Advice Needed: Road vs Hybrid vs Cyclocross

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by vmalo, May 1, 2012.

  1. vmalo

    vmalo New Member

    May 1, 2012
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    Need advice on new bike purchase. Right now I have a Raleigh SC40. I have mountain tires and a set of city slicker 1.25s i use for road. I want to upgrade and my riding is about 30% road, 30% paved path/rail trail, about 30% packed gravel trails like Acadia National park carriage trails or Leghigh Valley River Trail, and about 10% dirt trail (no obstacles).

    I want to extend my road range and go faster, (be able to go on 40 to 60 mile rides) but ideally I would like a bike I can use on the packed gravel as well. I'm used to changing out tires when traveling, so that's not an issue, I just don't want to have to bring two bikes on summer vacations.

    I was at first inclined to go with a hybrid, but from what I have read, there is a significant performance difference between road and hybrids, even with a lock out suspension.

    I also want a comfortable bike, so if I were to get a road bike I would want a more upright bike. I have read a few posts here that cyclocross may be what I am looking for.

    Any and all advice appreciated.

    Budget to about $1200.

  2. AlanG

    AlanG Member

    Dec 26, 2010
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    I have a cyclocross bike and really like it. I ride on gravel and packed trails a lot on it. It is not much slower than a road bike on paved roads either. I have 32mm wide tires that have moderate tread so they are pretty smooth on pavement. I rode it on a 50 mile trip on the C&O Canal towpath that is packed dirt and was somewhat muddy. It was a bit bouncy but ok for me.

    While it is a bit more upright than my road bike, it isn't that different so make sure you'll be comfortable on it. Compared to my road bike, the bottom bracket is about an inch higher and the stem is about an inch shorter. I prefer dropbars to the flat bar of hybrids.