Home ActivitiesCycling What is the difference between a cyclocross bike and a touring bike?

What is the difference between a cyclocross bike and a touring bike?

by Guest Blogger

Cyclocross is actually a career discipline that evolved as something that road racers can do in the off-season, but bikes have become very popular touring bikes outside of racing due to their versatility. Cross bicycles will usually be heavier than a comparable touring bike, but lighter than a comparable bicycle.

Cyclocross Bikes

Cyclocross bicycles are designed to travel both on and off the road. This is actually a career discipline that evolved as something that road racers can do in the off-season. But bicycles have become very popular outside of racing because of their versatility. Cross bicycles will usually be heavier than a comparable road bike, but lighter than a comparable bicycle. The wheelbase will be between that of a road bike and a road bike, while the height of the bottom stand and the angle of the head tube could be on either side of that of a road bike, according to the manufacturer’s philosophy.

The tires will have 700c and the tires will typically stretch somewhere in the 30-40mm wide range with small knobs to grab loose surfaces instead of the handles you’ll see on special road wheels.

The frame materials vary widely as with the other types of bicycles, but for high-end cyclo-cross frames, carbon fiber is becoming a more frequent material. Aluminum and steel are also common, especially between mid-level and below-grade bicycles.

The traditional cyclo-cross gear is a bit strange, as they usually come with a set of double cranks of very close relation, but this can be compensated for by a wider cassette.

Cyclocross bicycles dedicated to racing can have perforations for water bottle cages in the front triangle. Although you will often see them without bottles mounted so they do not interfere with the bike’s passage over obstacles. On the other hand, many cross bicycles are perforated for racks, since they can bend like a touring bicycle due to similar geometry.

Cross bicycles make wonderful travelers because of their versatility and durability. You can often run racks or not, and swap the rims with handles if you choose.

Touring Bikes:

Touring bicycles are designed for long excursions over several days on the road. Generally, they are the heaviest bicycles in the group. As they are designed to be durable and to carry many things beyond the cyclist. They will maintain relatively low bottom support. But the wheelbase will be longer and the angle of the steering tube will be looser compared to a road bike. This increases its stability, especially when it is fully charged.

The wheels are often 700c, but many of them are designed for 26 “, some will accept either, although this will make the BB higher with the larger wheel. Size tire sizes will be wider, generally, 28 mm or more, since the air pressure can fall.

You may see touring bikes made of other materials. But the most common is steel due to its indulgent nature and durability. Drills for front and rear frames are standard, and drills for additional water bottles are common.

The gear may be a bit lower, but it will certainly be wider on a touring bicycle. Sometimes, the components of the mountain bike are used for rear gears to give the rider a very low gear. This is very welcome when you go up with a fully loaded bike ride. This type of bicycle is ideal for those who travel daily, as it is stable and when it is in shape with racks/saddlebags offers many places to put your things on your back.

What is the difference between a cyclocross bike and a touring bike?

Here are some things to keep in mind:

1. Heel separation

Cyclocross bicycles have longer and wider chains than road bikes. Which makes them excellent for running wider tires, as well as offering plenty of room for defenses. At the same time, the chains are shorter than those found on passenger bicycles. So the distance between the heels can be a problem with the saddlebags mounted on the back. Depending on the distance you have to place the saddlebags in the rear grille. This problem can often be solved by using smaller front suitcases on the back, but it is a compromise.

2. Gear

some cyclocross bikes come with a set of triple cranks, but most have compact double cranksets. Depending on your preferences, a compact double may not offer a sufficiently low gear, in which case an upgrade to a triple would be in order. Also, pay attention to the rear derailleur. Short cage deviators allow a maximum tooth of around 27 teeth; switching to a long cage derailleur to make room for a longer-range cassette is not a bad idea.

3. The height of the lower support

Traditionally, cyclocross bicycles have high top support, which will raise their center of gravity a little. This may or may not be of your interest, but it is good to take it into account. The newer cyclocross bikes come with a lower bottom support height, more in line with road bikes, so this may be a problem that will disappear.

4. Wheelset

Since cyclo-cross bikes are aimed at a specific sport and driving style, they often come with a set of sports wheels that may or may not be ideal for traveling. If you are interested in fast road driving in addition to touring, you can always use the standard set of wheels for your driving on the road, and then buy a second set of wheels for tours.

These problems will involve some cost. But a cyclocross bike can be a better and cheaper option than buying two specialized bicycles. If everything seems too complicated, there is nothing wrong with buying the speedy road bike you want and hooking a trailer for a tour. When it comes to making a single bicycle work well for two very different disciplines (fast and light driving on the road and loaded routes), you are likely to run into some problems that need some adjustments.


Written by our guest blogger
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