Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

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steviecfb
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Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby steviecfb » Fri Jul 05, 2013 22:21 pm

I have a hybrid - a Scott Sportster - and I want to get something lighter and faster. I ride mainly railway paths, Sustrans-type tracks, and some rough roads - very little rough stuff and what there is I'd use the hybrid for: I'm no mountain biker - so I think my choice is narrowed down to a cyclocross bike or a road bike with maybe slightly fatter tyres.

Am I right that I should be looking at those sorts of bike?
Would you choose one type over another?
What would you recommend around the £1,000 mark?

It seems there's much more choice in road bikes.

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Initialised
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Initialised » Fri Jul 05, 2013 22:58 pm

Cross bikes can be thought of as MTBs with drop bars. for road riding look for a 50/34 compact rather than the typical 46/30 you'd get on a cross. The knobbly tyres that most come with are great in mud and grass but will just slow you down on the road and the kind of trails you ride.

Road bikes wont cope well with the off road stuff and even poor road surfaces and will need tight clearance for mud guard so will be limited to small tyres which aren't suitable, look for a frame and fork that can accommodate 42mm. Rim brakes aren't good in the wet and will clog up when it gets muddy.

I have a Specialized Secteur Sport Disc, it has masses of tyre clearance (I'm considering fitting it with 26" MTB wheels with studded 1.9s for winter use). It's classed as Endurance Road which basically means sporty tourer. Trek do something similar for £950, Crossrip I think, more sensible brake caliper position on the Trek.

As all purpose bikes I think these two are pretty good, they sit in that middle ground between road and cross. And will only really struggle climbing in mud or to keep up with 'proper' road bikes on the way up a long steep climb (that might just be me though).
I used to just ride my bike to work but now I find myself going out looking for bigger and bigger hills.

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Big_Paul
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Big_Paul » Sat Jul 06, 2013 07:37 am

I have Revolution Cross, which is supposedly a CX'er but errs a bit on the road side of things with cable routing etc.I've kitted it out with rack and guards and it's running 32mm Gatorskins which to my utter surprise, aren't that bad on the gravelly towpath and forest trails I sometimes use as a shortcut. Hopeless on grass or mud though. There's a more expensive new version with discs though, and if you really wanted to ride on slightly slippier stuff, you could get a road tyre with a better tread like a Marathon+.

Some of the disc braked tourers look good too, if speed isn't the primary factor.
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steviecfb
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby steviecfb » Sat Jul 06, 2013 08:18 am

I think I am looking for a bike "in that middle ground between road and cross": I avoid roads as much as I can (though there are some reasonably quiet and safe ones near where I live) so I'm not after out-and-out speed. (Though I would like to hit 40mph once in my life :) ).

As it happens, the hybrid has Marathon Plus tyres at the moment - though that was more because of the large numbers of punctures I acquired on the route from Consett to Sunderland ...

Thanks very much. I have noted on the back of the tab packet Trek Crossrip 2013 at £850.00, Specialized Tricross Sport Disc Compact 2013 Cyclocross Bike at £1000 and http://www.edinburghbicycle.com/product ... tion-bikes :)

Dandelionclock30
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Dandelionclock30 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 09:18 am

I've been in this position and ended up with A Surly Crosscheck which is the best general do it all bike I've ever ridden and so comfortable. I would have chosen a Tricross as all the offers were on but the sizes were too big for me. I was told that Trek Crossrip isnt very good for the money.
September is when all the shops start selling off their 2013 bikes, so you should get a good deal then.

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supersonic
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby supersonic » Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:28 pm

What model Speedster do you have?

steviecfb
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby steviecfb » Sat Jul 06, 2013 15:14 pm

Supersonic: a 55.

Slowbike
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Slowbike » Sat Jul 06, 2013 16:45 pm

I have a tricross as my commuter, wet or trail ride. It's a great bike - but then I would say that ;)
It's taken wet, snow, ice, normal roads and trails. I now have two sets of wheels - one with slicks (23mm gp4season) an the other with cx tyres - 32mm - the cx ones are the standard ones and are not very good off road and not good on it either so they'll be replaced before the winter or when they wear out!

I've found the tricross with slicks is not as quick as my road bike - you're more upright - even with a longer stem - so it's not quite a do it all bike, but pretty close (would be the same for most cx's I would think)

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supersonic
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby supersonic » Sat Jul 06, 2013 17:19 pm

As far as I am aware, the S55 is a good bike - light too (sub 10kg) - so I don't see you getting anything significantly better for your budget.

Mindermast
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Mindermast » Sat Jul 06, 2013 17:25 pm

I got a Merida 4D recently and am quite astonished. I am used to road bikes, and up to 22 mph, I can't really tell the difference. It is very agile and a lot of fun, even on the road. Disk brakes, fairly light wheels (around 1.750 g) and Shimano 105 gear set. If you find something in this range, it is probably better for you than a road race bike, and this one fits your budget exactly.

BigFatBloke
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby BigFatBloke » Sat Jul 06, 2013 17:59 pm

I have been commuting for about 20 years.

After a lot of trial and error for the seven years I have been riding a steel frame single speed bike with 32 spoke wheels and decent road tyres Continental 4000 which I have found to be puncture resistant enough with good performance.

I do sometimes flip the wheel round to train on fixed but for commuting I find single speed better.

I have a 1920s Tour De France poster and the bike I ride now is very similar. I have in the past used track frames, but my current bike is a steel Charge Plug which retails for about £500, sometimes cheaper. All I have done is upgrade the tyres. Bike is bomb proof and although a bit heavy compared to carbon or aluminium or top end steel frames is remarkably fast. Wheels are good quality as are the hubs.

I have found that for commuting the minimalist approach is best.

I would recommend steel for price and durability.

If you keep tyres well inflated 120 psi (perhaps less if you are a lightweight rider) you get far fewer punctures. Worn tyres also puncture more easily. Do not buy cheap tyres it is not worth the trouble.

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matt@theforce
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby matt@theforce » Tue Jul 09, 2013 15:42 pm

Another vote for the Merida Cyclocross 4d. I've had mine about 1month and done over 500miles, very capable and quick on the road and just as good off road too.

I used to commute on a road bike and since getting my Merida I can use various trails (gravel/mud/sand/grass/stony) and it copes very well.
I've also tried it on the road (same route as my road bike) and despite the difference in gearing the cyclocross isn't any slower, infact I'm marginally quicker due to the extra comfort provided by the 33c tyres on the awful potholed roads.

I've also done a 60mile ride from Manchester Airport using various Trans Pennine Trails through Stockport/Woodhead/Penistone etc with no issues then went out last weekend and did a 70mile road ride in the Howardian hills.

They are a very versitile bike and uber comfy (with the right saddle)

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supersonic
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby supersonic » Tue Jul 09, 2013 15:56 pm

Just realised I've been talking a load of b0ll0cks in this thread, he has a sportster, not speedster, doh!

steviecfb
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby steviecfb » Tue Jul 09, 2013 21:17 pm

:) supersonic - I've added Marathon+s so I reckon over 15 kilos - I blame Scott for calling all their bikes Somethingster - I didn't notice you asking about Speedster :) :)

Artindoril
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Artindoril » Thu Jul 11, 2013 21:00 pm

I had the exact same decision to make:

viewtopic.php?t=12924546

So glad I went down the road bike. Actually a quicker commute in now than it was driving and then getting the train!

If you want to do a bit of offroad then I'd say the cyclocross. If not then something like the domane 2.0 will do you well.

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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby Raymondo60 » Sat Jul 13, 2013 05:08 am

For mixed surface commuting a Cross bike just can't be beat. I run a Stevens Vapor with discs, and replaced the 35c Rocket Rons (very knobbly) with 32c Specialized Borough tyres which are excellent on the road and not far off perfect for towpath/gravel/track surfaces.
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jacknorell
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Re: Commuting and weekend bike: road or cyclocross?

Postby jacknorell » Wed Jul 17, 2013 20:42 pm

I just saw the new Planet X Kaffenback and very tempted to set that up as a relaxed drop bar bike with good discs.

It's somewhere between a CX bike and a tourer, and cheap-ish for a frame if you have some parts / wheels already.

Just a thought, should do really well on city streets and larger tyres.


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