Help Me Decide - Mountain Bike or Road Bike? (Read 356 times)


Needs more cowbell!

    Showed that CX picture to my BIL, the one that's a mountain biker (as in, he worked at a bike shop), and his first question was about the size, which is 54cm.  He feels like I'm at least a 56, so I guess we'll see.

     

    Thanks for the explanation of Shimano vs. SRAM.  At DW's last race, at one of the aid stations, I talked to a lady who had almost the same bike as DW, but she had upgraded the shifters to something that only required a light tap on the shifters because she'd had a very bad accident at a race years before and her hands weren't strong enough for the other kind.  Wondering if that was the upgrade she was talking about.

     

    Yeah, $1500 seems pretty reasonable.  Full retail on that would have been nearly double, new.  Sizing will depend a lot upon where your comfortable.  And 54 in one brand might be 56 in another.  My Cannondale is a 48, but the same geometry on other bikes might put me closer to a 50.  Apparently Cannondales are said to run big.

     

    The other thing…CX bikes generally require sizing down.  My CX bike is a 44.  Again, depending upon brand I could go larger, but because the bottom bracket is higher the sizing gets wonky vs. traditional road bike sizing.  So if you would be a 56 with a road bike a 54 for a CX bike might be perfect.  And if it's a choice between going a little big or going a little small, I'd always err smaller.  You can always add a longer stem for fit, but handling a too big bike is tougher.  Going with a shorter stem messes with bike handling if the top tube is too long.

     

    That shifting system sounds like one of the Shimano Di electronic systems.  I was really wondering if I'd have to go that route post-wrist fracture.  My right wrist is still not at full strength, but far better than it was even 6-9 months ago.  Di is expensive, though I generally hear really good things about it.  I'm sure that technology will trickle-down and the price with it.

    I shoot pretty things! ~

    '14 Goals:

    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

      Mountain bike or road bike? The answer is surely: both!

       

      And of course, you also need a commuting bike, a winter training bike and a folding bike. 5 is about the bare minimum...

      mab411


      Proboscis Colossus

         

        Yeah, $1500 seems pretty reasonable.  Full retail on that would have been nearly double, new.  Sizing will depend a lot upon where your comfortable.  And 54 in one brand might be 56 in another.  My Cannondale is a 48, but the same geometry on other bikes might put me closer to a 50.  Apparently Cannondales are said to run big.

         

        The other thing…CX bikes generally require sizing down.  My CX bike is a 44.  Again, depending upon brand I could go larger, but because the bottom bracket is higher the sizing gets wonky vs. traditional road bike sizing.  So if you would be a 56 with a road bike a 54 for a CX bike might be perfect.  And if it's a choice between going a little big or going a little small, I'd always err smaller.  You can always add a longer stem for fit, but handling a too big bike is tougher.  Going with a shorter stem messes with bike handling if the top tube is too long.

         

        That shifting system sounds like one of the Shimano Di electronic systems.  I was really wondering if I'd have to go that route post-wrist fracture.  My right wrist is still not at full strength, but far better than it was even 6-9 months ago.  Di is expensive, though I generally hear really good things about it.  I'm sure that technology will trickle-down and the price with it.

         

        Thanks...by the way, forgot to mention, that pic you posted of your bike is beautiful!  Love that white/orange combo.

         

        I'm confused about something (well, many things, but I'm only going to talk about one here): does "150" refer to Shimano shifters, or an SRAM crankset, or both?  Is SRAM a company name, or a type of mechanism?  I thought I'd seem "Shimano 150" used somewhere around here, but on the page where I found info on that Felt F6, it mentions it has a "SRAM S150 crankset.  Just a coincidental usage of the same number by different companies?  Not sure if "crankset" and "shifters" are interchangeable terms.

        "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people


        slogger

          Yep.. SRAM and Shimano are the two big brands in cycling components (an then there's Campy, but that's for another day...). The number stuff can get really confusing. It would be so much easier if they used cool names like "Falcon" or "buzzard" Instead of forcing consumers to interpret model numbers. That crank is a particular model made by SRAM where the shifty bits on the crux you posted are from the Shimano 105 group set. Cranks are fairly interchangeable, so you'll see a lot of different names at that spec point on a bike.

           

          Oh, oh, and cx bike for the win. I also have a trek fx series, as mentioned earlier. While it is quick enough, the more static body position of road riding makes me wish I had more hand positions on anything longer than a 7 mile jaunt.  Drop bars > flat bars for that.


          Needs more cowbell!

            Thanks!  Orange is my favorite color and I was ready to move on from my starter bike to something a step up and more geared for racing...knew I wanted to make the switch to SRAM Rival from Shimano 105.  When that bike came out (2011 model, I think) I saw it and DH essentially shook his head and handed over the checkbook.

             

             

            Thanks...by the way, forgot to mention, that pic you posted of your bike is beautiful!  Love that white/orange combo.

             

            I'm confused about something (well, many things, but I'm only going to talk about one here): does "150" refer to Shimano shifters, or an SRAM crankset, or both?  Is SRAM a company name, or a type of mechanism?  I thought I'd seem "Shimano 150" used somewhere around here, but on the page where I found info on that Felt F6, it mentions it has a "SRAM S150 crankset.  Just a coincidental usage of the same number by different companies?  Not sure if "crankset" and "shifters" are interchangeable terms.

             

            Yep, crankset and shifters are sort of interchangeable.  A person could have a mix of random SRAM stuff or a mix of Shimano.  My bike has a SRAM Rival crankset…with a SRAM Force crank.

             

            Here's a SRAM S150 compact crankset.  Shimano's popular group is 105 (that's about as low in the Shimano line-up as most people will go on a bike being used for more than casual rides around town):

            That crank is pretty comparable to what I have on my road bike.

             

            SRAM is a company out of Chicago.  Shimano is a japanese company that makes all sorts of bike stuff (including pretty nice shoes) and fishing equipment.  Within SRAM there are several road bike shifting groups: Red (their top of the line), Force, Rival, Apex.  Shimano offers similar groups: Dura Ace, Ultegra, 105, Tiagra, Sora.  They also have the electronic shifters available for the 2 top lines.  Campagnolo is another shifter manufacturer, but they're not nearly as common as the other 2.  There are purists who won't use anything else.

             

            Eventually I would likely upgrade to all SRAM Force on my roadie, since there's a nice bit of weight-savings.  My CX bike is equipped with SRAM Apex, SRAM's low-end group (there is one line lower, apparently, but I've never seen it).  Functionally there is no difference between any of SRAM's groups. I believe this is essentially the same with Shimano's stuff from line to line.  When the day comes to upgrade my CX bike or buy a new bike I'd probably move up a step to Rival.  For CX I wouldn't bother, but we're starting to get a lot of gravel road races around here and dropping some weight off my bike doesn't hurt.  I don't seem to be hard on my equipment, either.  My hubby is a relatively big guy and wears through stuff relatively faster because of the increased load he's putting on the crank and gears.

            I shoot pretty things! ~

            '14 Goals:

            • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

            • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

              Decent reference ...   Wiki/Groupset

                And then you can forget about all that crap and just go Single Speed.

                 

                1 is all you need.

                 

                Far cheaper and you practically eliminate mechanical break downs. Not to mention, it makes you a better rider.

                www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building


                Needs more cowbell!

                  And then you can forget about all that crap and just go Single Speed.

                   

                  1 is all you need.

                   

                  Far cheaper and you practically eliminate mechanical break downs. Not to mention, it makes you a better rider.

                   

                  I've been contemplating going 1x11 on my next CX bike, just to minimize potential issues.  I've only had one dropped chain mid-race, but it took 2 of us to get it back on, since there was so much snow and grass and mud caked into the works and numb fingers.  I still like my gears. Big grin

                  I shoot pretty things! ~

                  '14 Goals:

                  • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                  • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                    Reading thru this entire thread I see where people are intimidated when it comes to buying a bike. All you really need to know is:

                    The best bike is the bike you will ride for what ever reason you are riding it.

                     

                    The rest is just random thoughts.

                     

                    My favorite bike happens to be the one I'm riding right now.

                     

                    I know lots of people who spent far less than you, run what you consider to be inferior components on a 15 year old steel frame but put 10x the mileage in and love every mile.

                     

                    More Americans ought to bike commute to work.

                     

                    Bikes should be viewed as legitimate transportation.

                     

                    Cyclist should obey the rules of the road.

                     

                    Motorist should share the road.

                     

                    I'm not sure bike paths are a good thing.

                     

                    If I have nothing to do tomorrow I would ride my bike. And drink beer.

                     

                    I'm probably a bike snob. I look down my nose at people I consider to be bike snobs.

                     

                    I own a Fat Bike...I am quickly coming to the realization that Fat Bikers are becoming the next Triathlete. How do you know if there is a fat Biker in the room? Don't worry, they'll tell ya. And show you pictures of thier bike propped up in the snow.

                     

                    Single Track, Single Speed, Single Malt and Single women.

                     

                    Back to work...gotta another bike to pay for.

                    www.hplg.net  The Human Powered League - Solo Cup Series - Trail Building

                      Reading thru this entire thread I see where people are intimidated when it comes to buying a bike. All you really need to know is:

                      The best bike is the bike you will ride for what ever reason you are riding it.

                       

                      The rest is just random thoughts.

                       

                      My favorite bike happens to be the one I'm riding right now.

                       

                      I know lots of people who spent far less than you, run what you consider to be inferior components on a 15 year old steel frame but put 10x the mileage in and love every mile.

                       

                      More Americans ought to bike commute to work.

                       

                      Bikes should be viewed as legitimate transportation.

                       

                      Cyclist should obey the rules of the road.

                       

                      Motorist should share the road.

                       

                      I'm not sure bike paths are a good thing.

                       

                      If I have nothing to do tomorrow I would ride my bike. And drink beer.

                       

                      I'm probably a bike snob. I look down my nose at people I consider to be bike snobs.

                       

                      I own a Fat Bike...I am quickly coming to the realization that Fat Bikers are becoming the next Triathlete. How do you know if there is a fat Biker in the room? Don't worry, they'll tell ya. And show you pictures of thier bike propped up in the snow.

                       

                      Single Track, Single Speed, Single Malt and Single women.

                       

                      Back to work...gotta another bike to pay for.

                       

                      POD

                      "If you have the fire, run..." -John Climacus


                      tomatolover

                        zoomie

                        I've never even heard of cyclocross before this thread…now i'm intrigued.  Been riding a loaner 16 year old hybrid this year and, while i hate the idea of parting with $$, I've been thinking about buying a bike that's lighter than the one i'm currently on.

                         

                        Couple of questions:

                        1. aside from the grippier tires, does a cyclocross bike more or less ride like a road bike?

                        2. do the grippier tires slow you significantly down (as opposed to a road bike w/ normal skinny tires).  Can you say, go on a long ride with a bunch of people on road bikes and keep up fine (assuming you would normally with a road bike)

                        3. i actually looked up "cyclocross" races along the east coast but didn't see any- is there some kinda organization that hosts these things?

                        4. are cyclo bikes in the same range as road bikes cost wise (low end/high end)

                         

                        not related to cyclocross, but biking in general: have you ever been professionally fit for a bike.  I keep reading about this and its seems very costly but effective.  interested in hearing your opinion.


                        Needs more cowbell!

                          zoomie

                          I've never even heard of cyclocross before this thread…now i'm intrigued.  Been riding a loaner 16 year old hybrid this year and, while i hate the idea of parting with $$, I've been thinking about buying a bike that's lighter than the one i'm currently on.

                           

                          Couple of questions:

                          1. aside from the grippier tires, does a cyclocross bike more or less ride like a road bike?

                          2. do the grippier tires slow you significantly down (as opposed to a road bike w/ normal skinny tires).  Can you say, go on a long ride with a bunch of people on road bikes and keep up fine (assuming you would normally with a road bike)

                          3. i actually looked up "cyclocross" races along the east coast but didn't see any- is there some kinda organization that hosts these things?

                          4. are cyclo bikes in the same range as road bikes cost wise (low end/high end)

                           

                          not related to cyclocross, but biking in general: have you ever been professionally fit for a bike.  I keep reading about this and its seems very costly but effective.  interested in hearing your opinion.

                           

                          The ride is very similar to a road bike…geometry is generally not vastly different.  The grippier tires will be slower on the road, BUT you can always put lighter, narrower, higher PSI slick road tires on and ride a CX bike as a road bike.  I have several friends with CX bikes that they use as road bikes, too.  Frequently they'll have a 2nd set of lighter road wheels with road-specific tires.  Pricing is pretty comparable.  My hubby's CX bike has very similar specs to my road bike…same mfgr.  Same original retail (he scored a killer deal on his as a late-season clearance).

                           

                          Around here there are several CX race series.  Some are higher-caliber, larger events…the Mad Anthony races near Detroit are big and quite a bit more competitive than the Kisscross races we have near us.  The series I do is more for fun and an excuse to drink beer, afterwards.  I'm really surprised that there aren't more races on the East Coast.  They're a really big deal in the PANW, for sure.

                           

                          I've sort of been professionally fit.  I had a fitting before my first bike was ordered, then when it came in it was adjusted to my fitting #s.  After that we've tweaked things here and there as-needed.  Our LBS guru has the specific measurements of several of us memorized.  It's pretty funny.  I will say that my very favorite bike is my Redline CX bike because it just plain seems to fit me better than any other bike I own.  If I were to ever order a custom frame I'd likely have something created with geometry very similar to this bike.

                           

                          Some people do a more thorough fitting after purchase, but I've not had great need to do that.  My hubby has enough bike-geek knowledge that little adjustments here and there have been easy for him to do in our driveway.  In general, I think a professional fitting is really valuable, though.  Especially for a new rider or someone who isn't married to an experienced rider and/or good friends with someone who owns a bike shop and can get input on a regular basis.

                          I shoot pretty things! ~

                          '14 Goals:

                          • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                          • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          mab411


                          Proboscis Colossus

                            Well, the die has (mostly) been cast...after riding it around a bit, I told the guys at the bike shop I'd take that yellow Crux!  The only reason it's not in the garage right now is I need to get a small loan through our bank on Monday, which I have no reason to think won't be available to me (we took out an even larger loan for DW's bike and have all but paid it off years ahead of schedule).  I said if someone came in with cash in-hand tomorrow and wanted it, to go ahead and sell it to them, but they insisted on holding it for us, since we're established customers and have been very patient with them (don't know what they mean by that last bit - due to our work schedules, we're always getting there five mins. before closing.  They're the patient ones, IMO).  Meantime, they'll go over it and tighten/adjust/clean anything that needs it.  Good bunch of guys.

                             

                            It's even more vibrant and sleek in person.  I did try out the Kona, and while I don't have enough experience to honestly tell much of a difference between the two rides, the guy helping me pointed out several aspects of the Crux that are just plain better than the Kona.  Better wheels, interior cable routing, much better saddle (which I believe is this one ...and yes, it felt fine, at least for that brief ride)...a lot of component upgrades that just weren't on the Kona, and for $200 less.  Not to mention, the tech selling it is throwing in the clips, which is a C-note right there.  And also not to mention, if I bought the new one, I'd have to pay sales tax.  So he basically did a really crappy job of selling me on the shop's new inventory, and a fantastic job of selling me on their tech's used bike.

                             

                            Oh, and the size seemed fine.  I could touch my toes on either side while sitting on the saddle, and my leg extended to almost totally straight while pedaling, is that what I'm looking for?  If not, there was room to adjust the seat post a little.

                             

                            I did look at the shop owner's Felt F6 that I mentioned.  Man, that is a pretty bike.  I believe it is exactly this one, same color scheme, anyway.  Didn't get to ride it, because it had...some component, I can't think what right now...off of it, and even though he offered to put something on right quick, I declined because it was already almost closing time for them, and by that point, he had finished the job you guys started of convincing me to buy a CX bike.  Without me even mentioning the condition of most of the roads around here, he brought up that the road wheels aren't going to handle hitting really big potholes as well, and that pretty much did it.  Like I said earlier, my wife carefully chooses her routes to go down roads that are in decent condition on her roadie- I'd rather not have to worry about that.  Still, a carbon frame for $1000 with decent components...sure was tempting.

                             

                            The guy helping me...really gregarious guy, he's awesome...may have also sold me on doing some CX races.  It really does sound fun, even as a non-drinker!

                            "God guides us on our journey, but careful with those feet." - David Lee Roth, of all people

                              3. i actually looked up "cyclocross" races along the east coast but didn't see any- is there some kinda organization that hosts these things?

                               

                              Here are some.

                               

                              It's pretty big in New England. Grand Prix of Gloucester and Providence Cyclo-cross Festival are two of the bigger events but there are a bunch of others.

                              Runners run.


                              Needs more cowbell!

                                That sounds like a pretty winning shop, IMO!

                                 

                                Well, the die has (mostly) been cast...after riding it around a bit, I told the guys at the bike shop I'd take that yellow Crux!  The only reason it's not in the garage right now is I need to get a small loan through our bank on Monday, which I have no reason to think won't be available to me (we took out an even larger loan for DW's bike and have all but paid it off years ahead of schedule).  I said if someone came in with cash in-hand tomorrow and wanted it, to go ahead and sell it to them, but they insisted on holding it for us, since we're established customers and have been very patient with them (don't know what they mean by that last bit - due to our work schedules, we're always getting there five mins. before closing.  They're the patient ones, IMO).  Meantime, they'll go over it and tighten/adjust/clean anything that needs it.  Good bunch of guys.

                                 

                                Oh, and the size seemed fine.  I could touch my toes on either side while sitting on the saddle, and my leg extended to almost totally straight while pedaling, is that what I'm looking for?  If not, there was room to adjust the seat post a little.

                                 

                                The guy helping me...really gregarious guy, he's awesome...may have also sold me on doing some CX races.  It really does sound fun, even as a non-drinker!

                                 

                                You really should try it…at least once or twice!  For years I said I'd never do it…then somehow I got a bug in my brain that I wanted a CX bike for riding dirt/gravel roads.  Next thing I knew I was toeing the line.  Now it's maybe my favorite thing to do.  I think you're gonna love that bike!

                                 

                                Being able to touch your toes on either side mostly just means that you are on the taller side and have long legs!  I can't do it on any of my bikes if my saddle is the proper height (but my DH can -- he's tall and leggy) and it sounds like your saddle might actually be a bit high.  You don't want your knee locked-out or even close when in the straightest position.  This graphic does a pretty good job to visually show what's fairly "ideal" in terms of knee angle:

                                I shoot pretty things! ~

                                '14 Goals:

                                • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                                • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)