Touring on non surfaced roads

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

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damond
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

Cheers Everyone!

I am currently on the market for a new bike. Right now i own a proper race bike (giant tcr advanced sl) and a 29er mtb hardtail. The need of longer autonomous travelling by bike is growing on me after a few all day rides with friends and i feel the need of a specific bike for that.

This leads me to the main question: CX bike or a regular endurance road bike?

I do not plan to race CX courses but want the bike to be as polyvalent as possible this being having it on some slick 30 or 32's for a road travel or being able to fit her some 32's knobed tires for some harsher trip.

My question is would a Giant Defy be up to this task? Could i put her some bigger (knobed) tires? Or should i forget the idea of an endurance bike and focus on a proper CX bike like the TCX?

thanks in advance!

David

by Weenie


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Tomstr
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by Tomstr

I was in that position a year ago and went for the TCX. I'm sure the Defy will work but it's not as versatile as a TCX is, plus it has a good amount of overlap with your TCR.
Ride it like you stole it

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Do you actually mean "touring" or just long rides?

I say this as a proper CX bike for touring (or even long all days rides) is potentially a minefield. Especially if you might come across unexpected surfaces/terrain.

damond
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

Thanks for your replies!

Tomstr are you happy with the TCX? I Also think the Defy will overlap the TCR in some ways but in other hand, it would also be a decent winter bike! The TCX is now coming with 1x drivetrain which can obviously be switched to a 2x drivetrain. That would also raise another question that would be 1x or 2x for travelling? I have a friend with a Santa Cruz Stigmata and he is comfortable to be switching to 1x on it, although he races CX but also uses that bike for travelling. I think it can be fine to travel with a 1x drivetrain if it has a decent ratio. But i am not that confident that it will be a good winter (road) bike with a 1x drivetrain and will be more limited for road use.

Mattr i mean both of them. Long all day rides and several day rides (obviously with proper bag equipment). I know the CX will always be more versatile but would the Defy be up to the task?

I've recently came across this: https://overyonder.cc/adventures/north- ... e-unknown/

And curious that both the 2 bikes used are....ah....the Defy and the TCX :lol: :lol:

thanks again!

mattr
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Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

damond wrote:I know the CX will always be more versatile but would the Defy be up to the task?
not sure that a proper CX bike could be called versatile! Bone jarringly direct maybe.
Or is the TCX more of a gravel bike? (Which is probably what you'd be best off with.)

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Tomstr
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by Tomstr

The TCX has a damping seatpost that works ok (I'm 70kgs) and will fit up to 48mm tyres so comfort can be tuned.

I was curious like Mattr is but I haven't looked back. I'm using it as my winter bike because of the massive tyres it can run. A Defy will stop at 30mm or so. (which is still huge if you want to go over cobbles and stuff)

In short; very happy! The stock version is fun but ideally you get lighter wheels. I've put in some long quality training rides on it and can't see it leave the stable any time soon. Should have bought it sooner haha.
I'm running 2x11 by the way. 1x11 looks nice but is not really for me given the gaps between the gears. I like to spin in just the right gear.
Ride it like you stole it

DutchMountains
Posts: 96
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:16 pm

by DutchMountains

"non surfaced roads" meaning gravel, hard packed sand etc.? If so I would highly recommend a bicycle that takes 35mm tyres and preferably even wider (with proper clearance). More grip and far more effect on comfort than any dampening seat post (I own the Ergon CF3). And unless it's really muddy you don't need knobbies, minimal threads work fine both on and off pavement.

joec
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:20 pm

by joec

I wouldnt worry to much unless your doing propper off road,

I tour on an old specialized sirrus with Panaracer pasela 35's on, if I think i'll see a fair bit of off road I'll put on swalbe marathons, these are both smoothish tyres and I've not had an issue except in clay (which screwed everyone no matter what they were on!)

main issue with a cross bike for me would be gearing, 2 panniers and water and you'll want a crawler gear at times! especially if your heavier like me.

Ticlimax
Posts: 91
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2016 2:44 pm

by Ticlimax

Touring or bikepacking on a carbon bike is certainly possible, but whichever you choose, the au-option seems smart. If you're taking it on a plane, invest in a proper hardcase for your bike. I went bikepacking with a (heavy) aluminum bike and flying + a busride + general bad roads have caused a lot of chips that I would be worried about on a carbon frame. Also ask for extra derailleur hangers with your purchase.

A compact and a 32 in the rear are also advisabe (depending on your shape). I never used the 32 but I was happy to know it's there :).

Any reason you are limiting your options to Giant?

damond
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:47 pm

by damond

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:

Image

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!

Marin
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Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

You can ride the roads above on any road bike without problems. Check out the Strade Bianche race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HyxhvIYZQM

It helps if you have 25 or 28mm tires, which many road bikes will fit.

The very popular 35mm Compass tires that people like to ride gravel on are EXTREMELY fragile compared to something like a Conti GP4000s and still hold up well.

My favorite gravel tires are Vittoria Corsa G+ 25 and 28 (they are both around 28mm wide, don't ask my why) and 28mm Grand Bois tires of the same fragile construction like the mentioned Compass.

I don't like how tires over 30mm feel on the road so I run 28s, but I still can ride the gravel roads in Austria and Slovenia without problems and I do so regularly.

reippuert
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Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:18 am
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

by reippuert

Marin wrote:You can ride the roads above on any road bike without problems. Check out the Strade Bianche race: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HyxhvIYZQM

It helps if you have 25 or 28mm tires, which many road bikes will fit.

The very popular 35mm Compass tires that people like to ride gravel on are EXTREMELY fragile compared to something like a Conti GP4000s and still hold up well.

My favorite gravel tires are Vittoria Corsa G+ 25 and 28 (they are both around 28mm wide, don't ask my why) and 28mm Grand Bois tires of the same fragile construction like the mentioned Compass.

I don't like how tires over 30mm feel on the road so I run 28s, but I still can ride the gravel roads in Austria and Slovenia without problems and I do so regularly.


I have 35mm's Compass Extraligt and they are not nearly as fragile as 28mm Conti GP4000 or 25mm (27mm in real life) MIchelin Pro2Race tyres. The shere volume and footprint protects the casing very well, just avoid going over 4bar. One of compass's tricks is that they have extended the thread a bit so it protects the casing even at low pressure cornering.

An alternative to a wide slick tyre is Pannarace Gravelking 32. They mount tubeless just as easy as my 43mm SK's even though they are not officially TLC. (and a lot eaysyer than my 35mm Exctralights). Weight is approx the samme 300g for the extralights and 310g for the GK slicks's. You only sacrifice 3mm of whith but gain sidewall protection and easyer tubeless seating while you still have a very subtle tyre.

At 3.5mm bar the 32's roll very smooth and fast on paved roads. Similar to my 35 Compass Extralights with tubes (tubless, the extralights are smoother and faster). On hardpack, light gravel, dirt and grass the 32mm seems to have enough whith and the fine herringbone pattern grips surprisingly well. High speed cornering appears to be more sure footed than the 35 Extralights which can feel like they are colapsing at 3.5 bar.

Where the GK slicks difer from Compass is the added sidewall protection, they appear to be just as tough as my 43mm SK's. the 32mm GK slick will be the tire im gonna use for touring european mountain ranges this summer.
--
mvh. Morten Reippuert Knudsen @Merlin Works CR, Chorus 15, Reynolds 46/66

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Tomstr
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by Tomstr

damond wrote: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!

Image


Interesting question, I think the TCX is the most versatile bike I have so it does have some overlap with my mtb's. Especially if you have hardtails. The situation now is that I use them for very rough work or just thrashing around.

Looking at the photo and your question this topic started with I think you'll be happy on a TCX. I'd ride that road on my TCR (I have proof on YouTube ;-) ) but not packed.
In short; a TCX with wide light tyres is it for you :-)
Ride it like you stole it

mattr
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 6:43 pm
Location: The Grim North.

by mattr

Looks like lots of the roads round here, ride them on 23 s........... not very quickly though

25s are ok

joec
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:20 pm

by joec

yeah, i'd have no worries about a road like that even on 25's,

just make sure you have a puncture kit just in case, and an old bit of tyre as a tyre boot in case the worst happens.

by Weenie


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