky) but I really don't like mountain bike geometry. I'm not concerned about speed or weight, just want something closer to a road bike feel that can handle gravel and rocky mountain bike trails. Thanks.
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Old 08-13-17, 12:43 AM
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tangerineowl
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There's quite a few bikes like that out there. You're going to get quite a few replies.

Might be worth considering if you want to run 650b or 29er wheels/tires.

Just a couple off the top of my head:-
Koga Beach Racer
Diamondback Haanjo

Edit: Of course, you'll need a suitable tread pattern for your conditions.

Last edited by tangerineowl; 08-13-17 at 12:46 AM. Reason: txt
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Old 08-13-17, 04:57 AM
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ATPAH
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Also Lynskey GR250 (up to 650bx2.1)
Specialized Sequoia (up to 650bx2.0)
and
Cannondale Super SLX (up to 29x1.8 easy, not sure about 650b, but could probably do 2.0s).
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Old 08-13-17, 05:44 AM
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I do trails/singletrack/fire road riding on my gravel bike. Going down steep loose rutted hills on a gravel bike is unsettling. No matter what it is just too much weight on the front for me and I expect the front to let go at any time. Tires on the bike are not the reason, it is the geometry and stance. Too each his own.

Last edited by u235; 08-13-17 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 08-13-17, 06:21 AM
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Yes, geometry. And even then, the 5 bikes listed above, you would have to look at all those to see the geometry charts and compare with a road bike geometry chart.
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Old 08-13-17, 10:25 AM
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Something like a Salsa Fargo is halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike.
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Old 08-13-17, 10:33 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Something like a Salsa Fargo is halfway between a road bike and a mountain bike.
Yes, or the Cutthroat. There's almost surely a Surly, too.

Last edited by ATPAH; 08-13-17 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:02 AM
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A descent down a technical, rocky and/or rooted single-track on a typical Cyclocross bike is eventually not going to end well.

The Salsa Fargo or Cutthroat with 2 inch, or wider tires and a dropper seatpost could be finessed, but it's still not the right tool for the job.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:31 AM
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... if you know the trail well, so can anticipate the dismount and carry sections of that track , you can make it into your own cyclo cross course..

... then once you learn your trail, see if you can shorten the time it takes to cover it.
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Old 08-13-17, 11:33 AM
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Originally Posted by RobiEli View Post
Can someone recommend a cyclocross or gravel bike that can fit nice wide mountain bike tires? I want to do some mountain trails (some places are a bit rocky) but I really don't like mountain bike geometry. I'm not concerned about speed or weight, just want something closer to a road bike feel that can handle gravel and rocky mountain bike trails. Thanks.

you are describing the 'Monster Cross' sub sector of bikes.. others can tout brand favorites within that category..
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Old 08-13-17, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
A descent down a technical, rocky and/or rooted single-track on a typical Cyclocross bike is eventually not going to end well.

The Salsa Fargo or Cutthroat with 2 inch, or wider tires and a dropper seatpost could be finessed, but it's still not the right tool for the job.
@Barrettscv makes a very wise post and the OP would do well to listen.

I agree 100%. A bike without suspension is not going to do well on trails that are rocky or heavily rooted. The rider will always struggle and wide tires, lower pressure and compliant seat posts can only do so much.

Manufacturers show photos of gravel bikes, CX and MX bikes on gnarly trails and use marketing terms like "Do it all" but they are not telling the truth.

If you want to ride rocky and rooted trails and like mountain bike geometry then get a mountain bike with a proper suspension.


-Tim-
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Old 08-13-17, 01:41 PM
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RobiEli
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
you are describing the 'Monster Cross' sub sector of bikes.. others can tout brand favorites within that category..
ok, ty
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Old 08-13-17, 02:01 PM
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Thank you everyone for your suggestions. Will look into them.
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Old 08-13-17, 04:49 PM
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I've done a fair amount of S Cal off road stuff with a CX bike and 42mm tires so here are a few things I'd keep in mind.

CX geometry is most limiting uphill. Your weight is too far forward to keep the back wheel biting. You'll run out of traction before you run out of gears or tire width.

You are slower downhill, have to plan your lines with more care, and you aren't going to be taking any tree roots or boulders at speed.

Interrupters are your friend.

The ability to stay on the tops with your head up, your weight back and the added authority you can get on the binders, helps mitigate the excitement when it gets steep.
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Old 08-13-17, 06:26 PM
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Salsa Cutthroat

I highly recommend the Cutthroat. I have a 2.4 inch on the front and a 2.2 inch tire on the back. The 2017 year Rival ($3000) model has Hydro disc brakes and 2x11 speed.
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