another bike thread

cyclocross v mtb

17 messages
seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 07:29

I might be able to aquire another bike soon..........

I am really interested in giving cyclocross ago.......if i got a cyclocross bike would it be good enough to use on most mtb type trails.......

i'm not really sure what a cyclecross bike is to be honest.

I would never go on scary mtb trails as i am a scaredy cat.....

i have road bikex2 and my hybrid at the moment

cougie    pirate
17/10/2013 at 09:01
Definitely a cross bike.

You can do anything on it from race ironman to weaving cross.
17/10/2013 at 09:33

I'd stick with what you've got unless you've a burning desire to race cyclocross.   They are useful if you want to mix road riding with trails i suppose.

As for MTB trails - it'd be fine on family type trails but not anything technical.  

17/10/2013 at 10:02

if you don't want to touch technical MTB trails go with a cross bike if that's what you want. 

but "most MTB trails" - define please. it will cope with some harder shit than a hybrid will, but if you're thinking of tackling things like the Gap at Pen-y-Fan, then no.  But you'd be OK on the rougher parts of the Taff Trail for example, but even there some suspension will take the worst hits out.

personally - and as EP says - you'd probably be better off with a hardtail MTB for some of the trails down your way

seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 10:12

no rough p[arts on the taff trail anymore FB.virtually all tarmac.can be done easily on ahybrid.

I was thinking some of the easier trails at cwmcarn and would it go over parths on the mountain go up caerphilly mountain trails.....

i really did fancy a bit of cylecross..the cycling version of x country runniung as I saw it...

and loks like i can get one new bike but not two so will have to choose..

17/10/2013 at 10:30

I got myself a cyclo cross bike recently to add to the fleet (N+1 rule), I am going to use it for winter training and hopefully a bit of light trail riding. The roads around me are crap so anything that can take a few lumps/bumps and pothole bashes is good news, also I can set it up like my road bikes.

Truthfully it was shiny, I didn't have one, I had money burning a hole in my pocket and the wife said ok!

17/10/2013 at 10:31

If she can have 300 + pairs of shoes then I can have a few(ish) bikes - just got to get time to use them all now..........

17/10/2013 at 10:32

I think you'd still be better off with a MTB on the easier Cwmcarn trails or on some of the open mountain trails - front suspension will just make them a more pleasant experience.   

XC bikes are better with grassy fields/soft trails/smoother grounds than the mountain trails you want to use. sure, you could use a XC on those mountain trails but - and don't take this the wrong way - would be best in the hands of a more experienced and technically competent cyclist

seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 10:51

i have my old road bike for winter training and my hybid for when its snowy and need to use a trail....

just teh opportunity for a new bike has come up so trying to work out which would be best.....

i could have a cyclocross from cycling club to try cyclecross.......and then get a mtb......

so if i do is there anything i shlould be looking at to make sure that is going to be comfortable for under £1000


and FB...i wouldn't take that the wrong way.i can't even balance stationary for a second on my bike without putting my foot technically crap..

17/10/2013 at 11:08

My profile pic is me in the 3 peaks cyclo cross - so I may be biased but yes a cross bike can cope with most things. Downside most off road duathlons won't accept them (though they will accept cheapo £200 MTB's - go figure) and I have seen lightweight carbon frames be written off by the 3 peaks descents. You will become a far better bike handler but your upper body will take a beating. Disc brakes close the gap in performance and a 42-29 or similar front chainset rather than normal larger cross gearing will get you up most things and still give a reasonable gear for the road.


17/10/2013 at 11:20

2wheels - yes, in the hands of a good cyclist a XC bike will cope with most things but seren would be the 1st to admit that she's not a great cyclist - good engine, not so good bike skills - so personally I think it would be wasted on her - a hardtail MTB would be the better bet

seren - as usual for all bikes - fit is the key.  you need to go try a few and see how they feel.  MTB geometry is different to road so it will initially feel very different to handle so I would suggest you either try some demo bikes from a LBS (that will depend on what they have) or hire from a MTB centre.

a £1K budget will get a good hardtail MTB - £2k would get a very good one - over £3K and you're into the state of the art/top end components league.


17/10/2013 at 12:07

I would try cyclocross before buying  a bike for it, not everyone likes it.  To do well you need to be good technically.   There is a big spread of fitness levels do it though - unlike road racing where you need to be reasonably fast to stay in the bunch cross is more like a running race in that you get into battles with the people around you and the front runners or back markers may as well be in a different race.   I just found if I wasn't going to focus on it it was a lot of time and money for an hour riding round a park when I could go out and do 3-4 hours on the road and be home by lunch.   Others love it though and it's probably the best introduction to bike racing for kids or adults who aren't that committed - I know a fair few who are into it from taking their kids.

MTBing seems to be less focussed and more recreational - I know there is a MTB race scene but even that seems to have more to offer than cross - more variety in terms of races etc.   If someone would give me £350 for my cross bike I'd probably sell it and put it towards a better MTB.

cougie    pirate
17/10/2013 at 12:19
Cross races are fast and furious - that said - the ones i've seen tend to be more round grassy muddy fields rather than very technical. You need nice nobbly tyres for grip in the mud - but those tyres are rubbish on the road.

My cross bike is fine for trails - I don't do any extreme stuff on it - but I reckon 95% of mountain bikes don't get used on those either.

If i had to have just one bike - it would be a cross bike - it can do anything.

Disc brakes may help in the mud - but if you go with conventional brakes - you can swap the wheels out with the rest of your fleet ?

There are a couple of adventure races where a cross bike is handy - the Scottish Coast to Coast for one....
seren nos    pirate
17/10/2013 at 12:26

now cougie that race is still on my radar but not for a few years time...

Cona    pirate
17/10/2013 at 17:11

I just bought a cross bike and have been using it for commuting to work, winter training on the road and for having a bit of fun around the trails in the local forests etc.


Been a real flexible bike in those terms, much more so than an MTB in my opinion. I currently have got nobly tires on it but will change these for slicker tyres when just using on the road to bank winter miles.

M...eldy    pirate
17/10/2013 at 18:25

My cross bike was invaluable this last winter for training .. that said, I do like my mtb and not sure I could choose between them 

18/10/2013 at 13:17

It should be a decision of which one seren, buy both. There may be a time when you 100% need a cross bike, there may be a time when you 100% need an MTB, therefore you need two more bikes and that is all the justification you need.

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