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Curious how some of you who race decide on your frame size and overall fit. Do you try to match your CX bike perfectly to your road - saddle set back, saddle to bars, bar drop, etc., or do you do something different to account for the varied terrain that you'll be riding on - shorter stem to get your weight further back for descents, for example.

My current road frame is a 59.5 effective top tube. The bike I'm considering is an almost exact match at the XL size (ST angle, HT angle, eff. top tube) but I'm wondering if I should go for the L size (58 top tube, different ST angle) for the weight reduction and ability to set it up a little more aggressively. I will be racing it this fall, but also plan on using it with some clip-on fenders as a bad weather bike.

My gut says I'm over thinking this and should just match the CX bike to my road as closely as I can since that's what I'll be used to, but it would be nice to hear from those with some experience.

Thanks.
 

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it depends on your road bike fit. CX fitting is usually more upright, for better control over complex terrain when dealing with cx.

getting the seat and pedal position IMO should be similar to your road bike fit.

the reach to the bars should be modified so that you're taller. Not upright like a mountain biker, but somewhere in between leaning more towards a road position
 

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Basically you want roughly the same ETT, but with consessions for standover height. For example I ride a 56 specialized crux, but I'ld have to ride a 54 ridley x-night/x-fire/x-ride/x-bow because of the difference in BB and standover height.

The general recomendations are saddle a little lower, bars up and back a little compared to your road fit. But as with any fit advice, that may not work for you.
 

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I'd try for a higher head tube, unless your current road bike happens to be a more upright model. A slacker HT angle would also help. (And if you happen to find a X that is both, could be nice). I would not try to get my weight back with a shorter stem.

A good example is the Cannondale CAADX geometry. (And I think I'm buying one soon! Just found a great bike yesterday. !!!!).
 

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Pretty much what has been said. I also like my cross seat height to be just a tiny bit lower than my roadie and not as stretched out.
 

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for me i went same size as road frame, try to get close to road position, but as the season moves forward and i spend more and more time on the cx bike my position gets tweaked. I'm probably the opposite but i usually lower my seat after i start racing.
 

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Last year at the start of cross I started a gradual change of position on my cross bike, getting rid of the zero setback post and lower and moving back my saddle. Over the winter I got a fit on my road bike which I'm incredibly happy with. This year I think I'm going to take my road fit of the saddle and pedals and duplicate it on my cross bike, then set up the bars, for what I found to be most beneficial, a proper weight distribution. I've found when I find that balance I'm much faster in the corners, descents and technical sections. This usually entails a slightly higher and shorter reach.
 

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You're taking a risk asking for advice on a forum. Of course conventional wisdom evolves, even with experts, but why not ask a fitter?
This particular phrenologist can't keep his story straight.

"If the fit were completely up to me, everyone would have the exact same fit that they have on their road bike (provided the fit is ideal). [...] I actually run wider bars on my cyclocross bike, and I like them."
 

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This particular phrenologist can't keep his story straight.
She's saying ideally a cross fit shouldn't be any different than a road fit, but it doesn't hurt to try different things (wider bars, lower seat). I can understand that point of view, especially coming from a physical therapist. It's important to remember this is geared to racers, and those events last only an hour. Something that may cause discomfort on a long ride will be barely noticed during a cross race.
 
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