Which one...road or cross bike?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by kurt64, Jul 5, 2003.

  1. kurt64

    kurt64 New Member

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    Ah yes...the age-old question of "which bike should I get"? First, I guess that I should explain that I am a 39 year old male that quit smoking one year ago this month, so racing is not worth considering at this point in my life. I have been riding a 2002 Trek 4500 mountain bike about 75 miles a week, but I want a bike that will be able to keep up with the local club road rides and won't make me feel beat up at the end of the day. I am leaning towards a cross bike such as the Fuji Cross or Bianchi axis, but I don't want to be disappointed with the road performance of that style of bike. I know a road bike will do the trick, but they are not very comfortable on long rides IMO. Are the cross bikes able to keep up with the roadies and are they any more comfortable? Which one do you think would suit my needs? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I ride a hybrid with skinny tires. It works for me. If you're going to be riding with the fitness crowd you can do fine with that especially if you get a lighter one. I've ridden for years at 12-15 mph, and have a jolly time. We don't all have to be hammerheads.
     
  3. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    On a 7500FX with 700x25 tires I keep up with all but the serious racers. So the big question is how fast do you need to go? I got 2 mph, FREE, just going from 35's to 28's in tire size. Got another free mph going from 35 pounds to 25 when I got my new hybrid.
     
  4. kurt64

    kurt64 New Member

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    The Fuji Cross is rated at about 20 1/2 lbs...I dont really know if that is accurate or not. I usually maintain 12 to 15 MPH (on pavement and/or packed stone) with my mountain bike equipped with knobby tires, alluminum rack with bag that stores a pump, tools, tubes, and other extras such as camera, cell for when I ride alone, food for long trips, etc... I know, that is quite a bit of added weight. I was hoping that a cross bike would give me significant improvement on the concrete and stone. Am I dreaming or will there be a easily measurable difference?
     
  5. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    In my experience weight makes less difference than people make out. Rolling resistance on those knobbies, though, is significant.
    Everybody I've ever known who's switched to a lighter bike w/ skinnier tires has noticed an "easily measurable difference." MOre like "Oh, wow!" I was exactly at that speed point (12-15) when I switched from 35's to 28s. The most delightfully tangible difference came when we were coasting - I no longer lost ground to people doing *NO* work at all. :rolleyes:
    It really was the difference between being the limiting factor (my buddies didnt drop people) on rides (especially shorter ones) and being just another rider in the group.
     
  6. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    I'd have to concure.

    I ride a 26lb mountain bike to/from work all on pavement and sometimes to a park for lunch... Oh yea and I live in South Florida so it is FLAT AS A PANCAKE...

    When I ride on the same roads with my roadbike I notice when I get to cruisin' speed that I'm going 2mph faster than on the ATB.

    That's rolling resistance... Not weight. Weight costs you when the elevation or winds or road-change causes you to expend more energy to recover to the change in conditions and input more power to overcome the change.

    No change in those factors and the road bike is faster? Must be the 20mm tires vs the 1.9s on the mountain bike! Skinnier tires on the ATB and things get easier.

    On the other hand if your area has lots of rollers or steep climbs, the 5+ lbs you save by going with road or cross will appear...

    As for road or cross, the only reason to go to cross is if you want to run those massive 32 to 38mm tires. If you think you can ride on a 28-30mm tire then you can just use a road bike.

    From what I read of cyclocross bikes the main advantage is greater clearance for mud not to clog between the brake and the tire. If you don't plan to ride in the muck then use a road bik e with wide tires and switch to skinny ones for the club rides...

    Or if you are set on being unique get the cross. You may pay a bit on the fastest of sprints but for any rides that cruise at 21-28mph ranges you should be good.
     
  7. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    I still prefer being upright and flatbarred (and just don't have much need for 25+mph -- I'm a weenie) -- so the tires are skinny but it's still not a road bike (and its cheaper).
    But I did forget that all that rolling resistance applies to the flats (all we got 'round here), and weight matters when you have to haul things up and down.
     
  8. wyllisx2

    wyllisx2 New Member

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    I am you. 39 soon to be 40 not in the best shape & out to ride for fun & excersise. Rather than buying a new bike I just upgraded my MTB with some new stuff. The best thing I did was take the nobbies off & put on road tires. Yeah it looks kinda goofy but hey I have dual suspension on the not so smooth roads that I ride on.

    So for about $50.00 I changed a uncomfortable ride into a very comfortable ride.
     
  9. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    But...

    Then again that is just preference...

    I'm 42 and I ride 100+ miles quite a lot on my Litespeed road bike. I rode the Ride-Across-Florida which was 162 miles and I put my toes down once to grap a water bottle... 7.5 hours... It was actually a good deal of fun...

    Then I've done Assault on Mt Mitchell twice, Six-Gap once and next week I'm going to France to see if Lance can dodge all of those crazy crashing GC wanna-bees and get his 5th title. Oh yea and I'll be climbing Tourmalet with my wife on our road-tandem.

    I find it quite comfortable to be in the tucked position... But this is a personal thing. I never switched saddles when the split or holly saddles became all the rage... Probably the only quirk about my bike is the stem is cut about 1 inch higher than considered stock... But I think it is properly set up...

    So up-right vs. drops is preference not right or wrong.

    Same could apply if we were to talk about if you should put aero-bars on a road bike or not... ;-)

    John

    P.S. Or if you should put CROSS shorty-inline brakes on a touring bike!!!
     
  10. cliff

    cliff New Member

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    IMHO, a road bike properly set up would be the choice. Don't forget that a 'cross bike has a higher bottom bracket which will affect manners on the road. If more "comfort" is desired, road tire choice will make a difference as well. When it is mentioned that road bikes never seem to be that comfortable, then the bike was not properly fit to the rider's preferences. Unless you're going to do 'cross, you'll probably like the road bike better.

    Check out Rivendell's offerings if you need tire clearance.
     
  11. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    About the road bike not being "properly fit to the rider's preferences" that is true. My hybrid has been fun and painless and I've done some long rides too (tho' nothing longer than a century on this one). Didn't see a need to shop for something more costly that would require a change in riding styles. I don't think road bikes are inherently uncomfortable, but I don't need the speed advantage.
    I"ve also found other people define "painless" differently, and put up with neck & shoulder & arm issues that I don't have to. Sort of like "social rides,"the same phrase can mean very different thigns to different people. ;)
     
  12. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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  13. prestonjb

    prestonjb New Member

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    Hmm.. OK I meant:::: :)
     
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