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There seems to be a growing subset of people who ride what Higbee recently (and appropriately, I think) referred to as monster 'cross bikes. These are bikes that land closer to the cyclocross bikes than 29ers, but still sport bigger tires than you generally see on a true cyclocross race bike, and manage to do a fair job at anything but the most technical singletrack. Several examples below.

I'm curious about how this all came to be. Surely Matt Chester had a bit of influence, as well as the other contributors to the 63xc.com site.

More importantly, I'm curious why the people who ride setups like this don't ride a conventional mountain bike or 29er. What is it about skinny(ish) tires and little crotch clearance that rings your bell? For my part, the answer is easy. I came to offroad riding by way of "something to do inbetween touring". Fat tires went on the crosscheck (seen below) and I fell in love. I'm also always trying to keep my bike count to a minimum, so having a commuter, offroader, and touring bike in one was a very attractive notion.

I haven't ridding a true "mountain bike" since I was a kid. It seems like most people who choose a setup like this have a bit more experience with a variety of frame styles, so it can't ALL be ignorance, as in my case.










(I take it as further evidence of Matt Chester's influence that all of the pictured bikes have midge or dirtdrop bars.)
 

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Cracker-magnon
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ink1373 said:
More importantly, I'm curious why the people who ride setups like this don't ride a conventional mountain bike or 29er.
I think that is a pretty blanket statement there. I love the 700x44s on my crosscheck, and riding it fixed off road, but I also love my SS and am building a 29er. Riding the CC off road keeps me honest, makes me think more about what I am doing, and more aware of everything. It is more of a "total experience" minus the sex of course :rolleyes:
 

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Steamroller
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I tried skinnys or is it fatties

42s and 44s......I guess they are skinnys on a 29r and fatties on a cyclocross bike. They seem to improve the performance and rideability of the cyclocross bike except maybe for actual racing.

On the 29r they seem to lessen the sluggish acceleration and climbing that the heavy tires cause. I have found that they can be a bit sketchy when railing flat or off camber corners fast on hard pack with a dusting of sand or loose dirt compared to the real 29r tires. I have not tried them yet, but I think the Kenda Kharma 29 tires may be the cats meow, I loved them on my 26" SS bike. Light, fast and grippy at least on my local trails.
 

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local trails rider
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Just because?
Because you do not want to do everything the way most others do it?
Because you like the idea of a rigid fork and once you are there you might as well put on the drop bar too? (I did not say road bar)

Cool stuff!
 

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for me it was all about riding something that I could do singletrack confidently and being able to ride rough fire roads efficiently. I think that it is going to catch on. It's really a fun ride. I'd like to see what I can do on my Vulture with the 45's on a fast dirt road XC race course. You'd have to be a pretty fast on a mountain bike to stay with one of these on certain types of courses.
 

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http://boe.fixed.se
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For me (the guy with the yellow jersey) it's about learning more about riding. I want to explore how far I can take my bikes, and you get to learn so much when riding "wrong" or "stupid" bikes on the trails. Riding becomes more about you, and your experience, than the bike.



Fixed off road was really marvelous, I was amazed on the "trail connectivity". Totaly like sex with the trail.

My old monster Cross Check:
https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-29/29.jpg
https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-29/17.jpg
https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-24/28.jpg
https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-17/22.jpg
 

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Just Ride!
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7 miles to the trail/fireroad so it really maks no sense driving there. Rides are mostly fireroads so what's the perfect ride? Cyclocross! They did not make Crosschecks at that time and my cross would only fit a 38c max but hey, it fits my type of riding and it was a blast.
 

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I heard the term "monster 'cross" from Wade the Vulture. I really like riding fixed offroad and when ordering my new frame I thought of going the "monster 'cross" style. If I could only have one bike it would be a "monster 'cross" for versatility. Since I don't only have to have one bike I went with more of a mountain bike style frame based on drop bars (lots of standover and EBB for discs). I have a suitalbe road road frame that can be made into a fixie and it will take some 35c tires no problem. The other issue for me is where I ride. Locally I have a lot of deep sand on the trails and a wider tire is nice to have, the same can be said for winter riding on the snow. I also live near the Canadian rockeis where the trails can be very rough and the decents long and steep. Of course I want to try some 44c tires on my bike when I get it! I am very impressed with what people can ride on 'cross bikes and I will get one some day.
 

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Boe said:
For me (the guy with the yellow jersey) it's about learning more about riding. I want to explore how far I can take my bikes, and you get to learn so much when riding "wrong" or "stupid" bikes on the trails. Riding becomes more about you, and your experience, than the bike.
Fixed off road was really marvelous, I was amazed on the "trail connectivity". Totaly like sex with the trail.
Great points, except maybe the sex thing, maybe smooth silky singletrack, but not gnarly rocky technical stuff. That might make your d*** sore.

It'll never reach world domination in this society, because technology buys speed and technology makes everything better.

Given equal bike handling skills/cardiovascular fitness, retro geeks who ride fixed rigid skinny tires offroad can't go as fast as guys with the goods, and in today's world it's who crosses the line first that matters to most people.

The attitude makes the difference, and you put it really well about riding being about you, not the bike. The fact that it's a lot more fun and fulfilling to clean a tough course with a fixed gear and skinny tires than full sus and body armor is irrelevant...RC
 

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Fahrrad fahren
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Lovin' this thread.

I think of my QB as more of a cross than Monster Cross (BTW great name Wade), even though it fits 44s. My as yet to be realized dream bike falls into the monster cross category. Fit up to 52 tires, some (or lots of ) slope to the top tube, disc mounts, but handles like my QB.
 

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What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
 

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Gone riding
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I’ve never really been exposed to the whole ‘cross scene, in fact there is no “scene” so to speak of here, but the whole monster 'cross bike idea has really hit a chord with me of late... For some reason the whole idea really appeals to me.

Fixed? Yeah sure, why not I’m up for a challenge! I would have to start with brakes though I think, and loose them one by one when I gain some confidence – or loose my mind! :D

Keep the pics and comments coming!

Dave.
 

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KaiMana said:
What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
WTB Mutano raptors. Love them.
 

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KaiMana said:
What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
the mythos CX is a great choice in the 700x42. Not a whole loot of knobs but it rolls pretty fast and has some pretty good volume. Another good choice is the panaracer fire cross 45's. Lots of knobs and grips super well.
 

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I ride em mostly because they are lots of fun. I haven't counted lately but I probably own/control 15 or 20 bikes of all kinds and the MC Cross bike set up just like you describe is perhaps the funnest to ride. That bike will always be one of my bestest of the best rides I own. I am up around the 50ish mark on pro bikes in my lifetime. I do ride fixed a lot on the road a lot too, and have been riding 5k miles a year or more since about 1966. What is fun is fun so I stick with it. SS cross racing is about good as life gets in a damn hard way of thinking concept.
 

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Low_Rider said:
I would have to start with brakes though I think, and loose them one by one when I gain some confidence – or loose my mind!
If you lose more than one brake, you've probably lost your mind, at least if you're going to venture into technical territory.
 

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monster cross

Ive been building frames like this for a while and needed something to call them. Customers would ask for a cross bike, but they would want discs and big tire clearance and tougher tubing for more single track. They did not want suspension, most wanted drop bars and somehow it wasn't really a cross bike any more, but it wasn't really a 29er either. Most of the actuall 29ers I make get flat/rise bars, exi wolf clearance and room for a sus fork. Monster cross seemed like the right way to describe it. I think that it is important for these bikes to be at home on the singletrack as much as on the fire roads, so I'm trying do design them as such. The green bike pictured above is sort of just a cross bike but I stuffed some big tires in and it works great. I did get my butt way kicked racing it this weekend though. I need to do some push ups and stretch more. It is amazing how the panaracer 45 rides up front though!
cheers, Wade
 

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Squalor
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KaiMana said:
Will the panaracer 45 fit in a cross check?
More importantly - is the Panaracer 45c (I assume the Smoke) still available for purchase?

I seem to recall them not being made for a long time.

LP
 
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