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Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308

    Dang...I hate when my hubby is right!

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    So when I first got the bug for a road bike my hubby said "ha, you're going to hate running once you start biking." Well, he wasn't entirely right on that count, but I have found that I need to cut my running mileage back to make time for biking. I'm OK with that. I'm not training for any marathons this year, so I don't need the sort of miles that I put in over the last year or so.

    Then he and other cycling buddies who do cyclocross said "you run, now you bike...you should really do 'cross." And I said..."no way, you people are nuts!" But I also said for years that people who run marathons are nuts, then I ran 3 (they aren't nuts, they apparently have a higher tolerance for cramps than I do). Then I said that people who run trail races are nuts and I ran one and was hooked...I hope to eventually do a trail half-marathon (when I can find one nearby that isn't on a weekend with other time commitments).

    So you see where this is going...I now have a bug up my butt about wanting to do cyclocross. Partly because it looks like an amazing, fun, dirty challenge. Also because I like that the bikes are a bit more versatile than my roadie and I could get studded tires to do some Winter riding, even, as well as hitting some 2-tracks with hubby and DS (once he has a good bike, too. He is 9 and just an inch or two too short in the crotch for Redline's Conquest 24 ride).

    So I have a couple of questions as I consider my options. My road bike is a 48cm WSD (Cannondale Synapse Féminine 5). It looks like I'd have to go down to a 44 in most models from various brands for proper standover and top tube length, is this correct?

    Also, how comfortable/safe will unisex shifter/brake levers be? Would I be wisest to find a framest and then have short-reach brake/shifter levers installed?

    Any other words of advice I would greatly appreciate.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Cape Cod, MA
    Posts
    414
    Check out Terry's Valkyrie Cross. I found the small fit perfectly and I ride a Specialized 48cm Ruby on the road. Handles great and I do like having it to easily go from paved to dirt, even some not-too-technical single track. And definitely do some 'cross races. They are a blast!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by wavedancer View Post
    Check out Terry's Valkyrie Cross. I found the small fit perfectly and I ride a Specialized 48cm Ruby on the road. Handles great and I do like having it to easily go from paved to dirt, even some not-too-technical single track. And definitely do some 'cross races. They are a blast!
    I would love to look at that bike and our shop carries Terry, but it's 2-3x what we're looking to spend at this point. I'm eyeballing the Cannondale CAAD8CX Cyclocross 6 and a Redline (I think either Conquest or Conquest Sport), since our LBS carries both of those brands (and I love my Cdale road bike). Eventually maybe I would upgrade, but I already have a pretty sweet road bike that's only a few months old and don't want to be greedy...yet.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    51
    My roommate just bought a Fuji touring bike where the frame fits her perfectly but the reach on the handlebar/shifters are too long.

    The sales person suggested keeping the shifters (standard shimano tiagras) but just changing out the bar to a Salsa Poco. I'm sure if you found a great fitting frame you could do something similar.

    I know a lot of women like the Poco or the Short and Shallow because they come in narrow widths and shorter reach (of course). It would probably be much more effective than switching out the stem.

    I too am in the market for a cross bike but can't afford a Terry
    We need more bike companies that make women friendly cross bikes!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    I'm in the 46-48cm road bike crowd as well. Being fitted for a custom cross frame next saturday!

    I found there were very few, if any, stock cross frames that had a reach I could handle (at least on paper). Salsa and Redline making probably the closest to fitting (think maybe Scott as well?).

    Anyway, I already have a pile of parts and a custom frame ends up being just a bit more than a nicer stock frame, so I'm biting the bullet rather than trying to force something to fit (and super excited!).

    As for the unisex bike/shifters issue I don't think it's any big deal and I have tiny tiny hands. There are some lever designs that are better than others. The new Ultegra rocks!! No shims and no reach issues, love them!! Last year's Ultegra I did need to shim, but now they are fine. I've heard Campy is great, and some people prefer SRAM. I'll second investing in short reach bars though; they do make a difference.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Good advice! I'm hoping reach wouldn't be an issue, since I tend to be long-torso'd relative to my inseam...so I might be OK. But I will definitely need a shorter bar--I have very narrow shoulders. I think the bar on my road bike is 38cm (or that's my shoulder width measurement, at least...not actually sure what my bar width is, but the shop owner who fitted me said it's quite narrow).

    We were talking last night and are most likely going to have to wait until next year to look at a cross bike for me. I'm going to Vegas in Dec. to run the half marathon with a bunch of girlfriends, so that's kinda blowing my fun budget for the rest of '10. But maybe for my birthday next Feb... That would be good timing, too, since that's about when I can't stand another indoor ride on the "nowhere bike" and a cross bike with studded tires would be good in the snow and slop. By then DS should be big enough for his own kiddie cross bike and his birthday is 5 days before mine, so maybe we'll both get birthday bikes.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    Good advice! I'm hoping reach wouldn't be an issue, since I tend to be long-torso'd relative to my inseam...

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm exceptionally long torso'd as well. In fact I wear a men's medium backpacking pack despite being only 4'11".

    In a road bike I can handle a 51.5cm effective top tube (with a 60mm stem), but ideally you want to be less stretched/aero on a cross bike (if you are going to use it as intended).

    Most company's smallest cross bikes I've seen have an ETT of 52 or greater at the shortest. That's too big for me to ride as a road bike with a 60mm stem, much less as a cross bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by MartianDestiny View Post
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I'm exceptionally long torso'd as well. In fact I wear a men's medium backpacking pack despite being only 4'11".

    In a road bike I can handle a 51.5cm effective top tube (with a 60mm stem), but ideally you want to be less stretched/aero on a cross bike (if you are going to use it as intended).

    Most company's smallest cross bikes I've seen have an ETT of 52 or greater at the shortest. That's too big for me to ride as a road bike with a 60mm stem, much less as a cross bike
    The Cdale I'm looking at has a TT of 51.5cm (44cm frame). My road bike's TT is 51cm. Am I likely to have issues on a cross bike with a top tube measurement similar to that of my road bike? My road bike positioning is fairly upright for comfort, not at all racey, if that makes sense. The Redline Conquest is also 51 in their smallest (44cm) frame.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    Quote Originally Posted by zoom-zoom View Post
    The Cdale I'm looking at has a TT of 51.5cm (44cm frame). My road bike's TT is 51cm. Am I likely to have issues on a cross bike with a top tube measurement similar to that of my road bike? My road bike positioning is fairly upright for comfort, not at all racey, if that makes sense. The Redline Conquest is also 51 in their smallest (44cm) frame.
    I'm no fit expert I'm also not a cyclocross expert.

    If your road bike fit is fairly upright at 51 then a 51 (maybe a 51.5, but that extra .5 can make a big difference when cupeled with other geometry changes) would work for you in a cross bike (depending on geometry, etc). I don't have that luxury; a 51.5 in a road bike has me pretty stretched (not uncomfortably so for a road bike, but I wouldn't want to point it downhill on a dirt road at full speed ).

    It does sound like you'll have some stock options. (but I have to admit, I'm pretty darn stoked about a custom frame)

    I talked to a shop about the smallest Redline and he was very much less than enthused about it for me (and he's paid to sell the darn thing!). He mentioned he thought the Redlines had an overall taller standover than some of the other cross bikes in comparable sizes, but one of the benefits is that they do come with a short top tube. They didn't have the smallest 700c bike in stock so I didn't get to try it out (no one carries cross bikes in my size/close to my size in stock it seems, another reason I just decided to go custom). He recommended the Salsa cyclocross bike over the Redline, and it looks nice on paper if you want to look into it.

    Anyway, your best bet is to get out and ride them if you can. Second best would be talking with a reputable fitter you trust.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Quote Originally Posted by MartianDestiny View Post
    Anyway, your best bet is to get out and ride them if you can. Second best would be talking with a reputable fitter you trust.
    Our shop guy would definitely do his best to steer me in the direction of a bike that fits me well--he knows his stuff and is definitely in the business of putting customers on a bike that works. I think he carries Salsa bikes, too, but I think I recall them being pretty pricey. At that rate maybe custom wouldn't be all that different.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Boulder
    Posts
    589
    A Salsa with mid-level components should definitely be cheaper than a custom. I don't think they are out of line with any other bike at a similar component level. (certainly not if you get it online, but I'm the type that tries to support the LBS, especially when I need fit help)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Perhaps Salsa would be worth a hard look, then. If I'm waiting until next year that gives us more time to consider a better and pricier bike, too.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

 

 

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