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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My fiance would like to get into road riding and cyclocross racing. She has never done either. I have been road riding this whole past season but due to low funds we couldn't get her a road bike this past year. We went to our first cross race this past weekend and she fell in love with it. What are your thoughts about buying a cross bike and putting road tires on it for general riding? Will she be able to stay with the road riders or are we better off buying her two bikes for two different purposes?
 
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Put road tires on a CX bike and ride it. If later on she feels an upgrade is in order you can get her a road bike. My two cents.
 

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My fiance would like to get into road riding and cyclocross racing. She has never done either. I have been road riding this whole past season but due to low funds we couldn't get her a road bike this past year. We went to our first cross race this past weekend and she fell in love with it. What are your thoughts about buying a cross bike and putting road tires on it for general riding? Will she be able to stay with the road riders or are we better off buying her two bikes for two different purposes?
I ride my CX bike with slicks in group rides all the time. Until the pace really picks up, I doubt you'll be held back by a CX bike!

For my fast group rides, where the average speed is around 20MPH, and we do cruise at 25mph, that's when a road bike becomes a necessity.
 

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Get her a cyclocross bike and a cheap second wheelset with road tires/cogset on them so you don't have to switch tires around the whole time.
Is a cyclocross bike efficient with road tires? Well, all the Belgian cyclocross professionals do a lot of their road training on their cyclocross bike with road tires on them so that they keep the same position for the long miles.
 

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Get her a cyclocross bike and a cheap second wheelset with road tires/cogset on them so you don't have to switch tires around the whole time.
Is a cyclocross bike efficient with road tires? Well, all the Belgian cyclocross professionals do a lot of their road training on their cyclocross bike with road tires on them so that they keep the same position for the long miles.
What he said. I use my cx bike often in the winter for road riding. I have a second wheelset set up for the road. Takes only a couple of minutes to swap out the wheel set. CX bike geometry is similar to road only slightly less aggressive / aero. Unless she plans on racing or going on fast group rides there won't be a problem.

Cheers
 

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For my fast group rides, where the average speed is around 20MPH, and we do cruise at 25mph, that's when a road bike becomes a necessity.
It's not the road bike that's a necessity, it's the gearing. Something like 36/48 or 50 is more than enough to race CX and do very fast road rides. I've found my 48t ring to be more than adequate for fast group rides, including sustained speeds in the upper twenties/low 30's.
 

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My CX bike works fine as a road bike. I have a second set of wheels with slicks and an 11-28 cassette for a little more gearing range. That gets me up most hills and keeps up with mid level road rides. Any faster I would need a bigger front ring than the current 46. CX bikes are great for winter training because you can get a full coverage fenders on them and the cable routing keeps them cleaner in bad weather.
 

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I've did an entire season of crit racing this past year on a CX bike, and I don't think it held me back any. Gearing wasn't an issue for me, since I'm only allowed to have 45x12 and my CX bike has 46x11! :p
 

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I had my best cross season when I broke my road bike and trained only on my cross bike. I used a 42t single ring with a 12-25. I was able to keep up in fast group rides up to about 30mph then it became too spiny. Nevertheless, it was great training. I say go for it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for all the input guys/gals. I appreciate it.
 

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For my fast group rides, where the average speed is around 20MPH, and we do cruise at 25mph, that's when a road bike becomes a necessity.
Even at those speeds, a cross bike will be fine.

46x11 @ 100rpm on 700x23s is over 30mph. So, unless your group ride is on a mountain, with a long descent, gearing won't be a problem.

Geometry-wise, cross bikes are fine for the road. They steer a bit slower than road race bikes due to increased trail and longer chain-stays, but they'll still handle quicker than an old steel touring bike.
 

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I ordered some cheap Nashbar slicks and tubes to throw on my Nashbar steel CX bike to ride in a metric century I will be doing come November, don't think I should have any problem.
 

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Even at those speeds, a cross bike will be fine.

46x11 @ 100rpm on 700x23s is over 30mph. So, unless your group ride is on a mountain, with a long descent, gearing won't be a problem.

Geometry-wise, cross bikes are fine for the road. They steer a bit slower than road race bikes due to increased trail and longer chain-stays, but they'll still handle quicker than an old steel touring bike.
At 25MPH, I really start the appreciate the however minute aero advantages (carbon wheels), rolling resistence, and stiffness offered by a high end road setup.
 

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At 25MPH, I really start the appreciate the however minute aero advantages (carbon wheels), rolling resistence, and stiffness offered by a high end road setup.
Devils advocate here:

Wheels would be identical on the road vs CX bike. Rolling resistance would thus be the same. Stiffness is frame dependent, but usually matters a whole lot more when in a full out sprint (IMO). In a pace line, stiffness isn't THAT important. Plus many CX bikes are plenty stiff. Heck, my MTB with long chainstays is an efficient stiff ride.
 

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Devils advocate here:

Wheels would be identical on the road vs CX bike. Rolling resistance would thus be the same. Stiffness is frame dependent, but usually matters a whole lot more when in a full out sprint (IMO). In a pace line, stiffness isn't THAT important. Plus many CX bikes are plenty stiff. Heck, my MTB with long chainstays is an efficient stiff ride.
Between my road bike and the CX bike, I have a significantly better wheelset, and the road frameset is a bit more aero. Anyhow, for a fast group ride, the full road setup is the one I choose.
 

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I'd say the cx bike will be good to go for the road, but consider splurging on good brakes, like avid ultimates, or throw some mini-vs on there. It's amazing to me how many canti's just plain suck, not so bad at cx speeds, but if you have any 40-50 mph dh on the road in your area, it can be sketch. I put some avid ultimates on the rear and a v up front, and it made a huge difference from my froglegs.
Also, if you are doing a one-bike-for-all, check for a cx bike with more road bike geometry (lower BB). I love my Ridley cx and ride it almost exclusively road and cx for half a year, but that super tall BB makes high speed turns feel kinda scary. However, that high BB works awesome for super tight turns in cx races.
 

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My Norco CCX2 has become my go-to road bike, it's been a bombproof commuter for thousands of miles with Armadillo tires. It's only real disadvantage is a lack of a good granny gear for serious climbs so you've got to stand on it because it's two rings up front.
 

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I ordered some cheap Nashbar slicks and tubes to throw on my Nashbar steel CX bike to ride in a metric century I will be doing come November, don't think I should have any problem.
Just wanted to update that with cheap slicks at 90psi I feel like this bike just wants to GO when I am on the road. I also managed to knock a couple minutes off of my paved training loop I ride without even really trying. I am definitely happy with road tires on my CX bike... now I just want a new wheel set! (But I am always wanting new stuff)
 
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