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  1. #1
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    Can a Cyclocross bike be used just on roads?

    I'm in the process of trying to find what type of bike will best suit me for a specific type of riding. Road rides, road bike paths, some chewed up streets, I guess if I was to find myself any type of gravel path but I haven't come across many where I live, and I won't be entering races of any kind.
    Maybe a Diabetes ride to raise money but no long mileage. Would the cyclocross be the right type of bike, or should I go with a regular road bike, or a mountain bike with slicks?

  2. #2
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    Yes to all your questions. Your choice.
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  3. #3
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    I really like the versatility of my 'cross bike. I've ridden the Denali park road on it with knobbies and have done many road rides with slicks. Currently its set up with racks and fenders and is acting as my commuter.

  4. #4
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    Is there a big difference in the geometry between a cyclocross and road bike?

  5. #5
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    Also, it looks like it would be a road frame with wider tires in order to take more punishment. Is it a sluggish bike on road or somewhere in the middle between a road and mountain bike?

  6. #6
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    personally i dont see any reason for a road bike unless you're gunna race. a cross bike aound town is a better option. that being said if budget is a primary concern its easier to get an decent used road bike for cheap than it is to find a decent used cross bike.

    for the most part if the cross bike is the reason you cant keep up you'll need a really nice road bike.

  7. #7
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    I love my cross bike for riding around town and riding paths when I can't mtb for whatever reason. It's fast, still pretty light, and I can ride a lot rougher stuff than I could with a road bike. I say go for the cross!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by falconpunch79 View Post
    I really like the versatility of my 'cross bike. I've ridden the Denali park road on it with knobbies and have done many road rides with slicks. Currently its set up with racks and fenders and is acting as my commuter.
    Main reason I bought a crossbike 17 years ago. It was faster than my MTB but gripped the wet roads better than a road bike. The bigger tires made curb hopping easier than on a road bike. Mine is a Lyon and I have taken it most everywhere I ride an MTB. I especially love it on singletrack. They stopped making my favorite tires, Ritchey Alfabite trail mix's, so I have been running Bontrager LT3's lately and they do a pretty good job on most surfaces. Not quite as good as my old Ritcheys but hey, they work well.

    Only thing I might do different would be to buy a bigger frame if I were only going to commute or ride roads. I got a 54 cm frame but it is perfect for offroading. If I were only on a road, I'd ride more like a 56-57 cm. I wouldn't trade mine for any other bike.

  9. #9
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    Main mainly gets used on roads and can keep up with some fast roadies in the process so that makes me happy!

    I too like the versatility the CX bike gives me, if I want to bash along broken up roads - no problem, if I want to cut across some cheeky singletrack on the way to and from work, it loves that too. They are a lot of fun and the perfect bike for many.
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  10. #10
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    my cross bike has replaced my road bike as my primary commuter. the larger tires make a huge difference over rough pavement and the occasional dirt path.
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  11. #11
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    I'm going to test ride some cx bikes. These look like alot of fun. Are the knobby tires on a cx bike a problem for riding on road, or is it a different kind of knobby compared to a mountain bike?

  12. #12
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    They roll MUCH faster, the knobs are a lot smaller and if you go for something like a Bontrager CX0 you get the best of both worlds really.
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    The geometry of most CX bikes makes them feel right at home on the road. The gearing at the cranks is the main difference 50t on most road bikes VS 46T big ring typically on a cross bike. I have put a 48t ring on just so I could hang with the faster road groups
    (18 MPH average and up)that I ride with. During dry conditions I use the same tires on the trails and the road a light touring tire.

  14. #14
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    Well thanks for the feedback folks. I've been acting like a bit of a knucklehead on here lately and want to apologize. I've just been going through a tough time with the passing of my mother and father the last two years. I guess I've been looking for some vision or outlet, and I like the idea of at least test riding some of the cx bikes. It has me excited to try something different and the versatility of the bike is what draws me to it.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by roc865 View Post
    Well thanks for the feedback folks. I've been acting like a bit of a knucklehead on here lately and want to apologize. I've just been going through a tough time with the passing of my mother and father the last two years. I guess I've been looking for some vision or outlet, and I like the idea of at least test riding some of the cx bikes. It has me excited to try something different and the versatility of the bike is what draws me to it.
    Sorry for your losses. I too have been dealing with family member's health issues and was a huge FAT ball of stress. My wife bought me a new 29er since she remembered how happy I used to be when I rode. Since then, I use my CX bike to commute and train on for my weekend MTB rides. I am a completely different person lately. Like Tricker Joe, I like to go fast on my CX. My average commute speed is just under 18 mph. I have plastic fenders on mine and I think it bugs some of the roadies when you can keep up with them on a commuter bike. I am running a triple crank with 48, 36, 24 chain rings. Love that 48. But I remember when I could really turn that 48 fast, lol.

    Definitely test ride some. I think you will like!

    I think I like to CX so much because it such a do all machine and just plain fun.

  16. #16
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    My budget is 2K and under and I'm going to take my time looking around and test riding but do you folks have any recommended cx bikes you like?
    I saw the Kona Jake the Snake that was mentioned.

  17. #17
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    I used CX bikes as my "road" bike for years, using them for everything from riding to work up to 100 mile organized rides. I finally got a true road bike a couple of years ago, and I like it a lot for long rides on smooth pavement. If I could only have one bike it would definitely be a CX bike.

    Definitely plan to get road tires. Even a file tread CX tire is best saved for grass and gravel. On pavement you'll want a slick tire. They roll faster and have better grip.

    A Kona Jake the Snake would be a good choice. It's got good components for the price, and it's equipped to take rack and fenders if you ever want that. The Cannondale CAADX Disc 5 105 is another good option. If you want something a bit more upright, try the Kona Rove or Salsa Vaya.

    If you want to ride a road bike for comparison, check out a Specialized Secteur. The Secteur doesn't have full on race geometry (which you probably wouldn't want) and it can take wider tires than a lot of road bikes (though not as wide as a cross bike).

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post

    Definitely plan to get road tires. Even a file tread CX tire is best saved for grass and gravel. On pavement you'll want a slick tire. They roll faster and have better grip..
    are there any fatter slicks like 35 to 40? those skinny road tires definitely look fast i'm just wondering what happens leaned over cornering

  19. #19
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    Skinny road tires can definitely handle leaned over cornering on pavement. The real downside is that they don't provide much cushion and so you feel anything on the road (cracks, twigs, small pebbles, chip seal...).

    I use 700x35 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes on the cross bike that I use for commuting. They aren't quite as fast as something like a 700x28 Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons, but they still roll pretty well. They have amazing grip on wet pavement. They've got pretty good puncture resistance, and they are fairly durable. I've put about 2500 miles on mine, and the tread on the rear tire was just beginning to show signs of squaring. In that time, I've only had one flat and that was from a wood screw that would have punctured a car tire.

    Schwalbe makes the Marathon Supreme in sizes from 700x28 up to 700x50, plus a couple of 26" varieties. It's expensive, but I highly recommend it for commuting and touring applications. For recreational road use, where I'm willing to trade durability for speed, I prefer the aforementioned Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons or maybe even Conti GP 4000S's, which I'm excited to see are now available in a 700x28 size.

  20. #20
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    I was even thinking about building a cx up from the frame. Maybe a Vassago Fisticuff?

  21. #21
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    Can a Cyclocross bike be used just on roads?

    I ride a 2009 fuji cross comp as my road bike. I wouldn't mind a lower low gear for long climbs. The wheels are beefy and a bit heavy for faster paced road riding. I am considering setting up a pair of lighter road wheels with slicks and keeping the stock rims for gravel/CX bike. Otherwise it does a great job and I do quite a bit of training on it.


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  22. #22
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    I've been blowing away my road bike times on my cross bike. Even managed a road KOM the other day. I'm going to try a nice big climb next week...we'll see how that goes.

  23. #23
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    Agree with the comments above -- Mrs. levity and I are CX bike converts for road riding. After trying them for a few months we decided to sell our very nice Orbea Orca road bikes in favor of cross bikes. CX bikes are more versatile and fun and we find ourselves exploring more "off-piste" routes and enjoying our rides more. Properly set up they give up very little on speed at our non-race pace riding. The comfort of the cross bikes was also a major factor - the more relaxed geometry and larger tires leaves us feeling a lot less hammered after long rides. If necessary we can switch between tires with small knobs for dirt and tires with file tread for mostly pavement. I like Conti Cyclocross Speed 700x35C as an all-around choice. (We do still have our full-squish mtn bikes for mountain trail riding.)

  24. #24
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    I routinely do 30-40 mile road rides on my CX bike, in fact I just did a 75 mile ride last sat. Running 28C slicks, the bike rode and handled well, I was comfortable on it for the entire ride, with the exception of my feet, which is a different issue not related to the bike.

    In fact, I've only used my bike for an actual CX race once. It was a blast though, I look forward to doing more this season.

    I put about 2k on the bike since I bought it in April of last year, all of it road.

    The 2 possible issues are the canti brakes, which are not that bad, and the gearing of 46/34 in front. Having a 46tooth big ring gives up some top end, and you may spin out on long downhills.

    I don't have a problem with that, as the downhills near me are not that long, and I'm not a strong enough rider to push a bigger gear on the flats.

    As far as the brakes, my next bike will have disks. I somewhat regret buying a canti bike. I need to brake a certain way otherwise I get heavy fork shudder. I plan on converting to mini v's, I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
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  25. #25
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    Can a Cyclocross bike be used just on roads?

    I prefer my cx over a dedicated road bike. Just change tires to what you are riding.


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