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cyclocross frame as a road bike?

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cyclocross frame as a road bike?

Old 03-13-09, 06:49 PM
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fmullegun
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cyclocross frame as a road bike?

Besides the front fork my newb eyes (mtn biker) don't see much difference.

If I bought a cyclocross bike and put on some slicks could it also be a great road bike?

I would like a road bike but if I can get a cyclocross use out of it with just some component changes (like gearing and tires) that would be real value added to me.
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Old 03-13-09, 07:18 PM
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I regret not doing exactly that with my first road bike. The brakes are like mtb brakes, so perhaps they're a little touchy for crit racing in the pack. (Some CX bikes come with in line brakes on the top of the bars - not sure if those are legal for racing.)
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Old 03-13-09, 07:32 PM
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go for it. a CX bike is basically a slightly beefier road bike with harder to adjust brakes, tolerance for wider tyres and a slightly longer wheelbase.
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Old 03-13-09, 07:59 PM
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That's what I do. Late fall,winter and early spring I keep the 34mm tires on then, once the snow and slush clears, I throw on some slick 25mm armadillos and use it as my B bike on rain days or when I'll be going over some questionable pavement during the summer.

You probably won't be competitive racing it and may have to put in some extra effort on group rides because most aren't as aero, have smaller rings and larger cassettes but other than the centre pull breaks and wide clearance around the wheels it's the same geometry as a typical road bike.
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Old 03-13-09, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Nbob View Post
You probably won't be competitive racing it and may have to put in some extra effort on group rides because most aren't as aero, have smaller rings and larger cassettes but other than the centre pull breaks and wide clearance around the wheels it's the same geometry as a typical road bike.
Changing the cassette is easier than a tire so that will be done for sure. I am NOT so sure I want to put down the cash for a new crankset but who knows.

thanks guys!
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Old 03-13-09, 08:29 PM
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Usually a higher bottom bracket, longer chainstays and wheelbase, slacker head tube angle and, with many cross bikes, there is toe overlap when you steer at low speeds. Very annoying.

It also seems to me that the tubing on a cross bike is larger in diameter.

The cantilever brakes may or may not be to your liking. Do a search in the cross forum, many guys who are used to caliper brakes just don't like the cantiliever brakes on their cross bikes. They complain about the modulation, power or both.

There is a similar thread in the cross forum right now and if you do a search in that forum or even this one, there is plenty to read as this is a common topic.
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Old 03-13-09, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by fmullegun View Post
If I bought a cyclocross bike and put on some slicks could it also be a great road bike?
Yes.

Some caveats, however: the 46/38 chainrings that come stock on many CX bikes might be a little light for serious road use. I upgraded to a compact crankset (50/34) on mine. CX bikes usually have a more upright riding position, so you may want to get a different stem that doesn't have such a meteoric rise. Finally, I've gotten very tired of changing tires; you may consider investing in a second set of wheels -- one for on-road, and one for off-road.
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Old 03-13-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
Usually a higher bottom bracket, longer chainstays and wheelbase, slacker head tube angle and, with many cross bikes, there is toe overlap when you steer at low speeds. Very annoying.

It also seems to me that the tubing on a cross bike is larger in diameter.

The cantilever brakes may or may not be to your liking. Do a search in the cross forum, many guys who are used to caliper brakes just don't like the cantiliever brakes on their cross bikes. They complain about the modulation, power or both.

There is a similar thread in the cross forum right now and if you do a search in that forum or even this one, there is plenty to read as this is a common topic.
Most road bikes have toe overlap too. I would think that cross bikes would actually be less likely to have it because of their longer wheelbase.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:10 PM
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my 'cross bike with 28(?)c tires is my commuter. I've also taken it out in the rain when I didnt' feel like cleaning my other bike (I got over this, and now I just don't clean my other bike -- problem solved).

works well. The canti's suck compared to decent calipers or discs, but once you're used to them it's fine.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:21 PM
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I've been riding my cross bike all winter with 23c's and it's been great, fast team rides, even road raced on it.
I did change the chainrings to 52/38 and added a longer chain.

When fall comes around I'll switch them back for cross season.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:22 PM
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once you put normal 23c wheels on, besides maybe a little rougher and heavier ride then a equivlent road bike, the brakes suck. I love mine. When the weather started turning nasty, I threw studs and fenders on it, and now that its getting warmer out, I can throw my road wheels on it and use it as a rain duty bike, and pretty much be almost equivalent in speed.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:25 PM
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one of the really strong guys on the saturday ride in santa cruz rides a cross bike.. he usually kicks most of our asses quite handily! seems like a great idea to have a nice cross bike to use as road training, around town grocery shopper, and of course winter cross racing! i'm thinking i should trade in my mtb and touring for a *****in cross ride...
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Old 03-13-09, 09:28 PM
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You don't have to change out the whole crankset, just the big chain ring.

I wouldn't want to race my 'cross bike in road races/crits because the brakes just don't work as well as dual-pivots, but apart from that it's fine. Still, when I'm on the road, I prefer the road bikes. Right tool for the right job and all that...
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Old 03-13-09, 09:33 PM
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For my cross bike, it came stock with a 34-50T crank, with an 11-25 cassette, which is the exact same that I normally run on my normal road bike. Works out great.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:43 PM
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For hammering out aggressive miles, it falls short for all the reasons mentioned elsewhere: High bottom bracket, upright position, lax geometry, noodly flexy forgiving frame, mediocre brakes, very tight gearing (the small ring is too big and the big ring is too small).

BUT - For cruising around comfortably on the road, a cross bike is great. It's comfortable and forgiving over rougher roads and longer distances.

It all comes down to what you want from a road bike.
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Old 03-13-09, 09:46 PM
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I ride a Gunnar cross bike with a road double (39-53) and a 12-27... love it

It is not "noodly" whatsoever. It has road bike geometry and extremely powerful brakes
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Old 03-13-09, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by PetesDustyVolvo View Post

It has road bike geometry and extremely powerful brakes
Oh yes my cross bike has powerful brakes...if I want to stop and stop fast but they lack the finesse of double pull cantis - for example bleeding off a little speed setting up a turn
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Old 03-13-09, 10:14 PM
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errr- double pull calies that is
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Old 03-13-09, 10:26 PM
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Out of curiosity, do they use special Brifters for use with the canti's? I think canti's need less cable pulled but I have not seen brifters made specifically for them?
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Old 03-13-09, 10:28 PM
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Nope - my cx came with regular Tiagra brifters
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Old 03-13-09, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by fmullegun View Post
Out of curiosity, do they use special Brifters for use with the canti's? I think canti's need less cable pulled but I have not seen brifters made specifically for them?
no -- the v-brakes are the ones with the weird pull "travelagents" i think are the usual adapters. My 9 spd campy shifters pull the canti brakes fine.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:04 PM
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My cross bike is my road bike.
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Old 03-13-09, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Flatballer View Post
Most road bikes have toe overlap too. I would think that cross bikes would actually be less likely to have it because of their longer wheelbase.
"I would think" = "I don't know".

Anyhow, regarding brifters, my Tricross came with Tiagras and they worked fine with my bike's V-brakes if I ran the pads super close to the rims, which made removing the tire difficult. I got sick of that so I installed some Problem Solver Travel Agents as brake doublers and now I can run the pads farther from the rim, making tire removal easier. They work well.

I don't know about other people's but my bike is anything but noodly. More like stiff. It seems to accelerate easily as well as my road bikes and it rides more poorly if I run road tires so I generally run 700x32's on it.
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Old 03-14-09, 12:46 AM
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if i had to have only one bike it would be a cross bike. rode one for a couple years as my only road bike. essential in the stable.
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Old 03-14-09, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by thirdin77 View Post
"I would think" = "I don't know".

Anyhow, regarding brifters, my Tricross came with Tiagras and they worked fine with my bike's V-brakes if I ran the pads super close to the rims, which made removing the tire difficult. I got sick of that so I installed some Problem Solver Travel Agents as brake doublers and now I can run the pads farther from the rim, making tire removal easier. They work well.

I don't know about other people's but my bike is anything but noodly. More like stiff. It seems to accelerate easily as well as my road bikes and it rides more poorly if I run road tires so I generally run 700x32's on it.
Yea, my Kona Major Jake has some vicious toe overlap, which makes it a PITA when my foot hits the fender and throws it out of alignment.
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