selling roadbike,,, buy a cx bike or 29er?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    selling roadbike,,, buy a cx bike or 29er?

    hey i am selling my trek 1.2 road bike i have been commuting with. i am looking to buy a cross bike(cross check or double cross) or a 29er(karate monkey or the like). i come from mtb and just got the road bike to commute on. rarely ever ride my mtb anymore(not pedal friendly) and i love the speed of the road bike, but i want a tougher bike i wont be afraid of breaking.

    i am selling my mtb and road bike to have a one bike does it all kinda thing. i could go easy on the cx bike offroad, and enjoy the speed and burliness on the road, or i can hammer the 29er on and off road, just with less speed on road.

    is there a 29er with close to cx geometry?

    how much slower would the 29er(with 2.2s) be on my commute(8 miles one way)?

    how hard can i be on the cross bike? going off curbs and up or down stairs(slowly obviously)

    im liking the monstercross idea, i just hope it would be tough enough. i am leaning towards a cross bike for the speed since i mostly commute and rarely ride dirt anymore, but i may start more mtb with a new bike and regret my cross decision.

    any help?

  2. #2
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    If you love the speed of the road bike just keep it and use it. You will def be slower with a 29er mtb. I sometimes ride my 29er with street guys and there's just no way to keep up unless your superman, its impossible. If you just have to have something new go with the cx. 29er is going to be slower unless you make some major changes.
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  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Have you actually had durability problems with your Trek? Road bikes can take a lot more punishment than people give them credit for. Riding down stairs is maybe a bit much, but I manual off curbs routinely on mine, and take the occasional singletrack detour.

    'Cross bikes are built to handle more of that kind of thing, and clearance for 'cross tires is a huge plus for riding off-road. I wouldn't buy a Cross Check complete because I think that kind of shifter is really stupid. If I was buying a frame alone, I'd be more inclined toward the Double Cross. The grade of steel is a little nicer and the frame comes in a bit lighter, at least according to claimed weights. It can also be easier to get commute-friendly accessories, like racks and fenders, onto most 'cross bikes than most road bikes. These aren't great things to have off-road, though...

    Ride your mountain bike for an hour and a half on the road, and decide if you think committing yourself to a flat bar bike full-time is feasible. I have my opinion, but not everyone shares it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Two wheelsets for the 29er? Just swap wheels depending on your ride.

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    IMO, if you're going to swap wheelsets, a 26" bike is a better choice. A 700C wheel with a road tire is much closer to the outside diameter of a 26" wheel with a MTB tire than it is to a 29" wheel with a MTB tire. This is assuming disc brakes.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    IMO, if you're going to swap wheelsets, a 26" bike is a better choice. A 700C wheel with a road tire is much closer to the outside diameter of a 26" wheel with a MTB tire than it is to a 29" wheel with a MTB tire. This is assuming disc brakes.
    But the thing is that he may not be looking for a 700c rim with road tire. I am in the same boat and looking for something to commute on. Because of the area that I live in and the gravel/sand that I will more than likely have to ride I am leaning towards a CX style bike. The OP seems to be in the same situation thus he may need a tire bigger than the standard road tire. For me I am looking at a minimum of a 700x32 tire. That may be a tight fit on a 26" bike where-as the 29er or CX bike should allow for up to a 42 or larger tire (especially the 29er).

  7. #7
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I don't find that 'cross tires are actually a net advantage over a 23-28mm slick, unless I'm spending a really big portion of a ride on soft surfaces. Like a 'cross race, or going to a trail network to practice riding my 'cross bike off-road. When it comes up that I'm riding dirt on my 23mm tires, I just do it. It takes more attention to line selection and there are some obstacles I doubt I'll ever be able to clean on my road bike but can on my mountain bike, but my experience is that I really have to go out of my way to end up on singletrack during a road ride, so most soft-surface riding I do on my road bike is something like riding the dirt-over-chipseal road in a park, or riding through a gravel parking lot.

    Most 'cross bikes, though maybe not those that are targeted at commuters and not people who'll use them to compete, start having clearance issues with bigger tires than 40mm. There's some confusion about what the rules are, because the USAC and UCI rules are somewhat at odds with each other, but the UCI won't let someone race on bigger than a 34mm tire, and the equipment reflects that. I've actually got 700x37s on my 'cross bike for now, but I'll be switching back to some lower-knob 34s about a month before racing starts up in the Fall. I'm not confident that there'd be adequate mud clearance if I used a 44mm tire, and there's a bit of a gap in availability of nice tires between 700x34 and 29x1.8". A touring bike might actually be a better choice for running rubber in that in-between range.

    This forum seems to love 'cross bikes, but I find mine to be a little of a "master of none," actually, at least until I go racing. I'm thinking of making the drivetrain a little more MTB, which I hope will improve that, if I do it.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  8. #8
    Wanderer
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    I vote 29er. I commute on mine and I love the ability to take any route I feel like.

  9. #9
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    Consider cross and mtb tire knobs get eaten up by the road-they are soft and will wear down quicker on pavement than dirt. And will give a rougher ride.

  10. #10
    directionless white male
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    I like the cross check for non technical trail riding. I can get speed on the thing too. The bikes you named are Steel. The trek is likely an alloy frame (a tuning fork, amplifying every speck on the road) with a CF fork (http://www.bustedcarbon.com/) so it's not a confidence inspiring ride.

    It sounds like you're not done with trails but you're maybe done with hucking and bombing and whathave you. Get a chro-moly cross bike, monitor the thing for rust enjoy it's enduring reliabilty as you beat the hell out of it.

    What I might do:
    Buy CX frame 450 + brakes 60 + wheel set 200 (www.bicyclewheels.com) + tires 60
    Strip road bike down (or this could be done with the mountain bike if you want a flat bar ride)
    Build CX frame up with new stuff + old seat, stem, bar, HS shifting, crank/bb, cassette and cables
    Sell Trek frame/fork 300 + wheels 150 (you're going to take a loss on the thing anyway)

    New bike for 400 or less

    Yeah, you'll have some tightness in breaking with the shortpull leaves on the long pull breaks but it can work.
    Disclaimer: I ride really slow.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarence View Post
    Yeah, you'll have some tightness in breaking with the shortpull leaves on the long pull breaks but it can work.
    Alternatively, he can use cantilever brakes or mini-Vs that are already compatible with the short pull road levers. Why create a problem when there's purpose-built equipment that avoids it?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
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    thanks for all the replys. yes i agree i am not done with mountain biking all together but i am done hucking and doing huge drops, especially with the options i am looking at, i obviously have to tone it down. i am still leaning heavy to the cx bike. i mostly commute daily(could hit some dirt roads or grass more on my commute with a new bike) and would hit actual trails once or twice a week, so cx bike almost makes more sense to me.

    1 more question...

    if i did only one wheelset on either the 29er or cx bike, if i can ever make up my mind, wouldnt a cx bike with 45s(considering they would fit, supposedly the cross check fits up to 45s, also another reason im leaning toward this specific bike) be as cushiony as a 29er with 2.0's, yet still faster because of geometry, etc. ?

    yes i have thought of building one cx bike from my 2 bikes then selling the rest. will possibly do that depending on which bike i choose, if it comes complete or frame only.

    i think it will be a cross bike. now i just have to make up my mind which cross bike.

  13. #13
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    I have a CX bike (JTS) and a 29er (Monocog), and the CX bike is a lot more fun to ride around town generally. It's pretty quick on my 700x28 Randonneur Cross tires, which are basically touring tires with some tread. It also has eyelets for the rack, which the Monocog does not have. I think a Monocog with a rack and slick tires would be an enjoyable commuter, just not as fast and a little more work on hills.

    As far as off-road, I don't know where you live, but the cross bike is really only good on dirt/gravel on the plains and fire roads in the mountains. It doesn't do that great on rocky trails in Colorado. Bigger tires would help, but still beat you up some. I used to have the 34mm Nokians and they were still rough off road. If you are going to be riding off road every weekend on rocky stuff, you'll want a 29er.

  14. #14
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by zskolb View Post
    if i did only one wheelset on either the 29er or cx bike, if i can ever make up my mind, wouldnt a cx bike with 45s(considering they would fit, supposedly the cross check fits up to 45s, also another reason im leaning toward this specific bike) be as cushiony as a 29er with 2.0's, yet still faster because of geometry, etc. ?
    No.

    2.0" translates to 51mm. That's about the size I use on my XC bike. I run 25 psi front and back on that bike.

    45mm is enough smaller a casing to raise the minimum pressure for no pinch flats, although it might not effect the minimum pressure for good handling. Higher pressure means a smaller contact patch, and the wheel won't sink as far into the tire. So you're going to feel rocks and roots more.

    You should also do a little research into specific tires. The one that looks best to me in that size is the Panaracer Fire Cross. It's at least available in a folding bead, 60 tpi version. Most manufacturers that make an off-road tire in that size aren't very serious about it. I'd suspect that most people who use all that clearance on a Cross-check are using it for fenders and touring tires.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    thanks for the info on the tires.

    anyone know much about the vassago fisticuff?

    its looking pretty good to me.

    if i did do a 29er, i think i was thinking monstercross, dirt dropped bars style like the fisticuff.

  16. #16
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    That is a really cool bike, zskolb. I don't know much about them, but people say nice things about Vassago--especially the Jabberwocky.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by zskolb View Post
    thanks for the info on the tires.

    anyone know much about the vassago fisticuff?

    its looking pretty good to me.

    if i did do a 29er, i think i was thinking monstercross, dirt dropped bars style like the fisticuff.


    Has many hats.

    Currently running 28mm tires and Salsa brown bar tape (green became icky). I do road rides on this bike all the time and have done some serious singletrack on it including big rock gardens.
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  18. #18
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    I just sold my fisticuff. Its not bad at all for the price but I found out that I just prefer a mountain bike to a cross bike.

  19. #19
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    Salsa Vaya, search it, trust me! Seems perfect for your wants and needs. It has disc brakes, room for nice, wide tires(some say up to 29x1.9 Bontragers.) Clever gearing works well on pavement and dirt. There is a good Vaya thread in the Salsa forum, most are built up as gravel road bikes, but member mgersib has one built up as a monster cross. Also, check out Guitar Ted's blog(s) for more ideas.

  20. #20
    directionless white male
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    You may have seen this thread already, but I thought I'd share it when I came accross it on the 29er forum:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?p=5009476


    The Fisticufss is like a non sus-corrected KM, minus the rack mounts and cult following.

  21. #21
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    29er

  22. #22
    Dirt Rat
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    I still have my old Schwinn Voyageur 11.8 that I use for commuting. I still use the 27" "aero" wheels that I put on it when I first got the bike. The tires and tubes are still available so I got some Schwalbe Marathon Greenguard tires. Put a rack on the back for my computer case and it's been a great bike for commuting. My one way trip is 10 miles. I tried my mountain bike a few times but like you said, the road bike is a little faster.

  23. #23
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    That Salsa Vaya or the Fargo would be a good choice, I'd lean toward the Fargo. Specialized also has a Tricross Elite Disc for 2012 and it's available now. Of the 3 the Fargo is the most off road capable and the Tricross would be the most pleasant on the road.

  24. #24
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    It comes down to personal preference but maximum versatility would be via the 29er option. For a general use and commuting bike I've chopped and changed as my tastes have/needs have altered and I keep versatility to the fore.

    I started out with a Crosscheck then a desire for disc brakes moved me to a Vaya, which I'm currently running with 700x40 Marathon Supreme tyres. On the Xcheck I started with flat bars, then trekking/butterfly bars, Northroads, dirt drop Midges and finally standard shallow drop bars. The Vaya began with the same shallow drops but has now migrated to Mary bars with inboard bar ends. I found that I rarely used the drops and, if I set them up for use as with the Midges, then the tops and hoods became less useful. Both of these bikes have been run with an I-9 hub gear. I have found no difference in speed on the Vaya between the drop bars and the Mary bars, I find climbing a lot easier as well.

    I'm now building up a new custom Ti 29er frame, rigid On-One carbon forks and an Alfine 8 speed rear wheel. The frame has rack and guard mounts and the hub gear will be run with a double chainset, basically giving me a road and offroad range. The wheelset has Mavic TN719 rims which are rated, on the rim sticker, from 1" to 2.2", though I wouldn't go below a 28mm tyre on them.

    As I already have a custom Ti road bike from the same builder it's in my own interest, and the interest of my marriage, not to let the bike stable get too big. If all goes to plan then the custom 29er will have two guises, with rack, guards and the 700x40 M Supremes for road/commuting use and with bigger tyres, minus rack and guards, for offroad use. This should enable me to sell on the Vaya and reduce potential conflict at home By running the larger road tyres I can get away with using the same tubes for both, a tyre swap takes me about 10 minutes. A second wheelset isn't really on the cards due to the Alfine 8 rear and SON Delux front hubs.

    I will be amazed if my roadified 29er is slower than the Xcheck or Vaya, running the same tyres, and pretty disappointed if it's not quicker. It's certainly going to be lighter than either of them. For reference, if I did a 60 mile ride on the road bike at an average of 18mph then I'd expect to have seen the Xcheck or Vaya perform the same ride at about 16mph, but no less than 15mph. Not great speeds but I don't race and never will, but they're fast enough to hang with the group rides I take part in.

  25. #25
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    If I could only have 1 bike, it would be a 29er monstercross type bike. But, I have a mountain bike for beating on the hard trails, and a cross bike for everything else. A cross check is definitely a great choice.

    As for tire size, 1.8'' used to be pretty standard for mountain bikes, and if you feel confident on them, you can move along at a good pace on 23s, so... it's very rider dependent. Around here you can get by on the flat trails with some cross tires just fine, but anything that's not a fire road you'd want a bigger tire and a suspension to deal with the roots and rocks, so that bike that can run 20s and 2.1''s and hit everything and be fun on all of them is a unicorn.

  26. #26
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    great write up MacB. thanks. and thanks to everyone else for the input. i went ahead and ordered the crosscheck. it will be here tomorrow. i figured i commute more than anything right now so it would be my best bet. i think i will enjoy it. now i just have to get rid of the road bike.

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