Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    226

    Cross Bike vs Rigid Mtb for Norcal to Socal tour

    Hey all,

    Recently felt the urge to do a tour from my college to my parents' home, Davis to Ventura County. It's about 450 miles. I could choose between two bikes - my 2015 Redline Conquest base model cross bike and my dad's 1998 Trek 800 rigid mtb. Both bikes have two eyelets above the rear dropouts, eyelets on the seatstay junction, and one set of eyelets above the dropouts on the front fork.

    The Redline has 50/34 gearing and an 11-28 9 speed cassette. Could even go to an 11-32 cassette with it. It has clearance for 38c slicks and 35c knobbies and 32 spoke wheels on unbranded cartridge bearing hubs. I like the wide gearing on the Trek and the fact that it's not as flashy. It's very upright because of its angled stem and riser bars whereas with the Redline the bars are slightly below the seat. I like the discs on the Redline and feel that it would be a faster ride but am not sure how it would handle the weight as I plan on spending most of my nights in developed campgrounds.

    Any input is appreciated.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    778
    Major factors are how much weight do you want to take (full tent or UL bivy? Cooking gear? etc) and how fast do you want to get it done? Route you take will also play a part to some extent.

    Ultra-light setup with just a big seat bag, front bar bag, frame bag and highly compactable gear could be done on either bike

    Medium-light setup with a rear rack, Arkel Ultralight Panniers, a tent strapped to the top of the rack, Anything Cage or Blackburn Outpost Cages clamped to the fork legs with another 6 liter dry bag strapped to each would allow you to carry a bit more and be more comfortable at camp. Could also be done with either bike.

    Full on Touring mode with front and rear racks and heavy duty waterproof panniers all around? Go with the trek.

    My Monster-cross road touring set-up for coast to coast ride: Similar to the second option listed above but added a small Rando rack to the front (12 bucks on Amazon) with an 8 liter dry bag, Ortlieb Front (smaller size) Panniers mounted on rear rack, half frame bag. I could have gone way lighter but I was carrying cold-weather riding gear as we started in January...

    Cross Bike vs Rigid Mtb for Norcal to Socal tour-screen-shot-2017-03-20-11.43.34-pm.jpg

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    60
    I don't know the specific route, but I have a friend that uses a Surly cross check to tour and bikepack and he loves it. He's had no issues.
    I on the other hand went the way of a rigid MTB. I chose this because with a bad back, I prefer the more relaxed geometry. In the end it comes down to preference and what you will be comfortable on. Do a short shakedown run on each of them and then decide. Either will do the job in the end.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bikeny's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    3,494
    The biggest factors will be what kind or roads do you plan to take??? All pavement? As much dirt as possible? Also, how fat do want to do the ride? A nice leisurely pace, or 120+ miles a day?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    157
    Which bike is in better shape? I'd take that one.

    I don't have a gravel bike yet, but just did a 150 mile gravel grind on my steel/rigid hardtail w/ 40c gravel tires and thought it did great. My bike is 1X10, so if I were on pavement and trying to put down miles I would be upset by the lack of top end gearing.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    3,977
    Are 35 mm cross tires going to be enough? Dirt roads, tech singletrack? For me, the redline would need much lower gearing for it to be and option. 20 lbs? plus hills plus not low gearing? A no go for me. Everyone is different and you will get many opinions on this. My 2 cents, use the Trek. Its a 3x9 drivetrain? More upright, get some 2" slicks, good to go.

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    226
    The Trek has been abused a little bit and is a 3x7 with a 42-34-24 crankset and 11-28 freewheel. Before I would take it out I would replace the freewheel and chain, rear wheel, and cables and housing. The route would be pavement all the way. Cross bike is in good shape as it is my commuter and road/gravel bike.

    If I replace the rear wheel on the Trek, would it make more sense to go with a Velocity NoBS rim or would a Weinmann 519 be sufficient? Both 36 spoke. I am not sure how much I will end up bringing as I have never been touring before. Looking to do it without investing too much in it if possible.

  8. #8
    TrinityRiverKerplunk
    Reputation: unicrown junkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    818
    First you'll have to make it through Dixon. That place has grown so large over the years.

    Definitely take the cross bike, get a 11-34 cassette instead of the 11-32. Most RDs still handle a 34.

    Now say if you planned on riding up stuff like Gibralter Rd in SB for example for the hell of it then I would vote for the Trek but that is a rare side road and most likely nothing is on your route to Ventura of that magnitude.
    Good friction shifting is getting hard to find nowadays....

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Posts
    62
    Quote Originally Posted by Honda Guy View Post
    The Trek has been abused a little bit and is a 3x7 with a 42-34-24 crankset and 11-28 freewheel. Before I would take it out I would replace the freewheel and chain, rear wheel, and cables and housing. The route would be pavement all the way. Cross bike is in good shape as it is my commuter and road/gravel bike.

    If I replace the rear wheel on the Trek, would it make more sense to go with a Velocity NoBS rim or would a Weinmann 519 be sufficient? Both 36 spoke. I am not sure how much I will end up bringing as I have never been touring before. Looking to do it without investing too much in it if possible.
    The trek has a freewheel vs a freehub? What's wrong with the rear wheel / freehub? Unless you're taking the kitchen sink, I'd grease the hub, lube the freehub and get the wheel trued by someone you trust. Mtbr reviews of that wheel though are not the most positive. If you and your gear are heavy, you might need more.

    Our cheap mtb touring bikes run deore hubs with Rhynolites, 32 spoke. We haven't had an issue other than an occasional truing, but we don't carry the kitchen sink.

    While maybe controversial, I'd advise the fattest smooth tread tire you can fit in there, like a 2.25-2.35. A more supple higher volume tire will absorb bumps and smooth out your ride. I don't have any scientific basis for it, I think they're less brutal on your wheels and spokes since the tire's transmitting less shock while the wheel's carrying the load.

    Which bike is more comfortable for all day riding? That would be the bike I'd take. Good luck!

  10. #10
    stop...safety first
    Reputation: TubeSSnapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    223
    Horses for courses
    The efficiency of a cross bike will be fun on pave and gravel.
    A crazy side trip up a trail may make you walk, but on the way up only😉

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    334
    Quote Originally Posted by sullivan17 View Post
    I don't know the specific route, but I have a friend that uses a Surly cross check to tour and bikepack and he loves it. He's had no issues.
    I on the other hand went the way of a rigid MTB. I chose this because with a bad back, I prefer the more relaxed geometry. In the end it comes down to preference and what you will be comfortable on. Do a short shakedown run on each of them and then decide. Either will do the job in the end.
    I'm just now setting up a Cross Check for this kind of riding, and after riding only flat or alt bars for several years with a relaxed upright-ish position, have gone back to drops. It is an adjustment for my 56 year old back for sure! But in my case I think it's helping me by stretching me out a bit. I do have my bars up pretty high even with the drops--a little higher than the saddle. My 29'r rigid MTB is also bikepacking ready but the Xcheck is way more fun and efficient on the flats for me.

Similar Threads

  1. Is SoCal really more MTB friendly than NorCal?
    By aliikane in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 79
    Last Post: 07-27-2016, 12:58 AM
  2. NorCal to SoCal; Bike Change
    By schuster.ryan in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 38
    Last Post: 04-26-2016, 02:53 PM
  3. SoCal & NorCal MTB Trip
    By zxces50 in forum Videos and POV Cameras
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-22-2013, 10:58 PM
  4. NorCal MTBR help for SoCal trails - heading to Grand Canyon
    By wakejunky in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-17-2011, 06:23 AM
  5. Need Help... Part in Socal needed in Norcal
    By WaitWienie in forum California - Socal
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-01-2011, 06:38 PM

Members who have read this thread: 89

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •