cross tires on a road bike?
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  1. #1

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    cross tires on a road bike?

    In frustration of not finding a used cyclocross bike in my size and price in Canada, I am now wondering if I can put cross tires on a road bike. Basically, I want to start road riding but I commute to work on a paved/dirt trail. I want to use the same bike for both so I was looking for a cyclocross. I am not planning on cylco racing, so would cross tires on a sturdier road bike such as specialized allez work? Anyone know how big of tires I could get on there?

  2. #2
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    Sounds like a road bike will work fine for your needs.

    Don't even mess with knobby cross tires unless the dirt portion of your ride is technical...you can ride most fireroads and dirt trails on 700x28c road tires just fine. And an Allez should have room for those.

  3. #3
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    The size of tire you can fit in the frame is often a function of the frame size, larger frames having more room. I agree with the above poster, 28s would work on most bikes. You may be able to run a 30c Ritchey Speedmax as well.

  4. #4
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    On most road bikes, clearance is tight up front, due to carbon forks. But the Allez (depending on the model) are set up as more of an all-arounder so there might be room up there, not sure. However, as much as I LOVE the 30c Ritchey Speedmax, they might be overkill (in terms of weight/rolling resistance) if all you're riding is pavement and relatively flat fireroads. But if your dirt sections are a bit more "trail" than "bike path" then they're definitely the ticket.

  5. #5

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    Go for it.

    Take your bike to the shop and try different tires. The last time I put cross tires on a road bike it was the fork leg length that was the limiting factor (steel fork with a crown).

    Where are you in Canada? And what size and price are you looking for? I'll bet you can find a cross bike it you really want one. And there's always vintage road bikes with more clearance than what is available now out there.

  6. #6
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    frame clearance only 1 issue

    brake clearance equally important. I'm running 25's on my Merckx roadie this winter and there is little room between tire and my Mavic calipers.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    brake clearance equally important. I'm running 25's on my Merckx roadie this winter and there is little room between tire and my Mavic calipers.
    Do you think you could get clinch/tubbular Tufo Diamond Tread 28's on there? That would be another option for the original poster.

  8. #8
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    Just replace the fork on existing road bike?

    I repeat myself, but I think it's worth saying again that upgrading the "front end" of a road bike might be a cheap way to get clearance for cyclocross tires. I was able to take an older Trek road bike, which had adequate clearance in the back for 32's (i.e. Bontrager Jones), and switch out the front with a cyclocross fork that had plenty of clearance. I got the Nashbar carbon cross fork, new headset, bars, and front canti's for about $200 US. I did swap out my 42t chainring for a 38t, but only because I wanted to use it for racing with a 13-26 gear setup. Even using road brakes in the back, it still held up OK in some muddy Cyclocross racing conditions. The bike makes an excellent commuter too.

  9. #9
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    I don't think a 28

    would clear. think most roadies on nasty days at Paris-Roubaix switch to cross frames so they can have clearance for the 27 or 28's they ride. I don't think it would fit, if it did you'd pray you never got into any mud. On the other hand you could use brake arch as a tire cleaner, remember those?

  10. #10

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    dealers advice

    Here's the advice I got from the dealers: Specialized allez series will only run up to 25c because of the brake clearance. Giant says that the ocr's will run up to 28c as well as the trek 1000 (although somehow I am doubtful). So I'm kinda back where I started looking for a cylcocross if I want any kind of flexibility.

    Thanks so much to everyone who posted....

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmused
    Here's the advice I got from the dealers: Specialized allez series will only run up to 25c because of the brake clearance. Giant says that the ocr's will run up to 28c as well as the trek 1000 (although somehow I am doubtful). So I'm kinda back where I started looking for a cylcocross if I want any kind of flexibility.

    Thanks so much to everyone who posted....
    So we can be on the lookout, what size do you need?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmused
    Here's the advice I got from the dealers: Specialized allez series will only run up to 25c because of the brake clearance. Giant says that the ocr's will run up to 28c as well as the trek 1000 (although somehow I am doubtful). So I'm kinda back where I started looking for a cylcocross if I want any kind of flexibility.

    Thanks so much to everyone who posted....
    Hello!
    Where are you located in Canada? I'm in Montreal & there is a small following of cx'ers here. There are 3 shops that carry CX bikes on a regular basis & my LBS will get me anything I am looking for.
    The Ottawa gang went cx crazy this year. Check ou the attendance of OBC cyclocross series.
    Me on running at RunningMania.com http://www.runningmania.com/forum/vi...15813&start=50

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