Road or cyclocross for commuting?

rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
edited May 2011 in Road buying advice
I want to buy a bike for commuting, about 15 miles a day. Can't decide if I should buy a road bike or cyclocross. I'm quite large so I'm thinking the cyclocross bikes wheels will be stronger and better for me. How much better is a road bike on the road?
What can I do on a cyclocross bike off road? Will I have to stick to trails which are free from roots & rocks etc?
Also any recommendations for a bike under £1000? (C2W)
Ta for any advice :D


  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,496
    both will be fine for commuting

    cross/road bikes have a lot in common, you can still go very fast on a cross bike

    cross bike/wheels are a bit heavier/tougher, and bikes often have mounting points for racks, guards etc., geometry is a bit more relaxed, and the frame should give a bit more comfort on rougher road

    a cross bike with disk brakes is excellent for commuting, much more consistent braking in the wet

    cross bikes have more clearance allowing wider tyres, so for off road you can fit knobbly tyres if you need, or you can fit skinny road tyres for commute/road

    genesis croix de fer is worth a look, can be had for under 1000, although for c2w you may be stuck with higher prices ... -fer/specs
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • rockmonkeysc
    rockmonkeysc Posts: 14,774
    Are the Specialized Tricross or Giant TCX2 any good for £750? Or the Cube Xrace comp for £999
    As I'm new to road / cyclocross what features & components should I be expecting at this price?
  • Garry H
    Garry H Posts: 6,639
    If you need it for both on and off road, look out for frames that have eyelets for mudguards and a pannier rack (If commuting). Wheel wise, most cross bikes come with wheels that are usually seen on road bikes, eg Fulcrum 7, Aksiums etc. It's the use of larger tyres that makes the wheel tougher, not the wheel itself.

    One thing to look out for is chainring size. Dedicated cross bike chainrings are usually a 46/36 combo, which will probably offer too low a gearing for road riding. A lot come with compact chainrings (50/34), which is usually a tad high for cross racing, if you are thinking of giving that a go. Whichever one you choose will be a compromise.

    As to what you can do on a cross bike offroad, well that's very much down to how well you can handle a bike. Personally speaking, it handles most things that a rigid MTB can do.

    Bikewise, the Focus Mares looks a good deal with Shimano 105. Tricross, although versatile, seems a tad heavy. Ridley Crossbow, Cannondale CAAD X are good choices, but check out the spec.
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    FWIW you'll find little difference between road and CX wheels on most pre-built bikes the only real difference being the tyres, clearances and brakes. As for gearing / chainring sizes most come with a 50/34 compact and FWIW a 46 chainring is good enough for 50kph plus on the flat, it's the legs that turn the cranks that matter most. For a heavier rider, the extra volume of a 28 or 32mm tyre on a CX will help prevent pinch punctures and should you get fast enough, swapping to a skinny road-specific tyre will not hinder you when going fast on the road. It really depends on whether you're planning to ride on mixed surfaces our purely on the road. The advantage of the CX is flexibility - I've just spent 2 weeks down in Cornwall getting plenty of miles in - on some days I was doing 2 hour fast rides on the road and others I'd swap to CX tyres and head off down bridleways and along the coast path
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Noclue
    Noclue Posts: 503
    Genesis vapour also worth a look, i have one for commuting and it is (for me at least) ideal. And under £1000.