Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

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Mububban
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Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:55 pm

I currently commute on a mountain bike, it's obviously robust and hopping kerbs and cutting through parks etc is no problem, but it's heavy and slow. I'd love a bike that is sturdy, yet noticeably faster than my MTB, and still has a triple chainset (I have pathetically skinny legs) and thought a CX bike might be an option over a roadie or FBR? I'm rather inflexible so a really aggressive aerodynamic position would not be ideal.

I'm also keen to maintain my lifetime puncture-free record (I know, it's got to happen one day!) so am thinking of something like the Schwalbe Marathon range. I've read that they roll surprisingly well considering the weight penalty.
I'd also want mud guards, no need for panniers though as I wear a backpack.

Anything worth buying around the $500 - $800 range? I'd love some suggestions I could research.

Thanks
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Calvin27 » Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:09 am

Cross bikes are great commuters. Just be careful with geometry. Some of them can be quite aggressive and make for a bad commuter in that you are less upright etc. Also consider some endurance road bikes. Both my specialized secteur and Cannondale synapse fall into this catergory. Other makes will also have them (giant defy, kona rove etc.).

As fo tyres my spesh fits up to 38c and the synapse 32c.keep in mind that the schwalbe marathons are generally a bigger tyre than they specify. For example I can only just manage to get a 35c schwalbe marathon plus on my spesh, while i can get 38c knobbies for dirt on there. The puncutre proof foam adds extra diameter. If you are not going for tyres with the foam then all good, the sizes are not too different.
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queequeg
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby queequeg » Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:35 pm

I think you will have a tough time finding a CX Bike with a triple chainset.

marathon plus tyres are great. Here is what happened to me on Friday...but no puncture

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby BenGr » Mon Apr 04, 2016 4:06 pm

queequeg wrote:I think you will have a tough time finding a CX Bike with a triple chainset.

marathon plus tyres are great. Here is what happened to me on Friday...but no puncture

Image
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I've seen that happen in less resistant tyres as well (still no puncture), but the added depth definitely helps!

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby simonn » Tue Apr 05, 2016 9:08 am

I commuted ~250km/week for ~7 years. Have done it on a few roadies, a hardtail, a dual sus and a CX.

FWIW, I'd estimate that the difference in time taken over my hilly 25km commute based on the bike I rode and everything else being roughly equal would be about 5 mins (carbon roadie carrying nothing, vs dual sus carrying laptop etc). Commute was 60 mins +- 5 mins or so on average.

Having a bought a cheap CX. I probably wouldn't again. I'd look for carbon with hydro disc brakes... but then I'm not sure I'd want to risk that as a commuter day to day.

Also, stock CX bikes tend to be as high geared (if not more so because of 36t small ring) than road bikes, so be prepared to change a few things if you have a hilly commute.

Personally, I'd go an internally geared bike with disc brakes for commuting full time. I'm over the continual maintenance that riding in the rain requires.

Saying all that, if you are only going to have one bike, a CX is good option.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby macca33 » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:48 pm

A CX bike would do the job very satisfactorily - enable you to traverse paved / unpaved / gravel, etc roads/paths - they are a cracking all-rounder and there are plenty of options with frames / groupsets, etc to cover most bases.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Wed Apr 06, 2016 11:41 am

Thanks everyone.

Can anyone recommend any brands and models in the sub $1000 category that are worth investigating?
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:37 pm

Mububban wrote:Thanks everyone.

Can anyone recommend any brands and models in the sub $1000 category that are worth investigating?

Reid Granite.

Looked one over in their Melbs main shop, very neat. Running gear isn't the flashest but running gear wears out and can be upgraded.
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:01 pm

Mulger bill wrote:Reid Granite.

Looked one over in their Melbs main shop, very neat. Running gear isn't the flashest but running gear wears out and can be upgraded.


I did have a look at one of those and thought it looked pretty nice, might have to have a test ride to see how the gearing feels, as I said my legs are laughably skinny, people think I'm exaggerating but I need gears :D
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby m@ » Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:35 am

Masi do a cx bike with triple chainset - they were on sale going for crazy prices around Melbourne around 18 months ago, as the distributor brought heaps in and they weren't popular. So if you can find one now you could get it for a steal...

That said, Masi make some lovely bikes - and this ain't one of 'em. But for a commuter I suspect it'd be fine.

But personally I'd look at cx compact double and a wide range cassette rather than a triple. This gives you much more choice when buying the bike, and road/cx groupsets can now handle crazy big cassette sprockets.
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby elfoam » Fri Apr 15, 2016 1:05 am

I think a light but solid Alumium flatbar roadbike with a internal geared hub or a single speed is technically the ideal commuter. 25c or 28c tyres. These guys seem to have bikes in the theme Im thinking about https://chappelli.com/au/product/vintage-five-speed/

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:26 am

m@ wrote:personally I'd look at cx compact double and a wide range cassette rather than a triple. This gives you much more choice when buying the bike, and road/cx groupsets can now handle crazy big cassette sprockets.


Thanks for the tip. That might be just the solution I need.

I'm not even considering internal gearing or single speed, I've clearly stated I don't have the legs to drive higher or limited gearing. I love cycling but "skeletal" is the best word to describe my build!
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Chris249 » Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:05 pm

elfoam wrote:I think a light but solid Alumium flatbar roadbike with a internal geared hub or a single speed is technically the ideal commuter. 25c or 28c tyres. These guys seem to have bikes in the theme Im thinking about https://chappelli.com/au/product/vintage-five-speed/


It's fine for many people, but certainly not "ideal" for everyone. I rode flat bars for a long while but could never get comfortable with them; there were not enough different positions, and if you used bar ends you were too far away from the brakes and shifters.

Secondly, some people have significant hills that a SS bike will struggle up, and some prefer to be able to pull out into the traffic and hold 45-50+ kmh for a while. That's not easy on a SS of 5 speed bike, or a flatbar.

At my last two offices, keen commuters rode everything from MTBs with knobbies (perfect for those whose route lay along a firetrail) to time trial bikes. Surely it's whatever happens to suit the individual's route, style, desires and mood?

The CX bike seems an excellent combination, though. Want to get some dirt on the way to work? Chuck on the knobbies or file treads. Want to carry lots of stuff? Lots of them will take front and back racks. Want to go fast and hard? Put on road tyres and you're just about as fast as a road bike. Want to sit upright and still be in control? Use the crosstops/interrupters.
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:25 pm

After doing some more reading, I think the "gravel bike" segment fills my brief best of all. More relaxed geometry than many CX bikes, with supposedly enough gear ratios to allow me to survive up hills :)

Examples being the Giant Anyroad, Specialized Diverge (need a magical money tree for those) or Reid Granite.
I love the idea of the extra brake levers on the flat bars on the Giant, so you can brake from either the drops or the flat bars. But $2100 is out of the budget unfortunately.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby koshari » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:45 pm

I love the idea of the extra brake levers on the flat bars


google cane creek crosstop.

that giants frame looks hideous.

btw i dont mind the reid, i would get them to upgrade the disk mechs to trp hy/rd mech/hyd
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:54 am

koshari wrote:
I love the idea of the extra brake levers on the flat bars


google cane creek crosstop.

that giants frame looks hideous.

btw i dont mind the reid, i would get them to upgrade the disk mechs to trp hy/rd mech/hyd
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pair-TRP-HYR ... MTg6laadBg


Yeah the frame is.....different.....but reviews are universally positive. They used to do an aluminium frame for just over a grand which I could stretch to, but in Oz they seem to only now carry the CoMax composite frame for $2100 which is a bit far.
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Brett_Windsor » Tue Apr 19, 2016 5:49 pm

My Kona Jake has a triple chain ring. Tiagra 10 I think.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby caneye » Wed Apr 20, 2016 2:28 pm

you can install the additional brake levers on the bar, on almost any drop bar bikes. either DIY or via LBS.

i got my Tektro inline brakes installed by my LBS. inexpensive.
useful when riding on shared paths with pedestrians.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby octagonalman » Mon Apr 25, 2016 1:48 am

Mububban wrote:
koshari wrote:
I love the idea of the extra brake levers on the flat bars


google cane creek crosstop.

that giants frame looks hideous.

btw i dont mind the reid, i would get them to upgrade the disk mechs to trp hy/rd mech/hyd
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pair-TRP-HYR ... MTg6laadBg


Yeah the frame is.....different.....but reviews are universally positive. They used to do an aluminium frame for just over a grand which I could stretch to, but in Oz they seem to only now carry the CoMax composite frame for $2100 which is a bit far.


Would you consider the Giant Revolt? They're about $1500 and aluminium frame, but still nowhere near your original budget.

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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby Mububban » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:24 pm

octagonalman wrote:Would you consider the Giant Revolt? They're about $1500 and aluminium frame, but still nowhere near your original budget.


I think the Revolt has more aggressive geometry than the Anyroad, but it's an option for second hand down the track
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Apr 26, 2016 10:44 pm

Hmmm. Been watching this thread for a bit but not tempted to post till now...

Been here before. Started with a lovely CX bike (Scott CX Comp) which turned out to be a great singletrack bike and a fun & fast commuter but had foot overlap issues on the gnarly stuff, no rack mounts and the short geometry made long open dirt roads uncomfortable after a couple of hours.

As an experiment, I tried something else. Scored an old Giant Cypress hybrid 700c frameset from the early noughties for $50. Added some wheels, V brakes, flared drop bars and a short riser stem and suddenly the ghettograveller was born. It could take racks, it could take commuting, it could take long open dirt roads (sort of). It hated most of the single track!

I'd show photos of either but with the demise of Tapatalk here...it ain't gonna happen. There might be something kicking round on here already?

Sadly (or not) both are now hanging in the shed...they both got taken over by a Niner RLT 9 which does all of the things that the other two did...but in one better bike. And it has disc brakes!! Admittedly though it wasn't a cheap option even second hand...

If thee were me...hunt a barely used upright hybrid frameset from the turn of the century and give it a whirl with a dropbar. I'd happily sell you either of the redundant framesets but transport costs from Victorian country probably make it cost prohibitive...and they may not fit you regardless!!!
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Re: Cyclocross bike for a commuter?

Postby shd » Tue May 03, 2016 1:12 pm

elfoam wrote:I think a light but solid Alumium flatbar roadbike with a internal geared hub or a single speed is technically the ideal commuter. 25c or 28c tyres. These guys seem to have bikes in the theme Im thinking about https://chappelli.com/au/product/vintage-five-speed/


I ride one of these 100km a week commuting and it's pretty ideal. OP - how far are you commuting each week? Do you have any intentions to tour or go for long rides, or just commute?

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