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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm seeing a lot of nice CX bikes for sale and have always wanted one for commuting/back-up road bike.
Assuming I set one up with normal road gearing, how will it feel during fast-paced group rides, geometry-wise?
Too twitchy during high-speed descents in the switchbacks? Does the BB height difference affect cornering?
Thanks.
 

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I'm seeing a lot of nice CX bikes for sale and have always wanted one for commuting/back-up road bike.
Assuming I set one up with normal road gearing, how will it feel during fast-paced group rides, geometry-wise?
Too twitchy during high-speed descents in the switchbacks? Does the BB height difference affect cornering?
Thanks.
Go for it! Add fenders! They won't slow you down in a pack. :D

Slacker head tube angles and slightly longer wheel bases will only stabilize high speed descents. Higher BBs would raise the center of gravity a half inch or less, a minor tradeoff in handling. Pressing down on the outside pedal would still work great in the turns.

Heck, use the gears already on the bike. They might work fine on the road, unless you're doing "A" rides with the hammerheads.
 

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My commuter / bad weather bike has CX frame which has never been ridden off road. In a way, it's not a conversion but a purpose built. Reason for picking such frame for road purpose was the compatibility with fenders and disc brakes (for bad weather). Another reason was the price (cheap alum. CX frame from Nashbar).
 

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My commuter / bad weather bike has CX frame which has never been ridden off road. In a way, it's not a conversion but a purpose built. Reason for picking such frame for road purpose was the compatibility with fenders and disc brakes (for bad weather). Another reason was the price (cheap alum. CX frame from Nashbar).
I got a cheap alum CX frame from Nashbar as well a few years ago for the exact same reasons. Great commuter, go for it OP.
 

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I have a Gunnar Crosshairs that I used for commuting for many years. It had a 9 speed campy group with mini-V brakes that actually stopped. If you opt for disc, then you're going to need more wheels. I like being about to swap around wheels between bikes. The Gunnar has good road manners and decent low bottom bracket for a cross bike. Now I have it built up with an old Dura Ace 7400 8 speed group with 38/46 rings and a 13-26 cassette. I use it on gravel paths and roads with the occasional trail ride. I have 34mm cross tires on a Deep V wheelset.
 

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I currently ride a cross build as my sole road bike, and have been since 2013. It is a stiff harsh aluminum Kona Jake the Snake with nice wheels, and cockpit. Force drivetrain. I will be building up a proper road bike this spring. It has been a long time coming to get back on a real road bike, and I feel I deserve it. That said, except for comfort, weight, and aero disadvantages, it has served me well. I ride a lot and do a fair amount of group rides with some pretty fit people. Even with 46/36 I have been able to hang, and sometimes excel. It is a pretty badd -ass bike and I really like it. Nothing about it has ever left me thinking...."man, if only I had a carbon road bike for that last segment". I know my times will improve drastically on the new road build, but I have no regrets. It has served me well, and I have always been able to hold my own on it. As far as downhill cornering, I do feel slightly at a disadvantage on really sharp switchback type hairpins. The high bottom bracket and long chainstays make it slightly less nimble. It is stiff as hell though and the huge tapered head tube makes for a very solid front end with great steering input and response.
 

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2 cross type bikes I use for road service, 1 for wet and winter riding on the road (Niner RLT9) and the other for traveling (Trek Crockett). Both have a set of road tire'd wheels to use and the cranks are 50/34. They work perfectly fine on the road.
 

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no all cx bikes were created alike. There is no one answer for how "cx bikes" ride on the road.

I love mine on the road.....but knew buying it that it wasn't designed to be a full on tight course cx bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Great to hear.
Don't really need fenders since I'm a fair-weather commuter but the ability to use wide rims with 28mm tires has me trying to justify another bike, and if I can use it as a wet-weather back-up bike for fast group rides then all the better.
Not that I need justification besides N + 1. :)

Glad to hear they're stable at high-speed, I just "ass"umed the steering would be a little more twitchy since CX tends to have tight corners and lower overall speeds.
Thanks for the feedback.
 

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I built up a CX frame as a primarily road bike for winter/rain riding. I wanted to be able to run up to 28's and the option to put on fat tires and do some off roading or gravel as well. Not many road frame options for that.
It's di2 with hydraulic discs. I have removable fenders I throw on if it's raining. Gearing is the same as my road bikes. I went with the long cage RD so I could change to a larger cassette for off-roading.

I notice very little difference in handling. I'm usually off the front in descents.
I was able to set up the cockpit pretty close to my road bikes. It's heavier and definitely less aero. I can hang fine on fast group rides. Just not off the front with the fast guys for long.
 

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you'll be fine.

cx bikes are not more twitchy on descents. If anything, cx bikes with their longer trail are more stable in descents (in a straight line), but this also means they're less nimble in a turn (doesn't turn in as quick, and can't hold a curve as well, but we're talking about taking a turn on the limits).
 

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Great to hear.
Don't really need fenders since I'm a fair-weather commuter but the ability to use wide rims with 28mm tires has me trying to justify another bike, and if I can use it as a wet-weather back-up bike for fast group rides then all the better.
Not that I need justification besides N + 1. :)

Glad to hear they're stable at high-speed, I just "ass"umed the steering would be a little more twitchy since CX tends to have tight corners and lower overall speeds.
Thanks for the feedback.
Again, you can't assume anything just because a bike is a CX bike. Some, indeed, will be twitchier than most road riders would prefer.
 

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For the longest time after I sold all my road bikes all I had were my cross rigs. I did group ride and crits on em np even with my cross gearing. Heck last Sat a local badass took 3rd in a training crit on his cross bike with a 42.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the replies.
Will keep my eyes open, tons of options out there.
 

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My Cannondale Rival X with the 46 gearing, and 32's is an excellent foul/wet weather steed. I also ride it when the weather is nice. I generally ride solo or with one other person, so no need to hammer on a group ride. I consider it my sport ute of bikes.
 

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Two years ago, I purchased a Cannondale CAADX as a rain/winter bike, specifically selected for disc brakes and ability to take fenders and an optional rack.

I swapped the Schwalbe semi-knobby tires for a pair of Continental road tires, then added fenders.

The bike worked fine on the road, but I didn't like the 46/36 gearing compared to the compact on my summer bike. The LBS also convinced me to buy a smaller (54) frame, which I found a little cramped on longer rides.

Last year sold the CAADX and replaced it with a (56) Synapse disc.
 

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Thanks for the replies.
Will keep my eyes open, tons of options out there.
It might be more than you're looking to spend but here's a really good option for a CX bike that's to be used as more of an all-round bike (the picture has disc but they make with canti too): Honey Bicycles » Cyclocross Utility

And from the same company, here's an example of the type of CX bike you'd probably want to stay away from for your intended use: Honey Bicycles » Cyclocross Race

And if you are wondering who to fck is Honey. It's Seven marketing steel under a different name.
 

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In general, CX bikes have longer slacker head tube angle and more trail primarily to make them more stable on soft surfaces where a more aggressive "twitchier" geometry would tend to have the front end dig in and wash out. This makes them slower handling than sport or endurance road bikes.
 
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