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Anyone else ride Tricross mostly on road?

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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.

Anyone else ride Tricross mostly on road?

Old 05-24-09, 10:38 AM
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Anyone else ride Tricross mostly on road?

Let me know if this is wrong forum, but looking for advice - figures some in the cross category might have done something similar:

I have an '08 Specialized Tricross Sport that I purchased last year before I knew much what I was doing in cycling. Still don't know that much, but find that I am riding almost exclusively on road and paved trails (150-200 miles per week) and looking to join some stronger group rides.

I think I should really be on a road bike - but don't have $2k handy to put down on a new one. I'm told that my Tricross frame is basically fairly similar to a Roubaix (not sure if that is accurate? Maybe more like the Allez?). So the question is - does it make sense, in terms of return on investment, to spend some money on making my Tricross more "road"-like (less money than a new bike, but still sizable dollars), or should I just try to save for a new road bike?

Where should I focus on improvements? I've already switched to 23 cc tires, removed the crosstop brakes, and replaced the SPD pedals with Keo Sprint. Thinking about upgrading from the triple crankset to a compact double. Does this make sense?

(And - how much of a problem, at the end of the day, will it be to still have the cross-style V-brakes - which is the one piece I won't be able to change)?
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Old 05-24-09, 03:18 PM
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Your bike is not like either the Allez or Roubaix actually, the geometry will be totally different.

It sounds like you've gone in the right direction with the changes you've made. Perhaps a lighter wheelset would be an option,The biggest performance gains are from lightening the rotating mass. An affordable wheel set like the Mavic Aksiums would be a big improvement. The stock Tricross wheels are great for staying true when you beat them up but they are heavy. Don't bother changing the crankset.

If you need more speed after changing the wheels you need to either 1. Work on the engine driving the pedals, 2. Go to a road bike.
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Old 05-24-09, 04:12 PM
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+1 on the wheelset upgrade, it will make a noticeable difference.
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Old 05-24-09, 04:17 PM
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I agree with Saddle Up. I have a Tricross Comp and primarily use it on the road and fire trails. I'd use the stock wheels with the cross tires for off roading and get a nice wheelset like the Mavics mentioned above for the road. It'll perform fine and works great as a long distance ride. Great commuter.

I've also got a Roubaix Comp and while they are both more upright than a typical road bike, they are night and day difference in performance. Same road, I fly on the Roubaix. Lots of roads here have sections that are dirt and I love taking the Tricross on those rides. Lots of fun. On climbing rides and fast group and fast rec rides, the Roubaix is awesome. I've done several centuries on my Tricross and it performed great. Very comfortable bike. Roubaix is even more comfortable, but lack mounting for racks and such so it's more difficult to drag stuff along if needed.

All-in-all, the Tricross is a great all around bike, but doesn't do anything particular great. For road only, you'd be better served by something like a Roubaix or Allez.
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Old 05-24-09, 07:21 PM
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for me the real difference between my road bike and my cross bike wasn't really much a speed thing but handling difference. I can pretty much keep the same speed on my cross bike with road tires though fast sharp turns seemed to be an improvement on the road bike.
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Old 05-26-09, 02:47 PM
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I notice the same thing. Steeper angles and shorter wheelbase on the road bike beg to carve turns on pavement. Straight line speed seems pretty negligible, though it's hard to compare since my road bike is a singlespeed...
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Old 05-26-09, 06:03 PM
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Here is my newly built up Tricross that im using for road rides mostly, since it is relative to the thread.

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Old 05-26-09, 09:48 PM
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Interesting thread. I also have a Tricross Sport, have vaguely considered buying "road wheels" for it, but would like to hear from someone who's done it how much benefit they got. Then again, my only real reason for it would be for keeping up on long group road rides. Not that I've ever done one.

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Old 05-27-09, 09:00 AM
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Depends on your budget. If you really don't care to spend much money, then just change the tires to some 23/25's. I put some lighter wheels on the Sport model I had and it made a good difference, not great, but good. The biggest change was the tires. If you use the Borough tires that come on it a lot, then it'd be a good investment to get another wheelset. If not, just pull them off and put some road tires on them.
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Old 05-27-09, 11:49 AM
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If you want to keep up on faster group road rides then I think that it's a good idea to get a lighter wheelset with road tires.
The stock sport wheels are very heavy. Swapping to a fairly lightweight wheelset with road tires can drop 3 pounds off the bike.
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Old 05-27-09, 04:10 PM
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If you want to do faster group rides and sometime ride offroad, then get a 2nd wheelset for road. Thats what I have done, I have 700x20's for road, 32's for offroad/trail riding. When riding on road with the cross wheels I can keep 17/18 mph, but with the road wheels its more 21-23 mph.

Hope this helps some.
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Old 05-27-09, 07:36 PM
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Thanks guys, very helpful. As it stands, I have only two sets of tyres, the stock 32mm Boroughs, which I normally run at 100-105psi, and a set of knobby off-road tyres which max out at 60, which I use for off-road. Would I get much benefit going from the stock tyres to, say, 23mm? (And would they fit ok?)

Next question: If you had a road wheelset, would you use it for commuting? I have 2-3 kerb hops in my 9km commute, but I could talk myself out of them. It's all asphalt.

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Old 05-27-09, 07:55 PM
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Originally Posted by stevage
Thanks guys, very helpful. As it stands, I have only two sets of tyres, the stock 32mm Boroughs, which I normally run at 100-105psi, and a set of knobby off-road tyres which max out at 60, which I use for off-road. Would I get much benefit going from the stock tyres to, say, 23mm? (And would they fit ok?)

Next question: If you had a road wheelset, would you use it for commuting? I have 2-3 kerb hops in my 9km commute, but I could talk myself out of them. It's all asphalt.

Steve
Yes, 23's or 25's will fit. I run mine on 23 Specialized Armadillo's and the ride is great with no flats so far. The performance enhancement is quite noticable.
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Old 05-31-09, 06:00 PM
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Hi There - I ride a Cross bike with 32 MM Boroughs and just got a pair of 25 mm Armadillo's today - they totally rock and made a huge difference in my ride. I would recommend the 25 mm over 23 - CX rims are slightly wider and the 23's may not fit as they should. Trust me - you will not need new rims to notice the difference - once out get the thinner road tires, you'll be amazed.

(Ps - I tried replying a few minutes ago but it didn't go through - so if you see two responses from me somewhere, that's why)

Good luck
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Old 05-31-09, 06:44 PM
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Well.. I have a tarmac, an allez, and now a tricross. They are definitely all different. I think you will be fine on your tricross. The geometry is more lax (read comfortable) than the Tarmac & Allez. The Longer chain-stay helps with stability at the cost of light-speed handling. It's a little heavy, but not much. Definitely not worth worrying about unless you plan to race cat3 or higher. If you're looking to upgrade, like others have said. Tires first, then Wheels. The Triple is fine unless you find yourself spinning easily in your hardest gear. Even then, I'd change the cassette first because it's a lot cheaper. Just because you ride on the road doesn't mean that you need a "road bike" Here in Milwaukee I'll be retiring my tarmac, and allez and riding ONLY my 40lb steel tourer and tricross. Why? Because the roads are in such bad shape I can't handle the jarring anymore. Getting old. Anyway... good luck. These are always hard decisions.
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Old 06-17-09, 08:58 AM
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Incidentally, to report back, I've put Vittoria Rubino Pro's on the Tricross. Here are my impressions:
- Noticeably quicker, but hard to quantify because I can't remember how to adjust my speedo for the tyre change Most noticeable on slight downhills where it just rolls faster.
- Sharper handling. Hard to describe, but the feeling when doing a slalom type course is quite precise, kind of like switching edges on a snowboard.
- Harsher ride. Not terrible, but noticeable.
- Handles *much* worse off road. I tested a specific section of soft sandy dirt just before changing. The 32 mm slick CX tyres at 100PSI can ride across it fine, as long as you don't change direction much. The 23mms at 120psi cut straight through, getting bogged - totally unmanageable. Ok on hardpacked crushed limestone, and even grass - if a bit stupid.
- Exposes you to all sorts of new hazards! I did a slow u-turn on some wooden decking and slipped through the cracks! Every grill on the street looks scary now...I guess I'll get used to it.

So overall, it looks like some modest benefit for a big sacrifice in convenience and versatility. So for commuting I'll probably switch back to 32mm sooner or later, and save the 23mms for long distance rides (eg, 60k plus).

Steve
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Old 06-17-09, 10:43 AM
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I bought my Tricross Expert specifically to ride on the road at the start of February - at least until cross season starts. Swapped out the knobbies for 28c Conti 4 Season tires, fitted lights, and I've got nearly 2K miles on it as a commuter. Come October, overhaul the thing, refit the knobbies and it's MUD TIME!

If you don't want those cross top brakes, email me and I'll fit them to one of my other bikes. They're one of the selling points to me!

FWIW, I lose about 2 minutes over 20 miles versus my Cannondale road bike, which has 23c Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick tires. I'd get a minute of that back with 23c tires on the Tricross. How much are you willing to spend for that last minute? You chose better than you know - revel in that knowledge. You have the "Swiss Army Knife" of bikes...

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Old 12-07-10, 09:12 PM
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I have a '10 Tricross Expert, and so far, been on pavement mostly.
Swapping the stock 32mm stock 'cross tires out for a set of 28mm Conti Contacts for my commute made a HUGE difference.

It's interesting I ran into this thread, 'cause I was just thinking the same thing.... I have a tricross... btu spend a lot of time on the road... I'm working on saving up for a road bike, but wondered what would be more different from my Tricorss... Roubaix or Allez ... I don't need the best of the best, since I don't really race too much, so no need for a Tarmac.. but a nice road bike for longer rides would be nice.
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Old 12-08-10, 02:01 PM
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I bought a '10 Tricross as my first road bike. First thing I did was buy better wheels and tires (Soul 3.0SL and 23c Gatorskins). Served me very as I got more into road riding.

Since then, its been relegated back to touring and CX riding, since I bought a Cervelo for my road riding. Once you get on a true road bike, its hard to get back on the tricross for a dedicated road ride. The tricross is heavier, less nimble, and a tad more sluggish in the sprints and climbs. That said, i still love riding it when I don't feel like a hardcore road ride. Not to mention the ability to turn down that dirt road that I'd otherwise skip on the Cervelo.

When you're budget constrained, the Tricross with 2 sets of wheels (1 for road, 1 for trail) is the best option.
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Old 12-08-10, 03:50 PM
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not only have I ridden my X bike on the road, I've raced it in a road race. Just get some skinny tires and ride the heck out of it. I also have a carbon road bike and honestly...the cross bike didn't hold me back any.

Another friend rides his cross bike in the fast group rides in his area. He even keeps the 32s on it. Stays in the lead pack and this has cat2-3s in the group (road).

You don't need a dedicated road bike to ride on the road. My longest road ride on my cross bike to date is 70 miles with zero issues.

It also is my longest road race of the year. I came in 2nd that day by 1 second.
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