Road, cross, or touring???

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Zilla, Mar 8, 2003.

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  1. Zilla

    Zilla Guest

    I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    - Get a cross bike.
    - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    --
    - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)
     
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  2. Zilla wrote:
    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?

    A cross frame is different from that of a road bike. It usually has a higher road clearance and will
    have room for wider tires.

    --
    Perre

    Remove the DOTs to reply
     
  3. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    "Zilla" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...

    > - Get a cross bike.
    Probably your best bet.

    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?

    Sometimes, depends on the frame and brake clearances. Many new road bikes won't accept a tire larger
    than 28 mm, which pretty much rules out anything useful. Plus, even if you can get those tires on,
    the clearance will be so tight that you'll constantly be jamming things in them.

    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?

    Possible, but most touring bikes have low bottom brackets, this makes it easier to put a foot down
    to steady a loaded bike -- usually not ideal for off-road, depending on how rough the terrain is.
    Should work fine for the kind of trail you're talking about, though.
     
  4. Paul Nendick

    Paul Nendick Guest

  5. >From: "Zilla"

    >I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    >trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    >really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    >- Get a cross bike.
    >- Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    >- Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    >--
    >
    I can think of a few bikes that are eminently suited to what you have in mind, but they are not
    cheap. Take a look at the Rivendell Atlantis. Other candidates might be Heron and Bruce Gordon.
    These are road (actually touring) bikes that have sufficient clearance for wide tires suitable for
    fire roads, etc. They would not generally be suitable for single track. Like I said, they are not
    cheap, but they are worth every penny of your life savings. (If I may indulge my retro-grouch
    tendencies here, I prefer the Rivendell and Heron; they are lugged.)

    George F. Johnson
     
  6. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Zilla" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > --
    > - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)
    >
    >
    Go 'cross. Cruise your way over to www.roadbikereview.com or www.mtbr.com and see what kind of used
    'cross bikes are out there. I recall seeing several nice 'cross set-ups for $500-700 recently. If it
    comes with an old 110mm bolt circle mtn crankset, you'll be able to run big enough chainrings to
    ride it as a road bike too. Since it is spring I've got the 50t outer ring on my Kona. I think I
    picked up the 50t for $5 at my lbs.

    The difference between a 50t and a 53t is almost exactly one tooth on the cogs. So if you have a
    53x12 top gear, with the 50x12, it'll feel like a
    53x13.

    Mike
     
  7. Volpe "Zilla" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > --
    > - Zilla (Remove XSPAM)
    >
     
  8. On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 12:37:17 -0500, Zilla wrote:

    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?

    You are describing an "all-arounder". A few notable examples are the Bruce Gordon touring bikes (the
    BLT and the Rock 'n Road Tour) and Rivendell's Atlantis. These frames have road touring geometry and
    are splendid loaded touring bikes, but ride quite well unloaded too (not always the case with
    touring bikes), and both are designed to accept quite wide tires. Bruce Gordon has his own 700x45
    knobbies, and the larger sizes of the Atlantis can accept the "29 inch" MTB tires.

    Depending on how you define "road bike" you may find that many frames won't have adequate clearance
    for a 700x28 tire, never mind a 700x35 or wider; and those wider tires are very desirable when
    you're riding on dirt roads and fire trails.
     
  9. On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 19:55:53 -0500, George F. Johnson wrote:

    >
    > I can think of a few bikes that are eminently suited to what you have in mind, but they are not
    > cheap. Take a look at the Rivendell Atlantis. Other candidates might be Heron and Bruce Gordon.
    > These are road (actually touring) bikes that have sufficient clearance for wide tires suitable for
    > fire roads, etc. They would not generally be suitable for single track. Like I said, they are not
    > cheap, but they are worth every penny of your life savings. (If I may indulge my retro-grouch
    > tendencies here, I prefer the Rivendell and Heron; they are lugged.)

    Actually, Bicycling did a road test of the Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road Tour some years ago, and found
    it worked very well as a rigid mountain bike, and they did ride it on single track. Those 700x45
    Rock 'n Road knobbies are excellent tires.

    BTW - Bruce Gordon has a fairly economical bike too, the BLT, and it doesn't take much of a bite out
    of your life savings.
     
  10. On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 22:58:09 -0500, Mike S. wrote:

    > Go 'cross. Cruise your way over to www.roadbikereview.com or www.mtbr.com and see what kind of
    > used 'cross bikes are out there. I recall seeing several nice 'cross set-ups for $500-700
    > recently. If it comes with an old 110mm bolt circle mtn crankset, you'll be able to run big enough
    > chainrings to ride it as a road bike too. Since it is spring I've got the 50t outer ring on my
    > Kona. I think I picked up the 50t for $5 at my lbs.
    >
    > The difference between a 50t and a 53t is almost exactly one tooth on the cogs. So if you have a
    > 53x12 top gear, with the 50x12, it'll feel like a 53x13.

    Just how big a top gear do you need, anyway? I have several road bikes that have 48x13 as their big
    gear. Lest we forget, that's about 100", and is the same development as 52X14, which was the top
    gear available to racers through much of the 1970s.
     
  11. On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 13:14:35 -0500, Per Elmsäter wrote:

    > Zilla wrote:
    >> I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on
    >> off-road trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily
    >> rugged trails really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    >> - Get a cross bike.
    >> - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    >> - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    >
    > A cross frame is different from that of a road bike. It usually has a higher road clearance and
    > will have room for wider tires.

    However, it will probably have a very high bottom bracket, and will not have nearly as much
    clearance as an Atlantis or a Rock 'n Road.
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    Zilla wrote:

    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?

    The question to ask yourself is, how is your mountain bike inadequate for these tasks? Do you really
    need any of these other solutions?

    I ride a mountain bike all the time now. I'd like to have a road bike, because I ride on the road
    most of the time. But the only place the mountain bike really falls short is on long, flat
    stretches, or gentle downhills, where I could use a more aero position, and taller gear. Most of the
    terrain around here is steep up or down anyway. There are few long stretches of pressing into the
    wind, which is where a road bike helps.

    Rail-trails are basically flat, but a soft/gravelly/rough surface can limit your speed, so a road
    bike may not be a great advantage there, either. A road bike can work well on fire trails, but IMO a
    mountain bike works better there most of the time.

    I suggest you get some nice fast slick tires for your mountain bike, and just go riding. Don't buy a
    new bike until experience shows you need something else.

    Matt O.
     
  13. That's about what my brother's done...he has a Gary Fisher Tarpon that he rides only on pavement
    now. Says he's too old to be falling down (on dirt). He's mounted two extra water bottle cages,
    front and rear racks, semi-slicks, and is thinking about short-distance touring/bike camping.
    Myself, I bought a used Giant Option ATB about three years ago, a "comfort/hybrid" or whatever it's
    called. 17 1/2" chainstays, 10 1/2" BB clearance, and was originally a 10-speed. It's now sporting a
    new set of 700Cx35's, an 8-speed cassette, 48-38-28 cranks, and runs like a Swiss watch. Fast enough
    for the road, strong enough to take it off pavement.
     
  14. Mark Wolfe

    Mark Wolfe Guest

    -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1

    I did the same thing with my mountain bike, but got irritated at the short gearing, finally went to
    a road bike a couple years ago, since I don't hit fire roads, and do 90% of my riding on the street.
    The other 10% is spent at a bmx track with my kids bashing bars with other 35 year old dads on our
    "Cruisers". If I were in the same situation, I'd lean heavily towards the Rivendell Atlatntis. Those
    guys make some nice bikes, and the Atlantis looks to be a touring dream.

    George Shaffer wrote:

    > That's about what my brother's done...he has a Gary Fisher Tarpon that he rides only on pavement
    > now. Says he's too old to be falling down (on dirt). He's mounted two extra water bottle cages,
    > front and rear racks, semi-slicks, and is thinking about short-distance touring/bike camping.
    > Myself, I bought a used Giant Option ATB about three years ago, a "comfort/hybrid" or whatever
    > it's called. 17 1/2" chainstays, 10 1/2" BB clearance, and was originally a 10-speed. It's now
    > sporting a new set of 700Cx35's, an 8-speed cassette, 48-38-28 cranks, and runs like a Swiss
    > watch. Fast enough for the road, strong enough to take it off pavement.

    - --
    Mark Wolfe http://www.wolfenet.org gpg fingerprint = 42B6 EFEB 5414 AA18 01B7 64AC EF46 F7E6 82F6
    8C71 How do I type "for i in *.dvi do xdvi i done" in a GUI? (Discussion in comp.os.linux.misc on
    the intuitiveness of interfaces.) -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.2.1 (GNU/Linux)

    iD8DBQE+bCtU70b35oL2jHERAnFYAJ9lJsB9szZXyy+NYaDRqaStW/WwSACgq5be rw6o0A/QTIDpTYG2+BsklIs= =u3Yr
    -----END PGP SIGNATURE-----
     
  15. Mike S.

    Mike S. Guest

    "Steve Palincsar" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 08 Mar 2003 22:58:09 -0500, Mike S. wrote:
    >
    >
    > > Go 'cross. Cruise your way over to www.roadbikereview.com or www.mtbr.com and see what kind of
    > > used 'cross bikes are out there. I recall seeing several nice 'cross set-ups for $500-700
    > > recently. If it comes with an old 110mm bolt circle mtn crankset, you'll be able to run big
    > > enough chainrings to ride it as a road bike too. Since it is spring I've got the 50t outer ring
    > > on my Kona. I think I picked up the 50t for $5 at my lbs.
    > >
    > > The difference between a 50t and a 53t is almost exactly one tooth on the cogs. So if you have a
    > > 53x12 top gear, with the 50x12, it'll feel like a 53x13.
    >
    >
    > Just how big a top gear do you need, anyway? I have several road bikes that have 48x13 as their
    > big gear. Lest we forget, that's about 100", and is the same development as 52X14, which was the
    > top gear available to racers through much of the 1970s.

    I was just trying to point out that he can run a 50t chainring and not have too much of a
    liability gear-wise. I don't use my 53x12 unless I'm sprinting (and even then I tend to spin more
    in the 13-14t), or going downhill. The one crankset can be used successfully for both off- and on-
    road riding

    Mike
     
  16. G.Daniels

    G.Daniels Guest

    what's the wait on a durable full suspesion touring bike? is this econmically rewarding for the
    factory? how do the options come out with an elastomeric front end adaption or does the atlantis et
    al have one? how's it function out there on the thankyoumams? can gordon build with elastomers?
     
  17. Bruce

    Bruce Guest

    About an hour. Most shops have a good selection of full suspension bikes. Attach a trailer and
    your off...

    Most tourists don't use them because they don't ride on roads rough enough to bother.

    "g.daniels" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > what's the wait on a durable full suspesion touring bike? is this econmically rewarding for the
    > factory? how do the options come out with an elastomeric front end adaption or does the atlantis
    > et al have one? how's it function out there on the thankyoumams? can gordon build with elastomers?
     
  18. On Mon, 10 Mar 2003 11:28:15 -0500, g.daniels wrote:

    > what's the wait on a durable full suspesion touring bike? is this econmically rewarding for the
    > factory? how do the options come out with an elastomeric front end adaption or does the atlantis
    > et al have one? how's it function out there on the thankyoumams? can gordon build with elastomers?

    You can buy a full suspension touring bike right now. They've been available at least since 1983.
    I'm speaking of the Alex Moulton bikes. The APB series, which takes the 406 BMX size tire is a
    splendid pack mule. The AM series, with its 17" tires will tour, but it's not the packmule the APB
    is; it's a sportier, faster bike.

    The APB's ancestor, the Moulton ATB, has been called the first full suspension mountain bike.

    There's a highly entertaining web site describing two very long loaded tours on Alex Moulton bikes:
    <http://www.greenbicycle.com> but it's not up right now.

    Neither the Atlantis nor the Bruce Gordon touring bikes are suspended.
     
  19. M Gagnon

    M Gagnon Guest

    "Zilla" <[email protected]> a écrit:

    > I ride an MTB but want to venture into road. I want to get a bike that I can also ride on off-road
    > trails like fire trails, trails in the rails-to-trails system, and not necessarily rugged trails
    > really suited for my mtb. Should I...
    > - Get a cross bike.
    > - Get a road bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > - Get a touring bike an put cross tires on it if I go off road. Is that even possible?
    > --
    > - Zilla

    Forget the road bike, as most road bikes are actually "racing bikes" and won't allow anything wider
    than 700x25 or, if you are lucky, 700x28.

    It leaves you with 2 options: touring bike vs cross bike.

    Cyclocross bike. Single name for many geometries. Typically, a cross bike has a high bottom bracket,
    which is good in the mud and on slightly technical trails, but not on rail-to-trail trails, bike
    paths and roads. In all these situations, a low bottom braket has a slight advantage as your feet
    are closer to the ground when you stop. Also check that your cyclocross bike has eyelets for fenders
    and racks and decent gearing.

    Touring bike: Again, a lot depends on the individual bike. My Trek 520 has clearance for 700x35
    front and 700x42 rear _with_ fenders. I could use a 700x37 front, but with really tight clearance
    under the fender (or without fender). For muddy trails, a little bit more clearance in the front
    might be great, but there are quite a few cyclocross tires available in 700x37 (my current Winter
    tires) and 700x42, and a few available in 700x35. The Bruce Gordon also has great clearance for
    large tires, and if you are on the short side, the BLT-X uses 26" tires... which means a fair
    selection of touring tires and a wide selection of fair-width knobbies for muddy trails. Generally
    speaking, a touring bike has longer seatstays, which are better if you use panniers. It also has a
    more stable geometry, which might not be as good on a technical trail with a lot of tight turns; in
    general, however, the more stable geometry of the touring bike would be a plus in most of the
    environments you describe.

    Compared to the cyclocross bike, the touring bike would be a better choice than the cyclocross
    bike... andsince you have a mountain bike, it would be a more different bike and more
    appropriate one.

    But a last thought: if you mostly think of rail to trails and other paths and trails, I would
    suggest you look at your equipping your current MTB with a set of slicks (high pressure smooth
    tires). You will get a real improvement in speed, comfort and stability over the typical wide low
    pressure knobby tires usually found on MTBs. And if you want to go from technical trails to
    rail-to-trails, an option would be to get an extra set of wheels for your MTB. Mount one set with
    slicks and the other set with knobbies.

    Regards,

    --
    Michel Gagnon -- Montréal (Québec, Canada) mailto:[email protected]
     
  20. Can

    Can New Member

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    I stumbled onto this post in a similar struggle, I am a road rider, who winter commutes, I wanted a bike that could handle rough roads, some off roading, and still be road competitive. I have almost made up my mind, and my solution is to buy a cyclocross bike (probably Gunnar for price and quality) and then buy a set of road wheels for it. I don't see any problems with that set up, yet, I wanted to have the option of fenders and rack for when I am commuting to work, and don't want a huge wet brown stripe up my butt, or some light touring (day trips, 150 miles). You say you like trails, but not rugged ones, and you like venturing out onto the roads. If I were you I would go to Gunnar, Waterford, Serotta or a number of other manufacturers. Sorry Waterford and Serotta, are a little pricey for most of us, but, Gunnar is made by Waterford, and is a favorite around Chicago. Waterford and Serotta are amazing companies though! My other choice is to buy a beater, and a nice road bike, and blast around on my road baby, and beat my beater =) and tour in an aggressive posture... :eek:

    Jacob
     
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