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Cyclo X V Road Bikes ....... FIGHHHTTTTT

AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
edited April 2009 in Commuting chat
I'm thinking about getting a road bike ( at present I've got a hybrid, hardtail and full suss), my question is , can cyclo cross bikes take more abuse than road bikes, are the frames and components tougher?

I'm thinking about cyclo cross for a number of reasons.

I've got a dodgy lower back so I assume cyclo X bikes have a slightly more relaxed geometry and upright position.

I'm also thinking about my riding style and where I ride, I do enjoy a bit of rough track and I do tend to throw my bikes around a bit.

I've looked at Audax bikes and they seem very boring , with their sensible mudguards and 1930's colour schemes. :P

I've been looking at these two bikes ..........

bianchid2axis.jpg

trekx01.jpg


Your comments and advice is welcomed .



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Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
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Posts

  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,165
    X bikes will have a greater clearance for bigger tires, and stronger wheels/frame the rest will be road.

    X bikes are pure race, so not sure they would be more upright, where as road bikes range from very racey to relaxed.
  • 16simon16simon Posts: 154
    Hi, I've had both, so I'll try to answer some of your questions...

    Cross bikes use more or less the same drivetrain as road bikes, but with different gearing (eg smaller chainrings, wider range cassette). Finishing kit will be selected for strength, eg no carbon posts/stems/bars on production cross bikes. Alu cross frames seem about the same weight as mid range alu road frames. One thing to watch out for is the lack of bottle cage bosses on pure cross frames (eg Kinesis Pro2/3/4 cross frames). They have canti brakes, of course, are more fiddly to set up and less powerful (imho) than a good set of dual pivot brakes.

    Of the two bikes that you're interested in, the Trek looks set up for cross (looks like 48/36 or similar chainrings), but the Bianchi looks like a bit of a kludge, with a road compact chainset (probably 50/36 chainrings), and quite a low front end, despite the flipped up stem.

    Anyway, cross bikes are fun, the lower gearing is suited to most people's road riding, and the upright position suits a lot of people who don't want a racy position.

    I've generalised a bit, and this is all based on my opinion, but I hope it helps.
  • FeltupFeltup Posts: 1,340
    I have a singlecross and a FeltF55. The Singlecross has a more upright riding position but the wheel base is shorter with a tiny bit of overlap between my foot and the front wheel. The overlap is only an issue during slowspeed maneuvers when you have your feet level.

    The singlecross has done firetrack at speed and more technical ground at lower speed than I would do on a mtn bike. The F55 has never been off road and never will!

    On road the liveliness of the road bike makes it more fun to ride but the crosser isn't too far behind compared to my mtn bike which is like riding through treacle.

    I do like the fact that I can just nip down a track or tow path on the crosser but the sheer speed of the road bike and the ability to cover even more terrain makes it the winner by a whisker.
    Short hairy legged roadie FCN 4 or 5 in my baggies.

    Felt F55 - 2007
    Specialized Singlecross - 2008
    Marin Rift Zone - 1998
    Peugeot Tourmalet - 1983 - taken more hits than Mohammed Ali
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I have the Specialised Tricross Sport; the mid range offering in the CXrange. I got it specifically because my road bike was not suited to the commute I do.

    As I have a mix of country, bridleway, suburban and urban riding on my commute i needed something that would cope with all the conditions.

    The Tricross Sport has the greater clearances as 16simon states, so I have bigger tyres on (they say 32 but I swear they're bigger) and the sport does have the bottle mounting points the Pro doesn't, plus it has mounting points for panniers and mudguards.

    The whole frame is tougher than my old road bike, but the geometry (to me) seems very similar, maybe slight ly more relaxed.

    As to the gearing - it has a triple chain ring with a 50/11 top gear and I think a 30/32 bottom gear

    Personally I can't fault it - for what I need it is the perfect compromise. It even has the flat underside to the top bar so that you can carry it comfortably!
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    I've got the same bike as Kieran and I also love it. The extra brake levers are great in traffic, I find, and having the full set of mudguard, rack and bottle mounts is essential, I reckon. The wide range of gears also suits me down to the ground as I lug panniers about with me (frequently through headwinds) but also like to get a bit of speed up when I'm feeling lively.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    I forgot about the extra brake levers :D The only problem is that it restricts the amount of space on the bars, but I bought a short neck extender and can fit my comp, and two lights on it without a problem (cateye single shot plus and a Halfords special)

    There is an overlap issue on the front wheel, but again only at LOW speed I never have any problems with day to day riding
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    My computer fits on the stem so I've got no issues with space on the bars, and even if I did I still like having the extra levers. I know some people don't and that's fine but my personal opinion is that they're a great addition.

    By overlap do you mean when your foot is able to hit the front wheel while turning? If so then I've also experienced that but again only at low speeds, when you're able to turn tighter and therefore the wheel protrudes further out to the side. I always attributed it to my big feet (size 13) but maybe it's a design thing. Normal riding is perfectly fine though.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Thanks for all the advice and comments.

    I will trading in my Specialized Enduro so I'm limited to the number of shops that will do part ex (can't be bothered selling private), my LBS doesn't deal with Specialized but I'll look further afield, I think Harry Halls in the centre of Manchester does part ex and stocks spesh so I'll try there as well.

    I suppose there only one way to find out ( no not fiiiigggghhhhtttt :P ) and that's try before I buy and make sure its a comfy fit.




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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Oh look ... 2 versions :shock:


    43C300E.jpg



    43C005D.jpg



    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    The top one is the Comp, which costs way more than the Sport (approx £400), so if you don't mind spending the extra.

    I've got a funny feeling it doesn't have mounting points for panneirs and muguards, but check this
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    The top one is the Comp, which costs way more than the Sport (approx £400), so if you don't mind spending the extra.

    I've got a funny feeling it doesn't have mounting points for panneirs and muguards, but check this

    They are both comps :)

    It says in the bumf that panniers can be fitted so I assume they have the bosses.

    If I can get £750 for my enduro (it cost £1499) then I'll add the £400 and buy the comp ....... there goes this years bonus :?


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • JameyJamey Posts: 2,152
    And to confuse things further, the bottom pic (the Comp) looks like the 2008 model and the top pic (the Sport) looks like this year's model, I think.
  • sarajoysarajoy Posts: 1,675
    edited March 2009
    AndyManc wrote:
    ....... there goes this years bonus :?
    Bonus? What's that?!
    4537512329_a78cc710e6_o.gif4537512331_ec1ef42fea_o.gif
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    You're quite right. I was looking at the colour (cos the Sport is usually the Brown / Silver one)

    Are you sure you're looking at the 2009 model though? I've just checked and it does appear that the Comp does not have the mounts, but I'm ready to be told otherwise
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Jamey wrote:
    And to confuse things further, the bottom pic (the Comp) looks like the 2008 model and the top pic (the Sport) looks like this year's model, I think.

    You are correct , and the 2009 model costs less than the 2008 :?




    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    edited March 2009
    However....

    http://www.tredz.co.uk/.Specialized-Tri ... _22007.htm

    says:

    The Specialized Tricross Comp 20 2009 Features are:

    Frame: Specialized E5 SLX aluminium, fully manipulated tubing, smooth weld semi-compact Freeroad design, FACT carbon seatstays w/ Zertz inserts, rack and fender fittings

    but the gearing is not as flexible:

    Drivetrain: Shimano 105, 10-speed 12-27t cassette, Shimano 105, 10-speed chain, FSA Gossamer MegaExo, 2-piece crankset crankset, 48 x 34t chainrings, FSA MegaExo, integrated exterior cartridge bearings, alloy BB

    The Sport is 27 speed with a bigger front crank and wider range rear cassette
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    All the bikes in one URL .

    :)


    http://www.harryhallcycles.co.uk/item.asp?PGABC=43C&Sgrp=FREEROAD%20/%20CYCLO%20CROSS


    I'm just assuming there will be some sort of bonus :roll:


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    I went for the Tricross as my commuter because my background is MTB'ing and I liked the idea of a cross bike. You can fit guards and racks on it if you want but more significantly the frame and wheels are pretty tough. Even more importantly it takes wider tyres which are more comfortable, less prone to snake bits and allow you throw your bike around a bit more too. The V brake option is a real bonus for some but personally that wasn't a big issue for me.

    For urban commuting I'd go for a cross bike with the aforementioned guard/rack option. I went for the single speed Tricross and got it for under £300 from Pearsons. You will need to change the tyres though as they are VERY slow on road - budget for that.

    You could of course go 'anti-fashion' and get a Dawes Galaxy. It would do the job well and has all the benefits (and more) that I've mentioned. It won't be as zippy as a light alu frame though.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • jedsterjedster Posts: 1,717
    Planet-x uncle john is pretty good VFM if you want a crosser. I use one as my main commuting bike - put guards, rack, dyno hub etc on it
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    I've just got back from my LBS seeing what he would give me for my un-used, in perfect condition, shiny Specialized Enduro bought for £1500 2yrs ago.


    The answer ...... £300 tops ................. :shock: , he said he realised it was an insult but the way things were at present that was the best he could do.

    I am now in grumpy mode :(


    pbpic1131885.jpg



    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    sarajoy wrote:
    AndyManc wrote:
    ....... there goes this years bonus :?
    Bonus? What's that?!
    Its what you are awarded if your organisation has posted a loss of only £24,000,000,000.
    (You've got to hang on to the best people, you see).
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    AndyManc wrote:
    I've just got back from my LBS seeing what he would give me for my un-used, in perfect condition, shiny Specialized Enduro bought for £1500 2yrs ago.


    The answer ...... £300 tops ................. :shock: , he said he realised it was an insult but the way things were at present that was the best he could do.

    I am now in grumpy mode :(
    Its the same as cars. The actual value is half way between the price that a dealer will pay you for it, and the price he'll sell it back to you for.
    Sell it on ebay, buy the new bike from the same guy and spend the difference on accessories from another shop.

    Alternatively, find some excuse for keeping the mtb.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393

    Alternatively, find some excuse for keeping the mtb.



    Thats what he said, but I would have thought with the profit margin he was getting from the new bike I was buying he could have offered a bit more.

    I don't really want to keep it (I enjoyed the time I could walk around the house without falling over bikes and bike parts) and I don't fancy advertising it local because I'll get a string of dodgy geezers coming round.

    I'll ask around at work,but it looks like I'll just have to squash the bikes closer together in the house :roll:


    .
    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Personally - Road bike, menas it is tough enough for the road. I am cool with that, have replaced my bike last road bike after 10 faithful years of service....I expect the new one to do the same if not more. What gear ratio's do you get on Cyclo X bikes? If it is the same as MTB ratios, I would go for a road bike for sheer speed.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    gtvlusso wrote:
    Personally - Road bike, menas it is tough enough for the road. I am cool with that, have replaced my bike last road bike after 10 faithful years of service....I expect the new one to do the same if not more. What gear ratio's do you get on Cyclo X bikes? If it is the same as MTB ratios, I would go for a road bike for sheer speed.
    I think it varies - the race machines appear to have 48-39 and 12-27 or something like that.

    Mine had 48-39 (now 50) and 12-25. The 28c's I have now are lengthening the gears a little, to the point I don't notice that I run out downhill.

    I think I am slightly slower on it than my old commuting road bike (its within a kph on my weekend loop, so hard to tell and I might just be unfit), but it FEELS a lot slower because the wheels don't spin up too well and I still can't get used to the dull feeling of 28c's instead of 23c's. The frame is marginally more relaxed, but basically, other than that, its a road bike with odd brakes and more mud clearance, with the cable routing like a mtb.

    I will eventually get a 50-34 compact on the front to get me up some more ambitious local trails without leaving my kneecaps on them.
  • gtvlussogtvlusso Posts: 5,112
    Ah right - thickness of tyres - forgot about that. My road bike runs 53/39 12/25 - Is the frame "feel" the same? Geometry and so on? Sharp steering?
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    gtvlusso wrote:
    Ah right - thickness of tyres - forgot about that. My road bike runs 53/39 12/25 - Is the frame "feel" the same? Geometry and so on? Sharp steering?
    Once my position was dialled in, I'd have to say yes. Going from road to mtb, I feel too far behind the bb and too laid back (even though I've got a roadie's saddle to bar drop and not too much less reach). The cross bike feels about the same as my road bike, as far as the sensation of being able to get the power down goes.

    Steering possibly not as sharp - although I've not got to the stage of really heaving the thing into corners just yet. I find the bigger tyres don't give as much confidence when I lean into a turn - I guess I'm used to more road buzz feedback. I get mental images of a big soggy sidewall flexing as I stamp on the outside pedal!!

    Of course, I could find that when I stick 25's on, its just the same.
  • AndyMancAndyManc Posts: 1,393
    Couldn't wait any longer.

    Decided to go for the Spesh tricross sport ..... £665.52 from Edinburgh cycles (15% 0ff).

    They had a 52cm frame in the shop so I tried it to see what size frame I would need .... amazingly it wasn't far off, I was expecting to need a minimum 56cm frame, I'm 6ft .... 33" inside leg.

    They had a 54cm comp next to it so I tried that ..... perfect fit, very ,very very surprised :shock:

    So thats what I've ordered , pick it up friday :D

    Very impressed by the staff at Edinburgh Cycles, Manchester .... especially for working on a day when everywhere else was closed. :roll:





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    Specialized Hardrock Pro/Trek FX 7.3 Hybrid/Specialized Enduro/Specialized Tri-Cross Sport
    URBAN_MANC.png
  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    gtvlusso wrote:
    Personally - Road bike, menas it is tough enough for the road. I am cool with that, have replaced my bike last road bike after 10 faithful years of service....I expect the new one to do the same if not more. What gear ratio's do you get on Cyclo X bikes? If it is the same as MTB ratios, I would go for a road bike for sheer speed.

    Kona Jakes have 50, 39, 30 chainset and 12-25 rear sprocketty thingamajig. I dont get me foot tapped on the front wheel either, this is with a 58cm frame (slightly smaller frame than my old sausilito hybrid)

    The wheel, although an Alex rim, is 30mm wide 700c with 35mm tyres. Really good offroad, I tried it out on the common, much to the laughter of two coppers. :lol: Had to change the tyres though as the original were naff continentals.
  • I have a Felt F1x CX bike. I may have bored other folk silly with this, but WTH.

    For me the CX bike is the best all rounder imaginable. My background is MTB, and my commute is 50% Off road, so I needed something tough. Almost 2 and half years old now, nothing more done than replacement of worn out stuff. I have used it on singletrack more commonly used for MTB, my mates think I'm mad. It's back to grass roots cycling, for me CXbikes are just pragmatic, they work, you don't have to fuss over them.

    Caveats:
    as others have said, if you want to fit panniers, make sure there are braze-ons.
    I would NOT go for 2 * 10 speed, go for 2 * 9 or 3 * 9, 10 speed chains are good for road, but for off-road they are just too fragile, despite regular cleaning and lubing I have got through more chains and cassettes than I consider Normal.
    CX tyres tend to be built LIGHT, after all CX races are only about an hour. I suffered badly with RIDs (random impromtu deflations) when I initially got the bike, however since fitting Vitorria XG cross tyres RIDs have been few and far between.
    If you see the candle as flame, the meal is already cooked.
    Photography, Google Earth, Route 30
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