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 or touring

Old 03-18-12, 09:00 AM
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Cyclocross or touring

I have been reading both foru s for a while now trying to narrow down what I want in a second bike.

I am still stuck with the question of my needs as to whether they apply more to a cyclocross frame or a touring frame.

I am hoping for some advice.

Primary use: living in the Sierra there is a huge selection of either dirt of gravel roads to ride on. I want a bike I can comfortably take down either for extended period of say a century.

Secondary use: I want to have a bike I can put at a minimum rear racks on for light touring. Outside of the rider and panniers the max weight I would ever add would be 30 lbs. So camping overnights and perhaps quick trips to the grocery store, but mostly camping.

I also want disk brakes.

To sum it up, I want a frame that will handle the tire width for mud and dirt, I want fenders, and want at a minimum, rear rack mounts ( to easily take these on and off based on type of riding for the day) , and I want disk brakes.

What frame would you guys suggest for these needs?
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Old 03-18-12, 09:28 AM
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There is a fuzzy overlap between recreational Cyclocross bikes and Touring bikes.

Cyclocross bikes normally have 425mm long chainstays and higher BB location for better chainring clearance. Touring bikes have longer chainstays and lower BB's for better loaded handling and increased heel-strike clearance around the rear panniers.

Considering that you want disc brakes, consider the Soma Double Cross, Salsa Vaya and Surly Long Haul Trucker.

The Vaya and Long Haul Trucker will take 700x40-45 (depending on tire model) tires and fenders while the Soma will limit you to 700x35-37 tires with fenders.

If I was traveling with a 10 pound load, I would take the Soma. If the load was greater, I would take a Salsa Vaya or Surly Long Haul Trucker.

I would select a Triple crankset and drivetrain in either case.
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Old 03-18-12, 09:31 AM
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I did a little studying on the same question earlier this year, for the purposes you outlined. Going off-road sometimes, it's a logical impulse to consider a cross frame. As it turns out, it's a popular enough idea that you can find "cyclocross" frames that are designed for touring or utility with all the braze-on's, for fenders racks etc. So that option is viable. Purists will hold that these aren't "real" cyclocross, and that true cyclocross frames and bikes are built for cyclocross racing period.

I mostly came to the latter conclusion. The main, most important departure from a touring bike is the higher bottom bracket on the cross frame, to clear large rocks, roots and so on. Necessarily that puts the rider higher, which is not really an advantage for longer rides. Wheel base and other geometry is or can be pretty similar between the two. So in general I decided that a touring frame is more logical. Caveat: I didn't choose either one, deciding to use my old beater bike for loaded trips, such as to the grocery store, and work something out for the road bike for light camping and day trips.
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Old 03-22-12, 08:17 PM
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For your purpose you should take a look at the specialized tricross apex disc model (2012) it has disc brakes and can be fitted with fenders and racks.
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Old 03-22-12, 10:02 PM
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I think I've recommended the Double Cross DC on this forum and the commuting forum a few times already....but it can't hurt to do it again.

I wanted a bike to do all the things you mentioned + foul weather commuting. I have tried a few bikes designed for loaded touring and found the ride very dull and uninspiring. I wanted something a little more aggressive but not quite racing geometry. Also wanted disc brakes. I built up an 09 DC and couldn't be happier with the results.

I'll just post a thumbnail since I've posted this bike so many times...(click to embiggen).

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Old 03-23-12, 12:38 AM
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26" wheel Trucker, troll etc. or do feel you have to have 700c wheels?
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