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Cross bike for training/commuting(15 posts)

Cross bike for training/commutingmauka
Nov 18, 2001 11:03 PM
Hi,

I have mostly been riding mountain bikes but would like to get more training miles in by commuting to work. Is a cyclocross bike a good way to do this, or would you recommend just a road bike? Any recommendations on some good ones that are not too harsh a ride?

Thanks in advance.
Yes - excellent for the job.muncher
Nov 19, 2001 1:47 AM
More versatile than a road bike - you can always take the "scenic" route home if you want to (and you have one to take of course). Generally better brakeing, esp in the wet/dirt and oily grime that tends to go with commuting. Go the whole hog and get a single speed CX commuter?

Can of worms question. Best to remember that ride is probably more determined by wheels and tyres than by frame, though you will find plenty of milage in the real steel v Alumin debate. In general, if it fits better it will be more comfy, no matter what, ditto with comfy saddle. Carbon fork prob nicer on road than big beefy metal one, but far from essentail.

How about get a price range, try a few and just see what you like.
Yes - excellent for the job.Timo Vennonen
Nov 21, 2001 2:08 AM
Hi muncher, good post. I second your opinions. Especially the remark on the frame material as I've always wondered how people really can feel the difference there being so many other variables.

For mauka: a cx bike is great for commuting, regardless the material. And if the frame has braze-ons for a rack and fenders, it's even better (not sure though how the cross purists feel about that).
Good point - can be overcome...muncher
Nov 21, 2001 6:05 AM
Tks - we try to provide good service!

If you haven't got braze-ons, you can do what I did and get some cheap plastic one-piece MTB guards, throw away the mountings, and use a couple of zip ties - I drilled 4 small holes in the front (either side of the fork leg each side)and zipped them each side crossing over the top - works great, with good clearance and width to stop the spray. The back is easy - they clip to the seat tube, or you zip them to the bridge. Much better than frame mounted ones as they work whatever the position of your wheel.

I made rack mounts for my MTB (hilly tour couple of years ago) by using hose cips x 2 on each leg in combination with come old inner tube to protect the paint/provide good grip - worked flawlessly - esp easy if you have racks with the "upside-down Y" at the bottom of the legs where the bits of frame join together - you put one under the join around on bit of frame to take the weight, and one about around both bits for stability. Particularly cheap and effective - winner.

How do the cross purists feel? Very damp on a lot of mornings without them I should think - it's pretty miserable in the rain without guards.

That's one of the great things about commuting IMHO - it doesn't matter how you do it, the important thing is that you are doing it. Ever notice how you don't tend to say "what the hell is that he's riding" when you see a fellow commuter, but rather "good on us". Not the same on road outing days generally - wonder why?
Considering the mtb guards also + commuting storyTimo Vennonen
Nov 22, 2001 12:50 AM
My frame has all the braze-ons but the guards I have accommodate 30 mm tires only. I just changed the 40 mm studded tires (it's snowing right now) and had to take the mud guards off. That makes me half a purist for the time being I guess - the rear rack is still there. And my back's semi wet.

I think that the commuting is really the essence of bicycling: you're moving under your own steam, you have a purpose and you enjoy what your doing.

Sadly, now when the weather has turned more wintry I can't commute that much. And that's only because we don't have a shower in the office. In summertime that's not a problem, but now when you have to dress heavily it is. Any suggestions?

I read an interesting commuting story in a local newspaper a while back. The guy commutes every day, about a 20 km round trip, come rain, come shine, on a fixed gear beater bike. And he lives near the Arctic circle so that the conditions aren't exactly favourable. Bicycling is not his hobby, it's just something he does. 4000 kilometres a year in fact, with the kind of equipment us "real cyclists" wouldn't touch. There's certainly same kind of stories to be told from all around the world. And for some reason those commuters are often considered as freds. Gives food for thought...

But yes, as a fellow commuter you're less likely to make mental remarks on other people style. And when you are on a more serious outing, riding just for fun, the style comes so much more important. Talk about Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!
Solution suggestions.muncher
Nov 22, 2001 1:59 AM
I had this problem when I did my post-grad at a college in central London without a shower. The cycling had to continue for financial reasons, so I just got bold and took a wash bag in with me and used a hand basin for a pretty thorough wash. Providing that I kept my wicking layer clean every day, the situation was managable. Got some funny looks for the first week or so, but then actually some strange respect as the "cycling psycho guy". Others I know also use those "wet-wip" impregnated tissues (better if you can "brorrow" a load from your local gone-broke airline) to deal with the sweat issue.
Psychos...Timo Vennonen
Nov 22, 2001 10:58 PM
I think I've already gained a cycling psycho status among my collegues with my stockings (they consider perfectly normal riding gear weird, can you imagine) and all the other tools of the trade, but why not strive for more? So, when the blizzard we're having calms down, maybe I'll try your antics!

Cheers,

Timo

P.S. It seems like some of us won't recognize humour if there's no disclaimer to give a beforehand warning. But I discovered that my tool chest is almost full of Zipps. What a feeling.
Yeah!muncher
Nov 23, 2001 1:48 AM
I never though of that. And if you roll them up into a little circle and hold your thumb over the fastener bit, they look just like you've got a pair of custom built super light carbon rims (allbeit a little small, but hey, it's a start...)
Oh yeah - and another advantage...muncher
Nov 21, 2001 9:51 AM
It's the only way I can get to afford anything with "Zip" in the name, even if it's a "z" short...
Pd'oh
Nov 21, 2001 12:31 PM
nm
You have two "p"s in Zzipp over there? ;-) nmmuncher
Nov 22, 2001 1:53 AM
Yes, it's ZIPPdiggler
Nov 22, 2001 6:07 AM
dork, check it out for yourself
http://www.zipp.com/
I'll check it in a min when I've found a humour site for you. nmmuncher
Nov 22, 2001 6:20 AM
Ignore him muncher...lonefrontranger
Nov 22, 2001 11:06 AM
You can ride my Zipps anytime you're in Boulder, CO.
Wow!muncher
Nov 23, 2001 1:45 AM
Thanks! I am just putting that in my diary and taking a peek at flight prices for the Christmas period ;~)