Cyclo Cross or Road Bike

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  • Cyclo Cross or Road Bike
  • Daisy_Duke
    Member

    Get a cx bike and you’ll not look back. I use mine for cx racing/ Summer TT’s and even national 24h TT events. You’ll not regret it.

    mlpinto
    Member

    Can’t offer a solution but I have the same dilemma at the moment so will watch this with interest. I want to replace an old Alu road bike with something more comfy and versatile.

    I like the idea of being able to fit mudguards and a rack which is easy with many road bikes. However, the idea of being able to fit knobblies for the occasional off road ride (eg Downs Link or local bridleways) also appeals, as do discs.

    I kind of assume that a cross bike fitted with road tyres would be as fast for me as my current 20lb road bike, but I’m not sure.

    Either way I really like the look of a Lynskey Cooper CX…

    Raymond
    Member

    I went through the same thought process and ended up buying this:


    P4072844 by raymond321, on Flickr

    It’s a cross bike in spec, in that it’ll take 35c tyres but the bottom bracket is a bit lower than normal. Weighs in at under 19lbs and doesn’t seem to give much away in speed terms to full-on road bikes.

    One thing to mention though, and the reason I went custom is that a lot of higher spec CX bikes have short head tubes, which isn’t so good for endurance riding (at least not for me)

    Premier Icon cp
    Subscriber

    My Boardman Team CX makes a great crossover bike – it spends Dec->Spring as the road bike, which it’s very very good at.

    In summer it’s the loaded tour/crappy weather long ride bike.

    In Sept->Nov it’s 1×10 CX racer.

    I also have a dedicated road bike for summer, and have had a dedicated CX bike. With a few component changes (tyres, stem), the Boardman is 90% there with either. It’s great!

    I got a Marin Lombard through the nhs bikes for work scheme. Lovin’ it!

    Premier Icon ir_bandito
    Subscriber

    I’ve got an On One cross bike. At the moment its got 28c Conti GR 4 Seasons on it for road use (and will have sensible mudguards too, for audaxing).
    But I do like the idea of fitting cross tyres on it too and going for a fire-road blast around Kielder.

    Only had 1 “proper” road bike before, and this is a bit taller and more relaxed, which suits me just fine.

    growinglad
    Member

    Always ridden a MTB but bought a Trek 1200 back in 2004 just to have a crack at road riding.

    Still enjoy both, but looking to get a new road bike, 1200 is finally close to the end.

    Now I can’t decide to Go with Road or Cyclo Cross, although I’m leaning towards Cyclo Cross.

    Reasons being:

    I don’t intend to race, but rather reasonable length rides on my own or small groups.
    Want something that’s capable of a 100km ride from time to time, but will generally be around 40-60km’s.
    Where I live there are plenty of smooth paths, but there are also lots of hard packed stone / forest paths which are just about doable with my 1200, but a full on road bike would struggle or not have a chance.
    Thinking of getting a spare set of wheels with 700 x 25 for just road and then standard nobbles for rough ride exploring.
    Although it still needs to be light enough for hauling up a mountain climb on the road
    I ride all weather hence would like disk brakes….my rims and brake blocks took an absolute hammering this winter.

    Just had a quick look at the Specialized Crux Elite, which isn’t bad, plus the Cube cross race.

    So, anyone else crossed this bridge, pros and cons, any recommendations on other bikes to check out.

    Thanks,
    GL.

    AntLockyer
    Member

    I ride my road bike on the sort of stuff you are talking about. On 27mm tubs, no issues.

    I ride the same stuff on my cross bike much faster and have more fun on 32mm tubs.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    I got a CX bike very recently (I went for a Rose Pro DX Cross 4400)

    I’ve stuck 28c slicks on it (Conti 4 Season) and been out for two long road rides on it so far (50 miles each). Kept up with roadie mates just fine. It has also handled my commute along rough cycle paths and old railway lines without any issues.

    Plus I quite like having disc brakes and a slightly more relaxed geometry.

    Suggest you look at this thread and see if anything tickles you:
    http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/show-me-your-cx-bikes-2

    growinglad
    Member

    Thanks to all, very useful info.

    @GrahamS,

    What’s the difference between the 4400 and the 3000….the 4400 is running Shram, the 3000 Shimano??

    Any reason why you choose the 4400 over the others?

    Thx
    GL

    velomanic
    Member

    Got myself a Croix De Fer, put a pair of 28x700c Conti GP 4 Seasons on and haven’t ridden my ‘proper’ road bike since!

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    @growinglad: More numbers = better 😀

    Nah, they are all the same frame with different components. The 4400 and the 3000 are the same “level” you are just choosing between SRAM Force or Shimano Ultegra groupset.

    I went for SRAM because I also specced the SRAM WiFLi deraleur which lets me fit an MTB-style 11-32 cassette for the hills.

    An aluminium framed cross bike won’t be as light, or as comfortable as a carbon road bike, but it will probably do 90-95% of what a road bike can, plus it’ll go off-road. So if you only want one bike and you will take it on rougher tracks/need fatter tyres then go for it. If it’ll only be used on the road then go for the road bike.

    If you may want mudguards/racks then a lot of bike brands are doing “cyclocross” bikes that will take both. These will also have more relaxed geometry than a proper cyclocross race bike, so that they can work on the road too. Things like the Genesis “cyclocross” range.

    growinglad
    Member

    I’m very glad you’ve planted this idea….it’s a lovely looking bike.

    I’m tempted to go for the 3000 as I’ve always gone with Shimano, never had any complaints.

    Regarding sizing, did you go for your usual, I’m 1.85 and ride a 56 at the moment, wondering if a 58 will give me a more stretched out position. Actually just found the frame measurements..think I’ll pop downstairs with my tape measure and compare it against my road bike.

    Ohhhh, Izzzz got that fuzzy warm feeling!!

    Basil
    Member

    I have urges.
    These urges have my hand going to my pocket and my laptop open to Dirty Dirty Disco images

    waller
    Member

    ive gone from a road bike to a cross bike. much prefer it. comfier and is a bit more utilarian. Im contemplating using it in the winter instead of the mountainbike but need to MTFU before actually doing it 🙂

    TheBrick
    Member

    pleaderwilliams speaks the truth, you want a cyclocross lite bike rather than a hardcore cyclocross bike. One that with a little more relax geom, mudgard mounts if you fancy, maybe even a smige more clearance. Perfect for everything unless you intend serisly racing road or cyclocross.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Regarding sizing, did you go for your usual, I’m 1.85 and ride a 56 at the moment, wondering if a 58

    I don’t have a usual size cos this is my first road bike since I was a teenager. I test rode a few CX bikes, then picked the Rose one with the geometry closest to what I felt comfortable on – which for me was a 58.
    I think the 56 would have been fine too though.

    They do recommend a size based on your measurements when you hit the Buy button.

    gringojimi
    Member

    I bought a Cube Cross Race in the winter and rode it along local muddy trails (Thetford flatlands) and even had a go at a local cx race.

    It’s not now shod with slicks and has completed two 100 mile sportives without any complaints.
    My road bike has sat neglected ever since the crosser arrived!

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    I’m getting a Boardman CX Team later this week, im very interested to see how it compares to my 1999 vintage Ribble Terry Dolan road bike.

    I doubt it will be any slower as the Ribbles wheels do not run TRUE, the rear triangle is bent, and the hubs and BB have never been serviced (more a testimony to Camagnolo engineering quality I think)!

    antigee
    Member

    i stopped using my road bike after i got a CX just preferred the option of dirt trails to connect stuff up – recently due to relocation riding a lot more road and as have a disc CX (Kinesis pro6) invested in a lighter 2nd pair of wheels which i run road tyres on

    only reason i’d get a road bike nows is if wanted to race which i don’t but n+1 always appeals and a CX doesn’t fit in with some roadies ideas of what you should ride on the road – a roadie mate said “you road up mont ventoux on that” – no actually i did it twice on my old CX made up from all sorts of bits – treated myself to a new one afterwards because i thought deserved it

    Premier Icon senor j
    Subscriber

    Cx bike here.I’ll probably do the spare set of wheels thing ,as I can never be bothered changing the nobblies when I do my quicker(road) commute .( I just pump the tyres up hard 😀 )
    Like anitgee , i prefer to connect dirt track/bridleways,it can also manage my local rooty singletrack. 🙂
    I’ve never ridden a road type bike before and it’s amazed(& scared)me how fast the crosser can go.

    jonba
    Member

    Just to echo the above really. I have both bit do very little road racing, mainly cross. I could probably manage on my CX alone as with slick tyres I can keep up on a fast club run, take kom , ride centuries etc.

    However I lean towards my CX most rides simply because I can mix and match. I use old railways and the ncn a lot in the north east and that is s easier on a cross because some bits are unsurfaced. I can do a nice century with a loop around kielder lake on a CX but not only carbon road bike.

    Kinesis pro 6 vs focus cayo.

    Premier Icon Clover
    Subscriber

    Took my Jake the Snake to Spain wearing slicks and he handled 500km of super road riding with aplomb. Back in Calderdale in knobblies he chews his way through Pennine bridleway equally cheerily. If I was buying new now though I would get discs.

    Premier Icon iainc
    Subscriber

    Jake the snake here also. Currently with 28 touring tyres and mudguards as winter road bike, but shortly the small block 8’s will go on and it will be in summer hols with the kids at aviemore mode. Great on easy single track, great on forest roads.

    I do have a carbon road bike too though 🙂

    Don’t mince around just get a proper road bike.

    Jason
    Member

    I had both and ended up selling my road bike as I wasn’t using it. I don’t race, and rarely ride in group rides on the road, so the road bike didn’t really offer any advantage, apart from being slightly faster rolling, which is a bit academic when you are out by yourself. From checking my times on Strava I am probably about 1.5mph slower on the CX with nobby tyres rather than on my road bike. Skinny slicks on the CX would probably help speed it up.

    The CX gives me more route options when I am out, always fun to include some off road on a ‘road’ ride.

    The only downside is my CX bike only has one bottle cage, which is limiting on longer rides – so sometimes find myself riding it with a small camelbak (not sure if that is allowed really 😀 )

    growinglad
    Member

    Thanks for all the info above guys, really really useful.

    I actually want something quite aggressive and stiff. I’m still young enough to put up with a few pot hole bumps and I want to be able to put a bit of extra ummph on the peddles and get a bit of response.

    I could actually see myself entering a cross race, where as a road race….no….But I do want something that won’t handicap me too much on the steep mountain road climbs.

    Two biggest things for me, is can take a bit of a pounding (like to mix road rides with big climbs with forest and dirt tracks), and disk brakes….unlike most roadies ( 😉 ) I don’t mind a bit of rain, but the grime and wet really eats up the rims and pads…once they decide to start working…

    Off to measure my current bike a bit later to see how the Rose compares.

    Thanks again,
    GL

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Clearly I’m in the minority, but I didn’t really like the cross bikes I had, I went out with the mindset of doing a road ride or an off road ride, and didn’t tend to swap. On road rides I’d be thinking ‘hmmm, my road bike is better here’ and off road I’d be thinking ‘hmmm, my MTB is better here’.

    Jack of all trades master of none for me. I’d have one if I had dozens of bikes, but not in place of a road bike.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Two biggest things for me, is can take a bit of a pounding (like to mix road rides with big climbs with forest and dirt tracks), and disk brakes….unlike most roadies

    Just to further confuse you: Rose do “proper” road bikes with disc brakes too 😀


    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/products/bikes/road-bikes/rose-xeon-dx-2013/

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Jack of all trades master of none for me. I’d have one if I had dozens of bikes, but not in place of a road bike.

    Conversely I have mine because I don’t have room for a dozen bikes. 😀

    growinglad
    Member

    Thanks VERY MUCH GrahamS, Just as I thought I’d made a decision, you’ve thrown a spanner in the works 😉

    Right…back to the drawing board!!! 🙂

    Sancho
    Member

    smashing the miles out on a new Jake here, now saving for the new carbon disc jake just released at Sea Otter.

    the Ally Jake is brilliant handling off road and covers miles easily but has proper mudguard points so will be my perfect trainer when the carbon one comes 🙂

    Sold my road bike & bought a Kinesis CX frame. Currently built up with flat bars & bar-ends, Formula (hydraulic) brakes & conti 4 season 28c’s. It isn’t as fast as the road bike, but then it’s a little heavier, I’m sat more upright, so less aero & I’m on 28’s rather than 23’s. It is however, far more comfortable to ride. I don’t get sore neck, back, shoulders & hands as I did on the road bike (I tried a multitude of set-up positions & just never got comfortable).
    Full mudguards for winter use on CX frame – my road bike could just about cope with the shorty raceblade mudguards, but would never accommodate a full rear guard.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Right…back to the drawing board!!!

    They are fairly similar to be honest.

    The Xeon has the advantage of a more roadie geometry and road rims.

    The Cross has CX rims and mud clearance plus bosses for mudguards and panniers.

    Depends what you want it for really.

    If you do go for a Rose then sign up for a Rose card first:
    http://www.rosebikes.co.uk/content/services/rose-card

    Then you’ll get a stack of loyalty points when you buy the bike that can be used to buy accessories.

    My next bike….

    I don’t have a cx bike in my quiver right now… Nice Tom ritchey road bike, and a ti fargo… But I am missing the gap in between, and the road bike does a lot of gravel, and the Fargo does a lot of road…..

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    What’s that Charlie? Looks a bit like the Salsa Vaya?

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    A brief (slightly pointless) review of the Rose Xeon DX and the carbon Xeon CW just showed up on BikeRadar:

    http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/rose-xeon-road-bikes-just-in-37149/

    antigee
    Member

    think its a salsa warbird

    http://www.salsacycles.com/bikes/warbird_ti

    and is a thing of beauty add in the new sram hydraulics and i’ve got some serious saving to do

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Yep very nice. I took a look at the Vayas before going for the Rose.
    Sweet bikes but spendy

    I see Orange have a nice looking CX bike coming out too:


    http://road.cc/content/news/81684-orange-rx9-video-trailer-points-imminent-release

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Jack of all trades master of none for me. I’d have one if I had dozens of bikes, but not in place of a road bike

    .

    Conversely I have mine because I don’t have room for a dozen bikes

    And mine is because I don’t care about the road bike mastering the fast race end of the road spectrum, but CX allows me to go on the seriously extensive array of bike paths which tend to be packed gravel. And the XC MTB is more than overkill for that.

    I don’t go out with a road/trail mindset. It’s all fair game. CX bike for longer rides on or off road or both or road and have the option to cut off down any old trail whenever I feel like it. XC bike for techier rides that are largely off road, steeper, etc.

    Tempted to get 2nd set of wheels (same rim type, so don’t need to worry about adjusting brakes), with 25 or 28c road tyres, though for a bit more road oriented distance rides. If I get bored of the traffic, it’ll only cost me 2 new tyres to go back to CX only with a spare set of wheels.

    clubber
    Member

    I have plenty of room for lots of bikes 🙂

    I love my cross bike. With cx tyres, it’s a great bike for mixed rides – offroad bridleways (usually) with road links which would be boring on an mtb or not possible on a road bike.

    With road tyres on, it’s really barely any slower than my ‘proper’ road bike (though the proper road bike does ‘feel’ faster) as evidenced by a few audaxs/sportives where it’s certainly not held me up. If I’m going to do a long road ride though, I do flip the stem to get a more roadie position.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    Tempted to get 2nd set of wheels (same rim type, so don’t need to worry about adjusting brakes), with 25 or 28c road tyres

    Just keep an eye on tyre/rim compatibility if you are putting road tyres on CX rims.

    I’ve got Mavic CrossRide rims which are 622x19C so minimum recommended tyre width is 28c

    http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html#width

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Mavic Open Pros. Not a problem for the road tyres, but is actually the CX tyres that are larger than recommended for the rim.

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