Author Topic: Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?  (Read 4339 times)

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Offline RobM

Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?
« on: March 31, 2005, 03:56:39 am »
Hi - I want to start commuting, riding around the burbs, and doing some tours (ex. Pittsburgh to DC to start).  After 12 years of mt biking, I am biased towards dirt and gravel (and beefier tires) instead of pavement.  I am looking at Cyclocross bikes as the happy medium between road/touring and mt bikes.  The Bianchi Axis seems cool, but I wonder:
- It has threaded eyelets for fenders and a rear rack.  Does that mean it will accomodate rear saddle bags (panniers?i think?) as well?
- Without rack eyelets on the fork (carbon), will it be impossible, or just unwise to put gear on the front of the bike?
- Will 25 pounds of stuff in the back, throw everything (balance, steering)out of whack?
I'll appreciate any thoughts on cyclocross bikes, and other models (cyclocross or touring) to research (priced <$1600).
thanks,
Rob


Lucky13

  • Guest
Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2005, 10:05:30 am »
>>It has threaded eyelets for fenders and a rear rack.  Does that mean it will accomodate rear saddle bags (panniers?i think?) as well>>

Generally, if the bike can accept a standard rear rack then it can also carry panniers. One possible issue concerns heel clearance while pedaling. Touring bikes have a long wheelbase to provide plenty of clearance.

>>Without rack eyelets on the fork (carbon), will it be impossible, or just unwise to put gear on the front of the bike>>

Fork mounts aren't always a requirement, some front racks can be clamped onto the fork. I'm not sure that I would be comfortable with hanging bags from a carbon fork. Steel might be a better material.

>>Will 25 pounds of stuff in the back, throw everything (balance, steering)out of whack>>

Maybe, maybe not. You'd have to try it. In addition to potential handling problems, too much weight over the rear end could bring about wheel trouble...broken spokes, rim failure...this is all in theory, of course. Such a setup might work very well for you.

A trailer is another option, especially for bikes that weren't designed to carry a full load on the frame.


Offline DaveB

Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2005, 07:11:05 pm »
Threaded dropout eyelets should allow you to easily fit a rear rack.  In fact, you could "double up" and mount both a rack and fenders using the same eyelets.  

Front racks can be mounted to a fork without eyelets by using P-clamps around the lower fork legs.  However, this is a bit of a jury-rig and the weight you carry on it should be limited.

I don't think 25 pounds, evenly distributed and kept low on a rear rack, will upset your bikes handling.  Last summer I credit-card toured with three friends and we were all on sports-type road bikes with only rear racks.  I had about 15 pounds of luggage in small panniers and a rack-top duffel.  The other three guys in my group carried as much as 25 pounds (one guy brought a guitar!). None of us had any handling or stability problems and we were in hilly country with daily 40+ mph descents.    


Offline Diego

Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2005, 06:49:09 pm »
So for folks who only want to buy one bike to be used for daily commuting, doing Century rides, and fully-supported bike tours, would you say the Cyclocross type of bike would be a good choice?  


Offline RussellSeaton

Will a cyclocross bike handle the weight?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2005, 07:43:56 pm »
A cyclocross bike for everything from loaded touring to centuries to commuting to fast recreational riding would work I suppose.  It would not be my choice though.  I would go for something like the Waterford Road Sport Touring or Road Sport Extended or the Independent Fabrication Club Racer or the Co-Motion Nor'wester.  Or any other bike that is similar to these bikes.  Theses bikes all have the full compliment of braze-ons for racks and fenders.  All can be specced with either cantilever or long reach caliper brakes.  All have a more relaxed geometry than a racing bike for going down the road straight and not worrying about possible jittery handling.  All have longer chainstays for pannier fitting.  All have a lower bottom bracket which contributes to stable handling.  All of these bikes would be acceptable and fun riding unloaded on lively around town rides with skinny tires.  Yet able to take racks and carry as much weight as you want on a loaded tour with wide tires.

A true cyclocross bike is roughly a racing bike in geometry and handling with the bottom bracket raised and extra clearance for the tires so the mud does not prevent the wheels from turning.  The high bottom bracket helps for clearing barricades and pedaling through turns.  At least I think that is what the high bottom bracket on a cyclocross bike does.  A high bottom bracket does make the bike not as stable handling.  A true cyclocross bike does not have any brazeons for racks or fenders because these are not used in cyclocross.

I have a factory modified cyclocross bike as a loaded touring bike.  It is the now discontinued Redline Conquest Tour frame/fork.  Redline still makes its Conquest Road-Disc bike.  Redline just took its ubiquitous Conquest cyclocross bike frame and added minimal brazeons for racks and dropped the bottom bracket 3/4".  Almost everything else is pretty much the same including the 130mm road dropout spacing, not the touring/mountain bike 135mm.  The bike works just fine and has a pretty light frame.  But I can see several compromises for touring due to Redline wanting to change as little as possible for economies of manufacturing.