Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Cyclocross Choice

Bike designers have stumbled upon what I'm getting at... sort of. Obviously I'm not going to be winning any road races on a mountain bike nor mountain bike races on a road bike. Cyclocross bikes were designed as a nice middle ground. They took a road bike frame, threw on heavy duty brakes and still narrow, but more aggressive tires.You're going to have some more rolling resistance, but with the brakes on steroids you should be able to zoom further down a hill without having to hit the breaks. You'll still be able to win a road bike race on it, but the tires will let you have a bit more traction in less suitable areas. You'll also definitely have the advantage if it starts raining. You've got advantages and disadvantages with this choice that I think equal out.

If you're following the same build as me step by step, you can always just switch to normal road tires. The point of my build is to look classic, elegant. To be durable, but lightweight. And to not be switching around stuff all the time. If I wanted to compete on the same bike and top level though, I'd keep around an extra set of normal road tires just for races to give me that "edge" although I don't think it's going to drastically change your performance. Like I said I think the differences equal out (unless you're always riding flat surfaces). If you want to compete completely against the same style of bike, you can race cyclocross races. Either way though, you'll be fine in a road or cyclocross race. So below is the description of the bike straight from the guy I bought it from with edits due to punctuation/corrections:


"2007 Specialized S-Works Tri-Cross cyclo-cross/road bike barely used. Brand new Shimano WH-RS30 wheels, strong, relatively light, good for training and racing, and brand new. Geax tires with cross section tread pattern. New Ultegra 9 speed cogset mated to a barely used Shimano 105derailleur . Salsa chain rings mated to XTR cranks and and XTR front derailleur. Carbon Tri-Cross front fork, S-Works stem, Bontrager fatty bars with new Bonrager red bar tape. Ultegra shifters. New cables with easy access on the fly front derailleurcable barrel tube adjustment. Avid V-Brakes mated to power-pull break strength pulley system for powerful brakes. Bontrager seat post and S-Works Body Geometry snake skin style of seat. Great bike, built myself and rarely ridden due to lower back issues. Frame is 56cm top and down tube. E5 Frameset with no scratches other than one chip on right side of top tube which you can see slightly after the "S" in S-Works."

Whole Bike

Geax tires with cross section tread pattern. Carbon Tri-Cross front fork, S-Works stem, Avid V-Brakes mated to power-pull break strength pulley system for powerful brakes.

Carbon Tri-Cross front fork, S-Works stem, Frame is 56cm top and down tube. E5 Frameset with no scratches other than one chip on right side of top tube which you can see slightly after the "S" in S-Works.

Geax tires with cross section tread pattern. Carbon Tri-Cross front fork, S-Works stem, Avid V-Brakes mated to power-pull break strength pulley system for powerful brakes.

New Ultegra 9 speed cogset mated to a barely used Shimano 105 derailer. Salsa chain rings mated to XTR cranks and and XTR front derailer.
Two other images apparently I need to confirm I have the license to use. Since it's my own bike, of course I have that license... but I guess not. These pictures were all provided to me, by the seller and are not to be used without his permission (which I have).

As you may notice, this bike seems to be lacking in several major areas that I'm aiming for. However, this is a project and it's just beginning. It's obviously got the race look going on with the standard color combo of red, white and black. If it's a road bike and it's meant to race, that seems to be the only three colors you can get it in without the occasional bright neon color added in here and there. The elegant, classic look will be added in soon enough, with plans and details to come. For now, we've got the bones of the project, modern components of a decent level. Not Dura-Ace or SRAM, heavy duty brakes and more rugged tires. They will of course be gradually upgraded. In the meantime, getting to the right look and function are on the top of my list and the subject of the next couple of posts.

Also of note, the bike shipped and arrived (after a FedEx debacle being shipped from the same FedEx location 3 times to another location in a different state, i.e. Location 1 > 2 > 1 > 2 > 1 > 2). Only to find out a hole was torn in the corner of the box, one pedal was missing as well as potential other pieces of the bike. We'll see what happens when I attempt to put it together and find out what's missing. Not too hurt about the pedals since I was planning on replacing them since they were clipless pedals so now FedEx will have to replace them with some pedals I will discuss later.

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