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Build for new cross bike more MTB-ish? or more road-ish?(8 posts)

Build for new cross bike more MTB-ish? or more road-ish?PmbH
Nov 11, 2003 9:44 AM
I'm trying to decide what cross bike to get, and I want to hear opinions. Here's my situation:

- I will use the bike to race cross. However I don't take racing real serious. I just do it to have fun and improve my bike handling skills. I don't need the bike to be a "race only" bike.
- I already own a road bike, a hardtail MTB, and a suspension MTB. I ride them all equally.
- When I get my new cross bike, I'll ride it a lot. Chances are it will get used for a lot of rides where I'd normally take my road bike or my hardtail.

Which finally brings me to my decision: Do I get a cross bike that's more road-ish? Or do I get one that's more MTB-ish?

Bike option #1: Up to 45c tires, MTB drivetrain, bar-end shifters, taller rise stem, 135mm spacing rear hub, etc.
Bike option #2: Up to 38c tires, road drivetrain, STI shifters, 130mm spacing rear hub, etc.

If I go with a bike like #1, I'll use it for more MTB rides. If I go with #2, more road rides. Either one will be fine for my cross racing needs.

FWIW, my current cross bike is a touring bike with cross tires, and I really don't like anything about it. I tend to not ride it for anything but cross races.

I suppose it depends on your available mtb terrain...PT
Nov 11, 2003 10:03 AM
...but the real mtb riding around my neck of the woods doesn't work so well with a cross bike, even with a setup like you described. That's not to say I don't do it, it's just not as rip-roaring as on a mtb.

Consequently, I would recommend option #2. You can do a lot of real trail riding, but -- get this -- you can ride to the trail. My favorite standard ride (at least before the snow fell) is to ride 10 miles up a 1200 foot paved climb to the relatively smooth trails at our local x-c ski area. I ride those trails for awhile and then bomb home down the paved road at 50+ mph. Talk about the best of both worlds... I never did that on my road bike or mtb...
agree, #2richpierce
Nov 11, 2003 10:39 AM
Option 2 looks better for cross (should be lighter). You already have other bikes which are better for MTBing.

The only other alternative worth considering is a real 29er, which could be used in MTBing and cross. This would be just adequate for cross, some better than your MTB, maybe not better than your touring bike, but would be fun on real MTB trails.
option #2laffeaux
Nov 11, 2003 11:39 AM
Since you already have a HT and FS MTBs, I'd opt for the more road-like bike. In fact, if you didn't have 2 MTBs I'd probably still say the same thing.

A fast light CX bike is a lot of fun. The acceleration that you get while climbing is amazing compared to a MTB - it's a completely different feel. It's better in my opinion to own bikes that are less similar, than to have many bikes that ride the same.
Good points, thanks for the repliesPmbH
Nov 11, 2003 12:22 PM
Good points... I should go for the #2 setup.

I think the urge to set up a cross bike a la MTB comes from fond memories of my first ever mountain bike... Around 1987 or so, I put dirtdrops and bar-end shifters on my MTB because it was "in" with one of the framebuilders (Charlie Cunningham maybe? I can't remember).
Good points, thanks for the repliesMShaw
Nov 12, 2003 11:10 AM
I was thinking something along the lines of what you are, just not buying a new bike. What's wrong with making your mtn bike into a cross bike? Put a shorter stem on it, dirt-drops, barcons, etc. and run skinny 1.7s.

There are rigid mtn forks out there if you don't want the suspension.

I use the HT too oftenPmbH
Nov 12, 2003 12:38 PM
A switch like that is not something I could quick-change for a weekend, then put back. If I cross-ized the HT, then I lose my HT MTB... And for the places I ride it, the cross setup would not be appropriate (for me, at least).

But this gives me a great excuse for another bike!!! :-)
I'm interested in dirt dropsSpecialTater
Nov 14, 2003 8:36 AM
can someone recommend a good supplier and brand? Also what brake levers would you recommend? It's currently a SS but could go with barcons...