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03-28-2012, 02:23 PM #1
Need some advice on Cross bike/Road bike
After the recent threads regarding a cross bike I am kind of interested.
I am looking at possibly picking up a new to me cross bike or road bike. I am not a racer but would like to start riding in a couple entry level races. I am riding the Iron Horse race for those who know what it is with a goal of getting under 3hrs with my time. I have been thinking about picking up something a little faster and more aggressive then my current entry level Marin Venezia road bike. The Iron horse is probably the only road race I will ride. Would a nicer cross bike with some slicks on it be better or at least comparable to the current road bike I am riding. I would also use it for commuting and winter riding which requires 2 miles of dirt roads if I ride to or from my house. I was also thinking it might be possible to race smoother mtn bike races such as the road apple in Farmington with it if I changed out the tires. I would like something that would be a step up from my current road bike and if it could handle some dirt that would be great also. Is a cross bike what I am looking for or should I look more at a road bike.
Anyone have any opinions on the 2009 Trek XO 2. I have found a used one for what I think is a descent price. What does everyone think it might be worth.
I really have no experience with a cross bike so if I am way off sorry for the thread but I am sure the collective here will have some good opinions
03-28-2012, 02:38 PM #2Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
I don't race it, but I have a Surly Cross Check that is a very versatile bike. When I didn't have a 40 mile commute, it was the ideal commuter. The frame has braze ons for racks and fenders, the CX tires were just fine for dirt or paved roads. Without the fenders and racks, it is fun to ride on flowy xc singletrack. I have jumped small drops, around 12" or so without trouble or fear of damaging the frame.
I would recommend a cross bike as a commuter, light mountain bike. On the rare times I ride with the roadies, some mock the wide tires and steel frame, others say it is a great touring bike. I don't try to keep up with the racers, I am fine with a 17-18 mph pace on the road.
Not the best on a muddy road:
Example of our singletrack with the biggest drop I am comfortable with on this bike:
Last edited by emtnate; 03-28-2012 at 03:16 PM.
03-28-2012, 03:49 PM #3
Cross bikes are very versatile. Road race machines, they are not.
If you just want to "do" a road race, it'll be fine.
Many cross bikes, especially, of Euro breed have fairly high bottom brackets. Additionally, canti brakes are terrible. Add terrible brakes to fork chatter when you apply them and slowing down is basically a nightmare which can kill their descending prowess.
Some forks / frames are better / worse about chatter and there are some mods that you can do to help the problem.
Otherwise, they're super fun bikes to have.
Edit: We ride a lot of dirt roads on our road bikes. So don't let those 2 miles faze you, unless you need 4 wheel drive.
Otherwise, what about a hardtail mountain bike? Faster than a cross bike on smoother mtb races and faster than a cross bike on rough CX races.
Riding a 'cross bike on MTB trials is like tele'ing with 3pins and leather boots. Fun because its so hard to survive the easy stuff.
03-28-2012, 04:00 PM #4Registered User
- Join Date
- Jan 2008
03-28-2012, 04:19 PM #5
Thanks for the advice. Sounds like I should probably look more for a new road bike rather then a cross bike. The iron horse race is a huge climb with a couple big descents and brake chatter is not something I want coming down Molas pass around 50mph. I have nice mountain bikes so it is not something I would ride on the single track unless it was something smooth with road sections mixed in. I ride my current road bike on the dirt roads without problems but it is definetly rough enough that its not enjoyable. My main priority would be something that would be faster with a little more agressive geometry so I will probably try to find a road bike unless someone has a different opinion.
03-28-2012, 05:14 PM #6
How exactly is a cyclrocross bike not a road bike with knobby tires?No longer stuck.
03-28-2012, 05:19 PM #7
03-28-2012, 08:34 PM #8it just depends
- Join Date
- Apr 2008
- just outside the bubble
Also have a Cross Check and love it for all the reason emtnate stated above. Versatile it is. Light, fast, race machine, not so much. But its a great do it all machine. It is a budget build so I could definitely drop some weight on it if I wanted. Use it as a commuter, quasi-road bike etc. Nice to be able to head out and hit dirt roads, paved, random in town singletrack and whatever else there is.
Right now I'd love to keep it around, I don't think I'll ever get rid of it, and add a cross rig with disc brakes and a lighter build to the stable.It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. –Ernest Hemingway
03-28-2012, 09:34 PM #9Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2005
- Livingston, MT
FWIW- I recently bought a cross bike and love the shit out of it. Super versatile, have rallied plenty of road, dirt road, gravel road, whatever. Way faster than a mountain bike and rides plenty fast on roads also. I do have a road wheelset for it, but have yet to use it as I feel pretty unstoppable with the cross wheelset. I love having options when I'm out riding. I've only had it for a few weeks and have already put a few hundred miles on it. Great for the shitty spring we are having.
03-28-2012, 10:53 PM #10
I have had 2 cross bikes ('99? Redline Conquest/Surly Cross Check) and a road bike (Specialized Allez). The road bike was great and I got it when I turned the cross bike into a single speed. Allez accelerated faster on quick climbs and sprints, long rides felt the same. Eventually I only needed one bike so I put the derailleur back on the Cross Check and sold the Allez. I haven't raced either bike, but I can't tell a difference on being able to keep up with others on a ride between the steel cross bike and the aluminum road bike.
I'm a bad critic because I'll ride whatever, but I say get a bike for what you're going to be doing 99% of the time, not the single road race.
03-28-2012, 11:04 PM #11Lord King of the Beater-Kooks
03-29-2012, 12:22 AM #12
I love my road bike but want a cross bike bad. Either that or mountain bike (fuck I want all three). That rapha gentleman's race video made me rethink where I could go on it but I don't think I want to spend much time on gravel with a 23mm slick.
03-29-2012, 09:22 AM #13
03-29-2012, 10:51 AM #14Registered User
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- on the couch, under the knife
alot of it has been stated already but the different geometry and the different brakes sum it up pretty well. One that didn't seem to be mentioned is the wheelbase and thats arguably the most important, and can't be changed (with a few switches or a travel agent you can run vbrakes instead of cantis but you can't change a wheelbase). The long wheelbase is a lot of what makes it handle like subie or an volvo sationwagon. Road bikes are meant for the road. If you're going to be on the road, get a road bike it's so much better than any other alternative. If you have a mountain bike to commute on and deal with anything else that the road bike isn't applicable for get a road bike, it's so much more fun.
If you're descents are straight, and don't require turning or braking, that's something to consider, but an old road bike blows the lid off a high end cross bike in the corners especially on decents, and throw in canti brakes and it's not even close. That being said, if I could only have one bike, it'd be something like a cross bike because it can do everything, especially if you can find one that isn't designed for cross, can handle some 28-30mm slicks/semi slicks and takes caliper brakes. That'd be your best bet but it isn't something all that common.
Also, find a bike shop, get on a cross bike make some turns on it then do the same on a road bike. that'll tell you all you need to know if it makes a difference for you.
For you, assuming you're on a limited budget, I'd find a nice older steel frame that can handle some 28 slicks and get some decent wheels. Riding wide slicks in the dirt isn't bad assuming it's more of a firetrail than singletrack
03-29-2012, 01:04 PM #15
So it's a road bike with knobby tires.
Sent from my DROID2No longer stuck.
03-29-2012, 02:02 PM #16
Thanks for all the replies. Looks like I am going to try and upgrade with a road bike. If everything was pretty equal between the bikes I would consider a cross bike for the added versatility but for my intended purpose I think the roadie is the right way to go. I would probably never be taking a cross bike out in the summer over my mtn. bike but if all things were pretty equal the option would have been nice.
03-29-2012, 02:16 PM #17
a nice road bike is a real pleasure to ride, which gets you out more...good choice.The blues has always been about taking your problems and turning them into something you can dance to, drink to and fuck to.
We're certainly not a blues band in any kind of purest sense, but to me Rock and Roll has always had it's roots in that tradition.
Patterson Hood of the DBT's
03-30-2012, 03:18 PM #18
Ok so now that it is established that I am looking for a road bike anyone have any good sugestions. I was thinking something like a Roubaix or Giant TCR. EMR has a Serotta Fierte listed in the forum for $1500 with a good build and pretty nice wheels. I dont really know anything about Serotta TI frames anyone have some input.
03-30-2012, 08:09 PM #19
that serotta is awesome.
edit: you will need to be about 5'10 to 6' for that bike. I am 6'1 and ride a 58.
Last edited by jamal; 03-31-2012 at 03:43 PM.
03-30-2012, 08:16 PM #20
I bumped EMR's post. Ti is legit for long term needs. Racers generally don't want it, but that doesn't sound like your bag. That bike is outfitted really well and you wouldn't have to do a thing to it.
However ... will it fit? That's the end all be all. If the bike won't fit, it ain't legit. Consult your local fit shop before pulling the trigger. See if they can work with a frame of that size and then and only then, move on it. Note for example that the stem/bar combo on that bike is a fixed length as it's all one piece. Take this into consideration, or plan to sell it and get an alu setup.
03-31-2012, 07:44 PM #21
^ I ride a Ti roadie now. Is it as "quick" as my carbon Ridley? no. But it rides 100x better and I would never go back. If that Serotta fits - you cant go wrong. seriously.