- Comfort road bikes & crossers.
Being a fan of comfort and somewhat adverse to pain, I like the sound of these bikes. However salesmen’s hype is one thing and real experiences are another.Posted 6 years ago
I’ve heard of (in no particular order) Cannondale Synapse, Giant Defy, Spesh Secteur, Trek Domane. I note that the Trek even has a minimal suspension/flex design feature and I followed Rocketdog’s link to reviews of Domane and Madone. What do you think of these and are any of you particularly impressed with offerings from other manufacturers?
I’m also wondering (assuming you’re not too competitive) whether you’d suffer serious disadvantages by choosing a cyclo-cross bike instead of a comfort road bike. I think we’d agreed you need wider, tougher tyres to ride down a bridleway or similar unmade road, so are there comfort road bikes out there with clearances for 28 and 32c tyres? Have any of you ridden both ‘crossers’ and road bikes on sportives – how did you feel they compared?
Let’s hear your experiences, opinions, and have your links to reviews.
I have a carbon defy with 23c tyres and a Jake the Snake, which when in touring mode has 32 c tyres. I find them equally comfortable, but the full carbon giant probably just edges it. The Jake has a carbon fork and stiff alloy framePosted 6 years ago
whether you’d suffer serious disadvantages by choosing a cyclo-cross bike instead of a comfort road bike
Top tube might be shorter, possibly leading to discomfort due to not being able to stretch your back out properly.Posted 6 years ago
Have a look at the geometry for the different frames. I found the secteur was by far the most relaxed. It’ll take 35s, has the same wheels as the specialized cx bikes and is surprisingly forgiving on rough stuff.
The inner front ring on cx bikes is significantly bigger than a road bike, and the outer ring significantly smaller. Which I can only see as being crap on the road.Posted 6 years ago
Top tube might be shorter,
Only if you buy based on a ‘size’ rather than fit.
OP, if your riding bridleways you are not the market for a road bike. Get a touring bike or cross bike. That said neither of those will be as smooth as a top end carbon road bike. Decide what you want to ride on first before trying to decide what bike you want.Posted 6 years ago
moving towards being spoilt for choice this over on road cc looks goodPosted 6 years ago
looks like there is a trend to road/gravel bikes with decent clearance and all day geometry love my kinesis pro6 for riding all sort of stuff but a long day is hard work for someone in their fifties
saving up for one of these
big topic of conversation in our office. commutes around us have a mix of fast road and rough cycle-track, what’s wanted is a relaxed geometry curly bar bike with tough disc braked wheels that you can put a 23 tyre on.
that Genesis looks very close to what we all want…Posted 6 years ago
I have a kona major jake which is fine for 50/60 mile on/off road outings.Posted 6 years ago
Be more concerned about frame material than the tyre clearance. Comfiest 700cc I’ve ridden is the Kaffenback. If you want lighter go for Ti closely followed by an Equilibrium or steel audax.Posted 6 years ago
flap_jack – Member
big topic of conversation in our office
impressed 😀Posted 6 years ago
Thanks for your replies everyone – lots to think about. I smiled at your post antigee as I have a 2011 Salsa El-Mariachi Ti myself. I’m all off-road at the moment. Another Ti bike would be a bit rich for me.Posted 6 years ago
Any more ideas gang? 😀
The inner front ring on cx bikes is significantly bigger than a road bike, and the outer ring significantly smaller. Which I can only see as being crap on the road.
Pretty standard 50/34 compact on mine. Highest gear is same as my roadie mates.Posted 6 years ago
Pretty standard 50/34 compact on mine. Highest gear is same as my roadie mates.
That’s quite unusual for a proper cyclocross bike. Most are around 46/36, that’s certainly what’s on my cyclocross specific crankset.Posted 6 years ago
Comfort bike ? just by a tourer like a Galaxy as they are made to be ridden all day on toursPosted 6 years ago
My crosser and touring bike use 22/32 /44 rings the gearing with an 11 tooth sprocket is fine for road use .Its the same gear as 52/13 which was fairly normal in the 80sPosted 6 years ago
I wouldn’t describe either of my cross bikes as ‘comfort bikes’, to think that they are suggests a complete misunderstanding of what a cross bike is.Posted 6 years ago
My Cannondale SuperX is comfortable, carbon and the save seat stays that let it have some ride compliance, chain stays are solid, so getting power down is not a problem.Posted 6 years ago
I wouldn’t describe either of my cross bikes as ‘comfort bikes’, to think that they are suggests a complete misunderstanding of what a cross bike
Unfortunately, the days of the cross bike being a thing you kill yourself on for a hour, or for 3 and a half hours (3 Peaks style), are long gone. A goodly number of them are weighty road bikes with a bit more clearance to sell to people who think it’s cool…Posted 6 years ago
I have the Trek Domane 4.3 on 23c tyres. Fantastic bike, responsive but comfortable too. It’s more comfortable than the Pompetamine on 32c and a whole lot lighter too. I changed the wheels from the standard as they felt a bit flexi to some Hope/Mavic Open Pro’s. This is probably down to my weight more than the original wheels.Posted 6 years ago
Not trendy though are they, tourers?
Hell of a shame really.
That Genesis looks useful, but I wonder why they’ve not moved the disc to the chainstay like they have on next years Croix?
Bit pricey for 653 too.
OP, have a gander at the Spa Cycles Roughstuff Ti & The Surly Trucker.
Thorn make some nice bikes too.
The Pinnacle Arkose and Boardman crossers look superb vfm and get great reviews.
Also, Druidh has a Van Nic which is lovely – bet it cost a bomb though.Posted 6 years ago
Crikey & ap:
I agree, this new breed aren’t traditional cross bikes at all.
They play with the imagery and sell the dream.
But then again, they’re 100% more useful to most people than an ultra racey, hardcore crosser.Posted 6 years ago
And how many ‘mountain bikes’ actually see a mountain?
But then again, they’re 100% more useful to most people than an ultra racey, hardcore crosser
I do agree with this; my crosser had no bottle bosses, no other brazed on bits, no mudguard eyes and so on.
However, it does make a jolly good rant and allows me to approach that point at which I get to use the phrase ‘Back in my day’…Posted 6 years ago
I’ve ordered a Bob Jackson, but the Ribble 525 looks good VFM and gaining quite a following.Posted 6 years ago
I’ve been sorely tempted to cancel the BJ and buy the 525. A little heavier, but compensated for by the carbon forks and takes lighter 11/8″ ahead stems.
Strangely my best cross bike actually does have mudguard eyelets and 2 sets of bottle cage bosses. Still built up at 17lbs though with clinchers. I’ve used this for warm weather training camps and things like RvV and Paris Roubaix with no problems keeping up (until my fitness gets in the way).Posted 6 years ago
Although if I want to ride a heavy, odd handling disc braked road bike that takes 28c road tyres and full mudguards I ride my Trek Portland.
A 72 year old of my acquaintance has recently bought a Paul Milnes crosser, basic frame adapted with a nice big cassette and a set of comfy tyres.
He says it’s nicer to ride than his Orrell, Colnago and Bob Jackson.
Cost him about £700 all in and blurs the lines very successfuly between a hardcore crosser and a comfy bridleway Sustrans cruiser.
He’s hard as nails though. I hide if I see him coming when I’m out on the road bike.
I can’t cope with the humiliation.
ap, I fancied a Portland myself.
Odd that Trek dropped it so soon.
They seem to have replaced it with something heavier, a worse spec and a higher price.Posted 6 years ago
bought a Paul Milnes crosser
Had one, rode for the shop team!
Ahem, back in the day…. 😆Posted 6 years ago
I have a Spesh Roubaix SL3, which is light, stiff, fast, handles superbly and is extremely comfortable. I only ride it in dry conditions.
For winter I have a Spesh Tricross disc. It is also very comfortable but it has a more upright riding position and is heavier with 32mm tyres, hence it averages about 1 mph slower over the same rides. It is also pretty good off road, it beats the mountain bikes up hills and on the flat but is a nightmare down anything rocky. It is also excellent when loaded up with a rack and panniers and it takes mudguards easily. It would be too heavy to race though.Posted 6 years ago
lol!Posted 6 years ago
I bought the Portland for the forks TBH, I use it to commute on with panniers. Its ok, but gets the job done for 20 miles across London to the other side of Greenwich.
I bought my “not a crosser” crosser specifically because I was looking for a drop-barred bike that could keep up with roadies on the road, but was robust enough to take bridleways in its stride, with disc brakes for wet weather use, a slightly more relaxed geometry, clearance for 28mm tyres and mud, and eyelets for mudguards and a rack.
And yeah, I doubt it will ever actually see a real Cross Race in my hands.Posted 6 years ago
Singular Osprey will take up to 35mm tyres (without mudguards, 28 with) and currently 30% off!Posted 6 years ago
I was brought up just down the road from Neil’s.
Is the shop still open?Posted 6 years ago
Went in to order a frame about 10 years ago but he was only building a few for people he knew well at that point.
Still see a few being ridden round here.
My budget was always more realistically suited to Moston Cycles.
Singular Osprey will take up to 35mm tyres (without mudguards, 28 with) and currently 30% off
…and has downtube shifters?
Good luck with that, retro-for-the-sake-of-it…Posted 6 years ago
I was brought up just down the road from Neil’s.
Is the shop still open?
I rode with his sons, doing cross and road racing. The shop is still open, just, and he was talking about an attempt to get the 3 peaks record from John Rawnsley, but he had to wait for his hip operation to settle down. Hard man, and not only when asking for discount!Posted 6 years ago
No mention of the Surly Cross-Check? I’m wondering about buying one for commuting and long single-speed Winter rides in the rain.Posted 6 years ago
Whats wrong with downtube shifters? 30% off Peregrines by any chance Sam?Posted 6 years ago
Whats wrong with downtube shifters? 30% off Peregrines by any chance Sam?
nothing if they are your thing, but there is a reason why virtually no road bike comes with them anymore! Why no one races with them anymore etc.Posted 6 years ago
There are comfort bikes and comfort bikes. Defy is really a comfortable race bike. I race mine (to modest success). It feels like my other race bike, a TCR. The cannondale cross bike is lovely, and the geometry is very similar to the CAAD8 and Synapse. So a change of tyres and it will feel sportive-friendly. You’ll manage on the gearing, but may need a smaller casette.
Or buy a Dawes Galaxy… All the bike you could need, but it would hinder you in a race. Personally, I’m not sold on steel Genesis cross bikes. They are rather portly compared with aluminium offerings from Cannondale, Kona and Giant.
For normal use, I’d give disks a miss too, that way you could have a set of best sportive wheels with 23c tyred and a small block casette.Posted 6 years ago
nothing if they are your thing, but there is a reason why virtually no road bike comes with them anymore! Why no one races with them anymore etc.
true and if you want STI on your downtube shifter bike, you just fit cable stops instead of levers….
Posted 6 years ago
I’m not convinced by all this ‘sportive all day bike’ stuff really, as most of them just have a tall head tube to put the bars higher. Those zertz inserts in the Roubaix frame ate complete bolleaux… Bigger comfort gains can be achieved by getting the fit right, choosing tyres and pressures well, double wrap bartape.Posted 6 years ago
In true STW-style, buy what I’ve got… A Salsa Vaya. It has commuted, toured, done some French cols and is comfy and stable on less-than-perfect tarmacPosted 6 years ago
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