Cyclocross bike on road club rides

tomb353
tomb353 Posts: 196
edited January 2010 in Road beginners
To cut a long story short I'm about to get a kinesis cyclocross bike for commuting, touring, light off road etc. I don't own a "proper" road bike but was thinking about sticking skinny tyres on the cross and tagging along on some weekend club runs.

Am I likely to be shunned for failing to turn up properly equiped? Will the couple of pounds weight difference mean I'm left behind (if you count my bodyweight odds are i'll be more than a few lb's heavier than smaller riders anyway).
vendor of bicycle baskets & other stuff www.tynebicycle.co.uk
www.tynebicycle.co.uk/blog
Kinesis Tripster
Gazelle NY Cab
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Cannondale F100
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Comments

  • mojjo
    mojjo Posts: 44
    Hi

    My first club run, which was last year, was on a Cannondale Cross bike with proper road tyres and got no grief at all.

    They were glad to have another member

    The bike was fine and to be honest is as light as my road bike so as the saying goes...'Just do it' and sod what everyone else thinks.

    Hope this helps. :D
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    You'll be absolutely fine (as long as the tyres don't slow you down too much!)
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    I have been on club runs on my CX bike with CX tyres on. I didn't have any trouble keeping up, though I did choose a group that was suitable for the pace I wanted to go at. If you put road tyres on, you wouldn't have any issues compared to a road bike, my CX bike is lighter than my road bike.
  • mojjo
    mojjo Posts: 44
    I love Napoleon Dynamite by the way


    Sorry, thats completely off-topic, but just noticed Napoleon D's avatar or whatever it's called.

    :D
  • They will be more concerned about whether you have mudguards or not.

    The choice of bike is your problem (albeit a X is fine). Failure to have mudguards makes you everyone elses problem.
  • tomb353
    tomb353 Posts: 196
    I have a set of race blades, so should hopefully be OK with those if its not too wet
    vendor of bicycle baskets & other stuff www.tynebicycle.co.uk
    www.tynebicycle.co.uk/blog
    Kinesis Tripster
    Gazelle NY Cab
    Surly Steamroller
    Cannondale F100
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    I've put road tyres on my Kinesis x now and am using it on the road until the spring. It's plenty quick enough.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    tomb353 wrote:
    I have a set of race blades, so should hopefully be OK with those if its not too wet
    Race Blades are not much help for the guy behind you. You need a full rear guard with a long mudflap on it for group riding. Remember, if the guy behind can see your tyre then the cr*p will hit him in the face.
  • tomb353
    tomb353 Posts: 196
    worth knowing, so invest in proper guards or wait for a dry day.....
    vendor of bicycle baskets & other stuff www.tynebicycle.co.uk
    www.tynebicycle.co.uk/blog
    Kinesis Tripster
    Gazelle NY Cab
    Surly Steamroller
    Cannondale F100
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    In terms of group riding, full guards are most welcome.

    We have a mix of guys who repeatedly come out with none - they're not very popular, and guys with race blades or crud road racers - they just get chuntered at and towed along.

    Depending on which group I'm out with, I'll sit on the wheel of the guy with full guards, and ride off-line behind a guy with any thing else. In the slower group, I've been putting myself on the front to get a work out and tow people along, which keeps you the cleanest.

    I have full guards so this offers the best to those behind.
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • you can make a couple of mud flaps by cutting up an old plastic drinks bottle....a bit wider than the guard and about 6-8 inches long. Fit by poking a hole in the bottom of the guards and fix with a short bolt.

    should do the job
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    Hardly anyone on our club rides have full mudguards, the ones with guards have the roadracers or race blades, but the majority do not have mudguards, at least in the faster groups.

    Can be a pain to some I suppose, but I have never had a issue with riding behind someone with race blades or roadracers, most of the muck keeps off you. If I use my CX bike, this doesn't have guards, and I happily ride in the rain. I may get covered in road muck, but it is still better than the muck a CX race gets you covered in. Thats what washing machines, and showers are for :lol:

    Just go on the club run and enjoy yourself.
  • teagar
    teagar Posts: 2,100
    My experience of clubs is that they don't really give a sh!t what you ride - they're more interested in how fast you can ride. (altough if you turn up with VERY worn tyres that puncture ever 20km they might get irritated).

    I remember with the uni club the fastest guy there decided to go out on his full sus mountain bike with a few of the slower roadies (inc. me). Still rinsed most of us. Was a bit tough to take.
    Note: the above post is an opinion and not fact. It might be a lie.
  • It seems clear that different groups have different tolerances. Our local group is no mudguards with flaps--no ride, or stay 50m off the front or back :oops: whereas SBezza's group dont bother.
    To save any embarassment it may be worth ckecking before you turn up.
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    That's a good point actually - phone up and check.

    Our club has a policy for winter riding, but it isn't strictly enforced, and we have 3 different paces of groups on clubruns on Sundays - the fast boys are races out for training - so are less inclined to be bothered about mudguards etc.

    The steady pace consists much more of people out for a more social ride - the pace is lower, and people aren't very interested in getting coated - so it's much more frowned upon in that group to come out with nothing whatsoever.

    Whilst the clip on guards aren't brilliant, the attempt is welcomed, and it is recognised that 1) not all bikes can fit full guards
    2) not every can/wants to have a separate winter bike
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    If the group is making a cafe stop you should also consider the cafe. They don't want you covereng their seats with road muck of your ar*e. We can loose cafes that way.
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    John.T wrote:
    If the group is making a cafe stop you should also consider the cafe. They don't want you covereng their seats with road muck of your ar*e. We can loose cafes that way.

    That is true, and hence why I have guards on my road bike, though they are only roadracers, they keep the vast majority of muck off me, and riders behind. If others in the group don't want to fit guards then that is their choice IMO, you can ride to one side of them, and not directly behind if it is a major issue.

    I will admit in the slower groups with the older riders, then the majority of these guys/girls will have full mudguards.
  • redjeepǃ
    redjeepǃ Posts: 531
    Most people I ride with would be deeply jealous.

    I wanted to buy a CX bike for a winter bike, but couldn't find one. I think they're the perfect choice, as long as you've got mudguards.

    One other thing. I've heard that CX tyres don't have much grip on wet tarmac, so you may want to check this out before you go out. It may be worth investing in a pair of all season road tyres for it, which would also have the benefit of eliminating the 'wide tyre' problem.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    One other thing. I've heard that CX tyres don't have much grip on wet tarmac, so you may want to check this out before you go out. It may be worth investing in a pair of all season road tyres for it, which would also have the benefit of eliminating the 'wide tyre' problem.
    The OP said he was fitting skinny tyres on. I would recommend a set of 25mm Conti 4 Seasons or similar.
  • mojjo
    mojjo Posts: 44
    I rarely run cx tyres on the road, they're soft, and only really grippy off road.. I only leave them on if my ride includes some offroad riding.

    I just shove my road bike front wheel in and stick a 700x23 road tyre on the rear. Job done.

    Common sense really and i've never put so much thought into riding my cross bike on the road until this forum post came along...bloody forums......Just like gp surgery's, only people with problems go there!!
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Redjeep - why do you say that a cross bike is perfect for winter bike ?

    Any road bike that has clearances for full mudguards would be a better winter bike than a bike designed for racing off road ?
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    Redjeep! wrote:
    One other thing. I've heard that CX tyres don't have much grip on wet tarmac, so you may want to check this out before you go out. It may be worth investing in a pair of all season road tyres for it, which would also have the benefit of eliminating the 'wide tyre' problem.

    Depends on the tyre, I have had no issues with my Racing Ralphs on wet roads, on the back lanes I feel better with the CX tyres than my road tyres, and a hell less likely to puncture. Pretty good in slippery conditions we have had lately as well, I use mine daily for commuting to work, and for racing CX.
  • redjeepǃ
    redjeepǃ Posts: 531
    I was just trying to point out to the OP that he may want to be careful about the tyre thing. I've no experience of this, but when I was looking around for a CX bike was told it by a couple of people who regularly used them on the road. I'd assumed they'd grip to wet tarmac like the preverble sh!t to a blanket, so was surprised by it. I'm sure it doesn't apply to all CX tyres, but he's better off asking around than finding out the hard way.

    He did say he was thinking of changing, not was going to change so I was just saying it may be a good idea for other reasons other than speed.

    The reason I think they're ideal winter bikes is that they're tougher than most road bikes and so the inevitable collisions with pot holes etc aren't so significant. These seem to happen more during the winter, possibly due to the surface water and the road surfaces are worse than the summer. Also most club rides during the winter are a bit slower anyway, and people typically ride heavier winter bikes than during the summer, (keeping the carbon job for the summer) and have a lower fitness level, so the downsides like weight and tyre size aren't so important.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    Fair enough - I don't use my carbon bike in winter unless its a really nice day - but you don't need a tough bike for winter - I ride the same roads all year round and its the wheels that take the main hits - get some 25mm tyres if you're worried and you are good to go.

    Road bikes are best for the road and cross bikes are the best for cross I reckon.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I use my cross bike on the road sometimes but a couple of points: In race set-up I run 34/46 chainrings which are fine for cross but leave me undergeared for fast downhills. Grip is nothing to do with the bike and everything to do with tyres - decent cross tyres use soft rubber compounds for off-road grip, you'll just wear them out on the road, so fit a road tyre instead.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • SBezza
    SBezza Posts: 2,173
    A CX bike is a road bike essentially, just slightly beefed up in some areas. It is no different to the differences of a sportive frame, to a touring frame, to an audax frame to a racing frame, they are all road bikes.

    My CX bike has the same ratios as my road bike, so riding either is not an issue, I just commute on the bike that takes more abuse generally (ie CX racing), and depending on conditions use either the CX tyres or my road wheels and tyres. Road tyres on snow and ice is silly if you have better grip tyres.
  • John.T
    John.T Posts: 3,698
    A cross bike is only a road bike with a few modifications to increase mud clearance and stability. This makes fitting mudguards and riding in all the muck on winter roads easier. They make ideal winter bikes. My Spec Singlecross is great fun, especialy on fixed.
  • cougie
    cougie Posts: 22,512
    So to get a cross bike fit for a winter road bike - just add mudguards, change the tyres and increase the gearing.

    Or just get your road bike and fix guards to it.

    I quite fancy a cyclocross bike - but without me doing cyclocross I cant really justify it at the moment.

    I already have a carbon race bike, Alu TT bike, Steel fixed winter, and an Alu MTB bike. I cant fit another one in the garage.
  • TommyEss
    TommyEss Posts: 1,855
    Redjeep! wrote:
    The reason I think they're ideal winter bikes is that they're tougher than most road bikes and so the inevitable collisions with pot holes etc aren't so significant. These seem to happen more during the winter, possibly due to the surface water and the road surfaces are worse than the summer.

    Don't know about round your way, but around Reading, the road surface doesn't magically heal itself during summer - the potholes may be formed more readily during the winter months, but if the council don't get off their arse and do something about it, it'll still be there come summer!
    Cannondale Synapse 105, Giant Defy 3, Giant Omnium, Giant Trance X2, EMC R1.0, Ridgeback Platinum, On One Il Pompino...
  • APIII
    APIII Posts: 2,010
    cougie wrote:
    So to get a cross bike fit for a winter road bike - just add mudguards, change the tyres and increase the gearing.

    Or just get your road bike and fix guards to it.

    I quite fancy a cyclocross bike - but without me doing cyclocross I cant really justify it at the moment.

    I already have a carbon race bike, Alu TT bike, Steel fixed winter, and an Alu MTB bike. I cant fit another one in the garage.

    Just cos you don't race, doesn't mean you won't enjoy a cx bike. Go on, get one :wink: I only raced three times this season, but did a lot of mixed road/off-road rides which have been a lot of fun. Having knobbly tyres adds options to your ride. If you're solely riding on the road though, switch to road tyres as has been said.