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.

Why I Love My Cross Bike

Old 07-12-10, 01:45 PM
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NoSho
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Why I Love My Cross Bike

I don't actually participate in the sport of cyclocross. My primary cycling role is commuter. In fact, I hadn't even heard of cyclocross before I started looking for a new commuter bike with more of a road style and my LBS suggested I check out cross bikes. I ended up getting a really good deal on an '09 Specialized TricCross Comp and I love it!

This weekend I was out just riding around, doing a leisurely ride down country roads I'd never been on. Suddenly, the asphalt I was riding on ended and turned into gravel. If I had been on a road bike, I would have had to turn back, but on my awesome new cross bike, I just kept going! I ended up going down county roads I didn't even know were there and had some pretty spectacular views.

This just reenforced how awesome and versatile the cross bike is.

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Old 07-12-10, 02:07 PM
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Good story. Still have the stock tires on it?
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Old 07-13-10, 11:46 AM
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Yep. I thought about doing more road tires, but I like the versatility of the cross tires. Also, they'll be good come winter.
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Old 07-13-10, 11:57 AM
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[QUOTE=NoSho;11099599]I don't actually participate in the sport of cyclocross. My primary cycling role is commuter. In fact, I hadn't even heard of cyclocross before I started looking for a new commuter bike with more of a road style and my LBS suggested I check out cross bikes.[QUOTE]

This is exactly how I ended up with a CX bike. Since then I've gotten into CX racing and while I'm really bad at it, it's insanely fun. You should really consider giving it a try.
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Old 07-13-10, 12:00 PM
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Think about changing out those tires. I use the same one's, but use the Armadillo version and it's quite faster on roads now. For road only rides, I use my road bike so I never change tires on my Tricross.
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Old 07-13-10, 01:40 PM
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This is exactly how I ended up with a CX bike. Since then I've gotten into CX racing and while I'm really bad at it, it's insanely fun. You should really consider giving it a try.
Yeah, the guys at my LBS are super into CX. I'm definitely going to check it out this year. At the very least, I'm going to show up to support their team. They're talking about setting up a course behind the shop, which would be pretty rad and give me a chance to try it out without having to worry about competing, etc.
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Old 07-13-10, 02:24 PM
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Same here, I rarely ride my road bikes now. My Surly CC is to much fun and has no limitations. Dirt roads and rocks that would have flatted my roadie tires are nothing for the 32mm cross tires. I like the smooth on center types because they roll fast on pavement but have enough grip for dirt roads and trails. Just be careful in fast on pavement turns, the knobby edges don't grip like a road tire and can slide out.
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Old 07-15-10, 11:15 AM
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Same reason I like the enduro style motorcycles...just riding along a road, see a rutted fire trail, explore it a little, hit the road again, find something else you want to check out, have at it.
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Old 07-15-10, 11:21 AM
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Your post is just inspiration for me. I just got a CX bike and I already started to love it. What armadillo would you recommend me to put on so to be more compatible with the normal paved roads? My actual tires are Vittoria Cross XG 700X34C F.V.
Originally Posted by NoSho View Post
I don't actually participate in the sport of cyclocross. My primary cycling role is commuter. In fact, I hadn't even heard of cyclocross before I started looking for a new commuter bike with more of a road style and my LBS suggested I check out cross bikes. I ended up getting a really good deal on an '09 Specialized TricCross Comp and I love it!

This weekend I was out just riding around, doing a leisurely ride down country roads I'd never been on. Suddenly, the asphalt I was riding on ended and turned into gravel. If I had been on a road bike, I would have had to turn back, but on my awesome new cross bike, I just kept going! I ended up going down county roads I didn't even know were there and had some pretty spectacular views.

This just reenforced how awesome and versatile the cross bike is.

NoSho
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Old 07-19-10, 10:57 PM
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I just look at all the people on road bikes on some of my rides and think - how boring. Restricted to just road when there are so many cool trails to take? I know, not for everyone. I just want variety on my rides, and the freedom to choose where I go. I've done pretty much everything on my cross bike - from Mammoth Mountain to touring. There was even a section on my last tour where the trail went from gravel road to singletrack with climbing. Fun!
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Old 07-22-10, 12:31 AM
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You've got to remember that a lot of road cyclists are only in it for the fitness. Their ideal road is one where they can mentally switch off, zone out, and just pedal. Just like joggers. This insight only hit me a couple of days ago...

To the OP: Now that you've discovered gravel roads, soon you'll move on to fire trail, then single track, and before you know it, you'll be trying to keep up with someone on a hardtail as they bomb down over rocky drop offs...
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Old 07-22-10, 10:09 AM
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I always noticed that even in a commuting situation it's more fun. On a road bike you are limited to where you can go, but with my cross bike I don't think twice about hopping curbs to take MUPs or other shortcuts through parks and non-car traveled routes. It's so much more fun to tear down MUPs too, some of them around me are poorly maintained with lots of ruts. Others have random dirt paths that kids and riders like me have made that go nowhere other than 150 feet in a circle, but it's dirt so it's fun.

I'm thinking about going for a ride right now. It's been raining all morning and my 'normal' route is definitely going to be full of mud!!!
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Old 07-25-10, 01:50 AM
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after reading all this, I feel obligated get my cross bike up and running again. I gotta get some new brakes, put the rear derailluer and shifters back...
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Old 07-25-10, 05:30 AM
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Originally Posted by jb_alphamale View Post
Your post is just inspiration for me. I just got a CX bike and I already started to love it. What armadillo would you recommend me to put on so to be more compatible with the normal paved roads? My actual tires are Vittoria Cross XG 700X34C F.V.
If you're ok with paying more then the Marthon Duremes are probably a better bet as all-rounders. The compound used in Armadillos is mediocre even by Specialized standards, which aren't very high when it comes to tyres. The Schwalbe Dureme uses the same compound as their famous Duranos, Supremes and cross racing tyres - probably the best available in a clincher. The tread pattern is more sophisticated too and Will, the first poster here to use them, got extremely impressive results:

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...res.-(meanwile!)
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Old 07-25-10, 06:42 PM
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I'm curious why you think you'd have to turn around on road tires? Unless it's really rocky there is no reason road tires can't do gravel roads, I do it all the time on my road bike.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7me0keTwdl8
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Old 07-25-10, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by OnTheRivet View Post
I'm curious why you think you'd have to turn around on road tires? Unless it's really rocky there is no reason road tires can't do gravel roads, I do it all the time on my road bike.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7me0keTwdl8
Yeah, no reason why you can't, but for me I find 23/25's sketchy on dirt roads. Rocks and dirt etc, cause my tires to wash out and it's not exactly comfortable. Now, when I run the same bike with 700x32 Specialized Borough's, dirt roads are fun. No issues with the wheel washing out and I don't even feel the rocks. My next tire will be the Duremes like discussed above. Big tires are fun when the road gets rough.
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Old 07-26-10, 07:39 AM
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I use Panaracer Paselas. I considered Marathons but didn't want to spend the money. Paselas get mixed reviews but I've had good luck with both the wire bead and folding.
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Old 07-26-10, 08:39 AM
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I love my cross bike too because of its versatility. If you can afford it, buy a spare wheelset so you can switch between road and cx tires in a flash. I run 25's on it when I am on the road and switch to 32 if I am going to hit a trail. Way easier than changing tires constantly to use the same bike for different terrain.
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Old 07-26-10, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by OnTheRivet View Post
I'm curious why you think you'd have to turn around on road tires? Unless it's really rocky there is no reason road tires can't do gravel roads, I do it all the time on my road bike.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7me0keTwdl8
Well, these gravel roads were also pretty hilly. My experience is that smooth tires + loose gravel + uphill = rear tire spinning and not getting very far.
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Old 07-26-10, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead View Post
I love my cross bike too because of its versatility. If you can afford it, buy a spare wheelset so you can switch between road and cx tires in a flash. I run 25's on it when I am on the road and switch to 32 if I am going to hit a trail. Way easier than changing tires constantly to use the same bike for different terrain.
this is what i came in here to ask about. so this works pretty good, huh? do you have to make any other adjustments like to the brakes or anything?
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Old 07-26-10, 01:43 PM
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If I can interrupt the love, I just want to ask a general question.

Besides the tire size obviously being bigger and the frame accommodating a larger tire size, is there something about a cross bike frame, handling wise that is going to make a difference?
Perhaps this is more of a question for my LBS but since I'm reading the topic I'm curious.

Can a cross keep up with the road bikes just as easy if the tires are switched out?
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Old 07-26-10, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by wilcode View Post
this is what i came in here to ask about. so this works pretty good, huh? do you have to make any other adjustments like to the brakes or anything?
Yeah it works great. No I don't have to adjust the brakes. I use the nicer wheelset for the road and the stock one that came with the bike for trail. I have to make zero adjustments when I change wheelsets. If you are unsure of what kind of wheelset you would need, go to the LBS and tell them what you want to do. They should be able to point you in the correct direction.
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Old 07-27-10, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by 1fluffhead View Post
I love my cross bike too because of its versatility. If you can afford it, buy a spare wheelset so you can switch between road and cx tires in a flash. I run 25's on it when I am on the road and switch to 32 if I am going to hit a trail. Way easier than changing tires constantly to use the same bike for different terrain.
I'm a confused newbie. I was thinking about getting a Trek 7.3 FX which comes with
700 x 32 tires. Some people say they would never take the Trek offroad. So I don't get it.

If I put the exact same puncture-resistant tires on the Trek as a Cyclocross what's the big
difference that makes a Cyclocross ok to offroad, but not the Trek?
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Old 07-27-10, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by MacAttack View Post
I'm a confused newbie. I was thinking about getting a Trek 7.3 FX which comes with
700 x 32 tires. Some people say they would never take the Trek offroad. So I don't get it.

If I put the exact same puncture-resistant tires on the Trek as a Cyclocross what's the big
difference that makes a Cyclocross ok to offroad, but not the Trek?
Nothing afaik. Maybe what people were saying is that there were better hybrids than the Trek if you plan to go offroad? Tyre clearance is usually the key issue - 35s or 40s are much better than 32, especially if you're on the heavy side.
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Old 07-27-10, 04:58 PM
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Im so excited about getting my cross bike. You guys/gals are motovating and im excited about getting into a new form of cycling!
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