can a road race bike be used as cross bike?
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  1. #1
    steel road, fixie, & MTB
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    can a road race bike be used as cross bike?

    pardon my ignorant question, but can a road race bike be used as cross bike?
    i'm getting a road race bike built with campy 10s (53/39,13~26), carbon fork.
    could i use this as a cross bike? does having canti brake vs a campy road brake really matter?
    will all the mud wear out the pricy campy drive train by spring road race season?
    i use time atacs pedals (same as my mtb).

    i understand that a cross frame can easily be used as a road bike, but a road bike may not fit the larger cross tires, bu ti know I'm raod racing, i'm not sure yet about cross.
    Last edited by TrailNut; 06-21-2004 at 01:16 PM.
    Viner Pro Team Dedacciai EOM 16.5 light steel Campy 2x10.
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  2. #2
    More Cowbell!
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    It depends (tm)

    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    pardon my ignorant question, but can a road race bike be used as cross bike?
    i'm getting a road race bike built with campy 10s (53/39,13~26), carbon fork.
    could i use this as a cross bike? does having canti brake really matter?
    will all the mud wear out the pricy campy drive train by spring road race season?
    Modern road bikes make poor 'cross bikes because the forks and rear triangle won't accept the wider tires used in cyclocross. Even if you can get some 'cross tires to "fit," chances are that there will be zero clearance for mud buildup.

    'Cross bikes also have, generally, higher bottom brackets to reduce pedal strike on corning in uneven terrain. The head tube may be a bit more slack to make handling less twitchy and reduce toe overlap.

    Canti brakes are popular for 'cross because they have better mud clearance than V's and are lighter than discs (not to mention easier to change that rear wheel in the case of a flat).

    Road pedals are also unsuitable for cross racing. For racing, you want a pedal with (at least) two sided entry that clears mud and uses a cleat that fits shoes with an aggressive tread. Remember, you are going to be running up wet and/or loose inclines and hurdling barriers.

    Your Campy drivetrain, if cleaned and lubed after every race, should fare quite well over a full season of racing.

    That said, older style road bikes often will handle narrow 'cross tires and older caliper brakes may offer "enough" mud clearance. You could get by for some races to see if you actually liked racing 'cross before springing for the new 'cross bike.

    On the flip side, a really nice 'cross bike with Record should do quite nicely in just about any road race you decided to enter -- providing you put some slick skinnies on it.
    Pro rep, yo!

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    just slap some 28mm cx tires on there and see what happens...
    if it works - sweet ... if not hey you almost got a cyclocross bike out of it.


    I just went though that and liked the cyclocross feel and idea so much that fixing a roady to go cx seemed like a long long road.

    YMMV.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Kram has marked me
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    pardon my ignorant question, but can a road race bike be used as cross bike?
    i'm getting a road race bike built with campy 10s (53/39,13~26), carbon fork.
    could i use this as a cross bike? does having canti brake vs a campy road brake really matter?
    will all the mud wear out the pricy campy drive train by spring road race season?
    i use time atacs pedals (same as my mtb).

    i understand that a cross frame can easily be used as a road bike, but a road bike may not fit the larger cross tires, bu ti know I'm raod racing, i'm not sure yet about cross.
    Gripped covered it well. In addition to his points, cross bikes have longer wheelbases (mud clearance between the tire and seat tube) and the frames and forks are beefier as well. The forks usually have more rake for easier handling on the rough stuff.

    If you only have one bike, a cross bike is a good choice. With the longer wheelbase and more fork rake they are wonderfully comfortable on the road. They may weigh a couple of pounds more than a pure road bike, but they are versitile as hell.

    And nothing feels better than dusting a roadbike with your knobbies on.

  5. #5
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    Use your MTB if you want to try a Cyclo-cross race. Buy some skinny tires 1.35 x 26"(www.schwalbe.com)
    Thats my thoughts...... I did the same last year and bought a Cyclocross bike this summer.

  6. #6
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    Try bombing around in the woods on your road bike and see how it goes. This time of year you can do OK, tires will be the limiting factor in the whole thing once it gets slightly moist. I doubt you can fit much of a tire on your road bike, there is just not much room

  7. #7
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    Double post
    Last edited by Bikehigh; 07-08-2005 at 09:10 AM.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  8. #8
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    Cool

    To illustrate Thor's point, here's how much I have on my fixie with some 37mm Speedmax mounted up.


    And this will give you an idea as to how much clearance you can expect with dual pivot brakes.


    Light mud isn't really a big problem. The bigger issue is when your tires pick up a pebble or stone.
    I gotta roll, can't stand still, got a flame in my heart, can't get my fill.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailNut
    pardon my ignorant question, but can a road race bike be used as cross bike?
    i'm getting a road race bike built with campy 10s (53/39,13~26), carbon fork.
    could i use this as a cross bike? does having canti brake vs a campy road brake really matter?
    will all the mud wear out the pricy campy drive train by spring road race season?
    i use time atacs pedals (same as my mtb).

    i understand that a cross frame can easily be used as a road bike, but a road bike may not fit the larger cross tires, bu ti know I'm raod racing, i'm not sure yet about cross.
    Depends on the course and conditions. Dry and flat, possibly. Anything else, probably not. I use my road bike on fireroads all the time but it's a slog if it's wet and most people would not use their big road ring much.

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