General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Cyclocross bike for triathlon Rss Feed  
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2013-07-29 9:58 AM


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Subject: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I am beginning to search for a new bike to road ride and tri on. Would a cyclocross bike work well for triathlons up to a HIM? It seems like the comfort may be worth a small decrease in performance. The CX seems more practical and able to mulitask. Couldnt I always change to slick during dry weath and races? Do you think a newish rider would really be able to tell much difference in time from CX to road bike over a 50 mile ride? Budget wise i am thinking around $1000 so nothing to high end. Right now i am riding a Trek Marlin mountain bike so i am sure cross or road will be a huge improvement. If i really get hooked on this, i would buy a higher end bike in a few years. Thanks


2013-07-29 10:08 AM
in reply to: kcjon

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I'd get a road bike WAY before I'd get a CX bike.  Do you plan on trail/CX racing?  If not, a CX bike shouldn't even be on your radar screen.  You're over-thinking the comfort thing.
2013-07-29 10:12 AM
in reply to: #4815669


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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
Thanks for the input. I was set on road, but heard some good about the cross bikes.
2013-07-29 10:14 AM
in reply to: kcjon

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I use a Trek XO1. First road/cross bike I ever owned. I switched out the CX tires for a thinner set of road tires and added some clip-ons, but other than that everything is dead stock. The geometry made it a little more stable on the hoods and on the drops, which I appreciated when I first started riding. I hadn't ridden a bike regularly for YEARS! It cost about $1100 new and was a 2011 model bought in early 2012.

The cassette is also wider than a road cassette, so I have a lower gear than most road bikes, which helps with climbing. Again - particularly useful for a newer rider. On the flip side though, the gaps between gears are larger so it makes it a little more challenging to find a comfortable cadence on flat or almost flat roads because there's less of an ability to fine tune.

CX bikes also (generally) have stronger frames, so should you want to switch it over to a commuter bike or tow a kid-trailer with it down the road, you'll be in good shape.

I have yet to feel I out-pace the bike during any sort of riding and I've ridden up to an Oly. I have two more Olys planned for later this year and the bike is the LEAST of my speed worries :-)

Best of luck - post pictures once you're set up!
2013-07-29 10:20 AM
in reply to: kcjon

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I ride a Trek X0-1 for all my training and competitions. I put road tires and a different wheel set for road use (Bontrager Race LT). This bike is as light as most road bikes and gives me the oppurtunity to trail ride as well (swap wheel sets).I feel I am competitive on this bike and only disadvantaged to tri-bikes.

Keep in mind I am a new triathelete and working on the engine now is more important than having a slightly ligther bike and more aerodynmaic. Moving forward, I will definitely buy a tri-bike and likely use the cross for hill work outs/group rides/ and trail rides.

Todd
2013-07-29 10:21 AM
in reply to: guitarfrk75

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I have a Ti cross bike that I alternately set up for long-distance riding/racing and triathlon. Is it better than a dedicated tri bike? Heck no. Is it do-able? Sure. I was MOP in my 140.6 overall, and in the bike split I was int he top 1/3. I the last three OLY's I've raced this summer, I've been on the podium on my AG once (3rd, 40-44) and have placed in the top 33% in my bike splits for my AG and overall, all using this bike.

I'd be faster on a TT bike, but I can only have one and when I need to go long, I can modify this bike pretty quickly to go on 200-1200K rides.


2013-07-29 10:27 AM
in reply to: #4815680


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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
Thanks Todd. I am in the same boat, I have a lot of improvement in fitness before I would be limited by the bike. Would the cross be easier to handle with the wider tires? If I get road I will keep my mtn bike,with the cross I think I would go with just one. Any issues with the cross on a trainer?
2013-07-29 10:28 AM
in reply to: ettringite23

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
I'm a huge cyclocross bike fan. Have done a lot of winter and rainy day IM training on mine. If I had only one bike I'd get a cyclocross bike. But... these days I'd look at the newer gravel grinder style bikes. They have a lower bottom bracket which will help them handle more like a road bike, they can take a very wide range of tires, and will give you a lot of flexibility. Cyclocross and Gravel Grinders are NOT Tri bikes. You'll never get your body into the same areo position on one of them compared to a Tri bike. So you'll be giving up some time on the bike.

Comes down to what you want to do. My first bike was a used Tri bike since I was only doing Tris. These days I do a wide range of riding and racing have a collection of bikes to show for it. My good old trusty Redline Conquest is still my go to bike, in fact I'll be riding it this afternoon doing some hill repeats just for a change of pace. If are serious about racing Tri's get a Tri bike, if you are doing Tri's for fun and fitness get what ever bike you want, ride it tons, have tons of fun, and don't look back.
2013-07-29 1:59 PM
in reply to: kcjon

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon

I have tri bike, road bike and cross bike. I prefer to ride my tri bike, cross bike in bad weather and road bike the least.

Why do you think a cross bike would be better than road bike? A road bike will likely be faster than a cross bike with same wheels/tires. 

My suggestion with your budget it look for a good used bike. You could get a retail $2-2500 for your budget and it will be a much better bike than a new $1000 bike.

2013-07-29 2:08 PM
in reply to: KathyG

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
Originally posted by KathyG

I have tri bike, road bike and cross bike. I prefer to ride my tri bike, cross bike in bad weather and road bike the least.

Why do you think a cross bike would be better than road bike? A road bike will likely be faster than a cross bike with same wheels/tires. 

My suggestion with your budget it look for a good used bike. You could get a retail $2-2500 for your budget and it will be a much better bike than a new $1000 bike.




I recently found myself in the same position, and was considering a CX bike, but all my road bike friends gave me the exact advise as given here. In the end I decided that if I really wanted train on dirt/gravel roads then I can just use my MTB, which it sounds like you have one as well. In the end I scored a really nice, used Cevelo Soloist, with some extras, well under your budget and just love the bike. YMMV
2013-07-29 2:19 PM
in reply to: Woody94


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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
Thanks for all the good advice, I think i will keep an eye out on ebay/craigslist for a good used road bike. I'm new to the road bike world so I guess ill take my time and find something that will really work well.

Is there any other places to look for pre-owned bikes.


2013-07-29 3:13 PM
in reply to: kcjon

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon

Originally posted by kcjon Thanks for all the good advice, I think i will keep an eye out on ebay/craigslist for a good used road bike. I'm new to the road bike world so I guess ill take my time and find something that will really work well. Is there any other places to look for pre-owned bikes.

You can also take a look on Bikesdirect.com to compare to new/used bieks.  My neighbors bought their CX bikes from them and love the bikes.

Here's the RB page.  If I where looking at $1k RB I'd take a look at each of these ($1000, $1200).  Both include compact crankset (50/34) (which is good/desirable for most people) and clipless pedals which saves some $ if you don't have them yet.  Only will need to get shoes.

2013-07-29 3:31 PM
in reply to: #4815698


14

Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
Does bikes direct sell quality stuff. I've never heard of a lot of these brands, but that doesn't mean a lot. In bikes does the name really mean that much? Are the components the important part since most the frames are made by the same few companies? Thanks in advance.?
2013-07-29 9:09 PM
in reply to: #4816167

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Subject: RE: Cyclocross bike for triathlon
As you are new to riding, and this is your first road bike, I strongly recommend going to a shop and trying out bikes and getting fitted to one. Sizing varies so widely between brands, there's no standar
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