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Cyclo cross bike for triathlon and commuting?

cookesimcookesim Posts: 4
edited February 2009 in Road beginners
I am mainly a mountain biker but have dabled in a frew sprint triathlons over the last few years. This year I have finally taken the plunge to do the London olympic distance triathlon and a couple of warm up events as well.

During researching road bikes I've come across a new category of bike that I didn't really know exists, cyclo cross. On the face of it this looks ideal for me. I have started commuting to work, 16 miles each way on a variety of terrain, 5 odd miles of canal path, a few miles of fire track and the rest road.

Looking at the specs a cyclo cross looks ideal for this (mudguards etc). I was then thinking a thin pair of slicks and it would be pretty much as good as a road bike for race days, all be it a touch heavier and bit more of an upright postion. The beauty is I would only need one new bike as the commute on the suspension mountain bike isn't ideal.

Am I missing something or is this the right move? I do want to be competive in the triathlon and can bear to losse a miniute or two but no more than that :D. Will I be at a big disadvantage compared to a pure road bike?

Any help greatly appreciated

PS I was looking at the likes of Pinnacle Expede, Focus Mares, Specialized Tricross

Posts

  • Hi, whilst no direct experience I'm thinking along these lines as well. My best bike is fine for commuting in summer but my old Raleigh winter hack needs changing. I'm going to go for the Spec Tricross but in singlespeed (simple = it works everyday = cheap). It will need mudguards on but then I think it will be fine for winter commuting. I'm also thinking of making some room in the shed by getting rid of the mountain bike as well. I only use it a couple of times a year with the family off road so the cyclocross will do that too.

    I think your on the right lines.

    DM
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Cross bikes make excellent commuters and are fine as trainers. I have a tricross and love it - very comfy yet lively ride. Not sure about Triathlon though - something quicker might be better. Then again I've never done a Triathlon. Depends how serious you are about the competition I guess.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    A road bike would certainly be quicker. However, there's always a compromise (we'd all love a bit more bling :D ) and you'll see MTBs at London and at other novice-friendly tris too. Which of the three is the lightest? Put some tri bars on it in addition to thinner tyres.

    The other benefit of the cross bike is that you can use it in certain off road duathlons if you fancy other versions of multi-sport (in addition to cyclo cross races :P ).
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Go for the TriCross. With slicks on it's no different to any road bike and certainly no slower if the setup is correct. I've got a longer 130mm stem on my TriCross winter bike and the setup is no different to any road bike i've had bar the gearing which depending where you live could be a bonus with three rings.
  • acorn_useracorn_user Posts: 1,137
    Sure, cyclo-cross bikes can make good all rounders. Except... not all of them have mounts for mudguards and racks. You really want these on a commuter bike. Personally, unless you are going to race cross, you should buy an audax style bike. However, you probably should ride cross. Imagine that cross is an offroad triathlon without that nasty swimming bit and with lots of transitions. And mud.

    So... if you decide you do want a cross bike, make sure it can do what you want it to. Raceblades are not enough. You need full mudguards. And get a steel one, e.g. from Woodrup. Better over bumps.

    Good luck!
  • Surely if you're going to commute and race triathlons a standard road set up would be easier?

    The gear ratios on cross bikes (in my opinion) would not be appropriate for triathlons, and the cantilever breaks can be a bit naughty on the road too.
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    The cantis shouldn't be a problem in non-drafting tris (are they banned in road races?), but he mentioned that his commute would be over a variety of terrain. How much stick can road bikes take? Would another option be to buy thicker tyres for a proper road bike for the commute (assuming you'd have the clearance though), and have racing tyres for the tris?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • Thanks for the replys,

    Went to the LBS shop yesterday and had a look at the Specialized Tricross and Giant TCX 1, both nice bikes. Although I must admit I have come away none the wiser despite spending well over an hour chatting to the guy.

    I discussed using wider tyres on a standard bike but the few brands in the shop (Felt, Specialized, Giant) didn't really have the clearance in the fork to get anything wider that 22mm slicks.

    Acorn_User, whats an audax style bike?
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    It comes down to whether you can commute purely by road. If you can, then you should opt for a road bike.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    acorn_user wrote:
    Sure, cyclo-cross bikes can make good all rounders. Except... not all of them have mounts for mudguards and racks. You really want these on a commuter bike. Personally, unless you are going to race cross, you should buy an audax style bike. However, you probably should ride cross. Imagine that cross is an offroad triathlon without that nasty swimming bit and with lots of transitions. And mud.

    So... if you decide you do want a cross bike, make sure it can do what you want it to. Raceblades are not enough. You need full mudguards. And get a steel one, e.g. from Woodrup. Better over bumps.

    Good luck!

    The Tricross does have mounts for guards and racks. Not all cross bikes do - see above.

    Audax bikes are road bikes built for long distance stuff. Generally the front is higher, they take guards & racks and they're pretty tough.

    I think the Tricross (perhaps with two sets of wheels or at least a spare pair of tyres) is your best bet.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
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