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Cyclocross bikes - are they that different?

macondo01macondo01 Posts: 706
edited December 2009 in Road beginners
My old Nigel Dean 531 Tourer is my usual commute bike (10miles a day). It has V brakes and clearance/fixings for mud guards etc.. It does the job ok. But in the Winter it is beginning to feel a bit slippy and its a bit big for me. Yep it might be a reason or an excuse for a new bike so, It set me thinking about putting together a cyclocross bike as a good compromise of speed and stability. But are they that different from a road bike? Perhaps I should just put wider tyres on the Dean?

Also... anyone done any cyclocross? What's it like?

Thanks
.
"Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

National Lampoon

Posts

  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    Cyclocross is fun, but hard work. Also expect to get very muddy, and spend half a day cleaning the bike after a race LOL

    As for the bike, the forks are wider at the crown to give more mud clearance, same at the rear, also cables generally run along the top of the top tube, so the bike can be carried without catching the cable, and it helps keep the mud off them.

    If your Dean can accept wider tyres (with regards to forks and mudguards), try these first, CX bikes use the same wheels as road bikes use, just with wider tyres.
  • peanut1978peanut1978 Posts: 1,031
    also canti brakes
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    Or Mini V Brakes ;)
  • fixed gear for cx...

    4171744868_93604926f4.jpg

    no gears to clog up, although my clearances are poo!
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    SBezza wrote:
    Cyclocross is fun, but hard work. Also expect to get very muddy, and spend half a day cleaning the bike after a race LOL

    As for the bike, the forks are wider at the crown to give more mud clearance, same at the rear, also cables generally run along the top of the top tube, so the bike can be carried without catching the cable, and it helps keep the mud off them.

    If your Dean can accept wider tyres (with regards to forks and mudguards), try these first, CX bikes use the same wheels as road bikes use, just with wider tyres.

    ^^^^ what he said :D

    I'd add that my cx has a head angle of 72deg, so it'll be a lot racier than a tourer geometry. I love it.
  • Thanks. A few questions!

    The top tube looks proportionally shorter. Is that how they are designed?

    What width tyres do you run for cx? I've some 700 x 35 tyres on a hybrid bike that might go on my Dean. Be interestering to see if the Dean runs much slower on these than the 23's.

    How long are the cx courses or is it a time thing?

    I think I'd like to get muddy!!
    .
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    My CX tyres are 700x35, though some will run narrower tyres depending on conditions. CX races are normally 1 hour long, lap lengths can vary, but normally between 6 mins and 10 mins a lap.
  • How far is a lap roughly Bezza?
    .
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • SBezzaSBezza Posts: 2,173
    Haven't a clue, can only go by time, as no wheel speed sensor on CX bike. It doesn't really matter at the end of the day, as you just race for the hour until the leader has done 1 hour, or in my case the other week, went across the line just before the leader finished, and had a 10 minute lap to do, so done 1 hr 10 mins of racing. That was a long lap, I think the organiser said it was about 3.5km
  • Thanks Bezza.

    Fixed gear for cx looks full on ride_whenever! :shock: But what do I know about cx!
    .
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Cross course laps vary from course to course, but typically 2-3km - conditions make a huge difference to speed and time. I doubt very much you could race a fixed-gear - SS yes, but with a fixed you'd end up with big chunks out of your shins for sure during remounts. In terms of the bikes - you really need cantis for mud clearance - vees clog too easily IME - BB drop tends to be less too for bigger ground clearance. I run 32 or 35mm tyres depending on conditions.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • fixed gear for cx...

    4171744868_93604926f4.jpg

    no gears to clog up, although my clearances are poo!

    That bike looks awful - if you need the saddle at that angle you should reconsider your saddle height. Also, even if you don't use it for cross you could do yourself some serious damage on that fork column.
  • MikeWWMikeWW Posts: 723
    My cyclocross bike here

    13668_192177689418_588304418_2869915_4118706_n.jpg

    and it being used by my lad who 'borrowed " it on Sunday

    16570_196777934910_646104910_2872560_619147_n.jpg

    Cyclocross is fantastic fun-very friendly,very tough and loads of local races. Helps if you like mud :D
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,788
    fixed gear for cx...

    4171744868_93604926f4.jpg

    no gears to clog up, although my clearances are poo!

    You are joking aren't you? I know there's a big trend for fixed these days but for cross! :shock:
  • PokerfacePokerface Posts: 7,960
    Pross wrote:
    fixed gear for cx...

    4171744868_93604926f4.jpg

    no gears to clog up, although my clearances are poo!

    You are joking aren't you? I know there's a big trend for fixed these days but for cross! :shock:

    I know lots of people who use fixed for CX. Guess it just depends on the terrain.
  • Is it best to find a local club to begin? I am in Manchester.
    .
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    Look on the British Cycling calendar and filter on cyclocross for your area. It's then just a case of finding an event near you and either pre-registering or turning up on the day and giving it a go.

    http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/web/site/BC/Bridge/calendar_future.asp
  • ProssPross Posts: 34,788
    Pokerface wrote:
    Pross wrote:
    fixed gear for cx...

    4171744868_93604926f4.jpg

    no gears to clog up, although my clearances are poo!

    You are joking aren't you? I know there's a big trend for fixed these days but for cross! :shock:

    I know lots of people who use fixed for CX. Guess it just depends on the terrain.

    Guess so, wouldn't like to try it around here - you'd be carrying uphill spinning out downhill and unable to keep up on the flat sections. Never had my gears clog up, pretty much everything else but never the gears.

    Also, is it fixed gear or single gear? There must be some technical sections in most courses where you need to freewheel with your cranks horizontal to avoid hitting your pedals.
  • Thanks and APIII - will have a look, and perhaps have a go! :D
    .
    "Let not the sands of time get in your lunch"

    National Lampoon
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