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cyclo-cross vs mountain bike(6 posts)

cyclo-cross vs mountain bikeWild Bill
Nov 15, 2002 5:56 PM
What bike is more practical to own..............Mountain or cyclo-cross?
Can a cyclo-cross bike do just about as much as a mountain bike?
Can you use a cyclo-cross bike on all the mountain bike trails?
Would a cyclo-cross bike be better in the snow than a mountain bike?
Need to know all the answers. Thanks to all who reply.
mountain bikeweiwentg
Nov 15, 2002 6:09 PM
well, if I had to own only two bikes, one would be a mountain bike (and the other would be a road bike). you simply can't handle the really technical stuff on a CX bike. you can do a cross race on a hardtail. you will be at a disadvantage: hardtails (generally) weigh more, have lower gearing, and too-thick tires. and if your fork doesn't have a lockout, you will have another (small) disadvantage.
It all depends.......TWD
Nov 15, 2002 6:44 PM
It all depends on what's most important to you, your riding style, and local terrain to name a few.

If you're a good bike handler off road, you can do alot of mtb trails on a cross bike. If the trails get really rocky, rooted, and loose, a cx bike will start to be less desirable compared to a front or full suspended mtb with fatter tires. Not to say that you can't take your cx bike on these type of trails (I do it regularly).

Can you take a cx bike on ALL mtb trails? Sure, but it may be over your shoulder with you running, but that's the beauty of cross. Can a cx bike do anything a mtb can do off road....probably not, but it wasn't meant to either.

Would a CX bike be better in snow? Probably worse in hard pack snow, probably better in deep or loose snow.

CX bikes are great for commuting and for those of us who have lengthy pavement rides to and from the trailhead.
I vote for the MTBmorati
Nov 15, 2002 6:46 PM
The mountain bike will always be better on the trails. The more technical the trail the better off you are on the MTB. On the road or easy single track the 'cross bike will be faster. The cross bike will also IMHO be easier to maintain with its lack of suspension and triple chainrings. It makes a better commuter bike as well. When the snow falls the mountain bike will be easier to control 'cause of its more upright stance and you will have the choice of picking the proper tires for the conditions. Skinny mtb tires for the slush to cut through it and wide monster tires with low pressures if you are riding on hard packed snow on the trails. Even better, buy both. Good Luck.
Definitly depends...tamjam
Nov 18, 2002 9:40 AM
...on a few factors, but mostly your terrain, IMHO. The offroad riding where I live lends itself perfectly to either riding Cross or singlespeed MTB, which is why that is all I have built up now. I just rode 35mi+ on my CX Saturday with a bunch of friends who were on MTB. It was mostly fireroads with some pavement when there wasn't a trail. We're all in roughly the same shape, and I was able to ride the CX faster than most of them on all stretches except 2 very steep rocky descents. Several of them were on their FS so that was no surprise to me. I had no regrets about choosing to ride my CX for Saturday's adventure.

The only trails I would be wary about taking my CX on is tight rooty singletrack or steep boulder-strewn fireroads. CX bikes have steeper angles and skinnier tires. The angles will make you feel like you're about to go OTB on technical descents, and a 700c tire, even like the 44 I use on the front of mine, pumped up to 60psi, will not hold a line over the rough stuff as well as a 2.3 mtb tire pumped up to 25psi.

So yes, a CX can do "just about as much as a mountain bike" and cover almost all of the trails as well as a MTB can, but put the two on pavement, and a CX will always be faster. So it really comes down to your terrain and what sort of riding you plan to use it for.

disclaimer: I've only had my cross bike for a month so that's what my opinion is based on.
re: cyclo-cross vs mountain bikeclimbo
Nov 18, 2002 1:27 PM
Is this philosophical or practical here? I was thinking about this earlier. If I had to have ONLY one bike, it would be a Sulry Crosscheck or something exactly like it, maybe custom made by IF, Steelman or Sachs.

It can be ridden as a cross bike, mountain bike, road bike, track bike and can fit fairly big tyres for the dirt, fenders for commuting, panniers and racks for touring. It has limitations on the trails obviously and wouldn't be great on the road to race but it would get you there no problems.

Not a bad idea if you couldn't afford much.

Snow? I would say a MTB would be better in heavy snow because of the wider tyres but a cross bike can handle some snow pretty well too.