Swapping wheels and 'road' riding with a cx bike.

Home Forum Bike Forum Swapping wheels and 'road' riding with a cx bike.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
  • Swapping wheels and 'road' riding with a cx bike.
  • Premier Icon Atomizer

    I use my CX bike solely on the road.
    Built some Mavic Open Pros onto disc hubs.
    It’s more upright at the headtube than a race bike but that suits me, the angles are the same and the BB is a little over 1cm higher than equivalent size road bike.
    Can’t say it’s lacking anything against a road bike but I’m just riding not racing anyone.

    Premier Icon 2orangey4crows

    I’ve had a tempestuous relationship with my CX bike. At first I really didn’t get on with it and couldn’t really understand where it fitted between my road bike and MTB. The more upright geometry, higher BB and longer wheelbase felt weird. It went through various builds, but now (with a decent groupset on it and some tweaks to set up) I finally get it… to the extent I’m losing the road bike.

    Like you say, it’s great for when I can’t be bothered to drive to the trails with an MTB or don’t have the time for a 50 miler road ride. I also have a spare set of wheels with road tyres, but to be honest I’m not sure how much use they’ll get – I like the flexibilty to hit some dodgy surfaces.

    If I was really into road biking and after speed, then I think I’d want something specific, but as it is the CX is great.


    Although I mainly only use mine for racing, it is great fun for a quick blast round the woods and, with slicks fitted, have used it for the odd 100m road ride – the slightly relaxed geometry and longer head tube making it a fast and comfortable tourer. In fact I have a spare set of Ksyriums with 23mm slicks on reserved for that very purpose.


    Been riding a Ridley Crossbow on the road for the last month or so. Feels a bit weird, a bit twitch, higher at the front and I’m not confident descending quickly on as I am my road bike. That said, it does road bike very well, very comfy and not too heavy. Its just not quite as good as my proper road bike.

    I’m going the other way because I mainly ride my cx on the road i’m getting a road bike. Might ss the cx or use it as a 1×10 for winter.


    CX bikes are great road bikes. I was a sponsored CX racer in California in the 90’s and got into road bikes through all the road training I did on my CX bike, and loved it to bits!

    Sure, road bikes are lower, more aggressive and have slightly sharper handling… all fine if you want a pure road blast or are a shaven-legged road racer (I used to do that!).

    But… look at modern geometry on road bikes and what is selling today. Trek’s Madone ‘geometry for the rest of us’ has taller headtubes to relieve the lower back pain commonly caused by too-aggressive road race geometry, and so do Specialized with their Roubaix, Secteur and other models, and so do many other manufacturers these days.

    Face it, unless you’re a Pro and/or are riding 5-6hrs every day, a slightly taller headtube is a good thing. We’re talking 1-2cms difference here. People talk about this “relaxed” geometry like it’s some kind of sub-standard wussy riding position.. is 1-2cms really that different?

    The “weird” steering reported by some riders on first outings on CX bikes is not caused by taller headtubes but by the slacker HT angles and increased trail generally found on CX bikes. These characteristics offer better stability over rough ground, but are not bad on the road either. After one ride most riders forget it. Steering-wise, a CX bike isn’t as razor-sharp as a road bike, but so long as you’re not actually competing in a road race, who cares?

    If you’re gonna get a CX bike for road use or just tooling around on just make sure it has water bottle mounts – some of the higher end/pure CX race frames don’t.


    Anyone do this? How do CX bikes compare to budget road bikes on the road? (assuming the CX is fitted with some lighter wheels and road tyres)

    I currently have a road, mtb and work bike and don’t have room for another. The nearest mountain biking is about an hours drive away so my road bike gets a reasonable amount of use (nothing serious, generally 50-60 mile rides, occasionally further). There are plenty of moderate hills and non-technical bridleways within 20 miles of where I live which would be ideal for a mix of on/off road on a CX bike (not worth driving to with a 5″ fs though). I’ve upgraded the wheels on the road bike but still have the originals so I have the option of selling the road bike in its standard form and having a set of ‘road wheels’ for the CX. Has anyone else done this? What are CX like on the road? I was looking at the basic Focus CX bike from Wiggle

    My other option is to wait for the CX bubble to burst (will it?) and try to find space for a second hand CX…


    I feel that this type of question, whilst popular and thus interesting and valuble is rather simple. a) if you have to ask due to limited experience ( not a bad thing by the way) then you probably wouldn’t notice the difference. I can’t and I have been riding decent road bikes for 30 years and cross bikes for 20. b) if the quality matches the ride will as well. For the huge majority of riders. I have been spouting crap about cross bikes and their virtues for all of those 20 years. I see no limitations (excluding the silly light 4 grand plus stuff) and I like the benefits of decent clearances for big tyres for crap winter raods and back lanes.
    My point? I ma not sure if I have one. Oh yeah., Buy a cross bike.


    I bought a CX on Cyclescheme so that I had the option of riding offroad across the Quantocks to work (I’ve already got too many MTB’s), I had another set of road wheels and tyres so I used them on the days I didn’t fancy riding offroad. I’ve since bought a carbon Vilier road bike and while I wouldn’t worry about taking the CX on a 50 mile road ride, I wouldn’t take the road bike on a 50 foot offroad ride. 😉


    You probably hit the nail on the head mattsccm, my main concern would be ending up with a bike which would be crap on road, or at least something that feels like a (big) compromise when compared to my current budget (i.e.£600ish) road bike. From the responses above it seems that isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the case. How CX perform on the road is much more important to me than how it performs off off-road (it’s bound to feel awful compared to my 140mm travel fs with 2.3″ tyres, but I guess that’s part of the challenge)


    They are fine.

    Works fine, I ride my CX with road rubber on, on the club road rides without an issue.

    See Tim Johnson riding his Cannodale CX bike in the Rapha films, he could easily get a road bike from his sponsors, but instead chose to stick slicks on his CX.

Viewing 12 posts - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)

The topic ‘Swapping wheels and 'road' riding with a cx bike.’ is closed to new replies.