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cross bike instead of mountain bike?

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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.

cross bike instead of mountain bike?

Old 12-26-09, 06:26 PM
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cross bike instead of mountain bike?

I currently ride a road bike, but I would like to ride some fire trails this spring and summer. I dont want a full on mountain, but would a cross bike work just fine on fire trails? I dont plan on switching over to mountain bikes I just want to ride a bike similar to my roadie off road.
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Old 12-26-09, 07:53 PM
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Cross bike would work fine for this. Do a search on this forum, there are a lot of folks talking about using their cross bike for fire roads and limestone trails such as rail-to-trail. This is the main reason I have cross bikes. No good single track here but plenty of fire trail/dirt roads/logging roads to ride on. Plus, with a switch of a second wheelset that I've got road tires on, I can ride just as fast as the people riding road bikes.
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Old 12-26-09, 09:14 PM
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Cross bikes work great for your new program. A compact crankset with a 12-27 works great for trails.
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Old 12-26-09, 09:26 PM
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Cross bike would be just perfect. I ride firetrails all the time on my Giant FCR3. I had straight bars/ectenders on it at the time though. Currently converting to drop bars. But I ride on 700x32's and have never had a problem. Good luck.
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Old 12-27-09, 02:16 AM
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awesome! i have been debating between a cross bike and fixed gear but i think i have made my decision and i am going to go with a cross bike. something riding some fire trails just seems like it would be lots of fun.
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Old 12-27-09, 02:23 AM
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Originally Posted by xg43x
awesome! i have been debating between a cross bike and fixed gear but i think i have made my decision and i am going to go with a cross bike. something riding some fire trails just seems like it would be lots of fun.
get a fixed gear cross bike?
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Old 12-27-09, 02:49 AM
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Take your CX bike out for a test ride before buying though and ensure you're gonna be ok with the following:
1. toe overlap
2. front brake shudder

On my CX:
1. I got used to toe overlap, but I still hate it.
2. I knew about brake shudder before buying and knew of various upgrades, but strangely, I'm ok with shudder.
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Old 12-27-09, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by mustang1
Take your CX bike out for a test ride before buying though and ensure you're gonna be ok with the following:
1. toe overlap
Good point. I don't have a problem with toe overlap on my crosser, although I do have size 12 feet while only being 5'10. Overlap is always a risk on 700c bikes if you don't have small feet - I have had overlap problems on hybrids.

2. front brake shudder
Again, a good point. Not all bikes have this problem. Rather more suffer the lesser problem of brakes that merely squeal - often loudly. This is a cantilever brake thing. Test ride any bike you're interested in.

You can side step the problem entirely by going for disks, of course. Or you could swap cantis for mini-v brakes. Most crossers come with canti for their superior mud clearance, but you don't seem to be planning to ride through thick mud (its typical of a lot of cross racing courses) so you might as well have your cantis swapped for mini-vees.
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Old 12-27-09, 09:27 AM
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Mine certainly did not. But the toe overlap I never really paid attention to until I started clipping in. Then I noticed if my foot was in the forward most position and I was turning the opposite direction of my front foot, I would rub a bit. But now I just pay attention while riding.
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Old 12-27-09, 01:08 PM
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Don't have any issues with toe overlap or shudder, but I went a size larger than what I normally ride for a road bike. 54cm to 56cm. For me the size larger was much more comfortable and this is much more important to me than handling that the 54 would have given me. This solved the toe overlap issue for me as the 54 I had this issue with. With fenders though, all bets are off. I've yet to have a bike with canti brakes have shudder. It's either luck or I'm doing a good job of adjusting the brakes. No squeal either, although this seemed to be more the quality of pads than adjustment.
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Old 12-27-09, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt
get a fixed gear cross bike?
+1

I just finished building up a Cross Check as a fixed gear for winter. I could easily put on some CX tires, maybe a smaller chainring, and flip the hub around to ride it singlespeed. I'll probably even end up doing some singlespeed cyclocross racing with it. Alternatively, I could build it up with gears. It's a very versatile frame. It's a bit heavy by roadie standards, but much lighter than most mountain bikes. As a fixie, mine weighed about 20 pounds before I put on the rack and fenders.
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Old 12-27-09, 07:16 PM
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Before I got my Cross Check, I used to ride gravel rail trails on my road bike all the time.
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Old 12-27-09, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Before I got my Cross Check, I used to ride gravel rail trails on my road bike all the time.
Yep, you sure can. I've done it myself but it wasn't what I would call riding. It was simply to make it to the road again. On my cross bike, I ride the same way on the gravel trail/dirt road that I do on the road. I don't pay attention to what the surface is when on that bike.
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Old 12-27-09, 10:31 PM
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If you get separate wheels for trail and road, make sure the rims are the same width and the rear hub is the same, so you dont have to fiddle with brake and gear adjustments when you swap wheels
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