CX bike on a road training ride

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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby nezumi » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:07 pm

mitchy_ wrote:by your logic, wouldn't riding a CX bike and being able to keep up with roadies mean that you are becoming a better/stronger/faster rider?


Even better, if you like the group but are finding the ride too easy, switch to a CX bike from a roadie to make yourself work harder!
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by BNA » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:42 pm

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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:42 pm

simonn wrote:Just because they look a little like road bikes, doesn't make them so.


I beg to differ. A cyclocross bike with a good set of wheels and tyres will be perfectly fine for general road riding.

The geometry is not too dissimilar to bikes from a road race bike from the 50's and 60's. Slightly slacker geometry does not make for a slower bike.

I certainly know it's not my old steel road bikes that are holding me back when riding with a group.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby simonn » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:13 pm

If you are riding with a group where you need every advantage you can get you are going to get more out of the ride, on every level, if you can hang on than if you get dropped. There are a few groups I know I would have no chance staying on when riding my CX as it is.

Sure, if I turned my CX into a road bike then I might be able to, but is really still a CX if I do that? Besides, if I forked out for a top end set of wheels, I'd rather do it on my good roadie which would (hypothetically) be faster still.

In any case, my experience is that I am noticeably slower on my CX than on my roadie. Up to others what, if anything, they want to do with it.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby mitchy_ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 3:56 pm

simonn wrote:If you are riding with a group where you need every advantage you can get you are going to get more out of the ride, on every level, if you can hang on than if you get dropped. There are a few groups I know I would have no chance staying on when riding my CX as it is.

Sure, if I turned my CX into a road bike then I might be able to, but is really still a CX if I do that? Besides, if I forked out for a top end set of wheels, I'd rather do it on my good roadie which would (hypothetically) be faster still.

In any case, my experience is that I am noticeably slower on my CX than on my roadie. Up to others what, if anything, they want to do with it.


the original question was asking if a CX would be suitable as they are not in a position to buy a road bike. not would you ride a CX bike if you had a roadie.

it also comes down to the bike. my CX bike with 25mm tyres weighs in at sub 7kg, less than a few road bikes...
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:00 pm

Less than most roadies I reckon. Less than mine for sure.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby mitchy_ » Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:07 pm

warthog1 wrote:Less than most roadies I reckon. Less than mine for sure.


i bet my wallet is lighter too. :(
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby warthog1 » Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:59 pm

mitchy_ wrote:
i bet my wallet is lighter too. :(


:lol:
I don't know, teenage kids are giving mine a hammering.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Pravda » Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:09 pm

You'll be fine on a cx bike as long as you chuck on road tyres. I use mine in my regular group rides in winter. It isn't quite as fast mainly due to the geometry but it's a training ride so that means better training. It wont bd the difference between you getting dropped or not. Thats all down to the motor.

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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Hugor » Mon Jan 20, 2014 9:17 pm

As a bit of a clyde (>100kgs) with a history of breaking frames and wheels, using a cx bike on the road appealed to me on many fronts.
I have a cheap steel cx bike that I use on the road at the moment (Surly Crosscheck) with Racing Zeros and I hold my own in the groups I ride with.
I would like a lighter bike cause we all want to be quicker!

The main advantages to me of using a cx bike is the slacker geometry, stronger frame and ability to use disc brakes.
I'm not comfortable on aggressive road bikes in fact I almost never use the drops.
I'm looking at high end cx bikes which weigh comparably to high end road bikes when kitted out with decent road componentry.

I'm thinking this bike should be just as quick as its roadie brethren, but I'm happy to be educated otherwise.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby boss » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:58 am

Hugor wrote:As a bit of a clyde (>100kgs) with a history of breaking frames and wheels, using a cx bike on the road appealed to me on many fronts.
I have a cheap steel cx bike that I use on the road at the moment (Surly Crosscheck) with Racing Zeros and I hold my own in the groups I ride with.
I would like a lighter bike cause we all want to be quicker!

The main advantages to me of using a cx bike is the slacker geometry, stronger frame and ability to use disc brakes.
I'm not comfortable on aggressive road bikes in fact I almost never use the drops.
I'm looking at high end cx bikes which weigh comparably to high end road bikes when kitted out with decent road componentry.

I'm thinking this bike should be just as quick as its roadie brethren, but I'm happy to be educated otherwise.


The only thing I'd mention is that OEM wheels on CX bikes are junk and heavy as hell. And it's hard to find light, reasonably priced wheels with disc-hubs.

At least 6 months ago, I could not find anything that resembled a DA C24 or Fulcrum Zero in terms of price to weight ratio.

And you'd be surprised how much a 2kg set of wheels taxes your power output!

Aside from that, stick a set of 25 or 28mm slicks on a CX bike and you've got yourself a capable roadie. The disc brake wheelset issue is the only thing holding me back from using my CX bike as fair weather bike... it's just too slow compared with my very middle-of-the-road-not-a-weight-weenie 5.2 Madone that's got a set of DA C24's.

P.S. If anyone knows anything about reasonably priced and light disc brake wheels for zee roadie, don't be quiet, I'm all ears!
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby simonn » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:34 pm

mitchy_ wrote:
simonn wrote:If you are riding with a group where you need every advantage you can get you are going to get more out of the ride, on every level, if you can hang on than if you get dropped. There are a few groups I know I would have no chance staying on when riding my CX as it is.

Sure, if I turned my CX into a road bike then I might be able to, but is really still a CX if I do that? Besides, if I forked out for a top end set of wheels, I'd rather do it on my good roadie which would (hypothetically) be faster still.

In any case, my experience is that I am noticeably slower on my CX than on my roadie. Up to others what, if anything, they want to do with it.


the original question was asking if a CX would be suitable as they are not in a position to buy a road bike. not would you ride a CX bike if you had a roadie.


Well if you want to play he said she said, then you may notice that I said in my post prior to the one above...

simonn wrote:However, if you only own a CX, you do not have the choice to ride a roadie.


I'm not the only one who has a CX that is slower than their roadie(s) on this thread.

Anyway... nezumi, if you only have the one bike, just go along and ride. Most groups I have ridden with do not really seem to care what others are riding. If you can't keep up, then start thinking about changing things.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby mitchy_ » Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:02 pm

boss wrote:
Hugor wrote:P.S. If anyone knows anything about reasonably priced and light disc brake wheels for zee roadie, don't be quiet, I'm all ears!


look at 29er XC wheels, can get them down in the realms of 14-1600 grams.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Gags » Wed Jun 10, 2015 3:35 pm

nezumi

I see you have the Merida CX 4 and now the Scultura.

I'm going through the same decision as you. I have the CX4 and as the riding has increased I've got the urge to join a bunch. Still use CX on lots of gravel and fire trails on weekend but during the week its all road. A new wheel set is about $400 - $700 because of discs etc so it starts to raise the question of whether or not a new bike is an easier option

Riding solo I can average approx 22 - 25 kmh over 25 - 38 km circuit using the Merida Pro D rims with Continental Cyclocross Race 35 tyres.

Now you have the scultura and the CX - would you answer your own question any differently?

Really struggling with the do I buy a new road bike or do i just 'plug on' and see if I can hold on to a bunch?
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby nezumi » Wed Jun 10, 2015 8:10 pm

Gags wrote:nezumi

I see you have the Merida CX 4 and now the Scultura.

I'm going through the same decision as you. I have the CX4 and as the riding has increased I've got the urge to join a bunch. Still use CX on lots of gravel and fire trails on weekend but during the week its all road. A new wheel set is about $400 - $700 because of discs etc so it starts to raise the question of whether or not a new bike is an easier option

Riding solo I can average approx 22 - 25 kmh over 25 - 38 km circuit using the Merida Pro D rims with Continental Cyclocross Race 35 tyres.

Now you have the scultura and the CX - would you answer your own question any differently?

Really struggling with the do I buy a new road bike or do i just 'plug on' and see if I can hold on to a bunch?


I really do notice a difference in having a road bike vs the CX - part of this is the weight, but another part is also the geometry. I don't notice it when I am on the bike so much, but I am lower and tighter in on the road bike, making it easier to hold a wheel.

As far as wheels go, I scored a pair of these off here. These are a narrow internal width, making them good for road tyres on the CX bike.

With the start of winter I have been riding the CX more, but I notice a contrast between the 11-speed shifting of the Scultura to the 10 speed 105 on the CX4.

If you are keen on a scultura I would say wait until the 2016 models come out - these will have the ability to take wider tyres than the current frameset, giving more flexibility for comfortable rubber and wider rims.

Hands on Bike has some good info on the scultura 5000.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Gags » Wed Jun 10, 2015 9:27 pm

Thanks for that. Thinking I might try and find a bunch and see if I can hold on whilst looking around for roadie. Can't spend heaps so deals are good.

As for the Merida CX - it eats the gravel roads and fire access roads where I live. Love it.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Chris249 » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:06 pm

I know your question wasn't aimed at me so apologies for butting in, but I've got an older Merida CX4, and would have no real worries with using it on group rides using the 28mm slicks - in fact I might start using it with one group to make me work harder and because of the extra comfort.

Sure, it's not quite as quick as the carbon aero roadie, but a CX bike sheltering in the bunch or taking quick turns at the front would be an easier ride than a carbon roadie taking long turns. Given the huge number of other factors involved in bunch riding, the difference in bike performance would seem to be a pretty small factor IMHO.

One option could be to sometimes use the same set of wheels and run 28mm slicks on gravel and fire roads. They seem to work pretty well as long as the road is fairly flat (I often take a fire trail to work with the slicks on) and it would save you having to swap tyres out all the time.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Jun 11, 2015 6:59 am

That's what I would do. Run smooth tread 28-32mm tyres. Unless your dirt riding is more single track or washed out steep fit roads you'll be fine in a smooth tread tyre. Just drop the pressures. On the road the the fat tyres want old you back unless your riding with a 40kmhr group. In most cases it's your legs/heart/head that's the problem, not the bike.
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CX bike on a road training ride

Postby cyclotaur » Thu Jun 11, 2015 7:17 am

I've ridden my CX bike for 4 years on all sorts of rides. I have 3 wheelsets I swap in/out as required - heavy-ish fully spoked touring with treaded 35 tyres, Fulcrum 7 CX with 28s, Fulcrum CX Quattro with 25s.

My bike doesn't run those pesky disc brakes though.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby mitchy_ » Thu Jun 11, 2015 9:04 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:That's what I would do. Run smooth tread 28-32mm tyres. Unless your dirt riding is more single track or washed out steep fit roads you'll be fine in a smooth tread tyre. Just drop the pressures. On the road the the fat tyres want old you back unless your riding with a 40kmhr group. In most cases it's your legs/heart/head that's the problem, not the bike.


that is what i do!

i have some 28 and 32mm slicks, and just put on a set of 35mm file-tread style CX tyres. can average ~30-31km/h on pretty much all of them. the 30+mm tyres feel soooo nice on the road though!
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby cancan64 » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:19 pm

I have a carbon road wheelset (F38 25wide, R50 23wide) and run 23mm tyres which I use on my CX bike (Trek Boone 9) for road use... I occasionally ride a 40km group ride which averages close to 40 km/h and I have no problems. I do struggle a bit when they do some 50km plus breakaway stuff but that is more the 46 big ring and me just not being anywhere the same level as them.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby boss » Fri Jun 12, 2015 1:35 pm

You're not going to struggle keeping up with roadies if you're riding a cross bike with good quality slick, narrow tyres.

Knobbly tyres or 30mm+ commuter quality tyres made out of garden hose (gatorskins et al) and you'll notice a distinct difference in attainable speed for a give effort.

The fact you're riding a CX bike isn't the issue, the rolling resistance of a given tyre is the killer.

The end.

(I mean lets be real. the difference between an average crossie and an average roadie is two bidons of water. Say what you want but in the real world that doesn't affect jack squat, especially in a bunchie on the flats. In terms of aero, get in the drops and you're just as aero as in the hoods on a roadie. It's the tyres, stupid!)
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Gags » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:57 pm

Thanks guys I'm relatively a newbie so loving the advice.

Around here the fire trails are firm dry dirt and gravel interspersed with patches of rock both embedded and loose - the rock is harsh, can be sharp and can be 3 - 6 CMs in diameter so I don't think slicks will handle it.

As I'm riding the gravel on the weekend and road during the week it would probably mean a second wheel set but this is where it got confusing.....LBS said entry level low quality rims + tyres, tubes and new set of rotors etc so I can swap straight in and out would end up between $300 & $500 and be low quality. Moving up quality would push price to $450 to $650......but I can currently purchase Cannondale Caadx 105 for approx $1450, Cannondale Evo 105 and Merida Scultura 4000 for just under $2k so started weighing up the cost of the wheel + the hassle of always changing vs the extra bike.

Still quite confused on the whole wheel / tyre scene but learning. Thanks again
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Chris249 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:26 pm

You can ride trails pretty much like this one* with the 28 slicks

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but you DO have to take more care and it is a rougher ride. I often do about 2ks along a flat section that links up with the pictured trail, and about 10-20% of it is probably about as rocky as in the pic. The other 5ks or so are on the road, and for that sort of mix the 28s seem fine.

I'm using some little-known second-hand wheels I got for about $100 on the 28s, and some of the cheapest Krysiums for CX racing in B Grade with the 35s. IMHO if you're reasonably careful about hitting the hard stuff, there's not much difference between cheap and expensive wheels. If you hand the top guys a tricycle they will still win!

It's all a matter of personal taste and circumstances, of course- good luck with whatever you do.

(PS credit to Ms Le Bonvivant, apparently a local walker, for the pic)

* although if they are steep, all bets are off.
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby Gags » Sun Jun 14, 2015 9:54 pm

Cheers Chris.

Looks like a central Vic trail. I do 2 - 10kms of this type and some of it is hilly although not hugely so. It never gets much over 1 to 2% in gradient.

Will check out the wheels you mentioned. Do you swap out the wheels or just run the slicks on original wheels?
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Re: CX bike on a road training ride

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:36 am

Heading to NZ for Xmas... was going to take a road bike but seems I will be staying in Rotorua for a fair bit of the time. So brother in law is saying bring a mtb!!!. But I want to road race as well at least once or twice when I am there.
CX bike it is :D ... will have to run at least a compact crank gearing on it as CX gearing will be too low.
But of course my last CX frame is scrap metal now ... another build will have to commence unless I can source something in NZ 2nd hand.
Going to be the best winter off season ever :mrgreen:
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