what would the main differences be,between riding a road bike/cyclocross bike?

by racefaceec90   September 16, 2012  

further to my other post about getting my first proper road bike (i ride mountain bikes usually),i had been set on going for a 2013 tarmac sport road bike.BUT i have been changing my mind as to whether to go for a cx bike instead (am thinking of a 2013 specialized crux elite disc).

i would be using it all year round,to try and get fitter/do longer distance rides e.t.c than on my mtb.i like the thought though,that i can go off the beaten track also with it (and that it has discs,am just used to discs on bikes now).

i think what i'm asking is,would the cx bike be a lot slower than the road bike if i was doing some distance on the road (if i changed the tyres to road ones?)i know that the gearing is lower on the crux than the tarmac/also aluminium frame as opposed to carbon.

the annoying thing is that i cannot decide between them (i really like both) and unfortunately will not be able to test ride either before buying it (as my local shop only has mountain bikes for test rides).

apologies for the question,but would be interested in your replies.thanks a lot Big Grin

7 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

I take it you still do some mountain biking?

In that case, keep your mountain bike and get a pure road bike. That way you have the best of both worlds rather than half and half with a cross bike.

Although they are good in the fast there are few places you can't go with them. Cross bikes do limit your speed slightly, even with road tyres.

I have various bikes road and cross. If i'm planning an all on road journey, I stick with my road bike. If i'm going out without thinking much about the journey and near somewhere I can sneak off road for a section I'll take my cross.

Its all about what you want it for. Cross bikes are good for commuting rather than a full on road bike.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9040 posts]
16th September 2012 - 22:27

2 Likes

Crossers make OK commuting bikes in my view but for road riding any distance they're just not as nice as a true road bike. Generally a bit heavier, ponderous handling (the main issue IMO), crappy brakes (though if you go disc it might not be as much of an issue), "bombproof"/slow wheels, etc.

Even on a winter ride to work I find myself thinking I'd be going a lot faster if I was on my road bike - but then I remind myself that my road bike would be getting covered in sh**te.

posted by simonkenyon [21 posts]
16th September 2012 - 22:32

3 Likes

i bought a boardman crosser as a commuter, tourer and general road bike. wanted something with rack mounts, discs and that didn't look like a tourer!

it is definitely heavier than an equivalently priced road bike (22lb / £900) which does have an effect, but I'm also using it for regular fast 100km club runs without any problems.

Racing is probably a step too far (not least until the UCI changes a few rules!) but I would say that for anything short of that it's fine.

am definitely planning on upgrading the wheels as they are basically cheapish 29er mtb Ritchey and weigh a ton (2.2kg). i am expecting that this should have it feeling quite spritely once they're swapped.

Edit - that spesh looks quite pricey, given a v similar spec to the boardman which was £600 cheaper. if you're happy looking after your bikes yourself, and hence wouldn't rely on the shop to do this, I'd recommend considering the CX Team.

jezzzer's picture

posted by jezzzer [339 posts]
17th September 2012 - 12:27

2 Likes

I've got a Revolution Cross. Got it at a time when I didn't have the space or the budget for more than 1 bike. It's a brilliant all-rounder and pretty much as perfect a commuter as you could ask for. I do some off-road rides with friends on mountain bikes and it's rare that I have to jump off and carry while they're still riding. And as soon as the surface is half decent the cross is way faster.

With cross tyres or fatter city/touring tyres on the handling is predictable, if a little sluggish. Stick on skinny road tyres and get them pumped up nice and hard and the feeling of sluggishness remains, but it manages to be simultaneously skittish, especially at the front end. I've had an off on a roundabout where the front wheel just went away from me and it continues to threaten to do the same, especially when the road is damp.

The canti brakes are awful but as you're looking at one with discs that won't be a problem for you.

If you're planning on trading in the mountain bike, and this will be your only steed, great, crack on (subject to Jezzzer's hopping around suggestion). If you want to keep the mountain bike and get something else for road rides, get a road bike.

posted by Bhachgen [94 posts]
17th September 2012 - 13:43

2 Likes

I love my cyclo-cross bike; I use it as an everyday bike, mainly cycling to work. The cantilever brakes (Campagnolo Record) are as good as any other rim brake I have. I have taken it off road, have done cyclo-cross racing on it and even an MTB sportive (But I s**t myself, several times on the event). It is a great all rounder; where the poor handling, slow, ideas are from I do not know! A good set of road wheels will fit and will make it as quick as any other road bike! I have found a cyclo-cross bike is better than an MTB up-hill and on the flat. BUT down-hill and on medium/rough surfaces you will need big dangly balls! And are likely to get punctures from hitting rocks etc. For what you describe a cyclo-cross would be perfect; with reservations as above. Gearing wise I have a triple, which works well.

posted by SideBurn [873 posts]
17th September 2012 - 14:16

3 Likes

I had been riding a road bike for a number of years on a 10 mile each way commute, but this year decided to change to a cyclocross bike.

I bought a Whyte Saxon Cross and have been riding it for 4 weeks. I have done just over 400 miles on it and all I can say is that I love it. Obviously it's not quite as fast on he road, but I no longer have to swerve to avoid those bumps and lumps I normally would, steering is sharp and solid and I have now even changed my route to include bridle ways and canal tow paths and this bike just loves the variety.

I cannot fault it's ability to adapt to all terrains, it's braking is confident and solid with the BB7 disc brakes and you just get the sense that you can take this thing anywhere. If there is one fault it's the fact that the bike is so light & the alex rims so deep that if you get caught by a side gust of wind you really need to react quickly to counter the force.

I was initially dubious about getting a cross bike as to whether it was just an alternative styled hybrid, but I can tell you that this bike is designed specifically for the task in hand.

posted by digisim [1 posts]
18th September 2012 - 6:53

2 Likes

I have a Cube Carbon Road bike; and I also have a Ridley X Ride cyclo-cross bike that I've put road tyre on, instead of the CX tyres. I love riding it on the road, the handling is supurb (don't listen to the negatives above) they're fast and sure-footed; and climbing is great.

posted by Mostyn [407 posts]
18th September 2012 - 14:03

2 Likes