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cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?(12 posts)

cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?keeshadog
Feb 12, 2003 5:11 PM
i used a mountain bike for commuting and schlepping stuff around town with panniers for years. my mountain bike was stolen, and i recently put my rack and panniers on a new cyclocross bike. after about a month of commuting with the cyclocross bike it seems that my old mountain bike handled the rack, panniers and weight a bit better than the cyclocross bike. the cyclocross bike's handling just seems to be affected much more by the 15-20 pounds or so i often load onto it going to and from work and the grocery store. question: is a mountain bike, simply because of its geometry and generally sturdier build, just better suited to handle that extra weight? i have a mountain bike frame i'm thinking of building up and using as a commuter because of my past, positive experience with my dearly departed mountain bike. i'm just wondering if the mountain bike will generally handle the excess weight a bit better than a cyclocross bike that was not designed for touring.
any advice would be greatly appreciated.
re: cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?outofthesaddle
Feb 12, 2003 8:35 PM
Funny - I've decided that my mtn bike that I've been usingd for commuting isn't as good for 'cross racing as a 'cross bike probably would be. If you're interested in talking about swapping your 'cross rig for a hardtail mtn bike (XTR/XT) - shoot me an email.

seanoconn@pacbell.net
re: cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?shawniemc
Feb 13, 2003 10:19 AM
I just went from a Bianci MB to a Bianci CX and I'm just loving it for the commute. Then again, I'm not hauling near as much stuff as you. Just a backpack with the daily essentials.
Used to commute by MTB, now use 'crosserGlowBoy
Feb 13, 2003 11:51 AM
I stopped using a rack and panniers a couple years ago and switched to a (VauDe) backpack because I didn't like the way the panniers affected the handling - even on my mountain bike. I couldn't tell you if the handling with the pannier is even worse on the 'cross bike than the MTB, but I suspect it would be, simply because of the 'cross bike's lighter tubing and shorter wheelbase.

Without panniers I greatly prefer the 'crosser. Lighter, faster and more nimble.
re: cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?jrm
Feb 13, 2003 12:06 PM
I think my CX bike with 30c slicks is more worthy of urban assault then my MTB was.
re: cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?atpjunkie
Feb 13, 2003 2:04 PM
my commute is 24 miles each way. I have a shower and a locker at work. I have work clothes I leave at the office and carry nothing but water and lights. I usually do this 2x per week and take home my clothes to launder on Fridays.
re: cyclocross vs mtb for commuting?keeshadog
Feb 13, 2003 8:44 PM
appreciate the feedback.
the last couple of days i've been trying to whittle down my load and i've been able to get it down to a very large and heavy backpack.
problem is i have to lug everything i need back and forth. also, i teach and just about every day, i end up schlepping books and papers home.
but i've concluded that the loaded panniers did really negatively affect the bike's handling and the cross bike is just fine if i have the weight on my back instead of on the rack. i just dont feel quite as comfortable and free with all that weight on my shoulders. but based on my experience and the comments here, i think i'll retire my panniers and just deal with that slight bit of discomfort. riding the bike's a lot more fun without that slightly odd feeling i had with a set of loaded panniers on back.
backpackctisevn
Feb 14, 2003 9:37 AM
this is purely personal preference but I have found that if carrying heavy loads a good messenger bag is way more comfortable on a longer ride than a backpack. it lowers the weight down on your back and allows for a little increased mobility.
any tips?keeshadog
Feb 14, 2003 6:57 PM
any specific recommendations on good messenger bags that wont bust my budget?
any tips?ctisevn
Feb 15, 2003 8:33 PM
I used a timbuk2 deedog for a couple years of 40 mile round trip commuting through all weather and it never let me down. theyre relatively inexpensive if you shop around. 50 bucks will get you a new one if youre persistent, less if you dont mind used. Im using a Zo bag right now that I like alot but the guy that made them is out of business I think. Ive got a Jandd gabriel bag that I got as a gift that I never really used but it looks like it would be a good commuter bag. lots of pockets and a mesh back thing. if youre interested I might part with that one for 1/2 retail. google it and see what you think.
any tips?keeshadog
Feb 17, 2003 7:08 PM
why dont you email me at fjames1012@aol.com. i'm interested in the jandd bag you mentioned. thanks.
VauDe backpacks = extremely comfortableGlowBoy
Feb 14, 2003 12:02 PM
To me, the Siena 40 is the be-all and end-all of backpacks:

http://www.vaude.com/packs/pack_detail.cfm?ID=4&subcatagory=Multi-Sports%20Packs

I have had mine for two years, and it has performed flawlessly under hard use and never given me any discomfort whatsoever. And it is BIG. At $100 it seemed really expensive, but at this point I can say it's one of the best values I've ever gotten in cycling gear.

Nice in the summer too, it is really cool because not that much of your back is covered. The page I linked to above doesn't show it well, but this pack has the Aeroflex system and it keeps you nice and cool:

http://www.vaude.com/aeroflex_detail.cfm