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let's do that again...
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Adding a new bike to the stable.
I have a Blur squishy, a Explosif SS, a Kestrel road bike, a Santana tandem and a unicycle. Don't want to talk about the horse. The road bike is the one screaming for the upgrade. I was trying to figure out what to get as a replacement and came across this (no pun intended).



Thought it would be nice to ride it to the trails and then do some light singletrack. Anyone ride a cross bike? How is the handling different from a road bike or for that matter a mountain bike? Also was hoping the geometry would be kind to my old aching back. If not a Cross it will prolly be a carbon road bike like Scott, Orbea or specialized. What to do?
 

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Not because I'm fast.....
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I ride one

I ride one, but I really prefer the ride of steel when the going gets rough. Cross bikes are great for the type of riding you described and are a blast on smooth singletrack. Cross bikes tend to be a bit more stable and less twitchy than a road bike, but a little less stable and more twitchy than a mountain bike. In other words good at everything, but not great at anything. However, as many before me have said, if I could only have one bike, it would be my cross bike.
 

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CX bikes are totally fun, whether you're going to compete or not. There are a couple schools of thought regarding geometry. The two biggest & most popular theories are that good cross geometry is:

1. Road race geometry with a little more height to the bars.
2. Road race geometry.

There are reasons for each, but in the end it comes down to some people just like one better than the other. There are a few mfg's that try to reinvent cross bike geometry once in a while, with shorter tt's higher bbs & whatnot. This is cool if it happens to fit your proportions better, but usually people just write this off as silly and stick with their lean mean road geometry. So ride a bunch, and see what you like.

They are totally fun to ride on technical, rocky singletrack, because you can see around your skinny knobby tires and very precisely thread the needle between rocks & whatnot. The risk is higher, cause the bike is more fragile than an mtb, so you automatically become very light and smooth on the bike, feathering your way through sections a lot more gracefully. It's just kind of surreal to be on such a light, maneuverable bike in the middle of harsh terrain. Plus, people react in strange and interesting ways when they're on 5-6" travel bikes looking at the best line to take through a rock garden, and you come shooting through it on what they're sure was a road bike... good fun.
 

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Steamroller
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Those Bianchi cross bikes are nice

Or......... you could get one of these, it's the 2006 Poprad disc. I've had mine since the day before Thanksgiving and I love it. I've taken it on road rides and my local 10 mile MTB loop it shines at both. If I was to use it regularly for road and dirt I'd want a second wheelset with road tires. The disc brakes stop on a dime and the carbon switchblade fork soaks up a lot of the vibration on the trail. The disc version has the 10 speed 105 drive train. Of course the frame is steel (OX Platinum) IMHO the only sensible material for a cross bike. It may be hard to lay your hands on one, they sell faster than they are being made but, it will be well worth the wait.
 

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I've ridden my CX bike off road many times and for non-technical fast trails it's perfect. The bottom brackets on the Bianchi Cross Concepts are pretty low so you need to take care not to bang your crankarms on rocks. It also handles fast compared to a MTB due to the narrow road type bars but it's not road fast. Mine has Salsa Bell Laps that flare at the drops but you're still riding a 44cm bar when you're on the hoods.

Geometry as already mentioned is pretty close to a road bike but you'll run the bars higher on this by probably an inch than your road bike and shorten the reach by maybe 1-1.5 cm with the stem (I'd recommend the same size frame you ride road on but that's just me).

CXers are some of the most versatile bikes made when you get down to it. Mine is currently shod with studded Nokians and I'll be heading out for a 3 hour road & city trail ride later this morning in 3 degree temps.
 

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Mtbr Founder
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Yes, you have to get the cross bike to complete the circle.

Before I got one, my big hang-up with it was 'Where do I ride it? I don't see any cross riders on any of the good trails.' What I found is you don't necessarily need to take a cross bike to the fun, technical trails. The boring trails are fine. Particularly, all the trails within a 20 mile radius from your doorstep are fair game.

So that's the key I think. Ride from your house and connect all the roads and trails that you explore. Fireroads are fun again.

It's not so easy to join friends in mtb rides. They are much slower on the road or fireroad and you will be much slower on the technical descents

And like everyone says, if you get into cross racing, that's where it's at.

A great cross bike makes a good road bike btw. It's good to have a second wheelset if you want to use it on the road often.

The differences between a cross bike and a road bike are:
- drivetrain has lower gears, brakes allow more clearance
- bottom bracket is higher
- geometry is a sometimes quicker
- top tube is usually shorter (1cm shorter handlebar to seat is a good starting point)
- handlebar height is higher.


Here is my cross toy. On the road bike, it is better than most road bikes I've owned. Cranks are too big but I'm getting one of those new Shimano compact cranks.

francois
 

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let's do that again...
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They are totally fun to ride on technical, rocky singletrack, because you can see around your skinny knobby tires and very precisely thread the needle between rocks & whatnot. The risk is higher, cause the bike is more fragile than an mtb, so you automatically become very light and smooth on the bike, feathering your way through sections a lot more gracefully. It's just kind of surreal to be on such a light, maneuverable bike in the middle of harsh terrain. Plus, people react in strange and interesting ways when they're on 5-6" travel bikes looking at the best line to take through a rock garden, and you come shooting through it on what they're sure was a road bike... good fun.[/QUOTE]

That does sounds like fun. thanks for the reply.
 

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let's do that again...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Mattman said:
Or......... you could get one of these, it's the 2006 Poprad disc. I've had mine since the day before Thanksgiving and I love it. I've taken it on road rides and my local 10 mile MTB loop it shines at both. If I was to use it regularly for road and dirt I'd want a second wheelset with road tires.The disc brakes stop on a dime and the carbon switchblade fork soaks up a lot of the vibration on the trail. The disc version has the 10 speed 105 drive train. Of course the frame is steel (OX Platinum) IMHO the only sensible material for a cross bike. It may be hard to lay your hands on one, they sell faster than they are being made but, it will be well worth the wait.
That thing is sweet. My LBS carries LeMond, have to check it out. Thanks
 

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let's do that again...
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PMC said:
I've ridden my CX bike off road many times and for non-technical fast trails it's perfect. The bottom brackets on the Bianchi Cross Concepts are pretty low so you need to take care not to bang your crankarms on rocks. It also handles fast compared to a MTB due to the narrow road type bars but it's not road fast. Mine has Salsa Bell Laps that flare at the drops but you're still riding a 44cm bar when you're on the hoods.

Geometry as already mentioned is pretty close to a road bike but you'll run the bars higher on this by probably an inch than your road bike and shorten the reach by maybe 1-1.5 cm with the stem (I'd recommend the same size frame you ride road on but that's just me).

Sounds friendly to the lower back. The problem im having in regard to frame size is at 6' 2" the LBS does not carry my size. Dont like the idea of no test ride.

CXers are some of the most versatile bikes made when you get down to it. Mine is currently shod with studded Nokians and I'll be heading out for a 3 hour road & city trail ride later this morning in 3 degree temps.
3 degree temps! Brrrrr. Have a great ride.
 

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No Justice = No Peace
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I'm another one

Th road scene around the Bay Area is so disgusting to me I had to quit riding asphalt all together for a while, but I scored this bike a years or so back adn have rediscovered it some. I ride a set od Dura-Ace/Open Pro CX wheels with straight spokes and wide rubber off road with a 12-32 cassette and I have a set of Kysyrium elite wheels with an 11-27 for the road riding. If I had a triple crank, I would ride both wheel sets with the same cassette, but it works as is, and I had all the drivetrain parts in the garage.... Here she is in all her Nivacrom Steel glory.
 

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Horses and Bikes, Oh My!
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I'm probably the only one that will ask this, but what kind of horse do you have? I ride (see my nickname :) )

As for a cross bike if you want something reasonably priced that you can ride right out of the box, check out a Redline. I've been racing on and beating on my aluminum Redline Conquest Pro for 3 years. It's seen it's share of battle scars and hasn't blinked. Even at 48 cms, she is a bit too big and will likely be replaced with a custom Ti Dean CX bike for next season.
 

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I ride an 03 poprad. One of the best investments I have made since I started riding. Handles the trail very well. And gives a nice smooth ride on the road. Steel is the best ride IMHO. The CX bike puts mucho smiles on my face when I ride it. Just need to geta spare set of road wheels. I ride open pros on ultegra hubs. You cannot go worng with a CX bike for road rides and commuting.

Good Luck

:)
 

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let's do that again...
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Sadlebred said:
I'm probably the only one that will ask this, but what kind of horse do you have? I ride (see my nickname :) ).
5 year old quarter horse bought for my wife that somehow became mine. He was to much for my wife. She just got a 16 YO Icelandic that is perfect for her. She needed something to get her out of the house. The horse thing is new to me and I'm having fun with it. Just don't ever make me chose between horse's and bikes. :)
 

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I live to bike
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I have an '05 Fuji Cross Pro. I mainly use it as a road bike, but it is a blast to ride on the trails as well. Even raced it in a couple local mtb races during the summer. I wanted a road bike, but I went with a cross bike because I figured I would like its geometry more since I had only ever ridden mt bikes before (71 degree head angle as opposed to 73-74 for most road bikes). I hadn't really planned at first to even use it on trails, but found that it was quite fun. And going uphill is a whole lot easier that on my pig of a mtb.
 
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