Using a CX bike as a road bike – good idea or not?
If you buy a bike (eg gravel) which will take larger high volume tyres, that will handle rough roads much better. The trick is finding a good tyre.
If you decide you don’t like the fatter tyres, there’s always the option of fitting thinner ones.
If you buy a bike that only takes skinny tyres, then your only option is continue to suffer on the rough roads.
Unless you are aiming at racing speeds all the time, the bike itself makes little difference, the tyre is what counts.Posted 3 months agokerleyMember
Unless you are aiming at racing speeds all the time, the bike itself makes little difference, the tyre is what counts.
Exactly. Presumably you already have the largest tyre you can fit on your current bike and if so what size are they?
And if the roads are really rough the bigger and heavier tyre could actually be faster even if it doesn’t feel like itPosted 3 months agowhitestoneMember
I’ve a Spesh Roubaix road bike and a Genesis Croix de Fer commuter/canal tow path bike. If I was buying a bike now I’d get a gravel bike (or something like that) that could take 45c tyres and get a spare set of road oriented wheels. I don’t ride in chain gangs or do sportives any more so speed and lightness being the absolute end-alls no longer apply.
I’ve got 37c tyres on my single speed and they don’t feel much if any slower than the 28c tyres I had on there before, Strava times are in and around the same area, some are quicker, some slower but I could have had a tail wind on some segments, etc. The 37c (WTB Riddler) are much, much comfier and also mean if I want to use a bridleway or track then it really isn’t a worry.
As someone noted above: gravel bikes are the modern incarnation of what we once just called “a bike”. I wouldn’t want to ride The Beast or Cavedale on one but then that’s not what they are for.Posted 3 months agoAusMember
Thanks all and v helpful. Gravel looks like a way forward on balance. Re comfort, my bike is a good fit and 25c tyres are the max it can take. The comfort thought was utilising fatter tyres, poss less stiff frame and maybe a slightly less prone body position rather than bike fit per se. I have a lust after ti or steel frames, and secondhand is the only option, so any recos of what to look at would be great. The Ritchey Outback looks lovely but it’ll be a few years before it appears on the secondhand market I guess.Posted 3 months agoBen_HSubscriber
I have a Shand Stooshie, which is categorised as a gravel / adventure / all-road bike (delete as appropriate) and has fairly light wheels with 28c all-season road tyres at the moment. The Shand was meant to replace my Surly Straggler, which is a similarly flexible but heavier frameset, fitted with burlier Hope wheels and Surly’s own 41c tyres. Both have full mudguards and can take racks etc for touring.
I used to run the Straggler with two sets of wheels, i.e. its current 41s and those 28s now fitted to the Shand, after I slimmed down my bike collection a couple of years ago. Other than being a bit porky, I was happy with that setup – and it was my idea to continue with the format of 1 bike with 2 sets of wheels on the Shand.
However – 5 months after building the Shand – I’m still undecided whether to keep the Surly as a bad weather / singlespeed bike, re-build it into a more focused roadie, or just sell it!Posted 3 months agoBezSubscriber
Sounds like a Cross Check might fit the bill (plenty of tyre clearance and a forgiving fork) with the caveat that if you’re looking secondhand then you may struggle to find one with enough steerer to bring its traditionally low front end up to where you want it. (Unless you’re happy with a high rise stem: not pretty but perfectly functional.)
The Truckers are similar, with a higher front end.Posted 3 months agodovebikerMember
I bought my carbon-framed CX bike when the notion of ‘gravel bikes’ wasn’t even a marketing wonk’s wet-dream – it very light, but very stiff. However, running a pair of 40mm tubeless Schwalbe G-Ones @ 40psi makes it very comfortable and quick – only a touch slower than my road bike. It’s perfect in these parts for all-round use – I can ride road, trails, towpath and bridleways. Bigger tyres also means that it manages fist-sized flints far better than regular-size CX tyres. Big tubeless tyres are awesome on a gravel-strewn, pot-holed and rough roads.Posted 3 months agodaernMember
I bought my carbon-framed CX bike when the notion of ‘gravel bikes’ wasn’t even a marketing wonk’s wet-dream – it very light, but very stiff. However, running a pair of 40mm tubeless Schwalbe G-Ones @ 40psi makes it very comfortable and quick – only a touch slower than my road bike. It’s perfect in these parts for all-round use – I can ride road, trails, towpath and bridleways. Bigger tyres also means that it manages fist-sized flints far better than regular-size CX tyres. Big tubeless tyres are awesome on a gravel-strewn, pot-holed and rough roads.
This, almost exactly covers me and my bike (except that I only bought mine a couple of months ago). I’m also running these tyres, but I’m finding that I can run them at 30psi and they still roll really well on the road (although I do stick a bit more waft in them if the ride is going to be mostly tarmac). For dirt at 30psi, the bike absolutely flies with a remarkable level of comfort and I’ve been delighted with the tyres, even if they are a pretty snug fit on my bike.Posted 3 months agoprezetMember
I transitioned from a regular road bike to a gravel bike this year. I was mainly using the road bike for commuting which is a mixture of pot hole ridden country lanes, dirt paths and road. The skinny, high pressure tyres always gave an uncomfortable ride, so I bought the entry level Genesis CdA instead and put all my 105 components from the road bike onto it.
The gravel bike is so much fun, big tyres take all the road buzz out and don’t even notice the pot holes now. I don’t think I’d go back.
As others have said, it’s not a speed machine … but I can sit comfortably around 20mph, and have only added a minute or two onto my commute time. I need to change the gearing a little though as I’m currently running 44 x 11-32, and it’s a bit harsh on the bigger climbs. I’ll probably change to a 40/42 front ring and put a 11-36 on the back.Posted 3 months agoFrankensteinMember
It can be fun especially in winter with discs.
I’ve completed 50 mike road rides easily on my CX but it does restrict the speed with tyres, weight and 11×1 Rival is great but restrictive.
If I ride with slow friends then I bring my CX.
If you ride fast then no.
A double chainset with a lightweight frame absorbing bumps is a must.
If you cruise and like exploring and can have one bike only then yes.Posted 3 months agoBadlyWiredDogSubscriber
Wouldn’t it be nice if all the niche drop-bar things kind of coalesced into a bike you could just ride without wittering on about whether it’s a cross bike / gravel bike / touring bike / road bike with loads of tyre clearance etc.
On the single ring side of things, maybe for normal people, but I recently listened to an interview with one of the guys from Aqua Blue about racing with a one-by drive train and it sounded horrific with changes of chain rings and cassettes plus chains pretty much every day plus cassettes deliberately stacked at one end of the range so the jumps between gears weren’t too savage. Maybe when they get up to 15-speed drive trains…Posted 3 months ago
At the risk of hijacking, any particular reason not to buy this in the same kind of vein as what the OP wants? (unless one of you sneaks in there first of course). It seems to be usually described as a CX bike and has quite a bit higher BB than something like a Diverge, but I’m broke and I want to do some touring.Posted 3 months agoAusMember
It’s funny having started this thread, it played on my mind on today’s road ride, Kentish lanes around Hever. I really enjoyed the zip of my Airborne and the lightness, but a lot of concentration was spent on avoiding ruts and potholes.
A roadie friend said it was relatively quick but for me, that’s not the point. I want to cruise along, fast or slow and enjoy the fantastic countryside, feeling of movement, energy without worry. It sounds like a bike that can take fatter tyres will be a significant improvement. My bike is prob 25mm max. Where does the fatter tyre width really start to kick in for comfort.Posted 3 months agoTheGingerOneSubscriber
I managed to pick up a heavily discounted Cannondale Slate Ultegra in February. I absolutely love it for commuting, exploring the South Downs on road and less harsh trails and I have also done a couple of 40 mile road rides on it with Schwalbe G-Ones. It is slightly slower than my road bike, but not enough to concern me anymore. As a consequence I have not ridden my Planet X Ti Pro Road since (Quite a bit is as I have got bored of road riding and wanted to get back offroad more, but I am riding it as much as my carbon hardtail at the weekend)Posted 3 months ago
If anyone’s interested I picked up the cheap Kona Jake 2017 from Winstanleys today – really pleased with it especially for £600. Might swap the tyres for something semi-slick and the brakes don’t seem amazing but it felt really nice on my brief ride around the car park. It looks really good too.
Can’t wait to get some panniers on it and do some on/off-road touring.Posted 3 months ago
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