On few previous entries I promised that I would share my impressions about cyclocross bike as a substitute for a mountain bike. The weather is terrible, today I decided to move my bike into a trainer, so it’s time to describe these impressions. For fast readers: cyclocross bicycle does not behave the same as a mountain bike and will not be able to replace it in any case. If you are looking for comfort or driving in very difficult terrain, you do not have to look for anything here. Okay, now we can go to some more specific description.
The first thing is comfort. If you think cyclocross bike is like MTB – like a rocking sofa, where you go with cigar in one hand and forgives your faults – you are wrong. Cyclocross is much more like road and with delicacy similar to removing teeth using basketball bat. Roots, holes, verandas or even stones on the road: you will feel all of them, because this bike is much stiffer and geared towards better transmission of energy into the drive. Of course it is also much more comfortable than a road bike, because with tires like the 700x35c we can talk about a really nice ride. It is not like that “in the field can not be”. As much as possible – more than 100 km during the marathon around Lubin showed me that the crossing works well in different terrains. Of course I would not go to the MTB marathon, or maybe only these with flat terrain.
In case of this type of bike we can’t forget about some interestiing episodes. If you will see a hole, then it will be “ouh!”, but after some time you will learn to react instinctively and try bypass all obstacles quickly. Downhills… it’s “another world” and “another mind mode”. Yes, of course cyclocross bikes have brakes, but at the downhill, you will say: where are my brakes?! On MTB everything is simpler, more comfortable, and you can drive. On CX you will ask yourself: why I bought such bike?! In practice, however, it is not so bad and if they are not a terrible roots, then we can ride as much as possible. I also think that CX bike is great for learning the technique – because there is no other way out, or we will learn, or there will be soil. This bike will not forgive us the same that MTB will.
It is also important for me as to how a bike behaves when driving in conditions with traction problems – loose sand or mud are the best examples. Initially I was not happy with the results, even the wet grass caused the wheels to slide, which could end up with a tipper. It was impossible with MTB bike. Everything changed after replacing the tires to the Schwalbe X-One – despite the relatively small width (700x33c) their treads make keeping in such conditions great. Mud, sand? At present I am able to ride through it much better than on an earlier MTB bike. I suspect there is not only a tread here, but the width itself: the narrow tire is better hit into terrain, mud or sand.
The last thing is speed. Here there is no comparison – if we ride on light grounds, parks, gravel roads or mixed roads (once asphalt, once gravel paths), the CX bike simply crushes the MTB. On this second we can block the fork, we can also put some narrower tires but .. it still will not be the same. Especially if there is some asphalt road on the way. In this light area it is just as well. Also, in the case of longer routes cyclocross bicycle is much less fatigue, unless we balance the body and behave the whole time as in interval training. And when we collide with heavy terrain … Well, we can always put a bike on our shoulders and run somewhere ;)