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My 16 year old commuter has had it. I'd like to get a CX bike to over the job of getting me to work and back home. I'm lucky enough to have some trails to hit on the way home so a CX bike would be perfect.

My question is do I buy a bike with the same frame size as my road bike or do I go smaller?

I'm looking at a Scott CX Comp.

Thanks in advance.
 

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I would say you should ignore stated frame sizes and look for a bike with an effective top tube slightly shorter than your road bike, presuming your road bike is good fit.

This article is a starting point: http://www.cycle-smart.com/coaching/articles/crossbike1.html

Also keep in mind that a pure-bred cross bike probably won't have the smooth ride and relaxed handling desirable in a commuter. Disk brakes are another thing to think about.
 

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don't try this at home
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best thing is to straddle a couple. i bought my first cx bike the same size as my road and it was way too tall. often times a dedicated cx bike has a higher bb height, thus raising the overall standover height.
 

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just another bleepin SSer
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Being that it sounds like you aren't planning to use it for cross racing, not sure a cross bike sizing (or even the bike in the first place) would be the right way to go. Maybe consider a commuter bike (Surly Long Haul Trucker or the like - then switch to cross tires with some tread). Or a hard tail mountain bike.

Downside of a cross bike for commuting:
- rather stiff ride
- brakes generally suck (though can be switched to mini-Vs or V-s pretty easily). Disks are not allowed in national cross racing, so most cross bikes do not come with the ability to be added (no tabs).
- gearing is too high. In cross racing, if it gets too steep, you get off and run (where a commuter would want to downshift and spin).

This all said, I use a Giant cross bike for commuting and trail rides. Upgraded the brakes, but beyond that it is stock.
 

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The general rule is

Good choice, cross bikes are great! The general rule has/is pick a frame one size smaller than your road bike size. What you're looking for is @ 2" clearance to your inseam in cycling shoes. The theory being, the extra clearance is good for protecting the sensitive bits over rough terrain, mounting and dismounting, and the likely extra seatpost extension making it easier to shoulder the bike too. With the current trend toward sloping top tubes, crotch clearance isn't quite the factor that it is w/traditional CX frames, so look for a compatible top tube length, probably slightly shorter than your road bike's.
If you're only going to race the bike casually, and mostly as a commuter, have a look at the Salsa "La Cruz" - it's a great package and the disc brakes are really nice. For racing CX seriously, have a look at VeloNews online this morning, and that'll give you some idea what's competitive - provided you've got the "horsepower".
Hope that helps, and you'll love that CX bike, they're really addictive.
 
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