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Cyclocross bike for commuting and foul weather road training(14 posts)

Cyclocross bike for commuting and foul weather road trainingbobobo
Oct 29, 2002 10:19 AM
I'm contemplating buying a steel cyclocross bike with steel fork to be used for commuting and poor weather road training, especially in the winter, spring and rain. Is this a good or bad idea? I'm thinking about getting a Strong Foco Cyclocross frame and outfitting it with Campy Chorus 9 speed and Paul cantilever brakes with perhaps Mavic CXP-33 rims laced to chorus hubs and running maybe Ritchey 700/28C slick Cross Max cyclocross tires (which Ritchey says is great for touring, commuting, etc...). Would this be a good setup for commuting and foul weather road training with a possible entry into beginner cyclocross events also?
re: Cyclocross bike for commuting and foul weather road trainingatpjunkie
Oct 29, 2002 10:23 AM
YES, sounds like a very great bike and more than an entry level race bike. If you live in a super wet place or they salt the roads you may want to treat the insides of the frame to prevent corrosion. I say DO IT, excellent choice!
You sound like me!Steve_O
Oct 29, 2002 11:20 AM
I was in the same boat. Spent the last 1-1/2 years commuting on a standard road bike year round through Chicago. As that bike was getting "tired" I made the switch to a cross bike last January. A cross bike is an ideal commuter...

- beefier frame, fork, wheels, take more abuse from bad roads then a standard road bike.
- lower gearing is better for start/stop city riding
- upright riding position of a CXer is more suited for looking around in traffic and carrying a pack
- If your commute has some dirt or trails then a CX bike makes even more sense

As for tires I trade off between CX tires and road tires depending on the local conditions. If the singletrack is dry or there is going to be snow on the asphalt I ride cheap CX tires (wire bead Ritchey Speed Max or Kendas). If I am going to be doing a lot of road riding then I go with 700 x 25c Continentals...

Here are a couple of suggestions...
- Do you think you would be using a rack? Sometimes race specific CX bikes don't have the eyelets for a rack. (My Kelly doesn't). This isn't a factor if you are going to carry everything in a backpack or messenger bag...

- Get some JP Weigle Framesaver to protect the tubes from rust...
thumbs up steve obuffalosorrow
Oct 29, 2002 3:03 PM
Yes to all.
There is always the options of rack mounts, also many months back a bike "colnago" posted in the images area with an eyletless rack system was listed, the owner commented on the quality of the rack, non- sway, stability through rolling hills etc...
Otherwise Deuter backpacks are great technical backs as well as tim buk tu messenger bags. I carry all I need in a tiny EMS pack.
I built up my single speed cross to commute and enter races. So far, I have no complaints, perfect work horse.
this is a COMMUTER level bike??weiwentg
Oct 29, 2002 11:44 AM
yow ... you could definitely race on this. Foco is very high end, and if I were commuting I think I'd get something lower end, probably similar to REyonlds 525. my cross bike is True Temper OSCRX (I think; it's the equivalent to 525). it's got Daytona 9 speed shifting, XT cantilevers, and Cane Creek wheels (which I got for cheap). I commute and race on it, and it really works very well. of course something made of Columbus Starship or Ultrafoco would help with portage, but it's plenty good enough.
this is a COMMUTER level bike??atpjunkie
Oct 29, 2002 12:01 PM
yes, my toughts as well. very swank commuter bike. Weiwentg is right. go with Dayton, Centaur....chorus is a little excessive
this is a COMMUTER level bike??bobobo
Oct 29, 2002 4:10 PM
Thanks for the responses guys. The primary reason I selected Foco is because I currently have a Foco road frameset which I really like the ride of a lot and I have heard great things about Carl Strongs Foco bikes, both road, MTB and cyclocross. I'll admit it;s a bit of overkill for commuting, but for bad weather road training I think it will suit me well in addition to entry level cyclocross and perhaps even intermediate if I really get into it.

I think I will however go with Centaur/Daytona I have used these groups with lots of success and they basically shift and brake great with just a slight weight penalty versus Chorus.

Thanks for the responses all.
this is a COMMUTER level bike??weiwentg
Oct 29, 2002 5:09 PM
well, in the end, it is your bike. if you're sure you're going to get a lot of use out of it, and you can afford it, then what the hell, eh? I remember someone posted a Seven Axiom in the galleries that he was using as a commuter. sometimes, reason does not enter into the picture when purchasing bikes.
that said, I'd probably stick with Centaur. you WILL crash in CX. equipment will certainly get damaged at some point. some guy fell onto the barriers at the last cross race I was at. he fell onto his front wheel, which was a Ksyrium. he tacoed the rim severely - there is no way in hell that rim can ever be ridden, and it wasn't even his wheel. ouch. all the spokes looked OK, though.
I'd probably go with Chorus ergos, if I had the money. ball bearings = good stuff. Centaur uses bushings.
this is a COMMUTER level bike??bobobo
Oct 29, 2002 6:55 PM
Thanks, I'll do that, Centaur mix with Chorus levers. This bike will get an awful lot of use, commuting miles, lots of road training miles and cyclocross next year.

this is a COMMUTER level bike??atpjunkie
Oct 29, 2002 8:02 PM
have fun. I commute on one of my cx bikes. Luckily I have a shower and clothes storage at work so I have no need for racks. It only carries a single H20 bottle so if I night ride I use a waist hydration bag to carry any necessaries and water. Otherwise it's just the saddlebag and one bottle.
some 'economical' custom suggestionsAsh
Oct 31, 2002 10:28 AM
I am doing the exact same thing. Cross frame for mainly commuting and possibly trying out on the fire roads and in a race.

'Had' to go custom cause of long lengs/short torso disease. Couldn't justify $1000-$1400 on a frame/fork. So I looked for the most economical custom out there and came up with some good options.
$495 frame AND fork out of Columbus Zona, $100 upcharge for Foco.
Very nice looking Zona and Foco
Canadian exchange rate makes going across the border very economical

marinoni also quoted very reasonable custom price on Zona

Also going across the pond to England at gets you a a custom 853 frame for under 6 bills.

I ended up ordering one from Allan Wanta. He answered all my questions to my satisfaction, and I talked to some references plus I have a soft spot for the small American builder. It is going to the painter on Nov 10, So I'll get it a little while after that. Ordered a Foco frameset, with down tube shifter bosses, horizantal Surly trackends with a rear der. hanger, rack/fender eyelets to make it as versatile a frame as possible. Dark green. Mated to yellow Velocity rims/blacks spokes/hubs. Yellow bar tape...Can't wait.

I made the jump to Foco instead of Zona because I weigh 140lbs and also cause it was so cheap to begin with I could afford the Foco, but in retrospect I think that Zona would have been just as great and the $100 could go to parts.

I'll post a review here when I get it and have a chance to ride it.

Good luck, have fun.
some 'economical' custom suggestionsbuffalosorrow
Nov 1, 2002 6:06 PM
I have been riding my Graham Weigh custom reynolds 531 with 853 teardrop downtube 15 miles daily as a single speed. I enjoy the bike so much I am thinking of upgrading its status to race worthy. October 23/24? is the Chainbiter 4.0 in CT.
I have the pics but my scanner is acting funny...always something wrong. I need a digital camera.
re: Cyclocross bike for commuting and foul weather road trainingjrm
Nov 2, 2002 6:39 PM
For less money you can have a Kelly knobby Cross. compenents. i ride my knobby cross as a commuter and a cross bike using two different wheelsets. The angles are steep and roadish. Commuting this is good. Overall however the bike excellerates fast, is quick enough in traffic, smooth enough for smooth surfaces, tough enough for jumping pot holes and bunny hoping curbs. I use a open pro/ultegra wheelset with 28cc panaracer Tserv for messenger @ 120psi.

In the dirt the bikes fun as hell. The steep angles are something you have to get used to. prepare to go over the bars getting used the bike. its real nimble with the 30cc michelins and WTB 3.1 speed rims. On buff singletrack the bikes a blast. As it gets technical the only real limit is the one between your ears.

jumping 9bunnwrcik in thi like having LX V brakes because in traffic and on the trail they dont fade half as fast as a canti or mini V. Als the triple MTB crankset with 12-27 cassette allows you to spin or stomp pretty much anything.
agree, get the Kelly!!!atpjunkie
Nov 6, 2002 8:04 PM
brown is sweet. I'm partial to green with the orange labels or vice versa