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MT Bike vs. Cyclocross

Old 08-18-09, 09:17 AM
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RWBlue01
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MT Bike vs. Cyclocross

Where do each excel?
Or
Dude, If you are going to do X, you should have bought a cyclocross bike?
Dude, If you are going to do Y, you should have bought a hard tail MT bike?



I don't really want to make this thread about me, but here is what gets me thinking about this subject.
I have a road bike. I am thinking about getting a second bike for riding the potholes, gravel paths, across yards.... I am trying to decide which would be better for me. I am not expecting to race. I am not thinking about jumping off high structures. This is all about getting from here to there and enjoying the ride. Based on what I am currently reading, I think I could do either. Sway me one way or another.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:25 AM
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Dude, If you are going to race cyclocross, you should buy a cyclocross bike.

Dude, If you are going to ride single track, you should buy a mountain bike.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:27 AM
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and if i were you, i did the riding you just described, i would probably get a cyclocross bike. but ONLY, here's the caveat, if i completely ruled out trail riding. because i think mountain bikes are more fun.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:36 AM
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Here's one other thought: how 'bout a flat-bar commuter like a Specialized Sirrus and throw a set of 'cross tires on it? Seems like that would cover what you want to do without going as far as a way-underutilized mtn. bike.
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Old 08-18-09, 09:54 AM
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Great question. I have both. I have spent a lot of time talking and thinking about this question

If you're tough enough to handle the vibrations, a cyclocross bike with the right tyres can handle everything a commute, an audax, a month long tour, rail trails, fire trail, moderately technical singletrack and a little bit of serious off road. What it can't handle is serious downhill, jumps, or long sections of fast very rough singletrack (like constantly bouncing over rocks or tree roots).

I've done 5 days of genuine mountain biking - 50+km of singletrack and firetrails - on my cyclocross. Every time I was the only person without suspension. Once I was with a mountain biking club, about 20 people with dual suspension, 3 hard tails...and me. I find I can keep up ok on the smooth, fast flowing singletrack (ie, dirt that winds fast back and forth between trees). I can't keep up on big rocky downhills - the vibrations get too much.

Also, even with two pairs of gloves, my hands get pretty sore by the end of the second consecutive day. Not sore as in "it hurts to hold a beer", just as in, "can we go slower".

So I bought a dual suspension mtb - to be able to go much harder on the rough stuff.

For me, the cyclocross is a great commuter and tourer, great for long day rides (did 130km last friday), and a lot of fun on medium-difficulty singletrack. And I love the sheer perversion of appearing to be on a road bike

But since you already have a road bike, maybe the cyclocross would be too similar. If I was in your position, I'd probably lean towards a hardtail, so that your two bikes are as different as possible. It mostly depends on how much genuine mountain biking you're going to do, and how much you would expect to still use your road bike.

Try this thread too.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:38 PM
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If you already ride a road bike, you may find a Cyclocross bike a more natural fit.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:52 PM
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Sounds to me like you're describing a tourer or cyclocross bike. A hardtail would be overkill and would probably feel really plush and heavy.... much bigger tires, suspension, higher weight, etc.


All that being said, if you don't really care about going crazy fast on roads and don't mind hefting the extra bike weight, a hardtail with a decent shock can make for some really smooth urban riding.
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Old 08-18-09, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by c_m_shooter View Post
If you already ride a road bike, you may find a Cyclocross bike a more natural fit.
Yes.. plus you won't have to post some ridiculous thread asking about KOPS or what your seat to handlebar height should be.
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