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  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    MTN to CX - questions about comfort?

    I am avid mountain biker. I have tinkered with various mountain bikes rigid to singlespeed to 29er to FS. I am looking to purchase a cross-bike now so that I can get use to it now to try racing this season. Everyone loves cyclocross so I want to give it a try and expand my cycling horizons.

    However....I am currently debating buying a cyclocross or building up a rigid mountain bike. Ignoring cost, my concerns focuses on comfortability...translation "scared of the cyclocross/road set-up".

    Today I tested rode some cyclocross bikes and I was scared of the bike, especially at speed. I never owned a road bike, my road bike is a rigid mountain bike with 1.25in slicks.

    I recognized that I will become more confident in riding this type of bike - but will I ever be as comfortable as my mountain bike - particular when racing?

    I know folks race a mountain bike but I am willing to learn if their significant benefit?

    Just curious!

    Jamie

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: p lo's Avatar
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    flat bars

    what about a cross bike with flat bars?

  3. #3
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    Comfort is for the weak. This is cyclocross!

    More seriously, the position isn't that different from a competitive XC setup. The bar top should be about where a flat bar would ride, except a touch closer and higher and out on the hoods should be a bit lower and forward from the bar ends.

    The bike is quicker steering than a mountain bike, but you do need that. It is also substantially higher geared and will go substantially faster on the pavement than an MTB.

    I expect that you'll be perfectly confident on it within a few months. It's just a bike.

    Ron

  4. #4
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    Seriously, if money is not an issue than buy a cross bike and get out and ride it, you will love it, it may even become your favourite bike.

    Money issues forced me to retro-fit my mountain bike into a cross bike, hardtail, rigid, discs and flat bars. I was so happy when I upgraded to a real cross bike the next season.

    If you are worried about comfort and handling you can buy a wider handlebar and some 35-40mm tires until you get used to the handling of the bike.

  5. #5
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    Try racing on your MTB and see if you enjoy it. One day you will wake up and decide that you are sick of the disadvantage and will spend the time and money learning to use the cross bike. Until such time, you'll do fine on your present bike and may even be able to win races on it if you have the motor.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jroden
    Try racing on your MTB and see if you enjoy it. One day you will wake up and decide that you are sick of the disadvantage and will spend the time and money learning to use the cross bike. Until such time, you'll do fine on your present bike and may even be able to win races on it if you have the motor.
    How much of a disadvantage is it if the mtb bike in question is a 29er?

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddre
    How much of a disadvantage is it if the mtb bike in question is a 29er?
    Put cross tires, a tighter cassette and a rigid fork on that bad boy and it won't be much.

    Ron

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by p lo
    what about a cross bike with flat bars?
    +1

    I ran a traditional CX rig last year (Felt F1X) and although I really enjoyed it on gravel and for training, I missed the benefits of a flat-bar with MTB components during CX races. So I built up a new ride for the 2007 season.

    You have to be careful with frame sizing and geometry as CX/road frames are short and sloping top tubes (for adequate standover) are rare.


  9. #9
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    I am with the vote on racing your MTB first and seeing if you like the sport. Even when I owned a cross bike, I found I was faster getting on and off my hardtail MTB, so raced that (and used the cross bike as a road bike).

    If you have a 29er, Ronsonic's note about putting cross tires on it may be the way to go.
    --
    Getting old, fat, and slow...
    www.singlespeed.org
    自転車が好きだよ

  10. #10
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    I have raced cross on my mountain bike before, but it just feel like doing another mountain bike race. Cross bikes offer quicker acceleration and steering. Doing the hike a bike sections, the drop bars offer the perfect placement for the your hand.

  11. #11
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    thanks for the input

    Well, I took the plunge and purchased a 07 Specialized Tricross Comp. This appeared to be a good bike for the transition from mountain biking to cross. In addition, prices have come down. The shop did not have my size but I will have it next week. I am excited about the new challenge. I figured it was about time that I get a cross/road bike for at least riding on the road. I have been riding an 8 year hardtail with slicks for a long time.

    Thanks again for the input!

  12. #12
    Samurai on Two Wheels
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dude!
    Well, I took the plunge and purchased a 07 Specialized Tricross Comp. This appeared to be a good bike for the transition from mountain biking to cross. In addition, prices have come down. The shop did not have my size but I will have it next week. I am excited about the new challenge. I figured it was about time that I get a cross/road bike for at least riding on the road. I have been riding an 8 year hardtail with slicks for a long time.

    Thanks again for the input!
    Congrats on the choice and to be realistic, once your do your first cross race you'll be hooked .

  13. #13
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    Got it and it feels great

    Got the frame yesterday. I spent some time dialing it in. It does not feel that scary. I am already jumping curves, etc. I will take it out on the singletrack today .

  14. #14
    Unapologetic bike wh*re
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    I am in the process of re-fitting my '99 Trek 7500 into a "monster" cx bike...

    It started as a comfort / hybrid with all the associated cushy parts and many of those had already been swapped for stiffer and lighter parts.

    The other day I found some beautiful Ritchey drop bars and now I just have to fit the cantis and find some bar end shifters to make the coversion complete (the b-screw is handling my shifting duties).

    The bike was already fast and more than capable of hitting the singletrack but with the drop bars the handling is much crisper, my position is more aerodynamic, and the ride is extremely comfortable.



    I don't plan on racing this one but wanted a build that could handle some serious abuse and still get me from a to b at a high comfort level.

    It needs the rack so I can mount my paniers for long road trips and my commute.

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