Touring on non surfaced roads

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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by RussellS

Concerning the picture of the gravel road. That looks like a regular gravel road. Easy to ride on narrow road tires. Assuming you ride on the two strips that have been beaten into almost concrete by cars driving on the road. The narrow strip in the middle of the road is loose rocks, and the edges are also loose rocks. Cannot ride on those parts with narrow tires. Need 2" mountain bike tires to ride on loose gravel. Otherwise your tires squirm around. Assuming its dry. Wet and the beaten paths are not as good. But ideally for gravel roads a wider tire such as 32 or 35 is better. But doable on narrow road tires too. You need a well traveled, beaten down gravel road with hard car tire tracks in it. No loose, squirmy, squishy rocks.

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by damond

thanks everyone for your help!

Although i know the image i posted is easily rideable with a regular road bike, i am looking for something that can handle several days riding on those conditions and still give me some "comfort" (if we can call it like that).

I decided to give a go on the TCX for this task! Thanks a lot everyone!

by Weenie

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by Tomstr

Sounds like a fun choice, I'm sure you'll have a great time.

Time for some pics now :D
Ride it like you stole it

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by damond

Yeah! Just could not decide to get a new bike on a worst timing! Now that the 2017 models are becoming unavailable and 2018 are coming in i just have a guess i'll have to wait a few weeks! No rush for me so that is ok.

I'll go on this one! :beerchug: :beerchug:


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by MikeD

damond wrote:cheers everyone! Thanks again for your help!

mattr i perfectly understand your point of view. A proper CX bike won't be anything but a race (CX) machine. Anyway, i think overall pretty much any "CX" bike on the market is a mix between that and gravel with some brands leaning more to one side or another. Again, my experience with CX bikes is null, i just rode with my friend's Stigmata which from what i understand isn't neither a proper CX Race bike, nor a Gravel bike. I just know i had a lot of fun with it!

Tomstr we're about the same weight category. Do you own also any mtb bike? The point is that if there is the risk of the Defy overlaping the TCR, there is also the same risk with the TCX overlaping the mtb bike! Also, i see the 1x drivetrain as a minus point if we think of this third bike as also a winter bike. Anyway, your opinion is pretty much the same as anyone i ask for regarding the CX bike - should have got it sooner!

DutchMountains what i mean with "non surfaced roads" is going for a trip and not being afraid if suddenly i get an unpaved road, a militar road, a gravel road or some worse kind of road. I think (and i say, i "think" :lol: ) i won't be using the bike on any surface worse than this:


If it is to ride in worse surfaces than the one above, i have my mtb if you know what i mean.

joec, still 35's is already a pretty decent tire width. The Defy won't for sure take that, the maximum from what i checked around would be a 30mm tire. Would a 30mm tire like the challenge strade bianchi be up to the task of riding in the conditions i need?

Ticlimax, that's is a valid point. i have already traveled with my mtb bike and i know how it works. Anyway, being a mtb racer for pretty much 11 years now, i feel the need of that stiffness feeling that only a carbon frame can give. Plus, i think if it has to happen a disaster, it will happen no matter what, being it carbon, aluminium, titanium, steel,....
For sure the gear ratio would be adjusted if necessary before a trip but i'm pretty confident a standard compact 34/50 front and 11-28/32 rear is more enough for traveling. If it is to go all in, i have the TCR which is a hell of a fast bike anyway!

Well, my LBS is a Giant dealer and i can manage some nice deals with them plus i really like their bikes so that's why i am just considering Giant bikes.

again, thanks everyone for your time!

That photo does not have very good resolution to tell what its surface is, but there are large, sharp edged rocks in the foreground that are not gravel. I would not want to ride skinny, road bike tires on a road like that. At best, it would be an an unpleasant, jarring ride. At worst, pinch flats and cut sidewalls.

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by ooo

the only fundamental difference for cx vs non-cx road-bike-for-offroad/endurance:
cyclocross bike always have low handlebar position

to make cx bike more comfortable - do not cut your fork and make sure to use a lot of spacers under stem (like on your last photo)
other specs can be the same on cx and non-cx bikes (mount points, tire clearance, gearing, etc)

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