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Cyclocross bike or Road bike...

Old 02-05-15, 09:31 AM
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Cyclocross bike or Road bike...

....that is the question.

A couple of years ago I mentioned on here that I was training for an unsupported race across Europe from London to Istanbul.
It's a race where you cycle fast and light weight(no saddle bags) and have no support from others. Often the roads are rougher, depending where you are.
Most who race in that race or in the U.S. version Trans Am across the U.S. have either road bikes or cyclocross disc bikes
with road tires like Conti GP 4000s.

I'm intending to get a new bike and can't make up my mind what is better if I intend to do similar races in the future. I was thinking
of either getting this aluminum cyclocross disc bike with road tires that is roughly 9 kg(19 lbs): https://www.canyon.com/en/roadbikes/bike.html?b=3620

Or this carbon road bike that is about 7kg(15 lbs): Radon Spire 7.0 | Road Bike Carbon Shop

What do other long distance cyclists recommend? The advantage of a road bike is it's much lighter but a cyclocross might be suited for tougher roads, and
the disc bakes might be easier to maintain or work better when it rains.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-05-15, 12:44 PM
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I think you will be happier with bigger tires, so that would argue for the CX bike. If you aren't going to take advantage of that, and if the route is almost all paved, I'm not sure I would worry about discs.
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Old 02-05-15, 12:52 PM
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CX bike with an extra set of near road bike wheels might be a start...

Seems to be a popular set up around central Texas. Often you will see at least two or three CX bikes with lighter weight wheels/tires in any road bike pack riding around the Austin area...

To tell you the truth, I find these modern CX bikes are just... Grooovy...

It would appear that the aluminum frame might offer you more flexibility if you have to change out components or make repairs on the road...

Last edited by zandoval; 02-05-15 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 02-05-15, 01:16 PM
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The first thing I would look at is the front rings. 46/36 on the CX bike.
Next thing, carbon is going to be more comfortable on long rides.
Also, if you damage a wheel, which happens, it is more difficult to fix or find parts on the road.
Don't misunderstand me, because I use my CX bike on long rides but, I would never take it out on a 300K+ because of the disk brakes and the problems it could lead to.
I would assume on the Inflite, that it has a medium cage on the rear derailleur with the 11-32 cassette, this will affect the performance of shifting.
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Old 02-05-15, 02:48 PM
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Thanks for the answers so far. There a several good points.

The reason I even noticed the disc cyclocross version is because several of the cyclists of the Trans Am Race
last year, including the winner Mike Hall, used that setup, although his cyclocross frame was a carbon frame: Trans Am bikes: Mike Hall and Ed Pickup's Pivot Vault steeds
The fastest woman Juliana Buhring of that race used the inflite: https://www.fashionintown.it/wp-conte...-1-806x530.jpg She was in the race I trained for a year earlier(unfortunately I had to cancel the race although I trained efficiently for 6 months).

Since I might give the race another shot, I'm thinking of which bike would be best.

Last edited by Eljot; 02-05-15 at 02:51 PM.
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Old 02-05-15, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Eljot
Thanks for the answers so far. There a several good points.

The reason I even noticed the disc cyclocross version is because several of the cyclists of the Trans Am Race
last year, including the winner Mike Hall, used that setup, although his cyclocross frame was a carbon frame: Trans Am bikes: Mike Hall and Ed Pickup's Pivot Vault steeds
The fastest woman Juliana Buhring of that race used the inflite: https://www.fashionintown.it/wp-conte...-1-806x530.jpg She was in the race I trained for a year earlier(unfortunately I had to cancel the race although I trained efficiently for 6 months).

Since I might give the race another shot, I'm thinking of which bike would be best.
She has a Large Saddle Bag...
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Old 02-05-15, 04:03 PM
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All three have the same saddle bag and I have that same model. Lol, what's your point?
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Old 02-05-15, 04:10 PM
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If you get a chance, check out the Cannondale Synapse Ultegra Disc.
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Old 02-05-15, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by thrllskr
Don't misunderstand me, because I use my CX bike on long rides but, I would never take it out on a 300K+ because of the disk brakes and the problems it could lead to.
What problems could it lead to?
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Old 02-05-15, 07:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer
What problems could it lead to?
I'm guessing if it is hydraulic you can have issues with the fluid. There is also a blog with a guy who had a major failure on a decent with his disc brakes that had a very bad result.

I personally like my disc brakes, but I don't do that kind of distance riding.
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Old 02-05-15, 07:41 PM
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lots of people have seen the story about the guy who crashed on the mountain descent. The anti-disc people don't mention his discs were weight-weenie sub-minimalist little things. If he had used a disc like the stock BB7 discs on the same ride, no crash. I am not sure road hydraulics are ready for prime time yet though. I don't think I would hesitate to take my CX bike on any length ride.
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Old 02-05-15, 08:08 PM
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Oh that? Well, ok. Yeah, I am pretty satisfied with my low tech cable actuated BB7s and conservative, heavyish rotors. Even when repeatedly riding conservatively down 2-3 mile, 800-1000 foot drop dusty/dirty gravel road descents, I have experienced zero problems. But then again, I've always figured one shouldn't use light duty equipment for heavy duty applications.

Last edited by Steamer; 02-05-15 at 08:19 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 02-05-15, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by AristoNYC
I'm guessing if it is hydraulic you can have issues with the fluid. There is also a blog with a guy who had a major failure on a decent with his disc brakes that had a very bad result.

I personally like my disc brakes, but I don't do that kind of distance riding.
There are perfectly decent cable actuated discs out there. Bike snobs will tell you how crude they are, but I think they work just fine.

Also, there have been plane crashes. Does that mean air travel is unsafe?

Also, how far you ride in a given day, etc. isn't relevant, it's how long you go between servicing your brakes. You may not ride 600Ks, but you very well may ride 600K (or much more, very possibly) between times when you need to service your brakes.
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Old 02-05-15, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer
There are perfectly decent cable actuated discs out there. Bike snobs will tell you how crude they are, but I think they work just fine.

Also, there have been plane crashes. Does that mean air travel is unsafe?

Also, how far you ride in a given day, etc. isn't relevant, it's how long you go between servicing your brakes. You may not ride 600Ks, but you very well may ride 600K (or much more, very possibly) between times when you need to service your brakes.
I'm for disc, as I use cable disc'd AVID BB7 on my cross bike.
I was stating what I thought the guy was going to say against disc brakes.
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Old 02-05-15, 09:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer
Oh that? Well, ok. Yeah, I am pretty satisfied with my low tech cable actuated BB7s and conservative, heavyish rotors. Even when repeatedly riding conservatively down 2-3 mile, 800-1000 foot drop dusty/dirty gravel road descents, I have experienced zero problems. But then again, I've always figured one shouldn't use light duty equipment for heavy duty applications.
you forgot to mention the part about you dragging your feet and me having to wait for 10 minutes at the bottom
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Old 02-05-15, 09:38 PM
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this bike is a nice option.
ADVENTURE
JAMIS BICYCLES
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Old 02-14-15, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by sgtdirt
this bike is a nice option.
ADVENTURE
JAMIS BICYCLES
Having done long races on MTB with disc brakes -- BB7 on tour divide and since then Shimano XT hydros. As I come back to road biking I am going discs. I think their reliability in the MTB world is proven -- you can get MTB parts which are mostly interchangeable just about anywhere. In a pinch baby oil works for hydro fluid. If that scares too much, go for the cable actuated ones...

The plus is if you knock your wheel out of true, it still brakes normally...
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