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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 :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-08-08, 01:57 PM   #1
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ok, how bad of a disadvantage would i really be at?

i'm thinking i want to do a few cyclocross rides.


a) am not sure how much i'm going to enjoy it
b) do not want to spend a ton on a new bike i may not use much
c) do not want to buy a cheapo cyclocross bike which i will immediately want to upgrade if i do like the sport

can i just swap out the wheels and tires on my road bike and ride that for cyclocross rides? i understand my brakes will be underpowered, and the geometry would be a little off.

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Old 07-08-08, 02:39 PM   #2
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I'd be somewhat concerned about the strength of the frame and especially the fork, depends on what road bike you're using. A CX frame is more like a MTB frame in terms of strength, but with a more road-like geometry. If you have a touring bike you'd probably be okay. The other major problem would be tire clearance. My road bike will not fit a 32c tire in the back, especially if it get some mud on it. Last issue is probably gearing, again depending on your bike, if you run a compact up front, you'll be fine, otherwise your gonna be running with your bike a lot.

Realistically, if you think your bike can handle it, go for it. EuroCross was invented long before any of the canti brakes and special gearing and forks and whatnot modern CX uses. I promise you'll have a ton of fun...

p.s. I use road the same wheels on my CX bike as road bike. They work just fine.
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Old 07-08-08, 02:45 PM   #3
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What do you mean by "cyclocross rides"?

If you just mean some dirt roads, then you can easily get away with slightly larger tires (think 28mm or so), or even the standard 23mm at slightly lower pressures.

If you mean substantially more technical terrain than that, then you would probably want tires that would be too large to fit in your road frame and fork.

Contemporary road bikes are set up with very small tire clearances, which is part of an overall trend from versatility to specialization. (Think of all the subcategories of mountain bikes, for example.) The recent interest in "cyclocross" bikes is IMO simply a desire from people for bikes that are more practical, versatile, and can fit tires larger than 25mm.
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Old 07-08-08, 02:54 PM   #4
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You'll be eaten by a giraffe.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:13 PM   #5
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There are a lot of mountain bikes in the beginner class Cyclocross races. Just pick up a used rigid mountain bike from a garage sale or Craigslist and throw some skinny tires on it. If you don't like it, you can probably get your money back out of the bike. I think geomatry is way over rated, especially in local races. If you lose it won't be because of the bike, there are guys out there who are just flat out fast and can mount and dimount in a flash.
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Old 07-08-08, 06:52 PM   #6
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Just take your road bike off road (good chance it will survive).. pick it up every once in a while and run and hop about. If that amuses you... get a 'cross bike.
- James
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