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Cyclo Cross (again)

vinylmonkeyvinylmonkey Posts: 54
edited January 2008 in Workshop
Afternoon all,

I am looking to get a cyclo cross bike for my 13 mile commute and want to do it through the Ride2 Work scheme.

I've been looking for ages, but decided i really need to do something about it and take the plunge and buy it. i've been looking at the Focus Cross Expert:
http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... ert%202007 (i'm only 5'5" so think the size would be fine for me)

and the Focus Mares: http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ProductDetail.a ... oss%202008

evans also have a few:
http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=70373 , http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=60796 and http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=70740

and Planet X: http://www.planet-x-bikes.com/road/inde ... AGE_id=225

i dont really know much about bikes at all such as the differences between gears and groupsets, so any help would be much appreciated!

Thanks :D

Posts

  • andypandyp Posts: 8,711
    The Focus range offers tremendous value for money as the level of finishing kit is a step up from virtually all their competition at the same price point. At £699 the 2007 Expert is a very good deal. If it is the right size for you then I'd go for that personally.
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    This is becoming an epidemic. Why do you want a cyclocross bike for commuting? Cyclocross bikes are for racing cyclocross. In comparison to road bikes they have shorter top tubes, steeper seat tubes, shallower head tubes. Many do not have bottle, rack or mudguard mounts and may not have clearance for triple chainsets. They are not the 'do-it-all' bikes they are often made out to be. If you want to race 'cross then get a cross bike. Otherwise get a bike that is more appropriate for your type of riding. They may look cool but I just find this recent obsession for buying 'cross bikes, for reasons other than racing, a bit bizarre.

    I'm sorry if I'm sounding grumpy but I just think you should get a road bike.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    jpembroke wrote:
    Many do not have bottle, rack or mudguard mounts and may not have clearance for triple chainsets.

    I don't carry a bottle to work, mudguards aren't that necessary - I've gone most of the winter without them and if I couldn't fit them it wouldn't bother me, and a triple is only needed if your going to be doing a lot of climbing - for a commute it's not necessary.

    Cyclocross bikes IMO are suitable for commuting. Perhaps the OP has the same opinions as me.
    I like bikes...

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  • DavidBelcherDavidBelcher Posts: 2,684
    jpembroke wrote:
    Many do not have bottle, rack or mudguard mounts and may not have clearance for triple chainsets.

    I don't carry a bottle to work, mudguards aren't that necessary - I've gone most of the winter without them and if I couldn't fit them it wouldn't bother me, and a triple is only needed if your going to be doing a lot of climbing - for a commute it's not necessary.

    Cyclocross bikes IMO are suitable for commuting. Perhaps the OP has the same opinions as me.

    I used to use a 'cross bike as a winter trainer, until the interest in 'cross took over and it wound up purely as a racing machine. Guards are a doddle to fit with a bit of help from P-clips and possibly helped by the odd zip tie, whilst I also had bottle mounts on it. No experience with racks, though. Quite a few 'cross bikes these days have bottle mounts provided - my current one is a Fort Foco, an all-out competition frame not designed for use as a road machine, but it still has provision to fit 2 bottles. Quite handy, as I use the bosses to carry one bottle and a mini-pump when training off-road, though all that comes off when in 'race mode'.

    David
    "It is not enough merely to win; others must lose." - Gore Vidal
  • jpembrokejpembroke Posts: 2,569
    But it does limit you somewhat. It's not going to be the ideal bike, for commuting, or training, or touring. In fact, a cyclocross bike is really only ideal for, er, cyclocross. My cyclocross bike is for racing, and it does that very well. For any other type of riding i'd rather have something more appropriate. Just reckon that unless cyclocross racing is what you want to do, you are better off getting something else.
    I'm only concerned with looking concerned
  • I suppose the thing that tempted me about a cross bike for commuting was precisely its flexibility. Not quite as good as a proper roadie on the tarmac sure, but making up for that with its ruggedness for e.g. cycle paths, kerbs etc; or practicality - brake levers on the flat of your handlebars etc. Kind of the same logic as behind a hybrid but faster.

    Having said that, when I came to road test one (in fact one of the Felt's suggested above) it did feel like too much of a compromise and I ended up going for a full blooded roadie which is awesome. But them again all of my commute is on the road. I think if I had any rough stuff to negotiate I'd still consider one over a roadie/hybrid/MTB etc..
  • The reason that i thought a cross would be the best is for part commuting but also for holidays where i would be going off road and across various different types of terrain.

    its very unlikely that i would start racing with it, but you never know i might catch the bug!

    I can see the point of getting proper road bike for the commute, but then when i go on holidays i would rather use my own bike that hire one, and i dont really have the room or budget for two separate bikes to be honest.
  • redddraggonredddraggon Posts: 10,862
    I can see the point of getting proper road bike for the commute, but then when i go on holidays i would rather use my own bike that hire one, and i dont really have the room or budget for two separate bikes to be honest.

    Get a Cyclo-X bike, they are a better compromise between road bikes and MTBs, Hybrids are awful.

    Next commuting bike I get will be a cyclo-cross bike. The manufacturers have cottoned onto the fact that people want their bikes to do more than one job. Cyclocross is very niche, so the manufacturers often make their CX bikes with the braze ons for mudguards and bottles so that the bikes can be used for stuff other than CX.
    I like bikes...

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  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    A cross bike is a great choice

    -tough, well built
    -relaxed geometry compared to many "race" bikes
    -flexible-mudguard eyes/clearance, choice of skinny/knobbly tyres
    -can go offroad reasonably easily
    -look good

    Best of all, get a disc braked crosser like the Focus/Trek

    I see the Uncle John has disc tabs
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • The other alternative is a stripped down touring bike
    Recipe: shave legs sparingly, rub in embrocation and drizzle with freshly squeezed baby oil.
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