Author Topic: Tri-Cross  (Read 4289 times)

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Offline joyosects

Tri-Cross
« on: February 25, 2009, 12:57:41 pm »
I'm new to biking, and I plan to ride across America this summer.  I know very little about bikes.

The guy at the bike place I went to really pushed a Tri-cross.  I'll be taking about 50-60 pounds with me.  I told him I wanted to research it online, but I don't see much about loaded touring on one anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2009, 02:50:43 pm »
I'm new to biking, and I plan to ride across America this summer.  I know very little about bikes.

The guy at the bike place I went to really pushed a Tri-cross.  I'll be taking about 50-60 pounds with me.  I told him I wanted to research it online, but I don't see much about loaded touring on one anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?

Assuming you are referring to this bike:
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22302

Its not a loaded touring bike for carrying 50-60 pounds in panniers.  Its a cyclocross bike, sort of.  Its probably fine for pulling a trailer.

I believe there are articles on the Adventure Cycling website discussing touring bikes and what to get for a cross country bike ride.  And some webstie called crazy guy on a bike or something like that has many articles about people who rode all over the world.  I suspect many of these stories talk about the bikes and bags and trailers the people used.

Offline mucknort

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2009, 05:24:30 pm »
I believe there are articles on the Adventure Cycling website discussing touring bikes and what to get for a cross country bike ride.  And some webstie called crazy guy on a bike or something like that has many articles about people who rode all over the world.
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/recumbent_bike.cfm
http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/bikefortheroad.cfm
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=3Tzut

Offline biker_james

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2009, 04:48:43 am »
I think doing a tour that size you would be better served with a touring bike. Cyclocross is a great sport, but what it requires from a bike is not what touring requires.  Cyclocross bikes are built to be nimble and quick steering to get around obstacles, they have high bottom brackets for ground clearance, and generally pretty short chainstays. Touring bikes are designed to be steady and stable more than agile, with low bottom brackets for stability, and long chainstays that allow more room for panniers, and provides more comfort to the ride also. I think some shops get confused because a lot of cross bikes have mounts for racks (think commuting) and will take wider tires than a road bike. The cross bike might tow a trailer okay, but they do have a bit of a reputation of beating you up on long rides, as they weren't designed for comfort, but a 45 minute to 1 hour race in the dirt, mud, rocks, or sand. I wouldn't mind a cross bike, but it certainly wouldn't be to replace my Cannondale touring bike.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2009, 04:54:37 am by biker_james »

Online staehpj1

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2009, 05:46:24 am »
I'm new to biking, and I plan to ride across America this summer.  I know very little about bikes.

The guy at the bike place I went to really pushed a Tri-cross.  I'll be taking about 50-60 pounds with me.  I told him I wanted to research it online, but I don't see much about loaded touring on one anywhere.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations?
50-60 pounds is quite a bit.  I personally would be inclined to either pack much lighter or get a touring bike.

A trailer would work OK with the Tri-cross though.  I am not a trailer fan, but some folks love them.  For me I found panniers worked better and the thought of having a trailer to ship to and from the start and finish points sounds like an extra hassle.   There are some special circumstance where I might like to try a very light weight trailer with a light load (<20 pounds) and a road bike, but not on the typical XC tour.

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2009, 10:42:39 am »
If you really wanted to take panniers it looks like it can be done with the tricross.  Cyclocross aren't built with the specific intent to carry a load, but they are built very strong and I toured loaded on a Cannondale XR800 aluminum cyclocross bike for a summer with front and rear panniers.

One notable difference between a cross bike and a touring bike is fit.  The cyclocross bike will give you more of a road bike feel, while a touring bike will position you a little more upright.  That being said, you can always swap out/adjust bars, stems, seat posts, and saddles to really fine tune the fit of any bike.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2009, 11:08:27 am »
You have not said anything about your budget. 

I think it is hard to extrapolate between someone else's experience with a non touring bike because they may be built differently than you and may pack differently than you.  If you and your gear are 150 lbs, you can ride anything.  If the total is closing in on 300lbs, then your ride options are more limited.

If your budget allows you to look at a touring bike then start by looking at touring bikes.  If you dealer has no one on staff who tours, and has no idea why anyone would ever want to tour, then maybe you should find a dealer that is more tour friendly.

If you want to do more that just tour, than I think you will have conflicting goals to choose between.  This is why I have three bikes, and one of them has three wheel sets!
Danno

Offline manjack

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2010, 08:35:07 am »
I've been riding my tricross comp for about a year now. I think it rides very well when loaded down and it's very comfortable for me. I think it has a slightly more upright riding position compared to other cross bikes. My foot rubbed my panniers a little until I made some fine adjustments but it was no big deal. For touring you have to make sure you get it configured with a triple! If you get it with a double chain ring in front and a 12-27 in back you can forget about heavy touring. Also, if you're going to carry 60 pounds (sounds like a lot) you'll want to change out the wheels. The Tricross Comp comes with 24 spoke Roval wheels. Some might say the Roval wheels can handle it but most would say better safe than sorry. The brakes might be an issue too considering the weight you want to carry. The conventional wisdom is disc brakes will give you a little more stopping power. To the best of my knowledge this is not something that you can change on the tricorss, but check with a profiessional about that.  People on this forum also debate using STI shifters vs. bar end shifters while touring, bar end being the more reliable of the two and they perform a little better with triple chain rings. After about 2000 miles one of my STI shifters broke while I was on a weekend ride. It was still under warranty but that wouldn't have made my day any better if I were on a tour, espesially considering that my local bike shop didn't have the new parts in stock. If you're looking at a bike in that price range you have other options. So you have to ask yourself if you will be doing any other type of riding with this bike. If you're going to be doing weekend rides and commutes, as well as tours, I would recommend the tricross b/c it's very versatile. If you're going to be using it mostly for long touring I think you should look into bikes that are designed specifically for touring...especially considering the load you want to carry. I hope this helped.

Offline vanvalks

Re: Tri-Cross
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2010, 09:40:25 am »
Get the new edition of "Bike Touring:  The Sierra Club Guide to Travel on Two Wheels" by Raymond Bridge.  It is the best $18.95 that you can invest in getting started in bicycle touring.  The author devotes about 150 pages to discussing touring bikes and what are good and bad features to look for.  He also gives good, common sense recommendations for packing and other touring scenarios.  Altogether a 5 star book, even if you have done some touring.

Bob