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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an irrational and unexplained urge to try a cyclocross bike at my local trails, despite never having ridden one before. I've finally accepted I'm no freeriding drop off hucking superhero (despite what I thought when I bought Cove Stiffee). The trails I'm riding are probably as technical and nasty as I'm ever going to go (thats not lack of ambition, but at 39 and after 6 knee ops, it's time to back off a bit), there's a few small drop off steps/ledges up to approx 18" high, and some steep and rocky decsents where I tend to put my behind to the rear of the saddle. This has become a bit routine, so I tend to race round as fast as I can.

I'm wondering about the suitability of a cross bike for this, in particular, hubs and rims. would 105/ultgra on cxp21/open pro be able to withstand the steps? how wide a tyre could I fit to these rims?

Does anyone else go out to play on a cross bike when everyone else is riding mtb?

Thanks.

Michael
 

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Off the back
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Sure, if you keep it somewhat sane

MichaelM said:
I have an irrational and unexplained urge to try a cyclocross bike at my local trails, despite never having ridden one before. I've finally accepted I'm no freeriding drop off hucking superhero (despite what I thought when I bought Cove Stiffee). The trails I'm riding are probably as technical and nasty as I'm ever going to go (thats not lack of ambition, but at 39 and after 6 knee ops, it's time to back off a bit), there's a few small drop off steps/ledges up to approx 18" high, and some steep and rocky decsents where I tend to put my behind to the rear of the saddle. This has become a bit routine, so I tend to race round as fast as I can.

I'm wondering about the suitability of a cross bike for this, in particular, hubs and rims. would 105/ultgra on cxp21/open pro be able to withstand the steps? how wide a tyre could I fit to these rims?

Does anyone else go out to play on a cross bike when everyone else is riding mtb?

Thanks.

Michael
If you're an exhibitionist, you'll get some looks of WTF? Beleive me, you'll make a scene. However, some guy rides a UNICYCLE at our local trails. Now that's cool!

I ride most of my MTB loop on the cross bike since I know it well. Not the toughest technical stuff, but not too shabby. I do avoid the real squirrly stuff like decents, drops, etc, but I chicken sh!t those on the MTB too. What I call "singletrack 101" trails. You'll feel rejuvinated about trail riding again.

I think the bike would have no problems. Tire depends on conditions, fat and low pressure for mud; thin and higher pressure for hardpack.
 

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yup; what they said, and.....

i've found what helps me is to have my bar set up a bit higher/hoods up higher. go for it! any tire will work, pretty much. i've got some 38s on mine, and they are great in pretty much anything. (so far.) i'd say try it on what you have on it, and rotate your bars back a bit, so it puts your hoods a bit higher/further back. this gets your weight back a bit for the downhill stuff. go from there; if you need bigger tires on it, just cram in the biggest/cushiest you can fit! they'll still be narrower than all but the most narrow mtb tires!

have fun!
 

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Do it. Love it.

Riding a cross bike on the trails is a blast. You have to use your body to absorb all the irregularities in the trail. I usuall ride solo, but I've run into friends occasionally and joined them. I tend to get left behind on rooty descents but someone has to be the last one down, anyway.

I run Michelin muds on CPX33 rims - I have no idea about the 21s but if well built they should be fine. Wider tyres are nice but I don't see them around very often and I can't be bothered to order them online.

Caveat: I've never owned a mountain bike. And as long as I live where the trails are not extremely technical (or sandy), I don't think I ever will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the comments, I just need to beg/ borrow/ steal, or a a last resort, even consider buying a cross bike now.

Michael
 

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I have used my cross bike on most of my local trails and have only had to slow down in a few areas i.e... drops and the steep decents. The decents got easier when I put on the top mount brakes. The climbs actualy felt easier and smother, you will also notice the chatter you get from the smaller 26" wheels are not as noticeable with the 700cc hoops. With 38's you also get about as much surface contact as a 1.95 tire on a 26" wheel, larger diameter=more surface contact. This is why a number of mtb'rs are switching to 29" wheels, myself included. Just throw on a mtb crankset to get the 34 tooth for the climbs.

Happy trails

e
 

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Funny you should post this. I hit trails for the first time both Saturday and Sunday on the CX. Saturday was a beautiful day in Oxford, Mississippi. After a lot of deliberation I took the cx instead of the roadie since I could explore more. I hit the "Fruit Loops" trails and mainly stayed off the super technical stuff and really steeps. I had a blast. The CX is soooo much faster than the mtb. I'm running 28mm Ritchey Speedmax (really about 32 I think) and they really are a great compromise if you are riding road and hardpack trail. Not very good in mud or sand. The CX let me explore more of Oxford and the Ole Miss campus. I'm really surprised lbs's don't carry a selection of cx bikes. I think there is a real market in a town like Oxford for a great all-around bike. I rode my MTB on the road when I was in school there and looking back, a cx would have been much, much better. There is a ton of road construction going on too. The roadie would have been a pain.

Yesterday we took the baby to our huge park here in Memphis (Shelby Farms). I took the cx out there too and when Mrs. Tater and BabyTater where ready to go, I offloaded the bike and hit the Wolf River trails. I could clean about 95% of it (was wary of pinch flats over some of the roots, hit a bit of sand and mud) but it screamed on the hard pack. My hands did begin to cramp a bit about 40 minutes on the trail due to staying on the hoods. I'm considering brake levers for the flats. At least 35 mm tires would be nice if I were on the trails more often. I rode the rest of the way home on one of my normal road routes and couldn't tell a difference in speed over the roadie. I'm sure there was one, but I didn't feel it. No computer on the cx. It's by far my favorite bike in the stable and is pretty well suited for most of the trails around Memphis.
 

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I do

MichaelM said:
I have an irrational and unexplained urge to try a cyclocross bike at my local trails, despite never having ridden one before. I've finally accepted I'm no freeriding drop off hucking superhero (despite what I thought when I bought Cove Stiffee). The trails I'm riding are probably as technical and nasty as I'm ever going to go (thats not lack of ambition, but at 39 and after 6 knee ops, it's time to back off a bit), there's a few small drop off steps/ledges up to approx 18" high, and some steep and rocky decsents where I tend to put my behind to the rear of the saddle. This has become a bit routine, so I tend to race round as fast as I can.

I'm wondering about the suitability of a cross bike for this, in particular, hubs and rims. would 105/ultgra on cxp21/open pro be able to withstand the steps? how wide a tyre could I fit to these rims?

Does anyone else go out to play on a cross bike when everyone else is riding mtb?

Thanks.

Michael
I ride the CX bike on trails where the FS bike would be overkill. Its alot of fun..
 

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Depending on what you call singletrack...

MichaelM said:
I have an irrational and unexplained urge to try a cyclocross bike at my local trails, despite never having ridden one before. I've finally accepted I'm no freeriding drop off hucking superhero (despite what I thought when I bought Cove Stiffee). The trails I'm riding are probably as technical and nasty as I'm ever going to go (thats not lack of ambition, but at 39 and after 6 knee ops, it's time to back off a bit), there's a few small drop off steps/ledges up to approx 18" high, and some steep and rocky decsents where I tend to put my behind to the rear of the saddle. This has become a bit routine, so I tend to race round as fast as I can.

I'm wondering about the suitability of a cross bike for this, in particular, hubs and rims. would 105/ultgra on cxp21/open pro be able to withstand the steps? how wide a tyre could I fit to these rims?

Does anyone else go out to play on a cross bike when everyone else is riding mtb?

Thanks.

Michael
...the cross bike may actually be MORE FUN than a mtb. It'll teach you how to be smooth, in control, and which lines to pick. Things that riding a double-boinger mtb lets you ignore.

I ride my cross bike on the trails around San Diego quite frequently. No worries. Around the DC area, there are a few spots that would give me pause: Gambril, For the most part, if you can ride a mtb with just a front fork, you can ride the cross bike.

That help?
Now get out there and buy a cross bike!

Mike
 

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Ditto.

I often use my 'cross bike for a fun skills session to make me more efficient as it's totally rigid.

A FS bike tends to make you lazy and slow in reacting to terrain changes. Or at least that's what it does for me...

Go get that cross bike!!!! Oh and I'd make sure that the wheels and frame / fork are durable. I've had to have my fork straightened when i took a serious digger from a rock. luckily it was a steel fork. if had been carbon (my dream), it would have been toast.
 
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