daft question – strength of cyclo-x vs road bike frame

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  • daft question – strength of cyclo-x vs road bike frame
  • Premier Icon chugg08

    Is there a big difference? Thinking of sticking some cross wheels on my road bike. Will I die 🙂

    Edit: its a Giant scr alloy frame with carbon forks

    Premier Icon aracer

    On average I’d expect the cross frame to be a bit stronger, but there may not be much in it. More importantly, I presume by cross wheels you mean cross tyres – in which case you’ll likely have a clearance problem with a road frame / road brakes.


    Geometry is very different I think… Cyclocross frames are deliberately designed for off / on road use so you can get your head up (more sit up & beg MTB stylee) as opposed to a racer which you are dropped into a streched crouch. The BB is higher A CX frame will have more mud clearance too and longer reach brakes.

    I would suspect that CX frames are designed to flex wheras a road frame might not be so forgiving.
    I would be wary of the carbon road forks off road as they may not be designed for the sudden shock loading you get say if you hit pot holes etc. They will be engineered to withstand a constant loading.

    If its for the odd foray onto a dirt path or in snow then the CX tyres will be fine but if you are looking for a dedicated comp beast then there may be issues.

    That said CX started as a form of winter training using road bikes with knobbly tyres.. so you may have no issues.

    Premier Icon chugg08

    Thanks guys. Kinda my thoughts too – I’ll give it a try, not planning anything too wild. With regards wheels – thought about putting a set of Planet x A57’s on with knobbly tyres.


    a CX bike has bigger clearances, slacker angles and typically around 1cm shorter top tube.

    You *can* use a road bike for cx but clearance is usually the major issue and everyone I know who’s tried it has ended up with a proper CX bike.

    Premier Icon ctznsmith

    I’d be surprised if you could get anything more than a 25c tyre in most modern road bikes. Also your brakes will clog in minutes if it’s muddy. There was a guy racing at temple newsam last year on an old steel road frame with calliper brakes and he didn’t seem to be enjoying himself!! (That was a pretty dry course too)

    The other way round, light road wheels in a ‘cross bike is a much better idea imho


    Just assumed road and cross frames were the same strength.
    Skinny tubed road and skinny tubed cross.
    Alu road and alu cross
    Carb….well you get the picture.
    Built different of course.


    Doubt there will be a difference worth worrying about. Biggest issue will be mud clearance.
    No matter what your road bike is there will be a CX bike that is more fragile and capable of taking what it needs. (Alright maybe some million quid super light thing but if you had one of those you wouldn’t be asking)
    Even angles are not a worry. Some CX bikes are tighter than some road bikes.
    Yeah frames are frames all being equal. Of course if you are not comparing identical frames then one might be stronger.
    Just go and ride the bike.

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