As promised, I decided to share my impressions of how a cyclocross bicycle works instead of a road bike. I used two separate bikes about three months ago: MTB and “classic” road bike. But it’s history, there is now only one, cyclocross bike and I must fit it to my current activity. It’s time to few words after more than two thausand kilometers. Can cyclocross bike replace road bike?
Sometimes some people say that a CX bikes are slower, much slower. This can be truebecause these bikes are a bit heavier due to the sturdier frame, different geometry and the use of disc brakes. Large difference is also completely different tires, heavier inner tubes and stronger wheels. I changed wheels to universal, solid but relatively light (about 1.6 kg set) from polish company Daveo – they sell custom-made wheels based on, for example, DT Swiss rims. There will be time to review the wheels, in short word: it was great choice.
In addition, I replaced a crankset from standard CX (46 / 36T) to road bike compact (50 / 34T) and use road tires 700x28c – which is so wider than many people use (25c or 23c). Over the past two months I’ve done just over 2000 km, broke all my life records: both distance and speed on certain sections. Interestingly, this happened completely accidentally, without any intention, and simply on my several trips. According to Strava, I have also improved all of my personal records in the neighborhood segment. Do you need something more?
The disadvantage of this bike is that it is not aerodynamic as road bike. More space for wider tires, many changes in frame (bust be heavier and more solid for offroad trips) also increases air resistance. But can I feel that differences? In my opinion, no. Perhaps it would have been a significant difference if I was racing at a high level, but for an amateur it does not matter. Of course, the look is not so aggressive, but believe me, this bike has already caused some people to talk with me about bike… Becuase they didn’t know CX and were interested in.
In my opinion, on amateur usage, cyclocross bikes can be as fast as road bikes – let’s remember that it will powered by our legs, equipment is secondary. Other advantages: for my it was best option. One bike instead of two. First of all, this geometry is more suited to me and I have never felt so good after 100 or even 140 km. Second, the disc brakes. It may rain and I know that although it will squeak, at least braking force is appropriate. This also matters in the fast downhill and for our wallet: will have to replace brake disc, but I do not wear the rim and wheels costs much, much more .
Another important thing is comfort and convenience. This bike is more comfortable than the road, not only in terms of geometry, but also holes, vibrations and cube driving. Much depends on the tires, but after this time and after these kilometers I still think it is more comfortable. The bike is also more practical, because if necessary I can add many mud protectors models or even bicycle rack because frame has mounting holes for that.
What can I say … After the experience of last year’s, when I tried to use other cyclocross bike, Fuji Cross 1.5, I was afraid that it will be bad choice. But… that bike was much stiffer, new one is better and fear was unnecessary. Small tip: you need to remember to choose the right frame size and a little less stiffer construction. Once you do, bike will be much more universal. How about offroad trips? I will write about this in future.