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What can a cyclocross do?

Timoth's picture

By Timoth - Posted on 18 June 2014

I know that there are a few cyclocross riders on this forum, so please forgive the not-quite mtb related questions directed at them.

I'm planning to get a new commuter and have been thinking of getting a CX bike so that I can use it for more than my urban commute. I'm wanting a bike that I can use for training rides including road, fire trails and some rougher stuff as necessary. My question is, what are the reasonable limits of a CX bike? Can I ride it on trails that get rocky and loose? Would it be fun to ride down, for example, the the first part of the Oaks single track (ie. the old bit) or would I find myself slowly picking way through the rocks and ruts to avoid damaging the bike or crashing? I regularly ride a rigid 29er up and down Ando's and Oaks, so comfort ain't the issue. It's what the bike can take and how hard or fun is it to ride something with narrow drop bars and narrow tyres through the rough stuff?

Note, I'm not quite as capable as this bloke Eye-wink

[Mod. moved to chat]

sippffo's picture

Thats some amazing bike control, seen a few on the Tube also they can certainly ride thats for sure, thats some balance for sure.

GAZZA's picture

Not very often though as it's not much fun, apart from the looks on riders faces at the big rock roll downs after the golf course singletrack when they see a guy with drop bars and skinny wheels!
Really they're only good for firetrail riding but that doesn't mean you can't test yourself and have a bit of fun on them.
They're tougher than they look and will take more punishment than most people throw at them.
If you're a medium and looking for a great deal, you should look at the one I have for sale on here?

Timoth's picture

Thanks Gazza. Good to know a CX 'll handle the Dam trails. That seals it. There's a loop that I do in the Royal NP that's 90% road and gravel, but gets seriously rough in a few places.
Thanks for the heads up on the bike that you're selling, but I enjoying building up my bikes myself.

ChopStiR's picture

Gday Tim,

I've taken my cyclocross on the Oaks single track. It can do it but you have to take it much easier than a mountain bike. Does not take much to bottom out those small tyres. With tubes you run a high risk of pinch flats. I did it just the other week with a tubeless set up. Got a bit carried away and punctured my tubeless tyre.

Bennetts Ridge firetrail is fantastic for the cyclo cross. You can pin it as fast as you can and you will be quiker than on your Mountain bike.

Stephen has commuted from his home up past woodford to Eastern Creek via the Oaks with his Cyclocross.


GAZZA's picture

Enjoy the build!

Slowpup's picture

Tim, just add drops to the Jones and a set of skinny tyres.

Timoth's picture

Ha! The thought has crossed (no pun intended) my mind. That'd be a mad looking bike.

Timoth's picture

Thanks Tim. Your description of the Bennetts Ridge riding is what I'm looking for.

Simon's picture

framed, steel rimmed 10 speed (2 by 5?) roadie in 1989 used to be all we had to go off-road.

Pump the tyres up solid and drift through fire trail corners. Getting sideways was the only way to slow down as the brakes melted. Remember accelerating rapidly with brakes full on down a firetrail into a bend that runs parallel with a track more recently built and now part of NZs national DH circuit.

Haven't ridden a cyclo cross, would hope they are better than '80s roadies.

hawkeye's picture

No wonder your brakes melted.

So glad we've left them behind. Even so, I'm very much looking forward to decent road discs becoming widely available.

ChopStiR's picture

I've been hanging for affordable hydraulic disc brakes and it looks as though its finally about to be available with SRAM releasing their new 2015 hydraulic disc brake line up for SRAM RED 22, SRAM Force CX1, SRAM Force 22 and SRAM Rival 22.

And Shimano are finally releasing a Hydraulic brake with cable shifting

Macdaddy's picture

Kind of depends on who rides it.
Give one to Danny MacAskill and it's endless what could be done.

muvro's picture

I used a carbon 26" hardtail (Orbea Alma and it's for sale if anyone is keen Eye-wink ) and put rigid forks on it and 700c rims, super narrow flat bars etc. It handles awesome off road and makes a wicked commuter, and the XTR discs give one a lot more confidence chasing buses for the tow. I built it for CX and commuting, just never got around to putting drop bars and purchasing hydro levers for the drop bars.

christine's picture

What a CX can do on August 23 since the National round for NSW will be held at the pony club (BMX track) that day.
You can even try it out for yourself on either CX or MTB as there are classes for both.
The elites are something else to see!

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