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  1. #1
    RPG
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    What is the advantage of a monstercross bike over a cx bike???

    I was looking into getting a Kona Jake the Snake, but see all of these monstercross bikes and want to know if I should be looking into them. I'm new to CX, coming from a XC/DH background. Also, I saw a masi monstercross ss. Should I be looking into ss, or should I get into it first with gears?

    I was also torn between a 29'er and a CX, and was thinking of building up a real light 29'er and using it for local CX events. Does that mean I should look closer into a Monstercross bike??? I'm getting confused. Thanks for any help

  2. #2
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    It's hard to find a purposed built "monstercross" bike, since that category is somewhat open to definition. But the main thing to look for is tire clearance: it's nice to be able to run a 45mm or so tire (a bit under 2"). Many normal cyclocross bikes max out at 38mm or so.

    Gears or SS depends on where you live and your fitness. Around here in flat Central Ohio, SS if dandy.

    Check out the Surly Crosscheck--it's a smart design that's very capable.

  3. #3
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    The Specialized Tricross has unreal clearance.

    I have seen a 700x45 Panaracer Fire Cross in the rear and a Bonty 2.1 in the front.

  4. #4
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    I ride both.

    Biggest differences are geometry and tires. And remember, 'cross bikes are for 'cross racing, usually. Unless you go with a do-it-all'er like the Pake C'Mute (what I have), a Surly Cross Check, or something of that nature. If you're curious, I have a review of my Pake C'Mute here: http://www.dionridesbikes.com/2010/1...ute-do-it.html

    In this review, I cover it all from trail riding, a road centuries and racing - all on the same bike. A lot of do-it-all'er frames are coming with disc mounts, which I think is cool. But I'm starting to wonder how much braking you need with these types of bikes.

    If you're building a Monster Cross bike on a 29'er platform, you have to remember that it is a mountain bike through and through. So, for road riding, it's going to be a bit slower geometry wise, but totally kick ass on the trail. And, a true cyclocross bike has race geometry, so it will feel somewhat twitchier on the trails, somewhat uncomfortable on long rides, is fast on the roads and will climb fire roads with ease.

    I have ridden my CX bike on black diamond type trails, and with tubeless 35c tires, it did fine.

    If you're coming from a DH background, you will have to get used to slowing it down on the descends if you're on a CX bike.

  5. #5
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    Monstercross is just a new marketing term to sell another generation of mountain bikers on riding drop bar mountain bikes. That its being done on 29ers instead of 26ers for the most part this time around doesn't change the fact its all been done before. John Tomac and Jacquie Phelan both raced and won with drop bars in the 1980s/90s.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPG
    I was looking into getting a Kona Jake the Snake, but see all of these monstercross bikes and want to know if I should be looking into them. I'm new to CX, coming from a XC/DH background. Also, I saw a masi monstercross ss. Should I be looking into ss, or should I get into it first with gears?

    I was also torn between a 29'er and a CX, and was thinking of building up a real light 29'er and using it for local CX events. Does that mean I should look closer into a Monstercross bike??? I'm getting confused. Thanks for any help
    It's much cheaper to build a low weight CX bike then a low weight 29er.

    Main reason for monstercross... versatility.

    I have a set of RK 2.2 on my Fisti now but can throw on some 28c tires and do a nice road ride (mountain gearing though). I can also throw on some 38c and do some mixed riding with fenders, rack, and anything else I want. I'm putting bags on mine now nothing like CDW but I do not want the racks so I can take it on singletrack with ease.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    It's hard to find a purposed built "monstercross" bike, since that category is somewhat open to definition.
    Agreed, not many like this one. It has cross bike geometry, with clearance for up to a 2.3 tire and a taller head tube. Otherwise it is a CX bike (Paul Sadoff makes some incredible cross bikes). It can run canti brakes (see hanger in rear), but I run with V-brakes.

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/gKG5YXhGtF4cTNWG-abWHQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/S-nqh2MTGFI/AAAAAAAAHhc/RTNXhTVacbI/s800/P5111372.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/AxxOZG5b3i4_eil7-AuX_w?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh6.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/S-nqeo227WI/AAAAAAAAHhQ/ZMXDFT_WibI/s800/P5111369.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>

    <a href="http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/w-e0WnYzybRJsfTlZNr5gQ?feat=embedwebsite"><img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_rrYqLPGLdY4/S-nqN0UOrEI/AAAAAAAAHgQ/BEZwAYSuIC0/s800/P5111354.JPG" height="600" width="800" /></a>

    Obviously the bigger tires offer more cush in rougher trails, and the taller head tube keeps your hands higher for more control on the steep descents. That is a disadvantage on the road, but I am fine with that. This is the most versatile bike I have ever owned, in 43 years of road riding / racing / touring and 32 years of mountain biking.

    This gets lots of road miles too.

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus
    It has cross bike geometry
    Hopefully this isn't shifting too abruptly off topic, but I've always been curious how cross bike geometry effectively differs from mtb. Please excuse my ignorance because I don't ride or know much about road and cross bikes yet

    I just finished building up a bike for some gravel road adventures, smoother trail riding and other assorted fun with a rigid fork and cross tires, but I used an MTB frame and fork as that's what I had parts for in my bin. My bike has fairly traditional 29er geo #s (72deg HA, 73deg SA, 62mm bb drop, 45mm fork rake, 455mm CS) and other than my stays being about an inch longer than most cx bikes those #s seem quite close to some of the cx bikes I've looked up.

    Is it not steering geo #s but body position that makes up most of the difference between a cx and a traditional 29er mtb? The shorter ETT to fit drop bars with a normal length stem puts the rider more over the front wheel and the traditional drop bar position puts the rider in a aggressive position if they use the drops. Or am I on the wrong track with that one?

  9. #9
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    That's just it, actual 700x32/35C tire cross bike geometry really doesn't differ from mtb, at least not compared to 29er hardtails by more than a pitance (maybe 8-10mm difference in BB drop, frame angles MIGHT be different by half a degree, wheelbase is generally 4cm shorter but the cockpit distance is the same thanks to the drop bars extended reach). The ETT is shorter because you didn't need to clear your toes with huge tires (700x35s are an about 1.5" smaller in diameter) and a "normal" length stem as you put it is merely normal for road bikes and 26er frame mountain bikes. Most 29ers have really short stems to compensate for the longer ETTs of the frames. If you put an even shorter (think DH bike length) on a regular 29er, it'd put the drop bar reach position in about the correct spot.
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  10. #10
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    "Monstercross" is a catchy term. It makes one stop and ask, "whuh?" There's definitely some marketing to it, but in reality it's a fun, different way to ride a bike. Some have been doing it for years. I have a Surly Cross Check set up SS with Bell Lap bars and Panaracer Fire Cross (45c) tires. It's a whole lot of fun. On my rocky, rooty east coast (SE PA) trails, it's a challenge to keep up at times, but other times I am much faster than the group.

    It's kind of like riding at night, or riding SS, or riding rigid, or the road...it's another option to mix things up.

    I say you give it a go. As others said, it's an incredibly versatile style of bike. Jack of all trades, master of none...unless you consider monstercross its own trade.

    Oh, it's fun to get "the look" on the trails too. Some people still can't fathom someone riding drop bars/rigid/SS on the trails that they NEED their 6" FS bike for. Variety is the spice of life!

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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Monstercross is just a new marketing term to sell another generation of mountain bikers on riding drop bar mountain bikes. That its being done on 29ers instead of 26ers for the most part this time around doesn't change the fact its all been done before. John Tomac and Jacquie Phelan both raced and won with drop bars in the 1980s/90s.
    Is it really a marketing term, because I dont see anyone selling that brand or name? I see folks buying 29ers and converting them, because they make one of hell of a versatile machine, Mountain, CX or touring/road, depending on tire selection.

  12. #12
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    Vassago is really the only one I have seen who actually markets it.

    Jack of all trades, master of none. Like all things Vassago, (except maybe our beer glasses) the Fisticuff is not for everybody.

    Think of it as a ‘cross-inspired bike with a bit of a ‘roid problem. In this case, that's a very good thing. We beefed up the frame and fork in all the same places where a 29er trail bike experiences torsional forces. The result is a 'cross style bike that responds like a mountain bike in the rough stuff.

    More than simply adding tire clearance to a 'cross frame, the Fisticuff fits the monstercross nomenclature by way of its trail-bike tube set, drop bar geometry, straight blade fork and all around badassness. Yes, it is a word.

    So build it up to fit your needs. 650b or 700c wheels. singlespeed, fixed, geared, skinny tires, fat tires, disc, V-brakes, cantis, drop bars, flat bars... Whatever toots your whistle.

    Whether you're looking for a drop-bar trail bike, a burly commuter, or a touring rig, the Fisticuff is your huckleberry.
    So maybe that's what the term means, is a trail ready bike, I don't know if the tubing is a good thing my bike weighs 27lbs.
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  13. #13
    M_S
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    Just curious, does this qualify as a monstercross bike? I know it doesn't have drop bars or 700c wheels, but it's a great all-rounder for my purposes. I've used it on rough trails, rail trails, gravel roads, winter road rides, even a hilly road metric century. The flat bar with nice Cane Creek bar ends is far more comfy for me and my creaky back than any drop or alt bar. Best of all, a friend gave me the frame, and most of the parts are from my leftover parts bin. Weighs about 23 lbs with pedals.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails What is the advantage of a monstercross bike over a cx bike???-sworks.jpg  


  15. #15
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    No.

    If you go back 20 years, this is what a mountain bike looked like. And that's what it still is.

    Quote Originally Posted by bde1024
    Just curious, does this qualify as a monstercross bike? I know it doesn't have drop bars or 700c wheels, but it's a great all-rounder for my purposes. I've used it on rough trails, rail trails, gravel roads, winter road rides, even a hilly road metric century. The flat bar with nice Cane Creek bar ends is far more comfy for me and my creaky back than any drop or alt bar. Best of all, a friend gave me the frame, and most of the parts are from my leftover parts bin. Weighs about 23 lbs with pedals.

  16. #16
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    A couple of key geometry points:

    - CX bikes typically have a 72 degree HA with 45mm rake in the fork, giving 66m of trail with a 35mm tire, vs. a 72 degree HA 29er with 38mm rake and a 2.1" tire giving about 82mm of trail (or 74mm with a comparable 35mm tire). Upshot is that the CX bike will steer quicker.

    - CX bikes have shorter chainstays, 425+ mm, vs. ~450 for a typical 29er. This may make the bike feel a bit quicker as well.


    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    Hopefully this isn't shifting too abruptly off topic, but I've always been curious how cross bike geometry effectively differs from mtb. Please excuse my ignorance because I don't ride or know much about road and cross bikes yet

    (snip)

    Is it not steering geo #s but body position that makes up most of the difference between a cx and a traditional 29er mtb? The shorter ETT to fit drop bars with a normal length stem puts the rider more over the front wheel and the traditional drop bar position puts the rider in a aggressive position if they use the drops. Or am I on the wrong track with that one?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    - CX bikes typically have a 72 degree HA with 45mm rake in the fork, giving 66m of trail with a 35mm tire, vs. a 72 degree HA 29er with 38mm rake and a 2.1" tire giving about 82mm of trail (or 74mm with a comparable 35mm tire). Upshot is that the CX bike will steer quicker.
    38mm offset was the old standard for susp forks, but most 29er rigid forks have ~45mm rake just like a cross fork

    That was actually what made me curious in the first place, since my 29er frame and fork have the same basic steering geometry up front as a cross bike and I'll be running cross tires as well. The purists say monstercross refers to cross bikes running tires larger than standard for UCI cross but smaller than common mtb tires. But if the geo is really so similar, then putting cross tires on a 29er could get you almost the same exact thing minus the look of the frame and the shorter ETT for dropbars, in which case does it make sense to define pure monstercross in that way?

    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    - CX bikes have shorter chainstays, 425+ mm, vs. ~450 for a typical 29er. This may make the bike feel a bit quicker as well.
    Yep, already noted. I wish my frame had shorter stays like that and for that reason, but I can at least be thankful for the ability to run larger tires because of the longer stays.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Monstercross is just a new marketing term to sell another generation of mountain bikers on riding drop bar mountain bikes. That its being done on 29ers instead of 26ers for the most part this time around doesn't change the fact its all been done before. John Tomac and Jacquie Phelan both raced and won with drop bars in the 1980s/90s.
    Actually you're wrong there. Monstercross was actually a term the owner of Vulture used to describer Matt Chester's bikes he was designing for dirt drops with room for up to a 45c tire (such as the Panaracer FireCross 45c and there was a 42c WTB tire as well at the time). That was about 8 years ago or so (2001-2002).

    Monstercross is not the same as what John Tomac was doing or Jaquie Phelan. And even then, Tomac and Phelan were sporting two different setup styles. Tomac set his up as a replica of his road bike position while he was on the 7-11 tea (common practice, I know Danny Pate did this with his Singlespeed locally). Phelan's logic was more akin to what we have now, but still I'd lean more towards agreeing with you that what she did was nothing more than a drop bar mountain bike.

    Monstercross is about versatility, light weight, and a bit more to be exactly what it's namesake alludes too.....it's a cross bike that's gotten beefed up a hair. It's not a mountain bike. Tires are anywhere between a 38c-45c by original definition. Or up to 1.9". I'd argue for a push to make 35c part of that now that it's been shunned by the UCI for Cyclocross racing. Monster Cross bikes also typically use Dirt Drops (and advisably) instead of standard drops. Last, gearing is typically more along the lines of a cross bike in both geared and singlespeed applications.

    Riding wise it's typically used for a mix of road/gravel/trail use. Gravel road racing it's a favorite. i personally take mine on a lot of the same stuff I take my Ragley Mmmbop 26" that has a 150mm fork and 2.4 tires.....but often walk the really rough stuff

    I personally run an On One Midge bar and Panaracers. I've got it geared so I can ride a lot of "boring trails" as well as run around town. It's the do everything bike. Still have a cross bike, a road bike, and a mtb. And i will say this, done right...it's really a perfect fun little bike.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    Vassago is really the only one I have seen who actually markets it.

    I can't tell you who yet, but I can tell you that there are 3-4 production frames and at least 2 complete bikes that will be offered this summer with rumors of a few being announced at Interbike come Fall.

    Back in college we built similar bikes (1.9 Smokes back then) with standard drops and bar end shifters (or thumbies on the tops) back in the early 90s for riding gravel roads, doubletrack between said roads on farms, and then on the singletrack in town. This was pre-cross bikes even being really big. Big gears for us then (46 to 48t fronts with 11t's in back). But we fell for v-brakes and well we just ditched them. Kinda neat to see them become a "genre" of bikes now. Wish I thought of the name and trademarked it
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by riiz
    Is it really a marketing term, because I dont see anyone selling that brand or name? I see folks buying 29ers and converting them, because they make one of hell of a versatile machine, Mountain, CX or touring/road, depending on tire selection.
    It it, same as describing a bike as a freeride bike, or an all-mountain bike, or (insert latest industry catchphrase here).... hell HYBRIDS were originally an effort at making a mountain cross bike. Remember when they came out in the early 90s, they were trying to offer bikes to suit a type of racer (like tomac and phelan) who liked riding drop bars and/or 700C wheeled bikes off-road. That's why we ended up with bikes like the GT Tachyon and its unique 700D wheelsize (which is 3mm difference in diameter from 650B) with a version of the smoke tire made by Panaracer in a 2" width. It had drop bars and suntour's command wishbone shifters next to the brake hoods.
    Last edited by DeeEight; 01-10-2011 at 06:31 PM.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    It it, same as describing a bike as a freeride bike, or an all-mountain bike, or (insert latest industry catchphrase here)....
    Maybe it's just a battle of semantics, but "marketing term" implies it's being pushed by companies trying to sell their bikes and has bad connotations of corporations are just trying to trick us with words.

    Humans categorize things. Its helps us compare and contrast, it helps us make valid assumptions, etc. From what I understand, all the "industries catchphrases" you mentioned are categorizations invented by riders. Eliminate those terms that you don't seem to like and new ones will pop up in their place, not because of marketing but because we're human, and especially since they validly describe bikes with similar qualities. We have terms to categorize just about everything in life

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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    - CX bikes have shorter chainstays, 425+ mm, vs. ~450 for a typical 29er. This may make the bike feel a bit quicker as well.
    And then again it may not. People like to imagine that chainstay length effects steering despite there being no way that it can.

  23. #23
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    But when the fork offset changed, most manufacturers slacked out the front end to 70~71degrees. The result should be similar handling to the old bikes, but better toe clearance. I think the trail will remain pretty constant.


    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    38mm offset was the old standard for susp forks, but most 29er rigid forks have ~45mm rake just like a cross fork

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by M_S
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    beer + cigarettes too + prop 19....and big bags to hold your beer w/ice

    .......tire clearance + road vs trail capability

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    It it, same as describing a bike as a freeride bike, or an all-mountain bike, or (insert latest industry catchphrase here).... hell HYBRIDS were originally an effort at making a mountain cross bike. Remember when they came out in the early 90s, they were trying to offer bikes to suit a type of racer (like tomac and phelan) who liked riding drop bars and/or 700C wheeled bikes off-road. That's why we ended up with bikes like the GT Tachyon and its unique 700D wheelsize (which is 3mm difference in diameter from 650B) with a version of the smoke tire made by Panaracer in a 2" width. It had drop bars and suntour's command wishbone shifters next to the brake hoods.
    Please see previous post in response to what you are saying here. I can see how you'd see it this way, but your actually off by a bit. Also Panaracer never made a 2" verison of the smoke, it was a 1.9....and a skinny 1.9 at that. I know, i have a brand new pair sitting next to me

    Also I'll restate and be clear here....Tomac didn't "like" riding bikes off road but it was required at the time to run drops to keep as close to his position on the road as possible off. Danny Pate, this local guy I know who road in that "Tour de France" thing spends a bit of time riding a 29er with drops set as such for that very reason.

    Phelan's bikes were nothing like the GT Tachyon (which I'll agree, 700D was stupid) but more a pre-cursor to "monstercross".

    Last, someone else nailed it on the head....you can't call "monstercross" a marketing term when it's not being marketed. It does have a very grassroots beginning Matt Chester is to be credited for the concept and the owner of Vulture for them name. Neither are "making a killing" off this new "marketing catch phrase". Hell I heard Matt Chester doesn't own a car....and look at his blog and find his personal bike, it's a bastard. hardly raking it in off this new "marketing term".
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    But when the fork offset changed, most manufacturers slacked out the front end to 70~71degrees. The result should be similar handling to the old bikes, but better toe clearance. I think the trail will remain pretty constant.
    Sorry, I under-specified my point there. From what I know, the 38mm standard only ever applied to susp forks because it was carried over from susp forks for 26" wheels. Rigid 29ers forks on the other hand have always had 45mm offset. There are still plenty of 72deg HA frames too, for hardtails still at least.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    Actually you're wrong there. Monstercross was actually a term the owner of Vulture used to describer Matt Chester's bikes he was designing for dirt drops with room for up to a 45c tire (such as the Panaracer FireCross 45c and there was a 42c WTB tire as well at the time). That was about 8 years ago or so (2001-2002).
    Well that may be the origin of the term but its definitely NOT the origin of the type of bike. Bruce Gordon's Rock & Road framesets back in the mid-90s could clear the widest 28" touring/cross tires available then and ran drop bars, bar-end shifters, canti-brakes, and had suspension stems and seatposts for extra cushion. When hybrids were first put out in the early 90s.. they were for all intents and purposes, 700C wheeled mountain bikes and the tires available for them were definitely in the 41-45c width ranges. The specialized crossroads I rebuilt for my ex-gf came stock with 700x41 tires. Then there was that GT Tachyon I already mentioned... one sec I'll find a picture of them... we've got a few guys on mtbr who have them. They counted as part of the mountain bike lineup btw in the GT catalog.

    <img src="http://forums.mtbr.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=415872&stc=1&d=1229134 696">

    Ok that one has Pacenti NeoMoto 650Bx2.35s in place of the stock 700D tires (650B's bead seat is 3mm smaller diameter than 700D, so its quite possible to fit 650B tires to 700D rims, they're just a bit snug to get on) so that's definitely showing the clearance of the frame.

    Here's one with the ORIGINAL wheels and tires...gee definitely looks like a monster cross to me.

    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3214/3147933047_e9a9cd0bfa_b.jpg">
    <img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3208/3148767268_3587e57dae_b.jpg">

    They also had the Quatrefoil 700D tandem which fell under the cross-terrain section of the catalog (what hybrids were largely known as at the time). There was also a model called the Continuum in the cross-terrain lineup, which was really what most of us would consider a hybrid today, because it had a flat bar and more upright riding position than the Tachyon did.

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v465/kmh1596/Bikes/IMG_0754.jpg">

    If you read the early 700C mtb/performance hybrids thread in the vintage forum (5+ pages of it) you'll find lots of photos of bikes that'd fit the monstercross concept today.

    "Performance" Hybrids/Early 700c MTB's

    Somewhere in my magazine stacks I have one of the Bruce Gordons as it was reviewed in Mountain Bike magazine. If I find it, I'll post up the pics of the bike.
    Last edited by DeeEight; 01-12-2011 at 10:47 AM.
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    [QUOTE=boomn]. Rigid 29ers forks on the other hand have always had 45mm offset.

    I'll have to disagree with that. I have three ridged forks built between 2000 and 2004 and all have a 38mm offset. Hunter, Kelly and Vanilla.
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  29. #29
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    [QUOTE=jeff]
    Quote Originally Posted by boomn
    . Rigid 29ers forks on the other hand have always had 45mm offset.

    I'll have to disagree with that. I have three ridged forks built between 2000 and 2004 and all have a 38mm offset. Hunter, Kelly and Vanilla.
    I've been wrong before, and I certainly haven't been around as long as most of you so I'm not surprised to be wrong again. Aren't those all custom builders though? I guess I was referring to the Surly's, Salsa's, and such

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    I don't love trying to find a definition for monstercross. I don't mean to romanticize it and I certainly don't want to sell the general idea short. I view "monstercross" as the bikes that do everything- commute, fireroads, tour and singletrack. The bike does a lot of things well, nothing great. Mine commutes and tours well enough, does fireroads best and is fine on singletrack. The toe overlap pisses me off, and it is even worse now that I need fenders to manage commuting.

    I run it SS as much as possible, but to crank out commuting one day and long singletrack rides the following means gears. Sad.

    In terms of geometry, I think there is subtle differences (as has been mentioned) in wheelbase, headtube angles and chainstay length, and those really make a difference on the sharper handling of a cross bike. The seat tube angle difference is why riding a cross bike feels like you're on top of the bike, rather than settled in, not to mention changing your weight distribution...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    No.

    If you go back 20 years, this is what a mountain bike looked like. And that's what it still is.
    I know it's a mountain bike, in fact a darn good one that won a lot of races under a guy named Ned and others back in the day. I'm just suggesting that if "monstercross" is defined not by fad or fashion, but by capability of doing lots of different kinds of riding pretty well, this is just as valid an approach as any. The classic "NORBA" race geometry of a frame like this gives reasonable quickness for the road and stability off-road. There are no issues with tire clearance or toe overlap. The 48t big ring with 11t cog gives me enough gear inches, even with the smaller wheels. The ETT is too long to use drop bars, but flat bars with bar ends give me plenty of position options for long rides. Certainly not as "aero" as road drops, but how aero are you anyway with ultra wide alt bars and towering stems?

    I'm not trying to knock anyone else's approach to monstercross, in fact I think it's great that there are so many ideas about how to get the job done. Nor am I anti-29er, I've got a Tallboy and Superfly for mountain biking. Just trying to provoke some thought about the category.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by bde1024
    I know it's a mountain bike, in fact a darn good one that won a lot of races under a guy named Ned and others back in the day.
    I'd like to see more of a road geometry on a "monstercross" regardless of wheelsize. Bridgestone's XO-1 would qualify as a monstercross by my definition, but a monocog with 40mm tires would not. I also don't really care how large of tires are used, just as long as the bike sees long fireroad rides and gets on singletrack from time to time.

    You'll get a disagreement about the definition though. I guess that is the fun....

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I'd like to see more of a road geometry on a "monstercross" regardless of wheelsize. Bridgestone's XO-1 would qualify as a monstercross by my definition, but a monocog with 40mm tires would not. I also don't really care how large of tires are used, just as long as the bike sees long fireroad rides and gets on singletrack from time to time.

    You'll get a disagreement about the definition though. I guess that is the fun....
    If you're talking angles, lots of pure road bikes have 72 degree head angles these days. My S Works hardtail was 71 degrees with a suspension fork, and probably around 71.5 with the Kinesis rigid fork on it now. The seat angle is 73-73.5. So in terms of angles, it's in the range of many modern cyclocrossers and road bikes. I would guess it's better on singletrack than an XO-1 with 73 degree head angle and those funky moustache bars, and just as good on fireroads. By the way, I had a Bridgestone MB-1 and RB-1 at one time.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I'd like to see more of a road geometry on a "monstercross" regardless of wheelsize. Bridgestone's XO-1 would qualify as a monstercross by my definition, but a monocog with 40mm tires would not. I also don't really care how large of tires are used, just as long as the bike sees long fireroad rides and gets on singletrack from time to time.

    You'll get a disagreement about the definition though. I guess that is the fun....
    I'd disagree on XO-1 fitting the definition. It came stock with 26 inch tires and a moustache bar. Cyclocross, which is the root of "monstercross," is noted for having 700c rims and drop bars, neither of which describe an XO-1. Having owned an XO-1, I'd describe it as a mountain bike without a lot of tire clearance.

    To me a mostercross frame (and I'll go on the record as saying that's a dumb word) is a cyclocross bike that was deigned to use 38 to 45mm tires, but not larger. Once a frame accepts a tire larger than that I'd say that it's a 29er with skinny tires. And since frames can have radically different geometry, I don't think that angles define a bike - it's the intent of the frame.

    "Intent" gets a little weird too though. I own a Rivendell Sam Hillborne which easily accepts a 700 x 45mm tire. It rides great on the trails, but a lot of people use it as a road bike, or for touring. I'm not sure if it's a road bike, a "monster cross," or a commuter bike. It rides great whatever it is.

    And here's a new intro to the "monster cross" marketing world: (about 1/2 way down the page)
    http://blackmountaincycles.blogspot....es-frames.html
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    I'd disagree on XO-1 fitting the definition. It came stock with 26 inch tires and a moustache bar. Cyclocross, which is the root of "monstercross," is noted for having 700c rims and drop bars, neither of which describe an XO-1. Having owned an XO-1, I'd describe it as a mountain bike without a lot of tire clearance.
    You drop an XO-1 from the definition because it came stock with mustache bars, but throw out geometry guidelines. Because handlebars can never be changed and people never race cyclocross with something other than drops...

    Anyway, this picture illustrates the point for the XO series. The XO is on the left, an MB on the right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    You drop an XO-1 from the definition because it came stock with mustache bars, but throw out geometry guidelines. Because handlebars can never be changed and people never race cyclocross with something other than drops...

    Anyway, this picture illustrates the point for the XO series. The XO is on the left, an MB on the right.
    I'm not saying that my opinion is correct, only that two of the biggest defining characteristics of a "traditional" cyclocross bike are not met by the XO-1. The mustache bars can certainly be swapped out for drops, but it will still have 26er rims and tires.

    If you show up at a CX race on a full suspension MTB you can race. Some may consider it their "CX bike" but I'd still call it a full suspension mountain bikes with skinny tires.

    All of the different terms that define different types of bikes are open for interpretation. There's no right or wrong answer. What you call a free-ride bike, I'd likely call a downhill bike.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by laffeaux
    I'm not saying that my opinion is correct, only that two of the biggest defining characteristics of a "traditional" cyclocross bike are not met by the XO-1. The mustache bars can certainly be swapped out for drops, but it will still have 26er rims and tires.

    If you show up at a CX race on a full suspension MTB you can race. Some may consider it their "CX bike" but I'd still call it a full suspension mountain bikes with skinny tires.

    All of the different terms that define different types of bikes are open for interpretation. There's no right or wrong answer. What you call a free-ride bike, I'd likely call a downhill bike.
    Right, and the other thing I forgot was that in the early 1900's, as cyclocross got cracking, there wasn't an official wheel size, which is why I think one can toss the XO in there.

    But otherwise we agree on the most important principle- and that is no one is defining monstercross because the parameters are rough and elusive...

  38. #38
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    Back to the OP's original question:

    Advantages of Monster Cross:
    -More cush/traction/stability on rough or soft gravel, logging roads and singletrack

    Disadvantages:
    - Noticeably slower than a CX bike on 'civilized' gravel roads and pavement

    IMO, it really comes down to how rugged are the trails/roads you plan to ride on. A Monster Cross fills the gap between a CX and rigid 29er.
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  39. #39
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    I think a lot of people see what a monstercross bike looks like in their head.

    Rawland Drakkar
    Vassago Fisticuff
    Singular Peregrine

    These are just a few off the top of my head but they all seem to be bikes that use a mountain drop and can fit a limit width of 29er tires (I can sneak a RK 2.2(1.7) in my fisty). Any 29er can take a drop bar of course but they also have what seems unlimited amounts of room for tires (most anyways). If you notice a bike running a 44c tire but has gobs of room it's probably not a monstercross bike.

    Advantages I think is versatility not Vaya versatile but it can take on the singletrack and still allow you to cruise around town with your Grandma.

    My mosntercross will be stripped down bare this late summer for a full on road race, then probably the next day take on some serious singletrack.
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  40. #40
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    To the OP-

    The definition of "monstercross" isn't really defined, as you can see. Basically, a cyclocross bike with 35+ mm tires can be a monstercross bike. Dirt drops or at least road drop bars set up high are common and help fit the part. You also see drop bar 29ers and the occasional drop bar 26er trying to sneak in with the cool crowd.

    Since you may try racing some CX with this bike, a cross bike with good tire clearance is your best bet. Surly Cross Check is the bomb in that department.

    A true monstercross bike would be what Slocaus posted (which is awesome), but there isn't really anything like that readily available on the market at this point. I'm sure there will be very soon. I have loved all the monstercross content over the last couple years, but honestly any do-it-all on and off road bike is similar to what we are talking about. My CX race bike that can't really clear more than a 35mm in back is still my monster.

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    masi speciale cx. i have one with a 2.0 race king mounted in the back and there's still room for mud/snow/more tire. surly may be the better bet cos more readily available though.

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    Yeah...the OP kinda got lost in this thread. Lit the fuse and then realized that like religion and politics, debating Monstercross can get pretty hairy. We haven't heard anything back from him yet. Hopefully we haven't spooked him! I think Cycle Addict is right, if the OP is going to do some CX racing which is currently the cool trend in things, then he should stick with a CX bike as a baseline. That Jake would be fine, and there have been a lot of other CX frames mentioned in this thread that would work great. Slocause RockLobster is a great looking bike (one of the nicest I have seen), but it really looks a lot like the frame style found on the Fargo, the Gryphon, and that drop bar Badger that Guitar Ted had. Its got the high front center, sloping top tube, and taller steering tube that was originally a design created years ago with the Matt Chester bikes. Not saying its not a MonsterCross, just that it does not look any more like a monster modded CX than the Fargo's, or the Gryphons do. Its all in the label we give things I suppose. Just my .02
    Last edited by N10S; 01-12-2011 at 11:10 PM.

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    Lots of shades of grey IMO - anything with drop bars that is not a 'pure' cross bike seems to fall under this catch-all. It doesn't really matter too much - some bikes are more focused on 'gravel grinding', others really drop-bar mountain bikes - it's all fun! To answer the question - the advantage over a 'cross bike is bigger tyres.


    Peregrine front by Singular Cycles, on Flickr


    Gryphon geared in the studio by Singular Cycles, on Flickr


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/69163524@N00/5206532912/]
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  44. #44
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    This reads a little like the debate about what an "all mountain" bike is. I think the answer is that it's whatever you want it to be.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    I think a lot of people see what a monstercross bike looks like in their head.

    Rawland Drakkar
    Vassago Fisticuff
    Singular Peregrine
    Would you also include a Singular Gryphon in that list?


    I'm thinking this winter of putting a monstercross bike together. And I'm sure this is pretty typical, I have a road bike for when I want to road ride and a mountain bike for when I want to trail ride but nothing that I can do an extended road ride to the trails, ride the trails and head back.

    From pure road to pure trail is a spectrum. A cyclecross bike leans towards the road end with the ability to handle some trails. A drop bar 29er leans towards the trail end with the ability to handle some roads. Realize that technically, any bike can be ridden anywhere, where in the spectrum do you want to fall?

    Personally, I'm leaning towards the road end with the ability to do dirt roads and smooth trails.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeeEight
    Well that may be the origin of the term but its definitely NOT the origin of the type of bike. Bruce Gordon's Rock & Road framesets back in the mid-90s could clear the widest 28" touring/cross tires available then and ran drop bars, bar-end shifters, canti-brakes, and had suspension stems and seatposts for extra cushion. When hybrids were first put out in the early 90s.. they were for all intents and purposes, 700C wheeled mountain bikes and the tires available for them were definitely in the 41-45c width ranges. The specialized crossroads I rebuilt for my ex-gf came stock with 700x41 tires. Then there was that GT Tachyon I already mentioned... one sec I'll find a picture of them... we've got a few guys on mtbr who have them. They counted as part of the mountain bike lineup btw in the GT catalog.

    Somewhere in my magazine stacks I have one of the Bruce Gordons as it was reviewed in Mountain Bike magazine. If I find it, I'll post up the pics of the bike.
    Yep I'm familiar with the bikes, even sold a few of those GT's back in the day at the shop I worked at. Bruce Gordon's rigs were always kinda cool and I had a chance to talk to him at the San Diego show last year where he had one of the new Ti bikes on hand. It was gorgeous.

    Don't forget the Specialized RockCombo (I have a pic or two up on my Monstercrosser FB page) was probably one of the best examples with a Speciaized/WTB branded dirt drop actually coming stock.

    I do acknowledge riding a bike off road with drops is nothing "new", I do still stand by the idea that a Monstercross at the end of the day is really defined by two things:

    -Tire Size (35-45c)
    -Handlebar (Dirt Drop of some sort

    I know it does seem like splitting hairs to some and you'll always have someone thinking it's otherwise or calling a different bike such, but end of the day that's what it is.

    (do post up some of the Bruce Gordon pics if you have some-those were pretty rad bikes back in the day!)
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by juansevo
    I can't tell you who yet, but I can tell you that there are 3-4 production frames and at least 2 complete bikes that will be offered this summer with rumors of a few being announced at Interbike come Fall.
    Are you sure you can't tell? Please?

    I'm really wanting to build a monstercross bike, and I've pretty well familiarized myself with the current options. There are a few really good choices, but I sure wouldn't want to buy something just before several more choices hit the streets.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAWS
    Are you sure you can't tell? Please?

    I'm really wanting to build a monstercross bike, and I've pretty well familiarized myself with the current options. There are a few really good choices, but I sure wouldn't want to buy something just before several more choices hit the streets.
    Very Big +1

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAWS
    Are you sure you can't tell? Please?

    I'm really wanting to build a monstercross bike, and I've pretty well familiarized myself with the current options. There are a few really good choices, but I sure wouldn't want to buy something just before several more choices hit the streets.
    I know of at least one more option coming though it will be late in the year.
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  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I know of at least one more option coming though it will be late in the year.
    WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? Don't tease us - we need specifics! I will go crazy sitting around until "later in the year" unless I know what I'm waiting for!

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeonD
    Would you also include a Singular Gryphon in that list?
    Personally?

    No. I classify it as a drop bar 29er since it can easily run a Ardent 2.4 or a WWLT.
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  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAWS
    WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? Don't tease us - we need specifics! I will go crazy sitting around until "later in the year" unless I know what I'm waiting for!
    Most likely because the information was told to them in confidence or even under a non-disclosure agreement.

    Sometimes it would be better to not know that you don't know, right?

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAWS
    WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE? Don't tease us - we need specifics! I will go crazy sitting around until "later in the year" unless I know what I'm waiting for!
    I will post specifics as soon as I have them. ATM there are none other than it will be an On-One "monstercross" (I prefer Adventure Bike) frame and fork with clearance for up to ~50mm tires, interchangeable rear dropouts for SS/gears, and option for disc and rim brakes.
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  54. #54
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    Rim Brakes! Thank you! (and I'm not being sarcastic, I think they're light, cheap, and stop just fine)

    QUOTE=shiggy]I will post specifics as soon as I have them. ATM there are none other than it will be an On-One "monstercross" (I prefer Adventure Bike) frame and fork with clearance for up to ~50mm tires, interchangeable rear dropouts for SS/gears, and option for disc and rim brakes.[/QUOTE]

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by seat_boy
    Rim Brakes! Thank you! (and I'm not being sarcastic, I think they're light, cheap, and stop just fine)
    I am a disc guy but rim brakes (especially cantis) work really well with narrower tires.

    The dropout design should let me source a shim to go from 135 to 130 rear spacing so you could use road wheels, and without needing to spread or squish the stays.
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  56. #56
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    The Gryphon certainly could work as a monstercross, but it really is a mountain bike at heart. As such, it rides like a mountain bike on the road. Depends on the how long the road sections really are that you're willing to deal with.
    Just a regular guy.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~martini~
    The Gryphon certainly could work as a monstercross, but it really is a mountain bike at heart. As such, it rides like a mountain bike on the road.
    Can you explain what it means for a bike to ride "like a mountain bike on the road"? Is it about the amount of effort involved in covering a given distance? It seems to me that if the gearing is the same, the tires are the same and the relationship among saddle, pedals and bars is essentially the same, then the ride should be essentially the same. Is it that mountain bikes tend to have different wheelbases, fork rake, or?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I will post specifics as soon as I have them. ATM there are none other than it will be an On-One "monstercross" (I prefer Adventure Bike) frame and fork with clearance for up to ~50mm tires, interchangeable rear dropouts for SS/gears, and option for disc and rim brakes.
    Damnit! I would loved to have gotten another On One to complete the set.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cptn. Sense Of Direction
    masi speciale cx. i have one with a 2.0 race king mounted in the back and there's still room for mud/snow/more tire. surly may be the better bet cos more readily available though.
    You've mentioned this before in another thread and it inspired me to pick up a CC fork for my CX. I installed a pair of Kenda 1.9 Karma tires on to a set of Aksium Race wheels. Unfortuneately I get a small amount of rub on the rear chainstay . What does a 2.0 race King actually measure? The front easily clears the CC fork.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    Damnit! I would loved to have gotten another On One to complete the set.
    Still at least 6 months before I see the first sample.
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    I've been on one since the days when Matt Chester still didn't have a name for his new concept. Thats' like 15years now. The thread on here about monster cross in the 29er forum has it all wrong. It's not a mountain bike or fat bike with drop bars on it. It's really a bike that fits between a cyclocross bike and a mountain bike.....kinda the perfect bike if you only had one. Better off road than a cross bike, better on road than a mountain bike.

    So, if you're like me and many others, and you love riding a cross bike but wish for a better off road handling...monstercross is in for the win. I recommend a 42-45mm wide tire personally and dirt drops are a must IMHO. Why dirt drops? The optimized position in the hooks gives you better leverage/control than a narrower standard road drop bar. The 43-45mm wide tire keeps the bike feeling nimble. Go any bigger and it starts to feel more like a mountain bike.

    Thats' my take as someone who's actually ridden a true monster cross for over a decade as my regular bike. Now, I won't go so far as say it's my only bike...but it is the bike I ride the most.

    I remember when Matt was pushing the concept, I thought why not go to a 2.0 tire? Tried just putting drops on a 29er. Eh. Tried then an old set of WTB drops, little better but still felt like a mountain bike. Then went to an old trek hybrid frame with room for Bruce Gordon Rock n Roads and an Origin 8 dirt drop. Bingo. Eventually went Midge for my dirt drop as personally I like the width/shallow drop better than the Origin 8.

    Gotta laugh at the comments about it being a "marketing" term, yeah who profits from this??? Ever? No one really. The companies making dirt drops never made them exclusively for the monster cross craze (few even knew it was a thing even). Bruce Gordon was the only guy making a really good tire until the gravel age kicked in...and still most of those tires are meant for gravel not single track. Really only people that really ever make money off this craze, is the small framebuidlers out there who make them for people who want them....and I'm all about supporting them.

    There is a page on FB about it and they made some frames but less than 10 I heard so not like they really "profited" off it either. Just made a tiny amount of money.


    I like it because it's really kind of a pure medium. Once you nail down the fit and which bar you like, you have little things to dick with after that and with no one really making stuff for monster cross, the temptation to upgrade anything is almost non existent. Yeah, I'd like disc brakes maybe one day but gosh I love mine as is.

    Try a pure monster cross sometime and you'll see what us yahoos (all 20 of us?) love about the genre as it was intended. Anything else is just a mountain bike or cross bike.

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    What is the advantage of a monstercross bike over a cx bike???

    Quote Originally Posted by JST169 View Post
    "Monstercross" is a catchy term. It makes one stop and ask, "whuh?" There's definitely some marketing to it, but in reality it's a fun, different way to ride a bike. Some have been doing it for years. I have a Surly Cross Check set up SS with Bell Lap bars and Panaracer Fire Cross (45c) tires. It's a whole lot of fun. On my rocky, rooty east coast (SE PA) trails, it's a challenge to keep up at times, but other times I am much faster than the group.

    It's kind of like riding at night, or riding SS, or riding rigid, or the road...it's another option to mix things up.

    I say you give it a go. As others said, it's an incredibly versatile style of bike. Jack of all trades, master of none...unless you consider monstercross its own trade.

    Oh, it's fun to get "the look" on the trails too. Some people still can't fathom someone riding drop bars/rigid/SS on the trails that they NEED their 6" FS bike for. Variety is the spice of life!

    JST
    How much clearance do you have between the tire and the frame and fork on your Cross Check with 45 mm tires? How heavy is the bike? Do you have toe overlap?

  63. #63
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    Yeah exactly. The idea of it being a "marketing term" was a rumor spread by the "I beg you more Monstercross" thread on the 29er forum. If anyone has benefited from it, it's MTBR because it was one of the most popular threads that draws a ton of eyeballs (more ad dollars) every day. No surprise why it went unmoderated and blow up to mean anything with drop bars and big tires. Even funnier yet, is go look at Salsa's page and others who sell drop bar 29ers...they call them drop bar mountain bikes not monster cross. So, if it's a marketing term why aren't people using it! **eyes roll**

    Also kind of funny people in the forums that get angry when you tell them it's a bike that fits between a cyclocross bike and hardtail 29er in the bike spectrum they tend to say "why does it matter so much?" or "Just ride your bike who cares what it's called". Yet you'll see them argue over whether or not an enduro bike can have 120mm of rear travel and a head angle steeper than 68 degrees. Or argue over benefits of a 40mm stem vs 50mm stem. And for the "just ride your bike" crowd, why are you on this forum if you think we should all just ride yet you're arguing about something you don't understand and using that as a response??? Those suggesting to just ride really should shut up and practice what they preach. LOL

    If anything, monster cross is a great one do it all bike that kinda threatens the industry standard of selling you more bikes for different uses.

  64. #64
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    Nice to see someone knows their shit.
    Someone give this guy a medal!

  65. #65
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    So you can use bigger tires at lower pressure for more comfort over terrain that isn't purely cyclocross.

  66. #66
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    just came across this article on the topic today at cx magazine:

    https://www.cxmagazine.com/monster-c...-dirt-drop-bar

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    Quote Originally Posted by riiz View Post
    Is it really a marketing term, because I dont see anyone selling that brand or name? I see folks buying 29ers and converting them, because they make one of hell of a versatile machine, Mountain, CX or touring/road, depending on tire selection.
    Yeah it's funny people keep saying it's a marketing term when the only biz that's made money off it is this website in ads sold on the threads about it.

    Seriously though, no one has. Truth be told the industry hates the idea of selling you only one bike and for many a monster cross bike could be their one bike. Or for mountain bikers, their "road" bike or for roadies their "mountain bike". It's a simple machine that was inspired by a simplistic goal. Nothing more to add (suspension) or take away. Wanna add bigger tires? Well then you have a mountain bike. Want to run smaller tires? Well then it's a cross bike. Take away the dirt drops you have a gravel bike.

    Very anti-industry bs marketing to the core.

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