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Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma
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So in Leadership we've been talking about ethical dilemmas, with right vs. right type decisions, and I'm afrad I've got a bike dilemma of the same magnitude.

It starts out all like this. I did my first triathlon this past year, but unfortunately, my 58cm Trek 2120 was too small. I claimed the fathers old Specialized Sirrus, a massive, for my 6'4" frame, decent, albeit old, road bike. It's not really all that heavy, and the 105 down tuber's still shift like a dream.

I've been planning for the last few months the purchase of a new bike when spring/early summer comes along. I can spare perhaps a little over $1000, but not so much. I read about the new Cervelo One and loved it- I could use it for both my tri's and as a road bike, as I'd like to do some team riding in college(hopefully Rice).

The dilemma, however, was created this weekend when I started looking at cyclocross websites and pictures, and the description a roadie friend of mine had of it. The dilemma comes in where I begin to think I should get myself a 'cross bike, rather than the road/tri. I want to do both, tri and road and cross, but I can only split for one nice new bike.

A couple of the options I see are: Get the One (assuming it fits), and either convert the Sirrus over to 'cross or get a cheap frame and put the random assortment of road and mtb parts we've at the house on it, for cross. Get Kona's Jake The Snake, or some other such machine, and put some Jammer's on the Specialized, or, if it ends up being faster, on the Snake. Or, I could snag a road bike, maybe a Specialized, and use it for the tri's as well...I'm all open. First, I should probably get fitted, to make sure I can get the bikes in large enough sizes. Unfortunately, there aren't so many bike shops up here in Northern Maine, so I'll have to wait until Feb break to visit Rainbow Bikes or some other such store.

I don't really have to make the decision for quite some time, really until may or june, but I'm currently obsessing over this decision, and not really doing my homework. Another question, in the same category, certainly- if anyone has a 'cross bike, how much slower is it on the road, say with smooth tires on, than a road or tri bike?


Thanks!
Lying (awake at night) in Limestone
(Darrell)
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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I road with a guy yesterday for 3.5 hours. He was on a redline conquest cross bike with road tires. For him, speed wasn't the issue as it was a training ride, saddle comfort was. He thought the stout stays and an aluminum fork made for a harsh ride compared to his road bike. Probably the best bet is to get something like the "One". There are plenty of folks doing tris with a road bike with clip-on bars. In the end, I am afraid you need the quiver of bikes. You can be like my friend with 10k+ worth of bikes but didn't own a car till he was 33. By the way, Excel sports has the conquest frame on sale on their website for $400.
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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As a self-respecting Crosser from the Pacific Northwest, I'd have to recommend the CCX bike.

Seriously, while it would be nice to have one for each...Only a cross bike can be used for all your preferences...You certainly couldn't race cross on a Cervelo One.

I do all my winter training/commuting on my steel CCX bike. Last weekend that was a 90 mile hilly ride with my Team. I use Specialized Armadillos in the winter and can keep up fine with the group.

In addition, you could use such a frame for commuting around campus (good for College life) and road racing...I see it done all the time in the Cat 4 (and a few Cat 3) races in Oregon/Washington. I suppose if you used a "slam" position, you could race Oly Distance as well and still be able to run.

The Redlines are ubiquitous, but their ride is a little harsh for the road. Consider something in steel if you can.

http://wattieink.com/elite-team/
Raising funds to help wounded veterans and racing RAAM 2013 with http://team4mil.org/
"If you are gonna charge... CHARGE HARD!"
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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hcswede, You're in college? Drop one funded beer party a week and get a job w/Domino's for 6 months. Get a cross bike now, ride it in races and around campus. Sell the jalopy you're driving. By summer you'll have enough for not just a One, but maybe a Dual, P2k, or Soloist. Just my tongue-in-cheek recommendation as a former professional college student Wink

1st Place, 50-55 2018 USAT Duathlon Sprint Duathlon National Championships, National Champion; 2nd Place Overall, 2018 Virginia Duathlon; 3rd Place, 50-54, 9th overall, USAT Long Course Duathlon (Miamiman); 4th Place Masters, 10th overall, 2018 Kiawah Island 1/2 Marathon
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [TriBriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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one bike is not gonna do the job. i mean come on now, whaddaya gonna do, be swapping wheels and tires and aero bars/slam bars and cleaning mud and changing cables and fixing crashed out levers for your road ride this tuesday nite, etc etc ?? dude you need more than one bike in reality to live this life. get your lazy a$$ a job on down to the bike store, skip that kegger a time or two like the other poster said, use you employee/pro deal discount, and get yerself set up, bud. cannibalize all the parts off'n that sirrus while your dad is not looking - add a few you liberate from the shop's back room and get a proper steel 'cross frame as God intends - surly's are dirt cheap, gunnar's only a little more, for example. build that sucka up and you are covered for things nasty and dirty around school and trail. now turn your attention to as nice a sweetheart deal you can get on a fast road bike, dial in a nice slam position with a set of jammer gt's, and you are set.
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [TriBriGuy] [ In reply to ]
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I'm not so much in college yet, I'm a senior at a public boarding high school, the Maine School of Science and Math. I've a pretty sweet job for the summer, but unfortunately no time for one now, the only lacking of the job occurs when you compare it to a bike shop, and the subject of the discount is taken into consideration. But I do get 60% off Cloudveil stuff (hiking, skiing stuff), and i get to work for the most part when I want to work, scheduling around races and all. Thanks for the advice; I think I'll go the 'cross route first, and maybe the One later. I already spend enough money on photography, so there's no car to sell, unfortunately. Or maybe the current plan is to get a cross frame, and go the cannabalize route, spend maybe $500 on it all together, and try to get the One during the summer months. That'll give me yet another fun thing to do up here at school. I wonder if I can find something cheaper than the Surly...


Darrell
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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I have a 2003 Jake the Snake. It is the most all around type bike I have ever owned. If you had to limit yourself to just one bike then I would recommend a cross bike. I now view my old Cannondale road bike as a triathlon/tt bike and the Jake as my primary riding bike.

Simply switching to a smaller and smoother rear tire and putting a more aero wheel up front along with the addition of some sort of aerobar would make it fine for periodic multisport use. (IMHO).

Racing cyclocross is a blast if you like being exhausted. Your bike handling skills will improve dramatically. In addition, a cross bike can be ridden on many MTB trails. I raced my old cross bike (a converted touring bike) in a very muddy MTB race and placed 3rd out of 11 clydesdales.

As for trying to convert the Specialized. You could have cantilever mounts brazed onto the frame - But you probably will not be able to put any decent size tire (30 mm or more) on the rear due to frame clearance issues.

Good Luck. David Krahulik.
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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Get a Trek 1000 for $650 use it as a tri and road bike . Get a Mtb bike $500 use it for MTB and cross
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [denewone] [ In reply to ]
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Ive got a friend who is selling a 60cm trek 1000 for 500 cdn, which is like $.25 american or something like that (well..not quite :) )

If you are interested, post and ill let him know to check here and drop you his email addy.

I think its triallthetime@hotmail.com, but im not exactly sure.

If you are going to buy one bike, go with a cross and learn to ride "big-slam", you shouldnt have to do more than take off the clipons, and you probably could even leave them on for the cross races (jammers rather)

Good luck!

-Kevin




"Anyone can work hard when they want to; Champions do it when they don't."
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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I went on a ride a couple of weeks ago with one of the top female roadies in the country. I was on my road bike and she was on her cross bike. She dropped me no problem. A little demoralizing, but it is good to be humbeled.

Anyway, I'd say go for the Cervelo One. If you want to race, there are a lot more road and tri races than there are cross races (at least in my area). Also, you'll have a lot more fun on group rides. Just my opinion FWIW.

Andy

'You'd be surprised how many people violate this simple principle every day of their lives and try to fit square pegs into round holes, ignoring the clear reality that Thinsg Are As They Are.'
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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Hmmm, First off the cross bike with road wheels and tires will be as fast on the road as a road bike if your position is the same. My road and cyclocross positions are nearly identical (reach a tad shorter, bars a tad higher). Having a cross bike in the off season is pretty important. Then again, the cross bike does you minimal good during the triathlon season. You need a tri bike. Also, beware of "cross creep". No off the shelf cross bike is race ready. You to tweak the hell out of all of them to get them ready to race. I started with a frame and built on that and my cross bike rules. I won a couple races on it and came in 3rd on our series. Big Fun.

Tom Demerly
The Tri Shop.com
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [Tom Demerly] [ In reply to ]
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Nobody's more of a cross proselytizer than me - heck, I teach the local cross clinics (and in Seattle that's a reasonably significant thing.) That being said, I'm going to disagree with everyone, and tell you to invest in a good road bike.

Why? Well, for one thing, if you are interested in 'cross, eventually you're going to want to race on the road - guaranteed. My guess is you will probably get sucked right into road racing when you hit College(heck, you're already thinking that way...), and you will want to have a bike for that.

I really wouldn't get the "One" either - it IS a tri bike, it's not a roadbike, and it's a heck of a lot easier/more effective to try to do tri on a road bike than it is to go the other way around- "Big Slam," etc. - and you probably don't want to show up at the first College team ride with a "tri-geek" bike, unfortunately.

A cross bike is, well, a cross bike. I love all 3 of mine, but they aren't road bikes - Higher BB, different geometry, etc. - and the more race-ready (for 'cross) you make them, the less they're gonna work as a TT/tri rig - at least without doing some work to 'em.

This can be something as simple as gearing - the 46 big ring on my cross bike just doesn't cut it on a road/TT course - but to go any bigger than 48 I need a different length BB - what a pain in the A**.

I ride nothing but my 'cross bike 4 months of the year, and I rarely touch it the rest of the time. Out here, most folks set there 'cross rig up as a rain bike when the 'cross season ends, and train on that until spring comes, and then put it in the closet until fall.

If you do decide to get a 'cross bike, really do some research before you buy one. For example, if you're going to race, and have aspirations to do that in college, don't get that Surly; the fork alone weighs about the same as a Redline frameset, and you WILL feel it when you put it on your shoulder. Likewise, if you are going to ride on the road, be careful with, for example, a used Empella - no bottle mounts!

Clearly having exceeded 2cents worth,
MH

Custom Studio Manager for Diamondback Bikes.
Coaching and bike fit - http://source-e.net/ Cyclocross blog - https://crosssports.net/
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [hcswede] [ In reply to ]
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"I want to do both, tri and road and cross... "

I count three there! The problem is that the cross bike is no good for tri at all and not that great for road - at least for long rides. The cross bike will be much stiffer and will have a high bottom bracket, which makes it less stable for time trialling. The road bike can be used for road and for time trailing (assuming its a true road bike and not a criterium bike). The tri bike can be used for tris, and in a pinch, for road riding. The thing to do, if you really want to do all three, is get a decent used road bike with slack geometry and then pick up a beater bike for cross.



"My strategy is to start out slow and then peter-out altogether" Walt Stack
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Re: Tri / Road / Cross Bike Dilemma [fredly] [ In reply to ]
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yeah, the surly is a tad weighty. and you will feel it - the question is, if i duct taped 8 slices of kraft american cheese to your shoulder you would feel that too but would it slow you down any?? same diff. at least the thing doesn't ride like a 1983 canondale !! just havin some fun - get the gunnar or a kinesis fork. or, since you are on the east coast a spiffy IF or viscous cycles and skip TWO kegger parties. :)
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