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  1. #1
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    CX bikes, commuting and general road riding

    Hey,

    I have a question for those of you using CX bikes for commuting and general road riding

    What are the advantages and disatvantages of using a steel cx bike for communting and recreational road riding?

    Are longer road rides at a recreational pace out of the question on a steel cx bike?

    I have never raced in a cyclocross race but the idea does kind of appeal to me. Is the idea of a cx bike that could be used for touring / commuting, recreational road riding and some light off roading or cxing possible?

    I am thinking of having a Curtlo built, but I am going back and forth between a touring / coummuter style bike and a cx / commuting style bike.

    One of the primary uses of this bike would be commuting to work. I live about 20 miles from work. It will take me a long time to be able to ride that 40 mile round trip on a regular basis, but there is a good option of parking at a co-workers house about 10 miles from work and then riding in on decent to good country roads.

    Thoughts...

    Thanks,

    E

  2. #2
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    I have a Salsa La Cruz that I currently commute with. Also do road rides, and mixed pavement rides. One of the first rides I did on it was a 6 hour road trip on the stock CX tires. I have since thrown on fat road tires and am saving the CX tires for next cross season. I have never raced this bike, and never raced CX, but fully intend to race next year.


    The big advantage to steel would be durability.

  3. #3
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    The Surly CrossCheck is pretty much the standard inexpensive steel cross bike. It can take racks and fenders w/o any issues. For an all around bike, they are hard to beat IMHO. If you are going to be commuting and racing cross, the Crosscheck would be a reasonable bike to look at for a steel framed bike. Most of my bikes are steel, and in most cases, I find that they dampen bumps, etc a little better than aluminum.

  4. #4
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    surly cross check

    I would love to get a Surly. They are cool bikes at the right price.

    I am 5'20" and 235lbs, so I need a custom bike.

    thanks for the other thoughts....

    E

  5. #5
    LCI #1853
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    Like a lot of folks here, my primary running-around bike is a Surly Cross-Check. Steel be real ;-) It's a comfortable bike that feels really good on the road, but also goes most places my MTB will go as well. It also does panniers and cargo-carrying extremely well, which can be a problem on my favorite MTB unless I go to a backpack or messenger bag. I use it as my commuter bike, also my touring bike, can go shopping with it, and still use it to go out and hang with my pards on the club group rides. If I could only keep one bike in the fleet, it would be my Surly.

    I've heard lots of folks dis 'cross bikes, but I've never yet heard anyone say anything disparaging about their Cross-Check.

    Tom
    Ride a mountain bike... you will not regret it if you live.
    [SIZE="1"](with apologies to Mark Twain & The Taming of the Bicycle)[/SIZE]

  6. #6
    I Ride for Donuts
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    I am 5'20" and 235lbs, so I need a custom bike.
    If you're 5 foot, 20 inches tall, you are DEFINITELY going to need to go custom.

    I built a cyclocross for my commute and some recreational road riding. I live on a dirt road, so I wanted something beefy as well. I went with the Nashbar 'X' frame...it's aluminum, but it is very beefy. I have the Nashbar carbon fork as well. You can see pics in the 'post your commuter bike' thread. The advantage I think mine has over the cross check is the ability to run disc brakes. It also has mounts for fenders/racks. I run fenders all winter. I have a 30 mile 'rail trail' not too far from home, and it's the ideal bike for bombing that kind of terrain.

    I did my first century on it this past summer (all road), and it was awesome. Not as fast as a full on road racer, but to answer this question:
    Is the idea of a cx bike that could be used for touring / commuting, recreational road riding and some light off roading or cxing possible?
    Yes, absolutely. I own one. I would definitely consider building one up yourself from a frame/fork, so you get exactly what you want.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
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    Another vote for the cross check. I use mine for commuting and recreational road rides. I've ridden a half century on it in a day with no problems. It is a very comfortable bike. The stock QBP build works well for me, with only a few fit adjustments made when the shop built the bike. I've added a rack and trunk bag. Panniers and fenders will come this spring.

    I'm going to try the hilly hundred this year, I am debating on installing a granny ring and getting a brooks saddle before this ride. Like the others, I can't say anything bad about this bike.

  8. #8
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    I recently converted my Crosscheck, which I use for commuting shopping etc.. from drop bars to carbon mtb risers and paul thumbies. Not only do the brakes work better with the mtb levers but I have easier time watching the traffic and more confidence when I have to bail side off the road or hop a curb. Handles a variety of conditions and is more efficent than using a mtb.

  9. #9
    MTT
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    I have commuted on mtbs, X and road bikes; and most days the cross is the best way to go. I have an aluminum frame, but since I ride 35s it is plush. The geometry of a cross bike is better for commuting because you might need to jump a curb and/or make some fast decisions in tight situations, and like a mountain bike, it is designed to be more nimble at slower speeds.

    I have two sets of brakes on mine (Specialized Tri-Cross), so I can sit up and coast but still be able to make a quick stop. Can you tell I spend too much time in traffic? Schwalbe Marathon Supremes 700x35s are great for shorter all weather commutes. Good luck and may the force be wit ya!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigE
    I am 5'20" and 235lbs, so I need a custom bike.
    Crosschecks can be ordered down to a 42cm frame. I'd argue that what you need is a shop that will do a proper bike fit, order you the proper size bike, and then maybe consider a stronger set of wheels. Weight limits on bikes are usually more about the wheels than the frames anyway (especially when it's a steel frame).

  11. #11
    formerly Gobike69
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    IMHO: Cross Bikes Rock!!!

    I have a Specialized Tri-Cross which I race. If you get a chance try CX it rocks! I also use my cross bike to commute in the off-season (w/different tires and wheels) and it works great. But my favorite is to do long rides with both dirt and road combined. There's a real joy to riding out my front door for an adventure ride. It helps to have friends who also enjoy skinny tire rides. If I could only have on bike it would be a cross bike.
    Speed costs money, how fast can you afford to go?

  12. #12
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    I have a steel ss cx bike that I use for commuting, touring, and racing, and I couldn't recommend a bike more! Save the cross tires though. They wear out very quickly. I use 32 and 35mm Panaracer T-servs for commuting and touring. Very tough and reasonably fast.

    I agree with gobike69. Cross bikes have changed the way I look at riding. Now it's just out the door exploring every road, dirt road, and trail I can find.

  13. #13
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    If I only owned 1 bike it would be a cross bike with a riser bar.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by pedalitup
    If I only owned 1 bike it would be a cross bike with a riser bar.
    I'm working on building my one do it all- a light 29er with a set of wheels for commuting and another for xc trails. Most didicated cx bikes don't take tires wider than 1.5".

  15. #15
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    I’ve had my cross bike with drop bars on almost every trail. Depending on the terrain sometimes they can even keep up with or be faster then a mountain bike. And before you say anything I do ride and race mountain bikes. They are a great all around bike. A 29er would also be a good choice, as you can use road, cross and 29er tires. All on one wheel set.

  16. #16
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    Jack

    I had a cannondale badboy with both sets of wheels a long time ago. I hear ya, that 29ers a good choice.

    A cross bike with 42c tires won't do technical stuff or DH. But when I look at the percentage of time I would use the bike on pavement vs dirt, the CX frame wins hands down for versatility.

    I just finished building a 24lb do it all bike out of a touring frame that takes fenders a rack and 42c tires. Of course theres no 3 lb squishy on the front end, but I would much rather commute my 27 miles on it than the badboy I used to own.
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