Cyclocross + MT Bike OR Cyclocross + Road Bike OR just Cyclocross Bike?
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  1. #1

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    Question Cyclocross + MT Bike OR Cyclocross + Road Bike OR just Cyclocross Bike?

    I'm thinking of selling my road bike and buying a cyclocross bike. This would but me in the Cyclocross + MT Bike only.

    My questions is what bikes do you own. Anyone exclusively own and or ride cyclocross bikes?

  2. #2
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    I have 2 road bikes and 1 cyclocross/touring bike. I do not race and I use cyclocross bike for recovery rides , rides with my family and on trails. It is a heavy steel bike that I built with left over/used parts. It is fun until I ride one of the road bikes. On pavement I prefer road bikes. My road bikes are much lighter and have a racier geometry than the cross bike-it could be the reason to make them faster and more fun. It is possible that light, aggressive racing cyclocross bike with thin tires could be as much fun as the road bike, but I never tried it. But if I only could have 1 bike it would be a cyclocross with extra set of wheels/tires. I could ride it on road and trails, do light touring, etc...and there would be nothing to compare it to(road bike).
    "Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

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  3. #3
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    if I could only have 'one' bike it would be a cross bike. If 2, I think MTB and cross...reason, you can put skinnies on a light cross bike and ride roads well, but you cant slap fatties onto a road bike and ride technical trails. (ok I guess you could but it would be REALLY rough). Or you could just suck it up and have one of each Such torture.

  4. #4

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    Thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    if I could only have 'one' bike it would be a cross bike. If 2, I think MTB and cross...reason, you can put skinnies on a light cross bike and ride roads well, but you cant slap fatties onto a road bike and ride technical trails. (ok I guess you could but it would be REALLY rough). Or you could just suck it up and have one of each Such torture.
    This is why I want a Cross bike. I am more biased towards MTB but I like nice long road rides. I usually ride Canyon Roads and more often than not I see dirt trails I'd love to explore. On my road bike, that's impossible to do. I figuire, sell the road bike and buy a cross so at least I can do some exploring.

    I'm liking the Trek XO 2.

  5. #5
    Hoopy Frood
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    I have a cross bike, a fixie, and two mountain bikes (geared hardtail and singlespeed).

    I use the cross bike for road rides on paved and dirt roads. Although I keep it geared slightly lower than a road bike, I have no problem keeping up on group rides or doing centuries on it. I've ridden it on smooth singletrack with no problems but the trails around here are generally too rough for a cross bike 100% of the time and I'd rather use an MTB for that kind of silliness anyway.

    I've generally shifted to the fixie for shorter rides (less than 50 miles) and commuting but I previously used the cross bike for those duties as well (and still do sometimes).

    Some cross bikes are more road-friendly than others. Specifically, any cross bike which is designed with racing as the primary goal might not be the best option for an all-around bike (e.g., no water bottle bosses, stiff frame, more traditional cx geometry, etc.).

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by khill
    I have a cross bike, a fixie, and two mountain bikes (geared hardtail and singlespeed).

    I've generally shifted to the fixie for shorter rides (less than 50 miles) and commuting but I previously used the cross bike for those duties as well (and still do sometimes).
    I would use the Cross bike as my main ride. It would be my all arounder like, riding to coffee shops, riding to bank AND long road rides that if I wanted, I could mix it up with some light trail exploration.

    My concern was being able to "hang" on group rides but then again I'm not really fast anyways. My main road routes all have "trails" and I don't like road riding with the MTB, its just too inefficent. I figuire with a cross bike is could get road bike efficency and some MTB ruggedness.

    Dude! I wanna Cyclocross Bike!

  7. #7

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    stumptown mutt

    Main ride is a CX stumptown with a surly instigator cromo fork that has enough clearance for fat 29er tires. I use rapid fire shifters Easton EA50 Riser Bar with 105 derailers 12-25 cassette and 39-53 rings xt disc hubs bb7 upfront and center pull on the back

    Really like this bike setup.The only downside is chainstay clearance.I can only get a 38 on the back.If I had more clearance I would enjoy trying a 29er type rear tire.A fat 29er type front tire really makes the bike handle well offroad.

    I do alot of rides on a rocky muddy fireroad with 5 percent grades .The stumptown is at least 10 percent faster than my 06 hardtail stumpjumper.They both weigh in at 24lbs.

    On steap climbs the mtn bike with the nice fat tire on the back and lower gearing beats the stumptown.


    not much to say about cx on the road except that is makes a nice commuter very comfy and pretty efficient even without changing the tires just add some pressure

  8. #8
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    I have one of each (after recenlty finishing my Conquest build )

    A cross bike w/ slicks and appropriate gearing can hang just fine with roadies (unless you happen to be perfectly matched riders, which is highly unlikely). Even with some low profile cross tires, you don't loose a terrible amount of speed compared to a road bike. You'll definitely still be faster than a MTB on the road (and a road bike on the trails, for that matter).

  9. #9
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    Years back I had the same issue. Wanted a road bike I could ride to the trails and then get some dirt time. I did some 50+mile road rides and it was fine. Be carefull though as most cross bikes are a shorter wheels base ( & higher BB) than a road bike. On longer road rides I wish my wheelbase would have been longer.
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  10. #10

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    If you need sell the bikes to make rent, then sell them and only ride a cross bike. Have two sets of wheels, one for road and one for cross or for dirt. I just got back from Eastern WA where I rode the cross bike with some decent road wheels. I have three cross bikes, two single speed (race them) and one geared. Cross rules.
    only 6 1/2 months to the season.

  11. #11

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    CX... just built up my first cross bike a few months ago. Where I live I have hundreds of miles of logging roads starting from my doors step and hate to not make the most of it. It's a Surly Crosscheck built up as a SS. One of the most fun bikes I've owned in years (and I've owned quite a few bikes). It's a real jack of all trades. It won't replace my mountain bike but it can be pressed into lighter single track duties. As far as road bikes go, I mostly leave the paved roads to the cars.

  12. #12
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    I only have a cross bike. I use it as my daily commuter, I also plan on using it this year for a few crit races, and I've used it on some double track. Now I mostly do this because i am poor and can't afford 3 beautiful bikes for each discipline. SO I choose to have one reallyu nice all arounder. If I ever have enough loot to buy a second bike I'm not sure what I'd do. Probably buy a decent mtb as cross bike aren't the best at hopping over boulders and across logs. But they get the job done.

    If money is no problem get a cross and a mtb. But if you're like me don't try and sqeeze your pennies and buy two crappy bikes when you can buy one really nice cross bike.

  13. #13
    duh...
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    you can never have too many bikes: 2 road, 1 road FG, 1 CX, 1 SS CX, 2 SS mtb, 1 geared FS, 1 travel/folder (can go FG or geared). Geared FS never gets ridden anymore thanks to SSs, but all others get put through their paces.

    Agree that you want decent quality vs. more beaters.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by joey1
    Now I mostly do this because i am poor and can't afford 3 beautiful bikes for each discipline. SO I choose to have one reallyu nice all arounder. If I ever have enough loot to buy a second bike I'm not sure what I'd do. Probably buy a decent mtb as cross bike aren't the best at hopping over boulders and across logs. But they get the job done.

    If money is no problem get a cross and a mtb. But if you're like me don't try and sqeeze your pennies and buy two crappy bikes when you can buy one really nice cross bike.
    I'm poor too, but my wants are very big, my b-day is around the corner and my wife kinda said okay buy one.. I agree a cross bike could be a great all arounder.

  15. #15

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    That's what my cousin says ...

    Quote Originally Posted by FatTireFred
    you can never have too many bikes...

    ...Agree that you want decent quality vs. more beaters.
    That's what my cousin says, he has 8 MT bikes and still hasn't started on road bikes, FG and CX.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtcastillo
    I'm thinking of selling my road bike and buying a cyclocross bike. This would but me in the Cyclocross + MT Bike only.
    That's where I'm at (well excluding the tandem I pull out for family tours). My mtb is for authentic off-road rides. My cross bike is a very nice one (except for the recalcitrant STI shifter) and I swap between 3 wheelsets: a road specific set (23c tires), an everyday 50/50 paved/gravel road set (32c touring tires) and a mostly gravel/dirt/trail set (32c knobbies front and rear). I race the bike in the local road race, use it for periodic road centuries and double centuries, and combined paved-unpaved road rides -- I pick the appropriate wheelset and go. I have a 48/38 chainring combo and despite living and riding in the mountains have never felt undergeared (but sometimes overgeared, even with a 27 tooth cog on the off-pavement wheelset). I've not yet raced cross, but I hope to break my maidenhead this fall...

    I've been recommending to anyone who asks for my advice that they buy a cyclocross rig -- from my perspective, dirt road riding is soooo much more enjoyable and safe and they get down the tarmac as well as a regular road bike. My daughter has recently attained adult size and needed a new bike and we ended up with a cyclocross rig. She does some racing on the road, but I certainly do not see her at a disadvantage with a cross bike for the level of racing she does -- put on our shared light road wheelset and it's a 18 lb road rocket.
    Hmm... Can I think about that?

  17. #17
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    I have a Specialized Tricross along with a dedicated road and f/s mtb along with some other older bikes missing parts. If I could only keep one, the choice would be very easy (but painful) - the Tricross. With some thinner tires I'm sure I'd be able to keep up with group rides no problem. It doesn't feel as fast on the road as my race bike but I think that's mostly perception due to the slack geometry and more flexy frame. On the trail side, smooth singletrack is lots of fun but the positioning and lack of braking power certainly makes it slower than a mtb on downhills. Not for very rocky technical sections or steep downhills, though.

    Overall, a xc is great but it's not going to be optimal in any situation.

  18. #18
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    cross and mt

    Quote Originally Posted by jtcastillo
    I'm thinking of selling my road bike and buying a cyclocross bike. This would but me in the Cyclocross + MT Bike only.

    My questions is what bikes do you own. Anyone exclusively own and or ride cyclocross bikes?
    I have cross and mt bikes, one SS cross check-run fixed or free-raced, road ridding-shopping with rack and pannier/trunk bag-why drive on the weekend. A geared nice custom Curtlo cross bike with 3 wheel sets, light road, not too heavy cheap cross racing wheel set and heavy cheap wheelset with specialized heavy commuter tires-used as back up race wheels with cross tires. I had the Curtlo made to take the place of the geared roadbike I had since I live on a 1/2 mile gravel driveway and can't really ride a road bike from the door. The curtlo cross bike is as light or lighter then the road bike it replaced- especially with the light road wheels on it, and rides just as nice. I wouldn't do serious road racing on it but group road rides, centries, etc are fine, especially with the road wheelset. I also have some SS mt bikes for mt bike trails.
    If your a fairly serious Mt biker I say go Mt bike and cross bike- two wheelsets is nice one for trail and racing cross and one for roadtires. If you are a more serious road ridder and especially if you race on the road, then I say keep the road bike and then get a crossbike and then one wheelset with a decent cheap onroad/off road cross tire might be enough, but if you ride more trails you maywant another wheelset or set of more agressive or larger cross tires for the harder trails you might try.

  19. #19

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    This thread has been helpful to me, but I figure I'll pose one question here rather than starting a whole new thread about it. I currenly only have a Raleigh Mojave 4.0 MTB that I use for everything. Since my road rides cross some gravel/dirt (with some big chunks of gravel) roads, I use Geax Evolution tires so I roll better on the roads than with even low-key knobbies, but with enough tooth to handle the dirt and gravel on all but the steepest of hills. (I throw on Moto Raptors for the trails.) After riding for a little less than a year, I'm finding I much prefer road/"off road" riding than actual mountain biking. I like nice, open trails, but don't care for techinical singletrack. But I looooooove to find overgrown, underdeveloped country roads and just go for maybe 20 miles (more as I progress).

    I was looking at 'cross bikes a while back and was getting mixed feedback from the different LBSes. The only one in my area that carries any kind of 'cross bike had the Specialized Tricross in both the basic (about $1,100) and fancier (about $1,800 with the seatpost with the gel in it and such) models. That store said they could handle somewhat rough dirt/gravel roads pretty well. Another store said that even a marginally rough dirt road would tear a 'cross bike up, and I'd be better off putting 700c wheels with 'cross tires on my existing mountain bike. Since the guy was giving me his honest opinion, rather than trying to have me walk out of the store $2,000 lighter, I have to think his experience might carry some weight.

    Looking at road bikes and the cost for a decent one.. not entry-level, but not high-end.. it really looks like I could just save for a few more months and get the Tricross, or save longer and get the higher-end model. I'd keep the mountain bike for some of the trails in my area.. but I like the more casual "beginner" trails. I don't really care about "doing the Dew" on the rougher, more sophistocated and technical trails.

    So, I'd still have the MTB for my occasional trail rides, but was thinking about a 'cross bike for my weekday road rides and longer weekend rides on dirt/gravel country roads (with a tire swap). From what I've read, 'cross bikes are reasonably hardy. Obviously they're not hardy enough for rock hopping and such, but it seems they'd be fine for the gravel roads and all. (I'm also trying to map out a route for an all-dirt/gravel century.) So what's the prognosis here?

  20. #20

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    they obviously haven't ridden one

    [QUOTE=ZenZhu
    I was looking at 'cross bikes a while back and was getting mixed feedback from the different LBSes. The only one in my area that carries any kind of 'cross bike had the Specialized Tricross in both the basic (about $1,100) and fancier (about $1,800 with the seatpost with the gel in it and such) models. That store said they could handle somewhat rough dirt/gravel roads pretty well. Another store said that even a marginally rough dirt road would tear a 'cross bike up, and I'd be better off putting 700c wheels with 'cross tires on my existing mountain bike.

    From what I've read, 'cross bikes are reasonably hardy. Obviously they're not hardy enough for rock hopping and such, but it seems they'd be fine for the gravel roads and all. (I'm also trying to map out a route for an all-dirt/gravel century.) So what's the prognosis here?[/QUOTE]

    OMG! what are they thinking? Cross bikes have to be designed to be just as strong as a xc mountain bike, the people who ride cross for the most part are a step above the average cyclist and will push their bikes super hard. I ride my CX bike to the degree that my friends refer to it as Psycho Cross. The bikes will definitely hold up to unmaintained roads. Specialized would NEVER release a bike that was a potential liability the way a cross bike would be if it couldn't handle the trails. I interviewed with them and their engineering team gave me a little FYI on their design process and they are very rigorous on design and testing. What you need worry about most is getting a good wheelset and having it tensioned before you go out and ride it. that is where the bike is likely to give you problems, not the frame.

    For what you are doing, I am going to suggest that you look steel, it is more comfortable and forgiving and at the end of the day, you will be happier. Aluminum is faster and lighter but really beats you up. (just look at all the people who have Surly Cross Checks and LOVE them on this site). If you decide to go steel and none of your local brands includes a model, any dealer should be able to get a Surly through QBC (the largest parts destributor). If you are going to have to buy one out of a catalog, size a roadbike and take the TT measurement and match it to the Cross Bike.

    (edit)
    oh and I race MTB, and do dirt jumps on it and this is the only bike i have NOT broke the frame (steel cross check). I go through aluminum mountain frames on average about every 250 rides.
    BAJA LOCO!

  21. #21

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    I like the Cross Check and a question ...

    Quote Originally Posted by krashcountry
    For what you are doing, I am going to suggest that you look steel, it is more comfortable and forgiving and at the end of the day, you will be happier. Aluminum is faster and lighter but really beats you up. (just look at all the people who have Surly Cross Checks and LOVE them on this site). If you decide to go steel and none of your local brands includes a model, any dealer should be able to get a Surly through QBC (the largest parts destributor).
    Thanks, the more I look at the Cross Check, the more I like it. How light do you think I can get it? I'm hoping to get it <= 22lbs. Is this realistic?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtcastillo
    Thanks, the more I look at the Cross Check, the more I like it. How light do you think I can get it? I'm hoping to get it <= 22lbs. Is this realistic?
    You would probably either need to really pimp it out to hit <22, or go SS with it. My SS Cross-check has good parts, 105 cranks, Bontrager race wheels, Thompson bits, Salsa bars, etc...and comes in around 23-ish lbs. If I wanted to hit <22 I would need to swap the fork and wheels....but dont get hung up on a target weight- they ride lighter than they are. My 'light' cross bike is a Vicious, and that one is about 20lbs because I dont believe in stupid-light parts. Dependable parts make you fast, light parts make you a DNF.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    You would probably either need to really pimp it out to hit <22, or go SS with it. My SS Cross-check has good parts, 105 cranks, Bontrager race wheels, Thompson bits, Salsa bars, etc...and comes in around 23-ish lbs. If I wanted to hit <22 I would need to swap the fork and wheels....but dont get hung up on a target weight- they ride lighter than they are. My 'light' cross bike is a Vicious, and that one is about 20lbs because I dont believe in stupid-light parts. Dependable parts make you fast, light parts make you a DNF.
    dito

    my cross check runs in at about 24lbs, which is light for a MTB. I have about 2k wholesale into it but i will admit that I have never purchased a part for it with even the slightest regard for weight.. most $1500 cross bikes way less than it. you might look into the jamis nova, it starts at ~1300 for a decent build and there is no way that the frame is as heavy as the surly. the advantages of the cross check are cult effect, the horizontal drops to SS it, and the fact that you can get it from any shop.
    BAJA LOCO!

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by krashcountry
    dito

    my cross check runs in at about 24lbs, ...I have about 2k wholesale into it but i will admit that I have never purchased a part for it with even the slightest regard for weight..
    How is your CX Spec'd? Can you also post a pic?

    TIA

  25. #25

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    oh boy, here goes

    Quote Originally Posted by jtcastillo
    How is your CX Spec'd? Can you also post a pic?

    TIA

    keep in mind that the moneys have been invested since 2000 as a work in project.

    2000 pea green cross check frame
    2005/6 pastel pink reynolds steel bianchi 29er fork off PUSS (my third fork)
    cane creek sealed HS
    FSA stem (cheap trail stem w/ 31.8 clamp)
    Random (richey i think) oversized drop bars
    mixmatched 9spd STI shifters w/ cusom contouring of the hoods to be ergo...(takes a couple hours per to get it nice)
    3 layers of bar tape...easier and softer to just put on more when it wears out or tears
    avid BB7 front brake & travel agent
    Alex DA22 rims on random hubs
    44c mutano raptor ft tire, random 38 c tire rear....both steel bead
    random thompson style seatpost that I pulled from the scrap box and made a top clamp for
    Special-ed 05? rival Ti saddle
    generic clamp
    Avid single digit #? V-brake rear & travel agent
    aluminum brake arch for rear brake.
    RF Cadence compact crank w/ 36T and RF bash ring(I got the last 5bolter!!!)
    XT 11/34 cassette
    XT/Ultegra chain
    105? double ft der (chain guide)
    XT short cage RD (frankenderrailleur w/ parts from Ultegra shortcage)
    SPD's (old school...they work better than the new plateless ones)

    with the exception of the frame and seatpost, nothing is original, everything is at least the second generation component

    I think that is everything w the exception of the dice I have on the presta adapters

    sorry, no pics right now, just got done w/ a ghetto move and the bike is in a box being shipped
    BAJA LOCO!

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