Cross or hard tail

Skippy2309 Posts: 426
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
Well I am stuck, currently commuting on a full sus (its hard but I am fit enough) was doing 26-32mile round trips, but now looking to get either a Cyclo-cross or a hard tail, want something that will take some offroad bumps... but will be ok on the roads.

more tempted by the Hard tail as i will be able to do some more serious offroad but lock out the forks for the road riding.

how tough are the cross bikes? my missus says I push bikes too hard, but I dont push them that hard IMHO, I want something that will take all the power I can put through it.

Current set up has a 48 tooth (big ring) to a 14 tooth on the rear, I am guessing the cross bikes take road size chain rings?
FCN: 5/6 Fixed Gear (quite rapid) in normal clothes and clips :D

Cannondale CAAD9 / Mongoose Maurice (heavily modified)


  • pastryboy
    pastryboy Posts: 1,385
    I use both and do a similar distance. It depends on the surface - my route is mainly concrete paths along canals (some pretty bumpy ones) along with some road, dirt and gravel. I was using the HT then decided to get the CX recently as I thought it would make a big difference to journey time.

    Although I haven't had the cx that long it seems up to the job just fine - even on horrible cracked and hole ridden concrete sections I can still go along at 17/18 as long as I'm careful - hitting a big pothole though does not sound or feel good. Riding my HT in comparison feels like I'm sitting on my bed..

    I have felt a little disappointed with the cx in that it's not much quicker than the HT (despite weighing the best part of 5kg less). However, that's partly down to me only having ridden MTB's before and struggling with positioning at first. If I really hammer it the CX can take a few minutes off my hour journey but I was really hoping for more drastic reductions (probably over optimistic as I was already very quick on the HT). I always ride very hard and have managed a snapped spoke on the HT. As long as I mind the really bad cracks and bumps I have no reason to think the CX won't hold up.

    I think it varies quite a bit what gearing the bikes use, mine has a triple crankset and a deore deraileur so it's very MTB-ish - not all are like that. I can easily hit 27+ though on the middle ring which would be very hard to achieve on the HT in any gear.

    In my opinion unless the HT you're going for is a huge improvement on the existing bike I'd go with the CX so you have two different options - when the route is the same every day and over a long distance it's nice to be able to dramatically change the ride by altnerating bikes.

    Hope that offers you some sort of help
  • Wallace1492
    Wallace1492 Posts: 3,707
    Have a hardtail abd been using that for commute with slicks on and it is a "go anywhere" bike, recently got a Tricross and it really opens the options. It can tour, do light offroad and also is good enough for longer road stuff. To me a MTB and a Cross is the best option for 2 bikes. Goinf to Mull with panneirs on the Triicross soon, should be good fun.
    "Encyclopaedia is a fetish for very small bicycles"