's Forum Archives - Cyclo-Cross

Archive Home >> Cyclo-Cross(1 2 3 )

Kelly Knobbycross vs Steelman Eurocross Geometry(4 posts)

Kelly Knobbycross vs Steelman Eurocross GeometryJMD
Dec 9, 2002 5:18 AM
So I raced the cross season this year on 2 borrowed bikes-both of which were AL and not something I am interested in. I am going to take the advise of some who post on this forum to use the availiable deals from custom builders. I can get a frame/fork for the neighborhood or 500-600 depending on tubing choices. So I have narrowed my geometry down to that of the Kelly Knobbycross (73 head angle.73 seat angle, 42 cm chainstays, 98.6 wheel base -all for a 53 cm) or a Steelman Eurocross (71.5 head angle, 74 seat, 42.5 chainstays, and 101.6 wheelbase-same TT length). This seems to be a pretty big diference in handling for 2 race ready cross frames that seem to be able to tackle local singletrack and road riding well judging by the reviews. This bike will see rocky rooty singletrack as well as fixed gear riding on the roads and of course next year cross season. I realize that the Kelly will be the "Quicker of the two handling wise which is good for the road, but will this give less stability on the singletrack downhills? And Eurocross owners-would this frame be much slower handling on the road that a typical road frame for lengthy rides as well as local training rides? Thanks all the help everyone.
re: Kelly Knobbycross vs Steelman Eurocross Geometry1x1 Speed Craig
Dec 9, 2002 6:34 AM

I'm getting ready to order a custom SS Steelman Eurocross (probably sometime this week) that I'll used for fixed/free riding on and offroad. I haven't compared it against the Kelly, but I wanted to clarify something in your post. You're looking to get something in the $500-600 range? A Steelman runs double that. Do you have a line on a used one or something? Just curious.

The only other 'cross bike I've owned is a Surly Cross-check, and I went with the Steelman based on rider reviews and reputation, rather than specific geometry comparisons vs. other manufacturers.

My Biking Website
Coming from an MTB background...Steve_O
Dec 9, 2002 9:20 AM
I picked up a Knobby X last year and have logged approximately 3k miles on it. My other bikes have been countless MTB's and a Trek 2100 Road bike.

What I have found is that the Kelly is indeed quick offroad and does take some getting used to. I have a 20 mile commute with approximately 4 miles of singletrack that I hit on a regular basis. One of the first things that I noticed is that the rear of the bike follows the front VERY quickly. On logs and curbs where I pull up the front end the back end of the bike follows almost instantaneously. The bike carves through tight singletrack quicker then my stretched out FS MTB with the only limiting factor being the grip of the smaller tires. As for extended downhills I could see where the bike might be twitchy. I correct for this by keeping my weight back and spending more time on the hoods instead of the drops. If you are an experienced offroad rider then you will adapt to the Kelly very quickly.

As for road riding, I am very comfortable on the bike and even did a century on it this summer. Admittedly with the shorter wheelbase and the tight angles it feels a little stiffer then my Trek roadbike. I think this trait is fairly common in CX bikes due to their build (usually a little burlier) and their smaller frame sizes.

Ask yourself where you really want the bike to excel... Is it going to be used mostly for road/training riding with a few CX races every year? Are you going to be riding mostly offroad?

One final note, If you get the Kelly have them put the decals under the clearcoat. Mine are on top and starting to peel. $30 for a new set....
re: Kelly Knobbycross vs Steelman Eurocross Geometryjrm
Dec 9, 2002 3:47 PM
I dont race and ride dirt/commute on my kelly. In the dirt the steep head tube angle of the kelly requires attention. On the fast stuff your weight should be neutral and your body low over the bike. The bike needs to be leaned over instead of steered. Leaning the bike into turns makes for more predictablity and stability. If just steered the hinge effect of the rear end in response to the redirection of the bike makes it kinda sketchy. Also at speed just steering the bike increases the prospect of stuffing the front end.

I ride mine on the road. Although the angles emulate a road bike the high profile of the bike seems to increase its rolling resistance. Im glad i sold 3 bikes to buy this bike, it was well worth it.