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Road and cyclocross bikes

steviecfbsteviecfb Posts: 31
edited August 2013 in Commuting general
This: viewtopic.php?f=40052&t=12930795 (summary: what cyclocross bike for commuting?)

On the other hand

I have seen a Scott Sportster road bike (the 20) with which I have developed an unhealthy obsession. I could probably commute on that, and do a lot of my weekend stuff (railway tracks etc) too. But I am finding, especially in the nice weather, that my evening cycling (while I'm not commuting) is all on roads.

So, some more questions:
1. Is there any difference between road and cyclocross bikes beyond gearing and, perhaps, a slight weight differential?
2. Could I use a road bike for light off-road stuff if I changed the tyres (tyres and wheels, probably, to make it easier)?

Thanks for any advice.

Posts

  • BelgianBeerGeekBelgianBeerGeek Posts: 5,230
    It depends how you define "light off-road stuff". Road bikes are really quite robust and will take a fair bit of punishment, but may be uncomfortable as you are restricted to tyre size etc. CX bikes have much more clearance for fatter tyres, so if you are considering riding on grass, mud etc this is the way to go. You could always get a second set of wheels and tyres and have one set for road and one for off-road.

    I have ridden both for commuting and although the CX is chunkier, you only lose a couple of mph top speed. This never bothered me as I'm not a rapid rider anyway.
    Ecrasez l’infame
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    Xrossers tend to have slightly shorter gearing (circa 48T largest ring versus 53T on a road bike), yes they tend to be very slightly heavier.

    Most Road frames aren't wide enough to take offroad sized tyres, nor will they fit in the brakes (which is why crossers don't use road brakes).
  • steviecfbsteviecfb Posts: 31
    Mmm - it's looking like CX is still the way to go. I would like to top 40mph at least once in my life (37.93mph best so far: I have a couple of hills, you know :) ) but I'm thinking that narrower tyres (current ones 37mm), lighter and more aerodynamic bike and position (current bike: a Scott hybrid) and practice will bring that about.

    Thanks.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,747
    You can always fit the crosser out with something narrower for on road......as I have one 45mph log on my Hybrid, 40+ on a crosser should be easy!
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    steviecfb wrote:
    Mmm - it's looking like CX is still the way to go. I would like to top 40mph at least once in my life (37.93mph best so far: I have a couple of hills, you know :) ) but I'm thinking that narrower tyres (current ones 37mm), lighter and more aerodynamic bike and position (current bike: a Scott hybrid) and practice will bring that about.

    Thanks.


    *cough*

    http://youtu.be/REkXfVVFG4c

    *cough*


    :D

    Running on 28C Conti top contacts at 100psi. This was after cycling the 13.5 miles of the Tissington Trail both ways as part of a 100Km loop. Not sure if you need any more encouragement that a CX bike can do what you need.
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    I used to regularly get over 45mph on my commute home riding my old Scott Sportster hybrid downhill. To help achieve this I did away with the sus forks and put 32mm Gatorskins on it pumped up to 120psi.

    I ride my road bike most of the time now, and take it on chalk and gravel paths from time to time - its a bit twitchy but it can cope with it.

    I would love a CX bike though - if I were you I'd probably go for a CX bike.
  • davesvorddavesvord Posts: 80
    I'm a roadie at heart but looking for something on the C2W scheme I found this at 1000 pounds in a lbs.

    http://www.formebikes.co.uk/bikes/road/ ... rtdisc.php

    British and beautiful!!!!!
  • MadproforgMadproforg Posts: 35
    I've got one of those through the C2W scheme. Might have upset a couple of roadies on a sportive, downhill on a something more like a farm track, they had stopped to walk down. I just went them slowly then released the brakes, never saw them again.

    As it's my main bike currently running 28mm Durano plus, the tyres it comes with aren't bad when it's muddy but drag like crazy on road.
  • andyrrandyrr Posts: 1,501
    Not all CX bikes, as with road bikes, will be the same :
    I bought a Jamis CX bike at the start of the year specifically for commuting purposes and it had a std road compact chainset whilst the other CX bike I tried at that price-point, a Norco, had what would be seen as CX-relevant chainrings, 48 biggest. Some are aimed at pretty squarely at commuting/road riding so have higher ratios than a CX-racing spec'd one, I came from 20+ years of riding std road ratios so dropping to a 48 front outer was too severe but the 50 on mine suits fine. Strangely those 2 bikes I tried were inconsistant in the tyres fitted as std : my Jamis came with proper CX tyres whilst I think the Norco had a more road-orientated tyre then again although the Jamis has bosses for fitting mudguards it could not accomodate these at the rear with the fitted CX tyre (32mm) so I swapped out a 28mm road tyre I had spare - meant that in the crappy winter weather I had the gripper tyre on the front which wasn't a bad decision anyway.
    Geometry for CX bikes tends to give a shorter + higher position than a road bike - can be tweeked to an extent with alternative stem but that is 1 thing I think is common with them.
    For me the benefits of a 'CX' bike are :
    Clearance for 28mm tyres and fitment for proper mudguards.
    Disc brakes : don't have the hassle of road grit etc causing rims to shed metal particles in pads plus consistant braking in all weathers.
    Weight is similar to my previous commuter bikes - I only paid £520 for mine so a road bike at that price is alwo pretty low-spec : at a similar price for a road bike you might get a carbon fork which would assist in keeping weight down as the alu fork on mine looks hefty : possibly to handle the disc-braking stresses. I think you're nearer £1000 for a CX bike to come with a carbon fork.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Geometry for CX bikes tends to give a shorter + higher position than a road bike

    A valid often overlooked point. CX and mountain bikes have a higher bottom bracket, so you have better ground clearance when off road. This isn't a good thing for a commuter as it makes it a little harder to get a foot down. My road bikes have fairly low bottom brackets and even with the saddle in the optimum position I never need to get off the saddle at junctions.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • unixnerd wrote:
    Geometry for CX bikes tends to give a shorter + higher position than a road bike

    A valid often overlooked point. CX and mountain bikes have a higher bottom bracket, so you have better ground clearance when off road. This isn't a good thing for a commuter as it makes it a little harder to get a foot down. My road bikes have fairly low bottom brackets and even with the saddle in the optimum position I never need to get off the saddle at junctions.

    Curious. You mean you're able to put a foot down while still on the saddle? I'd question if your position is correct. Of course if it works for you...
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    You mean you're able to put a foot down while still on the saddle? I'd question if your position is correct. Of course if it works for you...

    Exactly that and I'm sure the saddle height is correct, even if it's a bit higher I can do it. I'm 5'6" on a 52cm frame so maybe that's why. Same on both road bikes and my tourer. Can't get both down of course and no way I can do it on the mtb.
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • Big_PaulBig_Paul Posts: 277
    The Rookie wrote:
    You can always fit the crosser out with something narrower for on road......as I have one 45mph log on my Hybrid, 40+ on a crosser should be easy!

    I got pulled by the cops for going rather too quick on my Rev Cross. Seemingly I was doing 45 coming down a steep hill into a 30. Officer was rather nice about it, said he wasn't so much worried about my speed, as someone not thinking a bike would be going so quick and pulling out. That was on 32 gators.

    Didn't feel like 45 to be honest, but I had only his word to go on.
    Disc Trucker
    Kona Ute
    Rockrider 8.1
    Evil Resident
    Day 01 Disc
    Viking Derwent Tandem
    Planet X London Road
  • Ha - today 39.46mph - nice long (but not specially steep) descent in Normandy - on the trusty Marathon+ (37mm?)

    Of course, cycling in France, now I need a road bike ...

    But no: still a CX, I think (at least for the next one), and probably now a Croix de Fer :)
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    Highest speed I ever did was on my tourer, 48.5mph coming down Slochd Summit with a strong tail wind :-)
    http://www.strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible Price.
    Specialized Roubaix SL3 Expert 2012, Cannondale CAAD5,
    Marin Mount Vision (1997), Edinburgh Country tourer, 3 cats!
  • madtammadtam Posts: 141
    Highest I have managed is 56mph coming down Holme Moss on my CX bike. One day when the wind is favourable and I have the nerve to push it, I hope to hit 60mph or even the magic 100kmh.
    CX bikes aren't appreciably slower on decent downhills in my opinion.
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