Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

"Real" Cross bike vs Cross "style" bike ?

Notices
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.

"Real" Cross bike vs Cross "style" bike ?

Old 09-05-13, 08:36 PM
  #1  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
"Real" Cross bike vs Cross "style" bike ?

first of all obviously i don't do cross competitions or i wouldn't be asking this. my question is with respect to basically riding on badly paved roads at night when its hard to see potholes and debris on the road, and when you simply want something sturdier than a road bike.

a few years ago when i was an even bigger noob than i am now my friend who had no experience with bikes at all asked me to help him buy a bike. i remembered that Cyclocross bikes were a good compromise between a Road and a MTN bike so i told him he should get a Cyclocross bike, but because it was just his first bike also we wanted to get him something inexpensive so he ended up with a Specialized Tricross.

until recently i actually thought he got a Cross bike, but now that i started researching a Cross bike for myself i realized that what we got for my friend is actually a cross "style" bike, not a "real" cross bike.

so apparently Specialized Crux is a REAL cross bike and Specialized Tricross is a cross STYLE bike.

but how different / similar are they really ?

i can tell that the geometry of the Tricross is more relaxed, the tires are smoother, and i also remember it was really heavy ( twice as heavy as my road bike ). it is also obviously much cheaper than Crux. i also remember that when i tried riding it all i could think about was how much i wanted to go back to my road bike. the riding position was too high and the bike itself felt like a tire iron. by comparison my road bike felt much faster and more agile by a HUGE margin.

would something like Crux be much different from Tricross ? obviously the riding position will be different enough, but will there be a significant difference in weight or perhaps frame stiffness ? are there any "secret" differences between these types of bikes that i should be aware of ?
androgen is offline  
Old 09-05-13, 09:14 PM
  #2  
Pokemon Master
 
Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,108

Bikes: All City Cosmic Stallion, Salsa Colossal, Surly Preamble, 1985 Schwinn High Sierra x3

Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Why can't you put bigger tires on your road bike? What kind of road bike do you have now that weighs 12-15 pounds?
Darth_Firebolt is offline  
Old 09-05-13, 09:19 PM
  #3  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt
Why can't you put bigger tires on your road bike? What kind of road bike do you have now that weighs 12-15 pounds?
i have Giant TCR it weighs 19 pounds.

yes i could put bigger tires on it, but i would prefer to have a separate bike for day time riding and for night time riding because i would have all my lights installed on my night time bike.

i really like the TCR the way it is, with the tires it has, for the type of riding that i do on it - which is on special bike paths. i want to enjoy a pure road bike every once in a while, but i don't want to beat it up over potholes on daily basis.

Last edited by androgen; 09-05-13 at 09:24 PM.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-05-13, 09:31 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,141
Liked 84 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by androgen
i really like the TCR the way it is, with the tires it has, for the type of riding that i do on it - which is on special bike paths. i want to enjoy a pure road bike every once in a while, but i don't want to beat it up over potholes on daily basis.
Um, believe me, your road bike can handle the road.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 09-05-13, 09:37 PM
  #5  
Pokemon Master
 
Darth_Firebolt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 1,108

Bikes: All City Cosmic Stallion, Salsa Colossal, Surly Preamble, 1985 Schwinn High Sierra x3

Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
I'm just saying; this is pretty much exactly why the tricross and other "adventure road/ touring" bikes were created. You usually go slower on rough roads or at night, which makes the aero tuck less effective and harder to maintain since you're exerting less wattage. You're also sitting up higher so you can see potholes better and get weight off the front end. The slack geometry is a lot less twitchy over big bumps than a race frame, and it can fit tires up to like 42mm or something humongous like that. It will fit 32's with full fenders no problem. You can still get the bars on most bikes like the Tricross low by removing spacers and flipping stems, but the bars are higher for a reason.
Darth_Firebolt is offline  
Old 09-05-13, 09:57 PM
  #6  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
first of all before i forget i didn't mention that i weigh 215 pounds right now. although my weight can be anywehre from 170 to 230 lbs on any given year or season. but right now its 215, and usually that's about where it is.

Originally Posted by Darth_Firebolt
I'm just saying; this is pretty much exactly why the tricross and other "adventure road/ touring" bikes were created. You usually go slower on rough roads or at night, which makes the aero tuck less effective and harder to maintain since you're exerting less wattage. You're also sitting up higher so you can see potholes better and get weight off the front end. The slack geometry is a lot less twitchy over big bumps than a race frame, and it can fit tires up to like 42mm or something humongous like that. It will fit 32's with full fenders no problem. You can still get the bars on most bikes like the Tricross low by removing spacers and flipping stems, but the bars are higher for a reason.
i understand your argument - it makes sense and i don't disagree.

BUT !

as i said i don't use the bike for commuting. even if i'm riding at night on city streets i am still doing it as a workout, and i don't really go any slower than if it was some other condition.

and when i'm working out i like to feel like i'm working out. a lower bar feel is the feel that i think i want. when i tried the tricross it felt like it was designed for commuting or something like that but not for anything intense.

i will also add that i'm not a believer in long endurance workouts. i believe in shorter, higher intensity workouts. i understand that most bike races are long, and to prepare for them one must have long workouts, but i'm not training for a race - i'm just exercising for health, and i believe that for my goals intensity is more important than endurance.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 04:28 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
Kopsis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: St. Pete, Florida
Posts: 1,258
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
If you're looking at a CX bike because you think it will somehow survive stuff that a road bike won't, you should probably rethink things. CX bikes are designed for CX races and those don't (at least in my region) have potholes, curbs, or the other hazards you want to be able to just ride over. The closest thing is tree roots, and CX racers generally negotiate those quite carefully and don't just blindly smash over them. Glass and other road debris will cut a CX tire even easier than a good road tire. Yes, you can air up a wide tires more to reduce the chance of pinch flats, but by the time you reach the class of obstacles that will pinch flat a 28 (which a lot of road bikes can handle) you're risking damage to the wheel.

I understand the need to train after dark and the desire to not clutter the road bike with lighting. But no amount of lighting will save you from a large percentage of drivers being either drunk or asleep. If you want short, high intensity workouts after dark, just do what I do -- throw the road bike on the Kurt Kinetic and hammer away in complete safety.
Kopsis is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 07:52 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
ill.clyde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Brodhead, WI - south of Madison
Posts: 2,928

Bikes: 2009 Trek 1.2

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 1 Post
First ... one thread would have probably been sufficient for all your questions.

Second ... I just did this. Not for the same reasons as you, but I did. I'd wanted a cross bike for some time. I wanted to race, AND, at the same time, I recently switched jobs and moved, making a commute to work a reality. I figured I'd get the CX bike, use it to commute and race it during the season.

So I did ... 2012 Kona Jake. Love the bike. But it's nothing like my road bike, which isn't anything terribly special, but it's a dramatic difference between it and the Jake. CX bikes are made for short, quick bursts, for tight cornering and being nimble. A road bike is quick, generally built for fast straight line speeds and long sweeping corners. It's built for going fast over long distances ... the CX is built for being quick over shorter distances.

All of that said ... I commute on my Jake ... 12 miles one-way, so 24 miles on a given day. But I also commute on my roadie. They're different, but doable. The roadie is faster over the long haul.

If you're looking at a CX bike as some sort of holy grail for you, you're bound to be disappointed no matter if you get a "real" or "style" bike (which I think you're making more of than you should).

Slap some better puncture resistant tires on your road bike, suck it up and slap some lights on it if you really feel that you need to ride after dark and be done with it.
ill.clyde is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 08:31 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Ontario
Posts: 270
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You might find something here https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...bottom-bracket
starjag is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 01:03 PM
  #10  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
what about Fuji Feather CX:

https://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/feather-cx-13

geometry looks very road-like, and it has the right kind of tires, disc brakes and is inexpensive.

?

it certainly goes under cyclocross "style" category, but unlike Tricross it is not ridiculously tall - in fact it is lower to the ground than Fuji's "real" cross bikes.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 03:47 PM
  #11  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
Can't test ride a Website , go to the shops and test ride actual bikes.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-06-13, 05:10 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: SoCal
Posts: 6,496
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 3 Posts
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check/bike_info
rms13 is offline  
Old 09-07-13, 09:42 PM
  #13  
idc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Virginia/DC
Posts: 1,454

Bikes: quite a few

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
An aggressive "real" CX bike is still not going to feel the same as a road bike, although yes, it will be more aggressive than a CX "style" bike, and probably more expensive and lighter too.

It sounds to me like you're looking for something like a "comfort" race bike, like the Specialized Roubaix or Cannondale Synapse. These are designed for (fast) road racing on courses that include extended rough pavement, cobblestone sections, etc.
idc is offline  
Old 09-07-13, 11:45 PM
  #14  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob
Can't test ride a Website , go to the shops and test ride actual bikes.
don't worry i will do that. but i don't think many shops will have bikes that are of interest to me, and also there are more shops in New York than i can visit, so i need to compile a list of likely suspects then start calling the shops with the list in hand asking them what they have on display.

i also might delay the actual purchase till march or so, as until now i never consistently biked in winter, although i hope someday that will change.

but i do agree with you that actually riding the bike is the only way to find out what it feels like. same with buying a car. our senses are simply more powerful than our analytical abilities - we should use them when we can.

Last edited by androgen; 09-07-13 at 11:55 PM.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 12:06 AM
  #15  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by idc
It sounds to me like you're looking for something like a "comfort" race bike, like the Specialized Roubaix or Cannondale Synapse. These are designed for (fast) road racing on courses that include extended rough pavement, cobblestone sections, etc.
no that's not what i want at all. that's the exact opposite of what i want. i want the closest i can get to the feel of a road bike with race geometry but from a bike that has disc brakes and can take any size tire. i don't want any bike with endurance geometry and i don't want any bike with frame or brakes that will limit my tire options.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 07:02 AM
  #16  
idc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Virginia/DC
Posts: 1,454

Bikes: quite a few

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by androgen
no that's not what i want at all. that's the exact opposite of what i want. i want the closest i can get to the feel of a road bike with race geometry but from a bike that has disc brakes and can take any size tire. i don't want any bike with endurance geometry and i don't want any bike with frame or brakes that will limit my tire options.
Oh ok, might've been clearer if you'd just said that from the start.

Maybe you'd enjoy a Volagi bike? https://volagi.com/
Or a Foundry. https://foundrycycles.com/

"any size tire" is a bit much though, CX will typically go up to 35mm, and even generous frames will typically go to about 40mm.

(I still think bikes like the Roubaix and Synapse are plenty racy, given that they're used in Pro level races by Pro riders for races that involve "badly paved roads" which you mention in your OP.)


Also, if you are just riding for intensity, you could easily ride something slow and heavy and get an intense workout in a short distance.
If I commute on my old MTB it's a much tougher ride than my road bike.
idc is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 07:12 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,141
Liked 84 Times in 45 Posts
Why don't you want endurance geometry? Thats gonna be a lot closer to the feel of a road bike than, say a Crosscheck.
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 08:11 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Loose Chain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 2,067

Bikes: 84 Pinarello Trevisio, 86 Guerciotti SLX, 96 Specialized Stumpjumper, 2010 Surly Cross Check, 88 Centurion Prestige, 73 Raleigh Sports, GT Force, Bridgestone MB4

Liked 71 Times in 56 Posts
Originally Posted by androgen
i have Giant TCR it weighs 19 pounds.
Then if I were to remove the bell, lights, cages, fenders, bags, pumps, fat tires and Brooks etc and install a carbon fork installing high end super light race components (as I have done just to see) you would weigh about two pounds less than my Surly CC, not half as much. I figure it is real-er than what seems to pass as real today.

LC
Loose Chain is offline  
Old 09-08-13, 07:17 PM
  #19  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Loose Chain
Then if I were to remove the bell, lights, cages, fenders, bags, pumps, fat tires and Brooks etc and install a carbon fork installing high end super light race components (as I have done just to see) you would weigh about two pounds less than my Surly CC, not half as much. I figure it is real-er than what seems to pass as real today.

LC
weight isn't the only factor. stiffness also is. ironically i can't even climb on my mountain bike because it isn't stiff enough - whether that is due to front suspension, wide tires, frame or something else like a flexy crank set i don't know but when i tried getting up on the pedals for a nice push up a bridge the whole bike started wiggling around and i had to back off. maybe its because of my extra weight. but my road bike doesn't flex this way, despite weighing 19 lbs versus 33 lbs ( as far as i remember ) for my MTN bike. my road bike is aluminum with some strategic carbon reinforcements for stiffness.

i want the frame stiff enough such that with my 200+ lbs bodyweight i can get up on the pedals and not feel significant flex, but at the same time i want it light enough to have agile handling, and at the same time i don't want a carbon frame because i don't want an expensive frame that can shatter after one crash.

to me this means a frame from a good aluminum alloy with large diameter but thin wall properly formed and butted tubing. i especially like to see a large diameter down tube because when you get up on the pedals your points of contact with the bike are pedals and handlebars and the most direct connection between them is the down tube and if it doesn't have enough diameter then it might not have enough torsional stiffness so you may feel flex.

i really like Fuji carbon frames in this respect, but as i said i don't want a carbon frame and their aluminum frames are not like that.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 07:12 AM
  #20  
idc
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Virginia/DC
Posts: 1,454

Bikes: quite a few

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
ok so... you actually want: disc brakes, aggressive road race geometry, light frame, wide tire capacity, durability (as in not a carbon frame), stiff, and... inexpensive?

idc is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 09:03 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 354
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You could check out a Salsa Warbird. Road geometry, discs, reasonably light, it will clear a 40MM tire according to reviews, aluminum or Ti frame, price isn't too bad either.
RoadMike is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 10:19 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 73
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I own a 2011 Giant TCR (Aluminum) and a 2012 Specialized Tricross Elite.

I agree with your observation that the Tricross is almost ridiculously heavy for what it is. The wheels are pretty heavy, but it almost seems like the weight comes down to the frame and aluminum fork. The bb5 disc brakes add weight versus a road bike as well. This is a pretty far cry from the Tricoss of years past that had carbon seatstays and a carbon fork.

The tricross is much more comfortable over longer distances than the TCR. I use my TCR mostly for training rides and club races less than 70km. My Tricross however is almost entirely used offroad -- gravel roads, fire roads, trails, and some singletrack. I've done 100km gravel rides on my tricross which it's handled very well. I did some climbs on gravel roads though which were exhausting and necessitated the 11-32 cassette that it came with. However, on road it's notably more sluggish than my road bikes in terms of weight and wider tires that I normally run at a relatively low pressure. Maybe some would prefer this feel to that of a twitchy race bike. For any road-only riding, I would not recommend a tricoss but maybe that comes down to personal preference. Maybe an actual CX race bike, like a Giant TCX, would be lighter/faster and a bit more nimble.
ev0lution is offline  
Old 09-09-13, 11:14 PM
  #23  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 41
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
what about Cannondale CAADX - the price is good - is basically same as Tricross ?

aesthetically i really like the CAADX - it is not excessively plain looking like Surly Crosscheck and not excessively curvy like Specialized bikes which almost look like women's bikes. to me CAADX is what a bike should look like.

Last edited by androgen; 09-09-13 at 11:18 PM.
androgen is offline  
Old 09-10-13, 04:05 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
rebel1916's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 3,141
Liked 84 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by androgen
i don't want a carbon frame because i don't want an expensive frame that can shatter after one crash.
Stop believing alarmists. Carbon doesn't shatter. It asplodes. And the carbon on your current bike is there (supposedly) for comfort, not "stiffness".
rebel1916 is offline  
Old 09-10-13, 02:33 PM
  #25  
Tiocfáidh ár Lá
 
jfmckenna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: The edge of b#
Posts: 5,476

Bikes: A whole bunch-a bikes.

Liked 123 Times in 76 Posts
The Tricross has a lot of braze ons for fenders and racks and so on but you could still race with it. When I started racing cyclocross I used an old touring bike that is similiar to the Tricross description. A 'real' cross bike would have no braze ons including even bottle cages. The only braze on for a real cross bike might be a bottle opener

The Tricross sounds like a better bike for what you are looking for.
jfmckenna is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.