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Cyclocross for commuting?

JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
edited March 2014 in Commuting general
I was looking for a road bike for commuting and someone suggested a cyclocross. Any recommendations? £750 to £1k is the budget (cycle to work scheme). Many thanks!

Posts

  • I'm a bit biased (owning one) but the PlanetX XLS is hard to beat for the money.

    Full carbon frame, Shimano 105 groupset, and Avid BB7 brakes, all for £999.
  • majormantramajormantra Posts: 2,094
    I like my XLS too: http://thesetbackpost.com/cyclocross/tsp/

    ...but it doesn't have mudguard eyelets so full mudguards would have to be bodged (p-clips etc.) if you want them - not ideal for commuting.

    The Giant TCX SLR 2 has a similar spec (better brakes if you make sure you get one with Spyres) albeit with an alu frame, and I believe it has eyelets.

    Another one that caught my eye is the Pinnacle Arkose Two at £900, because it has hydraulic brakes. I'm not sure it has eyelets either though.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    The CX recommendation is good. I'd strongly recommend you only look at options with discs (I've got an older Specialized Tricross (non-disc) and a Felt F65X disc and I know which I trust more (especially in the wet). The fact that my mate generally goes sailing past when I brake in the wet tends to reinforce this opinion ;)

    (and as being mentioned above - look for one that has eyelets for front and rear 'guards)
    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
  • ...but it doesn't have mudguard eyelets so full mudguards would have to be bodged (p-clips etc.) if you want them - not ideal for commuting.

    I've fitted mine with Race Blades and it's been fine this winter. They are not full mudguards, but I think you'd be challenged to find a CX bike with mudguard mount points.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 10,052
    ...but it doesn't have mudguard eyelets so full mudguards would have to be bodged (p-clips etc.) if you want them - not ideal for commuting.

    I've fitted mine with Race Blades and it's been fine this winter. They are not full mudguards, but I think you'd be challenged to find a CX bike with mudguard mount points.


    Tricross Sport Disc

    CAADX 7

    CAADX 105

    shall I carry on? :wink:
    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
  • I have just been through a similar thought process but decided to move away from them as pretty much all my route will be paved so felt a hybrid (specialized sirrus) would be lighter and more economical. But this was after a quick chat with a guy in my LBS. Dunno if you've thought of a hybrid instead?
  • JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
    Thanks. I thought I wanted a road bike, but it needs t be tough as my commute includes the beachfront. It seems to be a toss up between a single speed (mango or charge plug type affair) or cyclocross. Not sure about hybrids - how do they differ to a cyclocross? I've been suggested the tricross and CAAD.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    Endurance Road with Discs would be a better fit than Hybrid or pure CX if you were looking for road bikes to start with. They aren't that much different to CX, a road frame with scope for 28mm or bigger tyres, and room for guards, racks etc... without being full on tourers. Road rather than CX tyres and gearing.

    Secteur Disc 2013 *BIAS alert, I have this model.

    Same in 2014 trim Better frame.

    Ridgeback Advance 7

    I kind of did the Hybrid thing before getting a decent road bike and hardtail, I basically turned a rigid MTB into (what would be sold as) a hybrid, 48-38-28 'commuter' triple, 11-28 cassette, 1.1 (28mm) tyres, the best brakes I could get and some Ergon Grips. It was fine mostly on the road but anything more than maybe 25 miles would have me wanting more hand/body positions. I could turn it back into an MTB with a tyre swap. But being rigid it'd get me down red grade trails but wasn't nearly as much fun as a hardtail. So what I'm kind of saying is that hybrids have their place, they can introduce you to both road and trail riding but don't do either that well.

    So.. a CX is probably a better compromise than a hybrid unless you have a physiological reason for not riding drop bars.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
    Nice one - cheers !
  • shall I carry on? :wink:

    I should have been a little more specific (;-)) getting a good spec CX bike with mudguard points is nigh on impossible.

    The bottom end of the CX market is designed as a cross over into all weather commuting machines (not that that's a bad thing), but as specs increase the commuter elements of the design drop off, in favour of better spec components. So you get mudguard points, but at the expense of a Sora level groupset, Cantis or BB5 brakes and an alloy frame.

    When i was deciding on my machine (mostly used for commuting btw), I traded better frame, groupset and brakes for mudguard mounts at my price point. Another person might make an entirely different choice, based on personal needs.

    There are bikes with all the bits on that I wanted (Croix de Fer), but the price went up quite a bit!
  • so...things you want in a commuter (cx or otherwise):

    - ability to fit wider tyres run at lower pressures - 28mm and above - really helps cushion your ride from rubbish roads/paths
    - disc brakes - sooooooo much better at stopping in the wet (I've heard, not had them :( ) and also, it's a real pain having to constantly clean wet and dirty rims and brake pads only for them to wear down pretty quick anyway (and make loads of noise while braking)
    - full mudguards - much better than clip on type. you need and want them. trust me.

    Good luck in your search, dont forget to test ride a few!
  • JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
    Thanks. Re brakes, I've found mechanical discs (for mountain bikes at least) to be poor and decent rim brakes seem much better than low end discs. Comments welcome. Seem to be swaying to CAADX Sora and spending the "change" on new forks for my Orange p7.
  • InitialisedInitialised Posts: 3,047
    My last bike had Shimano XTR V-Brakes, generally these are better than the BB5s fitted to my Secteur, but... when it's really wet I know the discs will stop me and there have been occasions when the XTRs had me nearly colliding with buses and mopeds. Then there was the time I had ice form on the rims, that was scary, took a lot longer than usual for the brakes to kick in, not sure if that can happen to discs, it hasn't been deep sub-zero for a while. I guess it can but they get to temperature quicker so the effect wouldn't last as long.
    I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.
  • I have just bought the 2014 Tricross Sport Disc as a 'one bike does all'. This was after many years riding lightweight road bikes and the occasional MTB. I decided time was limited with all my commitments, and devoting all my spare time into training/club etc rides was not a good idea anymore.
    So I bought this Tricross. It's quite simply a thing of beauty, IMHO. I can commute and extend the rides home via country tracks, I could tour with it, and I reckon it could probably tackle an audax/sportive no problem as I have no problems with sluggishness on the roads, even with the stock 32mm tyres it has on.
    I have always had medium to top end group-sets on my bikes, so going 'down' to a sora rear mech took a bit of pride and snobbery swallowing, but to be fair, it shifts fine and the BB7 discs are perfect. Components can be changed in time if you must.
    I have never been more comfortable on a bike, although I accept this is subjective, and if you have any hangups about the whole specialized debacle thing(I don't), the frame is dark and stealth like and not much in the way of labeling.
    Happy choosing.
    “If you do what always do, you'll get what you always get.”
  • JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
    Thanks !
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    Other than the bb5, are there any significant improvements between the 2013 and 2014 tricross?
    With 2013 being available for £750 now, worth saving £250 compared to the new model?
  • All City Macho Man frameset and fork, 1x10 drive train (I use downhill in stuff but that doesn't really matter), v brakes (Paul), Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, and what is essentially a flat bar. Comfy, reasonably light with rear rack and half fenders. Plus all the other junk like lights, bell, bar ends and what not. It's perfect for San Francisco's seemingly bomb cratered streets. The particulars don't matter much, by that I mean brands and the like. What's important is that it fits you and your riding style. I built mine from the ground up and for me, it's perfect.
  • Whiz wrote:
    Other than the bb5, are there any significant improvements between the 2013 and 2014 tricross?
    With 2013 being available for £750 now, worth saving £250 compared to the new model?

    To be honest, if I remember rightly there wasn't that much difference in last years model and 2014. I think it was simply frame colour or something that put me off picking one up, stupid really as I don't exactly have money to burn.
    “If you do what always do, you'll get what you always get.”
  • PilotmanPilotman Posts: 9
    I am new to this as well and will hopefully be ordering my commuting cross bike next week. Very confused between the Tricross and the CAADX for the £750ish mark. Most cycling friends suggest the Spesh. Some (including 2 bike shops) suggest the Cannondale. I am sure there is quite little between the two but if i am spending that much, I want to be sure that i am getting the best from either of these two.

    If anyone who has replied above has already been through this conundrum before, i would loveto hear your thoughts!

    Thanks
  • I have always been impressed with the Tricross. I recommend riding both, maybe rent them for a weekend each (if possible) otherwise an extended test ride is in order. Then choose and enjoy!
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    Planet X Kaffenback 2. This thread can now be locked!

    You want reasoning for my opinion? OK, here goes.
    Brakes: Disc (natch). Avid BB7
    Groupset: Shimano Tiagra 20 speed
    Frame: CX style steel (with reflective paintwork). Mounts for mudguards and racks. Clearance for up to 32mm tyres
    Price: £800 as standard but can be specced up (an absolute top spec Kaffenback with Ultegra, Ti saddle and Gran Prix Four Season tyres is £1132)

    The owners (I am one) rave about it. A great 'do it all' bike. As a roadie I generally steer well clear of mud, gravel etc but even with slick Gatorskins I enjoy a bit of gentle offroading.
    A great bike at a great price and great value for money.





    If you don't buy the Kaff, you bought the wrong bike.

    Now, mods, lock the thread!
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • JCJCJCJC Posts: 162
    I was thinking tricross vs CAADX too .....
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,987 Lives Here
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Kaff Kaff Kaff... :P
    If you want something a little less utilitarian, get a Kinesis Pro 6. Lighter and faster than a Kaff, also so green it doesn't need reflective paint. I built mine up with 105, BB7s and some handbuilt wheels. Standard build is 105 but with lesser brakes. It'll take 35 mm knobbly tyres with guards and still has loads of clearance. Has proper rack and guard mounts, who said you can't get a decent crosser with rack and guard mounts? Fabulous bike, does everything.
  • EKE_38BPMEKE_38BPM Posts: 5,980
    veronese68 wrote:
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Kaff Kaff Kaff... :P
    If you want something a little less utilitarian, get a Kinesis Pro 6. Lighter and faster than a Kaff, also so green it doesn't need reflective paint. I built mine up with 105, BB7s and some handbuilt wheels. Standard build is 105 but with lesser brakes. It'll take 35 mm knobbly tyres with guards and still has loads of clearance. Has proper rack and guard mounts, who said you can't get a decent crosser with rack and guard mounts? Fabulous bike, does everything.
    Kaff Vs Pro6
    Matt black reflective Vs Argh, my eyes are bleeding Green
    Steel Vs Aluminium
    Off the shelf Vs Build your own
    32mm Vs 35mm
    I don't know about prices but either will be a great bike (the Kaff is better for me).
    I wanted a steel framed bike but if I wanted an aluminium frame I would probably gone for the Pro6*.


    Neither bikes/frames are mainstream, but the road less travelled is often more interesting.

    *PM me if you want to know my alu frame alternatives and/or why I went for steel.
    FCN 3: Raleigh Record Ace fixie-to be resurrected sometime in the future
    FCN 4: Planet X Schmaffenschmack 2- workhorse
    FCN 9: B Twin Vitamin - winter commuter/loan bike for trainees

    I'm hungry. I'm always hungry!
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,483
    I've been looking at CAADX and Tricross at the LBS's (I have a wide choice) in my area. Then I look at the Kaff 2 and it seems to be the no-brainer choice, particularly as they have several no-cost customising options for size. But I'm 200+ miles from a planet X store and reluctant to buy online. Can anyone offer reassurance about that?
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,987 Lives Here
    I think EKE quite likes his Kaff.
    Seriously though, I've only heard good things from people that have bought them. Just have a really good think about the size. Measure what you've got now and think if you would like anything to be a little different. I'm sure you'll be fine, if not I think you should be able to return it under distance selling regs. Although that would be a major pain.
  • mrfpbmrfpb Posts: 4,483
    EKE_38BPM wrote:
    Kaff Vs Pro6
    Matt black reflective Vs Argh, my eyes are bleeding Green

    In the interests of fairness the Kaff also comes in shades of 70's wallpaper brown and the Pro 6 comes with white frame or black frame.

    Veronese68, thanks for the feedback. I now know that the 54cm Tricross fits me well, so I can use that as a a basis for ordering a Kaff2. I'm moving up from a flat bar hybrid, so my current upper body measurements aren't the greatest guide.
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