Major differences between Road & Cyclocross bikes (if any?)

Weeman1973 Posts: 471
edited April 2013 in Road general
I have my Pinarello FP Quattro that I use on the smooth stuff but now my boy is riding a bit more, he wants me to go over the park etc. with him on his bike, me on mine.

There is no way I'm taking the Pina 'off road' so to speak was maybe thinking of a cyclocross bike to do the usual park rides with the kids, then I got to thinking, except tyres / wheels, what are the actual differences between a 'Road' bike & 'Cyclocross'?

I will get something cheap & cheerful so was maybe looking at a Trek 1.2 or even a Triban 3 and adding some thicker tyres - would this be sufficient for what I want to do? there will be no mountain terrain as my lad is only 6 and just likes riding his bike on grass & dirt etc and the odd road so after something that can handle this with no bother.


  • A CX bike makes a good hack/hybrid/tourer/utility/winter bike in my opinion.

    They normally have more wheel clearance so that mud doesn't get caught up, they often have lower gear ratios (if your racing off road you are unlikely to need the same range as a road bike), they are heavier than a road bike (but not as heavy as a some hybrids or MTB's), they often have a more upright riding position, they often have disc brakes. I'm sure others will add to the list.
  • xcMuttley
    xcMuttley Posts: 434
    Other than the differences stated above one other difference is the way the frame is built. Using a road frame offroad will weaken the frame dramatically and in time it will likely get stress fractures. CX bikes have strength added into high stress areas Bottom bracket being the main one but also extra strength added to junctures in the frame. CX bikes are simply stronger the wheels and finishing parts etc. included. I would say your best option would be to get a CX bike if you are using it offroad often as it will last a lot longer.
    But if you arent actually competing in cyclocross or training for it a hybrid/tourer or even a klunker would be a better option likely cheaper too
    Check out my blog for my views and reviews:
  • g00se
    g00se Posts: 2,221
    CC bikes also have higher bottom brackets for ground clearance. Other things you'll probably not need are better bearing seals for mud etc., cable routing across the top of the bike to stop mud messing up the brakes and shifts etc.
  • diy
    diy Posts: 6,473
    Just get a hard-tail, it will be a lot more use and you can go to the trials with you kid if you want.
  • Spend much less money and get yourself an old steel racer. Altogether much cooler, likely to have clearance for big tyres and fitments for full 'guards and a rack, if needed. You know it makes sense. ;)
  • merkin
    merkin Posts: 452
    I would look at a hardtail mtb. He's only 6 now but he won't stay 6 for long.
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    merkin wrote:
    He's only 6 now but he won't stay 6 for long.

    About 12 months, typically...
  • Weeman1973
    Weeman1973 Posts: 471
    Cheers for the input everyone. I've had another thought of using a fixie (with flip flop wheel) and adding 28mm tyres as an option. Something like a Langster would be ideal I think as I won't be going off road as such and my boys bike is only a single speed anyway and we won't be going that far I doubt.
  • Jim C
    Jim C Posts: 333
    Don't believe everything on internet forums. Some of the stuff above on road frames being used off road, and how cross frames are built is very well wide of the mark
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I would use whatever you use as a winter road bike (assuming you do not use the Pinarello).
    A CX bike would be ideal for both these things and is fairly future proof for when your son gets more adventurous :wink:

    Not sure why some people are suggesting you get a hard tail MTB to keep up with a 6 year old :lol: