SSCX for Trail Riding
I've been doing a lot of research and debating whether or not to go for a sscx bike just to try something different but I don't know anyone who rides cx and can't find any thread about personal experience on one. The idea of a road bike off road just seems impractical but curiously I want to try it if nothing more than to just prove it's not for me, but strangely I feel I'm going to enjoy it.
My main question is how much abuse can you put these bikes through. The trails I ride are fairly rooted and rocky but don't doubt I could take my road bike down them if I had some decent tires.
For me it's a toss up between getting a sscx or a ss rigid 29er, but if you guys say I there will be no difference in durability between the two and I'm wasting my time, nuff said. Just never ridden one nor knowing anyone who rides one I would like to get some feedback first.
Taking the cross bike offroad can be a lot of fun. That is been discussed on the Monstercross thread.
There will be some differences. For the pros... lots of the cross bikes fit substantial tires- I can probably do 45f and 42r on mine- so they could be similar to a skinny 29er. I think the road geometry is a kick on the trails that you've started to get bored on. Cross bikes climb better and handle switchbacks with ease. I personally like the cantilevers and dropbars because it makes the trails new again.
Cons.. tire limitations, toe overlap, cantis and bike capability.
I'd say if you have a mountain bike and you want something different- I use mine for the in town and closer to town trails, as well as general exploring and some commuting- great option. But if I were just going to do singletrack with a new bike, I'd get a 29er over the cross bike.
i beat the living crap out of mine and it seems to be holding up. I have a Bianchi San Jose with a carbon bianchi fork.
I strictly trail ride with it... pretty much the same trails i mtb on. Like umarth said, it brings newness to the same old trails again. The cantis and drops are part of the fun (although i have risers on mine till i find a good set of drops).
I also run 32cm tires just to make it more interesting.
It's a good thing to compliment your mtb, but dont expect it to replace it, although i do find myself riding it 80% of the time.
I have both, a 29er SS and a CX SS. I use them for totally different purposes. The 29er is my race / mtb bike. My CX is my "between mtb rides" bike. I use it sort of like a road bike but I ride it on the dirt shoulder, through orchards and row crops, along singletrack next our bike trail, etc. I can't ride the mtb every day around here because it's straight up or down but strict road riding bores me. It allows me to go more places but with a bit of a challenge.
I too have a Bianchi San Jose and use it for a lot of mixed terrain rides but have also done a good bit of trail riding on it on real mtb trails and it is fun. Bigger tires will help prevent pinch flats. You have to ride differently, lighter and it gives you a different view of the trails and riding. Gear it just right and you will be ok on the road and be able to make it up most hills off road. It's a challenge to have an all-rounder and there will be compromises in what the bike can do but it pushes the rider to take up the slack.
I have on 05 Jake the Snake set up ss that was pretty much the only bike I owned for a year. It was my commuter, bar bike, trail bike, road shop ride bike. On the trail I treated it just like my mountain bike, routinely jumping it and not bothering to always pick good lines. I run 38 c WTB cross tires at about 50 PSI.