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Road bike vs. Cross bike pro/con ?(23 posts)

Road bike vs. Cross bike pro/con ?Matrix
May 8, 2001 10:27 PM
I am going to get a cross bike, but maybe want just a road? I noticed the road have a narrower fork & brakes hide from wind...Other than that what would be the difference & would cross bike be Slower with road tires??
Probably want a light bike & Fuji team road is 18# & Kona cross is like 23# ..5 pounds difference, to cross??
27 views & no reply....gee thanks !Matrix
May 10, 2001 5:25 AM
I'll decide on a road bike ....& run the mtb trails !
re: Road bike vs. Cross bike pro/con ?psychodan
May 10, 2001 9:19 AM
IMHO, a cross bike will make a better road bike than vice-versa. If you do intend to ride trails at all, definitely go with the much more versatile cyclo-cross bike. You may pay a slight aero & wt. penalty but my Voodoo scandium/alu. crosser weighs in at a scant 19 lb. with knobbies. It's really nice to head out for a ride and just go any where,pavement, dirt roads, or even trail. Sometimes you might find a cool trail and then come back with a MTB.
re: Road bike vs. Cross bike pro/con ?HeavyD
May 10, 2001 4:36 PM
Maybe a very minor concern but here goes...the biggest difference I have noticed between my road bike and my cyclocross bike is the cyclocross bike does not corner at speed as well as my road bike. The higher center of gravity on the crosser maybe to blame. If there are no crits on the horizon, go with the 'cross bike.
Thanks- I just bought aMatrix
May 11, 2001 5:01 AM
1999-LeMond "Zurich" frame /fork..I'll probably just keep my mtn bike too,or sell it & Run the trails!!
re: Road bike vs. Cross bike pro/con ?lonefrontranger
May 13, 2001 12:55 AM

Have been forced to race my Redline Cyclo-X in crits and road races a number of times. It's not my first choice, but it's definitely a viable option. The high BB does take some getting used to (plus I reversed my brakes) but the advantage is you can really lay that sucker over in turns. I have the 1997 model frame, which I understand was redesigned after the Redline team complained that it handled too quick. Personally I love the way it handles and wouldn't change it.

I had to race it as a road bike for an entire season back in '98, when my Giant Cadex became a Cadillac hood ornament in early spring and I didn't have the cash to replace it. A couple weeks back, I sold my Trek 2300 to help pay for a new road bike. While I'm waiting for it to come in, I'm still racing local crits on the Redline. Last weekend I won a prime each day and finished 2nd and 6th, so I don't think it slows me down much.

The biggest advantage to the Redline is its versatility. I use it to commute to work 3 or 4 days a week, and on weekends when I don't race, I put the knobs on and take it up in the hills around Boulder to do some of the easy to moderate doubletrack and fire road trails.

I have a sweet MTB, and will have a positively lustalicious road bike once it's paid for and assembled. But if I was forced to settle on just one bike, it would have to be the Redline. The irony of this is that I paid $300 for the frame and fork, then built it up from everyone else's junk box parts.
What are ya doin'?Realman
May 9, 2001 7:44 AM
Trying to set a new standard for Freddism? Get some trainer wheels while you are at it why don't you? Anyway, they will get in the way on the basket on the front of your bike....
What are ya doin'?flyweight
May 14, 2001 5:45 PM
Sicne you're such an expert I'd like to know what place you came in at the Worlds?? Did you at least finish ahead of the Fred riders??
re: top mount brake leversgust-of-sun
May 9, 2001 8:39 AM
Haven't ridden them, but i've installed a couple pairs at the shop. They work pretty well (read: they stop you). and every crosser at the shop rides them, the manager has them on his commuter. What's really going to help your handling in technical terrain, though, is a set of splayed bars like the salsa bell lap's or the wtb dirt drops. wider bars=more leverage=more precise control.

just my 2cts.

They run with Campy just fine. (nm)gust-of-sun
May 11, 2001 2:50 PM
Agree with RealmanProrider
May 10, 2001 4:07 AM
There are only used by guys who can't ride properly - they are heavy and not needed if you can handle your bike, and know how to set it up right. Otherwise, just get a cruiser and watch the races.
Got any doubts about a guy named "Prorider"...RUA Poser?
May 10, 2001 5:35 PM
...who has to call himself that, and then belittle people who ask honest questions?
Agree with Realmanflyweight
May 14, 2001 5:43 PM
You're an idiot who doesn't know what they're talking about. Take a quick peak at the World's before you put your Sidi's in your mouth.
Great! It's gettin' just like the general board....muncher
May 11, 2001 3:36 AM
We can keep the ball rolling here - lemme think...oh yeah, here we go, how about "I can't believe you'd use bar levers, I bet you think that it's OK to use Shimano rather than Campy too eh?"


"Proprad! Ha! You gonna put a motor on the back?"


"A Jake! Good luck with the brain op".

Any other takers?...
Great! It's gettin' just like the general board....Ray Sachs
May 11, 2001 10:07 AM
I just got sucked into a flame war with an obvious troller using three different screen names on the general board. I blew it - I'll try to resist jerks like that over here.

re: top mount brake leverslonefrontranger
May 13, 2001 12:18 AM

My copy of Simon Burney's "Cyclo-Cross" has an extensive section on how to mount and cable a second set of brake levers- seems fairly easy. The Euros do this fairly frequently. You can find Burney's book on Amazon or from Velo Press, and it really is the bible of all things 'cross.

A combination of wanting to save as much weight as possible, plus the fact that I always ride in the drops anyway, coupled with most of the 'cross races I've done qualifying as grass crits with hurdles (non-technical) meant that I never bothered to try this. It looks like a good plan for the over-the-top sketchiness that the Euros ride.

I did, however, take time to reverse my brakes. This may seem like a useless retro sort of conceit, but let me tell you that not having to use my front brake in a half-dismount while sailing towards a hurdle was a big confidence builder for full-tilt speed hurdles.
what I heard was this:goathead
May 13, 2001 8:51 AM
Apparently its easier to approach a hurdle or run-up with your hand on the top part of the handlebar rather than the drops. however, I havent tried this setup to really know. I am just a newby trying to get the basics of dismounting.
braking in dismount modelonefrontranger
May 13, 2001 9:42 PM
... probably shouldn't be done, in a perfect world. But we all know better, as most of us aren't that brave or skillful, and the world of 'cross being what it is (racing skinny tires in conditions that would make most MTBers stay home) means that there will be ample opportunity for extenuating circumstances, such as inert bodies suddenly materializing in your path.

The reason I reverse my brakes as follows: On what is affectionately termed a "full-tilt gut check" i.e. speed hurdles, it's nice to be able to modulate, especially if you want to avoid t-boning the guy who just yard saled in front of you. And, whether braking from the hoods or the drops, if you need to modulate in the midst of a dismount (meaning your right hand is already on the top or down tube), it's very comforting to know that the left hand isn't grabbing a handful of front brake as you're careening towards a hurdle at 25 mph, hanging halfway off the bike.

I use the drops a lot out of personal preference, as I think it feels more secure. Burney teaches that you'll steer better in thick soupy or sandy stuff by riding relaxed on the tops and keeping your weight back. That being said, a buddy of mine busted his wrist at a 'cross race by riding down a bumpy wet descent and having a hand slip off the bars while riding on the tops. He landed on his face as well, but sadly I can't report any improvement to his looks :)

Back to the original topic: top-mounted brakes are a good idea for wet, squirrelly conditions where you don't want to move your hands around on the bars much. I imagine this is why the Euro pros use them fairly often, since their courses are much nastier than your typical Midwestern grass crit with hurdles. The minor weight penalty is negligable considering the fact that their bikes wear about 10 kilos of mud during most of the race anyhow. The U.S. 'crossers in places like Seattle where they have technical, muddy courses also tend to use top-mounted brakes sometimes, so it is most likely dictated by conditions, similar to the full-suspension vs. hardtail for XC debate.
braking in dismount modelonefrontranger
May 14, 2001 11:14 AM
It didn't take that long, really. It's like riding a fixed gear in that you teach yourself pretty quickly how NOT to react. I tend to use my brakes fairly evenly anyway when I'm not in semi-dismount mode since I'm pretty experienced with tough gnarly MTB descents - here again, you learn fast what doesn't work.

The fun was this spring when I sold my road bike and started racing the Redline in crits. I had to keep reminding myself "left hand, rear brake, left hand, rear brake...". Took about a day or so to adapt with no major mistakes.
braking in dismount modeclimbo
May 23, 2001 9:32 AM
MJ, I prefer the regular brake set up so that when I apply the front brake during a dismount I can make the back wheel pop up so that I get the bike shouldered fast without having to bend down or pick it up so far. Just a thought, of course, if you get off on the right hand side of your bike (a leftie?) this means nothing.
re: top mount brake leversflyweight
May 14, 2001 5:47 PM
I picked up a pair recently. Thing I like about these (versus the MTB levers in the Burney book) is that they don't require extra brake cable. They're pretty simple to install and work great. Really depends on where you ride. On off camber stuff and slippery downhills they're pretty handy.
May 15, 2001 6:17 PM
Yer all wimps, only backwards-riding mountain unicyclists, riding hand-welded transylvanian steel framed, Campy-crank & Brooks saddled uni's are cool.

Sorry, man, you made it so tempting!
May 17, 2001 2:57 AM
And what is wrong with my hand-welded transylvanian steel framed, Campy-crank & Brooks saddled unicycle, with oak rim wheel, whale bone spokes, petrified Yugoslavian cheese free-wheeling hub, with ruby-studded mammoth skin tyres? They're 10 a penny round here you know - you're not making any friends trying to exclude those from the CX community....

I've seen you showing off on that fancy moudled belly-fluff framed penny farthing tricycle, blocking everyone at the first hurdle, you're not impressing anyone here....