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Cyclocross with Comfort Bike Components ?

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Cyclocross with Comfort Bike Components ?

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Old 12-31-11, 09:16 AM
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MindBrain
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Cyclocross with Comfort Bike Components ?

I am looking to purchase a new bike ($1000 - $1500) and have been researching like mad, visiting cycle shops, and reading endlessly... I have a few Q's yet.

I am currently riding a 2003 Specialized Crossroads Comfort Bike, which I love but find too heavy and perhaps a bit outdated as far as components are concerned.

My goal is to find a bicycle which weighs less and is still comfortable... here's where I'm at: A Cyclocross Bike with a comfort seat and handlebars added would be ideal. I ride primarily on roads and towpaths... some of which are compacted gravel or dirt. So, I would want the lightweight nature of the cyclocross bike with carbon forks, but I'd also like disk breaks. Apparently cyclocross bikes do not have these as they are built to race specs.

Any suggestions or knowledge would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old 12-31-11, 10:13 AM
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Just starting to research this type of bike aswell and come up with this.

http://www.whytebikes.com/2012/bike_...dNo=W-1-037-12

Saddle is down to getting the right one in the first place and then setting it up for your butt. Similarly with the Bars.

Whyte are mainly noted for their top end Mountain bikes and the are good and this is their first foray into CX. So new in fact that I haven't found a shop with one to even look at- let alone test ride. However the few reports in magazines have been very favourable so I will keep looking for one.
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Old 12-31-11, 11:02 AM
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I'm doing some similar searching for the perfect all-around bike, and I've narrowed it down to either the Salsa Fargo or Surly Ogre. Both are built like "29r's" (wheels about the same size as 700's) but seem to be adaptable to both road and light off-road use (we've got graded dirt fire-roads/fire-breaks here in the Southern California backcountry that are fun to ride and don't really require a true MTB). They have disc brakes (the Surly can also use rim brakes), and both can use skinnier tires. Leaning towards the Surly since it is more adaptable and can accept racks and an internally geared hub for the rear wheel. I'm not too interested in the fastest/lightest bike, but one that suits my needs and (like you're trying to find) comfortable for longer rides.
 
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Old 12-31-11, 12:13 PM
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New cyclocross rules now allow disc brakes to be used in competition, so you are going to see more new cross bikes with discs on them. I have seen some built up already with cantilevers on the rear and disc front brakes. I think the handlebar conversion might be your biggest challenge in getting what you want.

Suggest you scroll through the cycloross forum and perhaps lurk there to see if you don't get some good ideas.
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Old 12-31-11, 04:11 PM
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The Cotic Roadrat is a flatbar doitall bike with discs.
http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/roadrat
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Old 12-31-11, 04:23 PM
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Jamis has a few models worth considering, including the Aurora Elite and Bosanova. These road bikes for smart urban use and cyclo-tourists: http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/index.html (scroll down)

This list includes everything: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...nd-Disc-Brakes!

I'm very happy with my Soma Double Cross, it is great for NE Ohio. The bike will take disc brakes: http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/double-cross-dc

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Old 12-31-11, 04:49 PM
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If straight bars are what you want, forget about cyclocross bikes. They're all drop bars and integrated levers. Converting them to straight bars means you're throwing away the most expensive part of the drivetrain--the integrated levers.

Better to look at flat bar road bikes that can take wider tires. Then you're just changing tires and your saddle.

Bear in mind too, that as your position changes on the bike, and as your ride distances increase, that fat, puffy comfort bike saddle can become a real source of woe.

Here's a sampling of flat bar road bikes:
No, I haven't investigated which ones can take fat tires. This is just to start you off.

Finally, you may want to reconsider drop bars. Ride a few bikes with them. You may find they're not at all what you think, particularly those with "relaxed" geometry..

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Old 12-31-11, 09:21 PM
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Even though cyclocross bikes now allow disc brakes, not many riders are converting. Part is due to the added weight.
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Old 12-31-11, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Bear in mind too, that as your position changes on the bike, and as your ride distances increase, that fat, puffy comfort bike saddle can become a real source of woe.
This.

I can attest from personal experience this is true. I have (for now) a comfort bike with a truly comfortable saddle. That is, as long as you're sitting still or nearly so. It would make a great chair.

I'm already looking forward to a better and less-intrusive saddle on my next bike (hopefully soon). No matter how I adjust things, I still can't fully get rid of some numbness now and then, not to mention rubbing. On today's 20 miler, it wasn't too bad, but we stopped a few times for various reasons and that made the difference. Only once did I have to stand for a few seconds while blood ran back into where it should have been all along. The usual answer is that something is improperly adjusted, but I'm convinced the width and over-padding of the saddle is the primary issue. That is, short of hacksawing the frame... I've adjusted fore/back/up/down/left/right/inside/out (well sorta), but to no avail.

Given that I want a versatile bike that can go off-pavement but will still respond respectably on the road, and given that I'm not worried about being feather-light*, I'm looking at a cyclocross bike with drop bars.

* My current bike weighs almost 40 lbs with a seat wedge and full bottle on it; anything will be a vast improvement.
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Old 01-01-12, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
Bear in mind too, that as your position changes on the bike, and as your ride distances increase, that fat, puffy comfort bike saddle can become a real source of woe.
True. But he's outfitting a bike not getting married. The day that he finds an attractive saddle, maybe a little firmer and with curves he likes better, he can change.
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Old 01-01-12, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by MindBrain View Post
I am looking to purchase a new bike ($1000 - $1500) and have been researching like mad, visiting cycle shops, and reading endlessly... I have a few Q's yet.

I am currently riding a 2003 Specialized Crossroads Comfort Bike, which I love but find too heavy and perhaps a bit outdated as far as components are concerned.

My goal is to find a bicycle which weighs less and is still comfortable... here's where I'm at: A Cyclocross Bike with a comfort seat and handlebars added would be ideal. I ride primarily on roads and towpaths... some of which are compacted gravel or dirt. So, I would want the lightweight nature of the cyclocross bike with carbon forks, but I'd also like disk breaks. Apparently cyclocross bikes do not have these as they are built to race specs.

Any suggestions or knowledge would be appreciated. Thanks
The 2012 Specialized Tricross is available with disk brakes, although you may not get one with the budget you're describing (I think the disk brake options are closer to $2000).

You may be able to buy a used cross bike, swap out the fork and put cable-actuated disk brakes on it yourself. It becomes a bit of a mechanical job rather than just handing over your money but potentially makes the difference between getting what you want and not.
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Old 01-01-12, 09:38 AM
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Thank You all....

Thanks for all the links and suggestions... let the research begin !
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Old 01-01-12, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
True. But he's outfitting a bike not getting married. The day that he finds an attractive saddle, maybe a little firmer and with curves he likes better, he can change.
You're reading far too much into my comment. I was merely advising the OP that things change.
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Old 01-01-12, 12:23 PM
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Just my 2-cents worth a bit late. I have a regular drop bar bicycle, my wife has a Hybrid Trek 7300 with a comfort seat, straight bars and a fork suspension system. I agree with TSL on the cyclocross bicycle. If you do a take off of the drops and brifters you are getting rid of the most expensive and probably most beneficial part of the drive train. My wife loves her comfort bars and the SRAM trigger shifters but the fork and seat add so much weight. She has had previous time on drops in the past. I am looking at putting a CF fork and drops with brifters for her. A cyclocross would fill the bill I think. I would buy a CX bicycle in a New York minute.

Bill

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Old 01-01-12, 01:00 PM
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MindBrain: Drop bar handlebars come in many shapes & sizes. I'm using a compact handlebar on my two road bikes with good comfort over longer distances. I position the handlebar within easy reach and like having my hands on the hoods of the brake lever and also on the lower drop section. Drop bars are popular with long distance & touring riders. These cyclist value comfort and know that drop bars arenít just for racing.
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Old 01-02-12, 08:02 AM
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Thank you (and not too late at all ). I appreciate as much info as I can get from people who ride. This purchase will only take place once I understand exactly what I need
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Old 01-02-12, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
If straight bars are what you want, forget about cyclocross bikes. They're all drop bars and integrated levers. Converting them to straight bars means you're throwing away the most expensive part of the drivetrain--the integrated levers.

Better to look at flat bar road bikes that can take wider tires. Then you're just changing tires and your saddle.

Bear in mind too, that as your position changes on the bike, and as your ride distances increase, that fat, puffy comfort bike saddle can become a real source of woe.

Here's a sampling of flat bar road bikes:
No, I haven't investigated which ones can take fat tires. This is just to start you off.

Finally, you may want to reconsider drop bars. Ride a few bikes with them. You may find they're not at all what you think, particularly those with "relaxed" geometry..
I have fairly fat (1.7) knobby tires on my Quick, it works well for dirt roads and trails.
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Old 01-02-12, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
You're reading far too much into my comment. I was merely advising the OP that things change.
You have a point. And I was just trying to say that as things change, it's easy to adapt your bicycle to those changes.
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Old 01-02-12, 09:05 AM
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That squishy "comfort" saddle is probably what's causing the numbness. When the saddle padding is too soft your sit bones squish down into it and you wind up putting weight on the pudendal nerve, which makes your penis go numb. That's not good: over a long term it can cause permanent damage.

It's important to find a saddle that does not put significant weight on that nerve. That's going to be a firmer saddle that's shaped so it matches your anatomy and lets you rest the majority of your weight on your sit bones.
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Old 01-02-12, 09:14 AM
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You might want to also check out the Trek Gary Fisher Lane cross bike. I recently picked one up at a steeply discounted price (I understand they will be dropped from the line this year), and use it as my daily commuter. Even without discount it would come in well within your price range. Because of the slightly more upright position, I've recentlyoutfitted mine with the Selle Anatomica saddle (not yet installed on the photo posted, but with over 600 miles on it I'm quite happy.)
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Old 04-02-12, 06:37 PM
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Thanks, you were all very helpful... I bought a Marin Lombard Cyclocross and, so far am loving it..!
http://www.marinbikes.com/2012/bike_...m=2212&Lombard
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Old 04-02-12, 07:55 PM
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That Marin seems like a sweet CX bike, I'll wager you really like it for your riding style. Now post pictures in the 2012 N+1 thread with a ride report thread and what kind of pie you enjoyed after the commissioning ride!

Bill
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Old 04-02-12, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by plodderslusk View Post
The Cotic Roadrat is a flatbar doitall bike with discs.
http://www.cotic.co.uk/product/roadrat
Love it.

I looked at the goemetry chart and with the long top tubes it is definately a flatbar bike.....or......a drop bar bike for someone with a long reach.
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Old 04-02-12, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Even though cyclocross bikes now allow disc brakes, not many riders are converting. Part is due to the added weight.
Disc brakes on CX bikes are relatively new but once riders get a taste of them they won't want rim brakes again.
I just built a "monstercross" with disc brakes.
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Old 04-02-12, 09:49 PM
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Enjoy your new bike. I think it will live up to the tasks you described. I'm basing that prediction on how much I enjoy riding my CX bike. It has been ridden on club rides, used to cross the US, and I even took a short ride on it today. The Marin looks like a nice setup. I was looking at Marin bikes at the Portland bike show two weekends ago, and the are nicely finished.

Having said that, this what a CX bike is really for. Be careful on those hills


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