Clyde looking for a road / MTN / fitness / cross type bike


New Member
Dec 4, 2014
255 lbs (115-120kg'ish) looking for a "road bike" that is the step between a cyclocross and a MTB, something like a Salsa Fargo or a Specialized AWOL. What other bikes are in this category? Giant Revolt? Giant Anyroad?

The idea is to get a bike that can be ridden offroad, and not just basic gravel grinding, maybe the step after that. I know the AWOL and the Fargo are both touring bikes, but that seems to be the road bikes that look the burliest. I've seen some even refer to the Fargo as a rigid MTB with drop handlebars. I don't necessarily need to go quite that far, but that is kinda what I'm looking at, a more ruggedized version of a cyclocross bike that I can do century rides on the weekends and take it offroad to the humvee trails behind the military base and take it into the deeper gravel and such.

hopefully that made sense. What I've been doing is riding a Trek 820, which is a cheapo MTB. I want to be able to go most of the places I go on the 820, if it had a rigid fork instead of the pogo stick cheapo "suspension" fork it has now and more importantly, be a comfortable, decent road bike for the longer mile rides.
If you considering the AWOL, check out the Diverge from Specialized too. Surly CrossCheck is another option.
I was just in the similar situation as you, had a raleigh mtb and wanted to get rid of the squishy for for more of a road going bike. I ended up buying a cannondale quick sl3 for a decent price. bit more road oriented than you are looking for however
You're looking in all the right places… Any of the bikes sold for cyclocross, touring and gravel roads would be perfect. These are built more beefy and more important have room for larger tires and rims.

A couple things to consider:
Rims: While most people will suggest rims with higher spoke count, also look at the rim width. The wider rims will be less prone to pinch flats. I've read good things about FLO wheels. I just purchased a set of the FLO 30 wheels (26mm wide & 30 mm tall). They have a Clyde option which gets one a few extra spokes. While I haven't put any miles on these wheels, a friend who is a very powerful Clyde has been racing and training on his FLO 30's and they're holding up great. FWIW, my favorite wheels for strength and durability are from Campy and Fulcrum Racing (also made by Campy).

Tires: The wider tires not only are more comfy and durable, it's turning out that 25c and 28c will roll more efficiently than the skinny 23c and 20c tires. My Soma Saga has 40c gravel tires because my ride includes about 5 miles of dirt roads complete with potholes, washboard, gravel and occasional large rocks. I don't have time for flats so I go big with the tires. These tires are heavy so they're slow to spin up and a bear to climb, but once underway they're great on flat roads.

When trying to decide which bicycle to buy, a general rule is that CX bikes will be the quickest handling (turning), gravel bikes are slightly slower turning and touring bikes are the slowest turning. Another way to look at it - quicker handling is "less stable". The quicker the turning the more skill is required. Slower turning, more stable, bicycles will track through turns more predictably. I race criteriums - lots of corners at high speeds in large packs. My race bikes have slow predictable European road geometry as I want the stability. To turn a "slow steering" bicycle quickly one must counter steer (aka lean the bike) - an important skill for every rider. Don't mistake slow steering for slow speed - speed is all about power (or power to weight when going uphill).

Last note - the high end race CX bikes typically do not have eyelets for attaching fenders nor a rack. This would only be a consideration if the bike is going to serve duty for commuting or long distance randonneuring.

Hope this helps,