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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345

    Swapping touring bike for 'cross bike?

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    Anyone ever swapped a touring bike for a 'cross bike? Do you prefer it?
    Two years ago I bought a touring bike because I'd commuted on one for 23 years in my previous city and it seemed like a practical choice. That previous bike was kind of unusual in that it had 26" wheels and a fairly short wheelbase. It eventually got a bit whippy and I had more and more trouble finding freewheels for it, so I sold it before we moved.
    The present touring bike is a bit more sluggish and heavy feeling, although I don't think it actually weighs any more than the old one did. My husband is enthusiastic about his Ridley Crossbow and keeps telling me I should get a 'cross bike instead. Is it really all that much different? I know the wheelbases are a little shorter and they tend to be a little lighter, but I'm wondering if I'll notice that much when I'm loaded up to ride to the pool with office clothes, lunch, swim gear, lock, etc on the rear rack. If I could get one just like his I'd seriously consider it, but the one dealer in town that was selling Ridley no longer does and when I picked up a Cannondale CaadX in their shop I was surprised at how heavy it seemed.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    I guess how heavy a CAADX feels depends on what you are comparing it to! My CAADX with 105 components weighs less than my Pinarello Quattro with SRAM force. But the Pinas are known for being on the beefy side.

    Are you petite or taller? Can't remember. Are 26 inch wheels a better size for you? Do they feel better handling wise than 700c’s?

    Touring bikes are meant to be stable with longer wheel bases. Maybe you should look at a Tricross, a steel do everything bike that handles well as opposed to a dedicated race bike.

    The new Surly Straggler (in metallic purple!) might be good. And it has disc brakes. Or you could go Surly Cross Check. I've ridden one on several occasions. Felt light and springy to me, and handled well. The Surly Troll has 26 inch wheels, it's a rigid framed mountain bike, you could put drop bars on it, and it would be a perfect utility bike. (Available in a luscious plum color!).


    The Salsa Warbird is beautiful, but kind of pricey. The smaller Salsa Vaya's use 26" wheels, and are supposed to handle very well. They are available in more than one model, the least expensive are around 1400 (if memory serves). The Vaya's size 54 and up are only available in 700c, and smaller in 26". The Vaya has a tall head tube and a short reach.


    Ridley X-bow is supposed to be a racing bike, I think. Bethany just got one a few months ago. Don't know of anyone else who has one on here. (She is about 5'10", I know there are different sizes available, but it seems like certain bikes work better with certain body types).
    Last edited by Muirenn; 09-11-2013 at 11:26 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    4,556
    I have a touring bike and 2 cross bikes - and ride them all almost exclusively on roads. The cross bikes definitely have a lighter "feel" to them. My Lynskey *is* lighter - but my Surly Cross Check and my touring bike are probably pretty close to the same weight (touring bike might be a little heavier because it has fenders and a rack - but there's not a huge difference). The cross check is not a light bike - but it rides a lot lighter than it is, if that makes sense (and I have boat anchor wheels).

    The only real way to tell how they'll feel is to go ride one. If I were starting from scratch with all 3, I would probably just get the Straggler (a cross check with disc brakes). I love my Lynskey, but it was spendy, and I'm not sure it's worth *that* much to me.
    Most days in life don't stand out, But life's about those days that will...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    philly
    Posts
    143
    I haven't ridden a touring bike much, but I did test ride both the LHT and Cross Check fairly extensively a couple years ago (no load/rack on either) before I bought my CC. The LHT felt slower/less nimble/a bit more boat-ish (like driving my grandma's big Oldsmobile when I learned to drive) while the CC definitely feels more maneuverable/faster. I can see where the tourer/LHT would be great on a tour since it did seem to track/roll well, but I like the lighter feel of the CC for commuting/avoiding traffic/pedestrians/etc. Not sure how true this holds for all cross bikes, but I think the CC is among the heavier options there (and mine has stock/heavy wheels and heavy tires) and it's made a great commuter/grocery hauler-- although the brakes are a bit underwhelming for me (160 lb, plus usually 15-25 lb of gear/crap) when the weather gets sloppy.... I have a Straggler frame on order which I think will be my perfect commuter once I move the CC parts over

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I guess how heavy a CAADX feels depends on what you are comparing it to! My CAADX with 105 components weighs less than my Pinarello Quattro with SRAM force. But the Pinas are known for being on the beefy side.

    Are you petite or taller? Can't remember. Are 26 inch wheels a better size for you? Do they feel better handling wise than 700c’s?
    ...Ridley X-bow is supposed to be a racing bike, I think. Bethany just got one a few months ago. Don't know of anyone else who has one on here. (She is about 5'10", I know there are different sizes available, but it seems like certain bikes work better with certain body types).
    I'm 5'-8" with a short torso. The 26" wheels were nothing to do with frame size; the Megatour was a mid-80s version of the "gravel grinder" bike made by a company called Boyes-Rossin. I think it was a grab-bag of left-overs put together as an experiment, for just one year. I swapped out a some of the components early on and customized it to suit myself. For a modestly priced bike with Tange 900 tubing it was a nice ride, lively yet stable with luggage.
    The Cross-bow isn't an all-out racing bike, at least not the one my husband has. It has rack and fender eyelets.
    I don't think I want a Surly. The top tubes are long and they seem just as heavy my present touring bike, which is made with Reynolds 725 tubing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Blueberry View Post
    I have a touring bike and 2 cross bikes - and ride them all almost exclusively on roads. The cross bikes definitely have a lighter "feel" to them. My Lynskey *is* lighter - but my Surly Cross Check and my touring bike are probably pretty close to the same weight (touring bike might be a little heavier because it has fenders and a rack - but there's not a huge difference). The cross check is not a light bike - but it rides a lot lighter than it is, if that makes sense (and I have boat anchor wheels).

    The only real way to tell how they'll feel is to go ride one. If I were starting from scratch with all 3, I would probably just get the Straggler (a cross check with disc brakes). I love my Lynskey, but it was spendy, and I'm not sure it's worth *that* much to me.
    That's what I'm planning to do. One shop here sells Opus and I like the specs on the Sekhmet. The size 54 has pretty much the same geometry as my road bike.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    4,713
    My question for you is: Are you planning on doing "hardcore" touring, hauling lots of gear, or do you just want the ability to carry some stuff (rack-and-panniers kind of thing) from point A to point B?

    If the latter, a cross bike might be better. I love my Charge (sadly, they changed the lineup a ton this year, so it doesn't have an equivalent that I know of). It's probably the equivalent of a Surly Crosscheck or Straggler. It's not a racer, I don't think, although I have a friend who is going to use it for that purpose. Steel frame, rack and fender mounts, designed as an all-purpose bike. I can stick a rack and fenders on it and use it as a light touring bike if I wanted to, since the geometry isn't aggressive. (In fact, that's what I want to do eventually, after I get a more "sporty" cross bike!) It is on the heavier side (22.75lb without pedals or bottle cages), though.
    At least I don't leave slime trails.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    I'm not planning to tour, the only reason I bought this one is because my first one was such a useful bike. I'm not hung up on having a steel frame either, aluminum is fine. I can see now that my first one was probably closer in design to a modern 'cross bike than my present one.
    Queen of the sea beasts

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,479
    What budget are you thinking? Is your main goal as light weight as possible? Or just light feeling?
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    Just to throw another thought out there. Tires play a pretty huge factor in the sluggish feeling. Sometimes simply investing in a higher quality, higher thread count tire will make a huge difference.
    We sell LHT's and CC and will have the straggler as soon as they come out. We work with customers who are often in your boat. The Bike Hermit's commuter is a CC, he has an extremely large Paul Basket on the front and loves it. He also will pull the Bob for large package trips to UPS. However when loading up the bike, he prefers the LHT for stability. I personally love the ability to descend with confidence on the fully loaded LHT.

    Okay back to tires, Consider a decent width for more comfort and road shock absorbing issues. We encourage at least at 32 (regardless of rim size) I ride 40 X 650B. We love the Schwalbe Big Apples for commuting and touring. Given that I have 650B wheels I ride the Grand Bois Hetre's and I was totally amazed at the difference when I put them on Sky. They just roll and roll I came off of the Rivendel Maxie Fastie's and the Hetre's kicked butt

    ps, as you can see in my photo I ride these extremely smooth tread tires on dirt and gravel as well as smooth pavement.
    Sky King
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Saskatoon, Sask.
    Posts
    345
    I'm using Continental Touring Plus tires. Not much different from the tires on my husband's Cross Bow, so I don't think that's it.
    Queen of the sea beasts

 

 

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