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Cyclocross bike as a compromise choice for a teen?(4 posts)

Cyclocross bike as a compromise choice for a teen?JML
Jun 22, 2003 7:40 PM
My 14-year-old is at the point where he's grown enough to need a new bike, and we're not going to be able to get him both a mountain bike and road bike (he and I are not willing to compromise that much on quality, nor is my wife going to let us spend over $800). He's still growing, but already tall enough to ride a 52 or 54 cm road bike, or a 15" hardtail mountain bike, depending on the top tube length (which scares me, as I ride a 52.5 cm 3Rensho and a 15" Jamis Dragon). He's been riding a BMX bike, but can climb exceptionally well, and we live where he can ride on- and off-road.

We were thinking of buying an entry-level cyclocross bike, as a weird compromise, given that it might be pretty good for both on- and off-road use, perhaps needing only tire changes for special purposes, and give him enough taste of different riding styles to see what he really wants to do as he continues to get taller and stronger.

What do you think?
re: Cyclocross bike as a compromise choice for a teen?buffalosorrow
Jun 23, 2003 2:54 AM
Try this post on the cyclocross discussion board.
otherwise seems like a logical choice, you can pick up a used better equiped cross bike on ebay or here in the classifields. Depending on how serious you son is regarding riding, he and you may want to try the local Cat C cyclocross race. As I started but I am 25, now I race B's and hopefully A's midseason. Younger riders mostly ride MTB hardtails or the occasional BMX. A cross frame offers flexability on and off road and I think is a excellent option.
re: Cyclocross bike as a compromise choice for a teen?roadboy
Jun 23, 2003 6:59 AM
I think it's a great idea. A cyclocross bike makes a great roadbike, though the handling is not as great due to geometry, but for your son it would be a great way to try road biking. Plus with some 38c cyclocross tires like the ritchey's it can be a compotent off-roader. I have riden mine off road many times, and while it's not as good as a mountain bike, it certainly works. If I could only have one bike it would be a cyclocross bike, because it would allow me to do everything. Look on ebay to, you can usually find great deals on lightly used cyclocross bikes
Worked great for me for yearsretro
Jun 23, 2003 8:20 AM
Almost 20 years ago, when I was getting back into cycling and had two small kids and a stay-home wife, I wanted a mountain bike but could barely afford a bike at all. I converted a $30 used touring bike to semi-cyclocross with 35mm tires and some other minor changes. It was a desperation move, but I found that I could ride it almost anywhere my friends could go with the mountain bikes and tires of that period. The only exception was deep, loose surfaces, where the skinny tires dug in.
Got more bikes than I know what to do with now, and I live in great mountain bike country--but I still do about a third of my offroad riding on either an Atlantis (with 35mm Pasela road tires) or that same old tourer, now a singlespeed.
I think it's a great idea. If you can afford it, you might buy him a spare set of wheels so he can change from roadie to CX tires easily. Otherwise, a cheap set of generic tires will do. Once he learns to do it, he'll be able to swap in <10 minutes.