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Touring or Cyclocross Bike for ~12 mi commute?

Old 08-08-17, 12:27 PM
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The 585
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Touring or Cyclocross Bike for ~12 mi commute?

Looking for a versatile bike, preferably drop-bar with steel frame, for a 12 mile each way commute. I also want to cruise around the paved trails for 20-30 mile exercise rides, and occasionally pick up some groceries. It would need eyelets for a rack, and room for fenders. Would you get a touring bike or cyclocross bike? Thanks!
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Old 08-08-17, 12:57 PM
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Gravel bike.
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Old 08-08-17, 02:42 PM
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Yes.


Touring and 'cross bikes are generally pretty similar. Two possible differentiators are gearing ('cross doesn't often go as low as a good tourer) and mounting for a rack (which a touring bike should have, but a cross bike often doesn't). If all you're doing is around town and paved trails, you don't need the low gears. It's possible to mount a rack with p-clamps, but it's more difficult and less elegant.


Go try some bikes. Think about carrying Stuff on each one. Buy the one you like the best.
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Old 08-08-17, 03:50 PM
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best bike on the planet for your requirements:

https://www.fahrradmanufaktur.de/en/.../tx-randonneur

online for €1349 (shipped DHL worldwide, if you can't read German)

VSF Fahrradmanufaktur TX-Randonneur 2017 Neu Rh 52, 57 UVP UVP 1.549,90? | eBay

sometimes on sale for €1000 or so
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Old 08-08-17, 07:53 PM
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Soma ES! I built one for my brother, and it's great. It takes racks and fenders, fits 32mm tires, and it's nice and light.

http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/es
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Old 08-08-17, 08:51 PM
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I agree. Either a touring bike or cyclocross bike would be fine.
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Old 08-08-17, 09:35 PM
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A true racing cyclocross bike is not the one, but there were plenty of commuter bikes that copped their style. That niche is now being filled by the lower tier of gravel bikes. They're more the same than different, the gravel bikes tend to have disc brakes and wider gearing, so much the better. If it can mount a conventional rack without any trouble it'll do. So would a sport touring bike though I feel like they're harder to find cheap.
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Old 08-08-17, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by PennyTheDog View Post
Soma ES! I built one for my brother, and it's great. It takes racks and fenders, fits 32mm tires, and it's nice and light.

ES | SOMA Fabrications
+1, I commute 12.5 miles each way on my Soma Smoothie ES and it does a great job. I took it on a 109 mile jaunt down to SF and it also excelled.
2017-08-07_10-17-05 by Bryan Bracy, on Flickr

Last edited by bugly64; 08-09-17 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:28 AM
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I ended up buying a Kona Sutra touring bike but my preferred bike (more difficult to obtain) was the Cinelli Hobootleg which is a blend of a touring bike (comes complete with fenders and Tubus racks) and a cross/gravel bike.
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Old 08-09-17, 10:25 AM
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My commute roads are sometime rough (but not as rough as others have mentioned in my "lets compare road thread") so I went with a cyclocross bike with drop bars. That bike also has Tektro RL721 top bar levers so I can still brake easily when using the top bar (where I spebd most of my time, unless it's really windy). I find it's a great bike for my 12.5 miles commute.
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Old 08-09-17, 10:53 AM
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Ala #3, "cross" below overspending for an actual CX racing bike , will be, for purpose of discussion here, a slightly lighter touring bike .

A bike built around a frame built using a little lighter materials.

So what brands are carried by your local shop that you can test ride.. ??





....

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-09-17 at 10:56 AM.
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Old 08-09-17, 12:17 PM
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I have a cx race bike, a cx race bike built up as a commuter with drop bars (rack/fenders) and a cx frameset I built up with a rack, fenders, riser bars, thumb shifter and 1x10 drive train. I also spent years trying to make road bikes into commuters, forcing fenders and racks to somehow work.

My advice is to go for the true commuter/tourer bike. You can still do exercise rides, but you won't have to deal with the issues of mounting stuff on a true CX bike, which really are not made for racks and fenders.

Good luck!
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Old 08-09-17, 12:53 PM
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@acidfast7, there's a bike manufacturer that calls itself Bike Manufacturer?
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Old 08-09-17, 12:55 PM
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Swiss BMC is for bike making company.



My 12 mile commute was an hour each way..






.....

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-20-17 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:38 PM
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i use the surly crosscheck which is a cyclocross bike but intended to be used as a light touring bike. i don't cyclocross, but it's a beast when it's not loaded. super fast when commuting, i was faster on it than a road bike i had. i have fenders installed. it's also fine for putting weight on it. for the front derailleur (compact), i added one more ring to make it a triple. but when i did that, i had to change the rear derailleur and the bottom bracket as well. it set me back about a $200 for the labor and the change. i use the bike for commuting primarily, and bike camping / touring.

if you're doing a 12 mile commute i would just go with a touring bike - or go for something like my bike (both a cyclocross and a touring bike) if you want to do more than "cruise" for exercise. i'm guessing you don't need a racing cyclocross bike.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@acidfast7, there's a bike manufacturer that calls itself Bike Manufacturer?

It's actually "VSF Fahrradmanufaktur"

VSF stands for "Verbund Service und Fahrrad gemeinnütziger e. V. (VSF)" which is Trade Association (a non-profit organisation) ... or now, quite simply, "Verbund Selbstverwalteter Fahrradbetriebe [Association of Self-governed Bicycle Companies]" with about 300 members. Name simplification occurred in 2010.

Then "vsf fahrradmanufaktur" was the first company formed out of VSF.

Here is the VSF webpage: https://www.vsf.de/

"vsf fahrradmanufaktur" are the guys that make the bikes.

Willkommen in Deutschland.
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Old 08-09-17, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Swiss BMC is for bike making company.
It's actually ... BMC Switzerland AG
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Old 08-09-17, 01:55 PM
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OK, I'll take that as a "yes."
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Old 08-09-17, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
OK, I'll take that as a "yes."
Also, it should be pointed out that nearly the entire bike (frame included) is made in Germany, then hand-assembled, tested and shipped out.

Nice piece of kit for the price tag ... (remember that 20% of that price is tax.)

Last edited by acidfast7; 08-09-17 at 02:04 PM.
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Old 08-09-17, 02:02 PM
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I personally really like this one:

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Old 08-09-17, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by The 585 View Post
Looking for a versatile bike, preferably drop-bar with steel frame, for a 12 mile each way commute. I also want to cruise around the paved trails for 20-30 mile exercise rides, and occasionally pick up some groceries. It would need eyelets for a rack, and room for fenders. Would you get a touring bike or cyclocross bike? Thanks!
Well, CX vs Touring is rather opposite ends of the spectrum. I like a CX bike because it is very nimble and can corner hard for nimble handling in urban situations.

A touring bike will have a lower center of gravity, a longer wheelbase, and tend to be more stable (and have more room for fenders). For most people, the touring bike would be best (unless you want light fast and nimble).

Of course the newer breed of gravel bike would work great too (allows a broad range of tire sizes - up to 40-45mm.
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Old 08-09-17, 05:43 PM
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I agree. Touring, CX or gravel would be fine.
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Old 08-09-17, 08:16 PM
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Based on your post I would suggest a cyclocross bike, but not a true racing one like Darth Lefty said. Take a look at the Surly's and Soma's that others mentioned. I have a Surly Long Haul Trucker that I would not classify as quick or sporty.
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Old 08-09-17, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
I ended up buying a Kona Sutra touring bike but my preferred bike (more difficult to obtain) was the Cinelli Hobootleg which is a blend of a touring bike (comes complete with fenders and Tubus racks) and a cross/gravel bike.
If I thought you were heading in the Cinelli Hobootleg, I would have suggested the Van Dessel WTF like mine:
Van Dessel WTF on Cinco DE Mayo. by Bryan Bracy, on Flickr
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Old 08-09-17, 09:47 PM
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My first dedicated commuter was a surly Long Haul Trucker touring bike. I also have a Gunnar Cross Hairs CX bike that I use for 90% of my riding. I only use the LHT for abysmal weather or if I am carrying a particular heavy load (laptop, lunch, shoes, tools, clothes, rain gear, etc., all at the same time).

I would not use anything other than my LHT for loaded touring, but my CX is absolutely my choice when lightly loaded, or unloaded. I did a double century a couple of years ago on the Gunnar and have no problem using it as my "road" bike.
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