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Paris-Roubaix on a cross bike

Hello,

I was just wondering whether it would be a good idea for the likes of Boom or Chainel to ride Paris-Roubaix on their cross bikes. Or do they even do it?

I'm not a specialist but I remember that Franzoi did choose his cross bike to ride Paris Roubaix a few years ago.

It doesn't seem really wise to me. Paris-Roubaix is also 200km on asphalt.
 
Dec 29, 2009
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Echoes said:
Hello,

I was just wondering whether it would be a good idea for the likes of Boom or Chainel to ride Paris-Roubaix on their cross bikes. Or do they even do it?

I'm not a specialist but I remember that Franzoi did choose his cross bike to ride Paris Roubaix a few years ago.

It doesn't seem really wise to me. Paris-Roubaix is also 200km on asphalt.

duclos-lasalle won PR with rock shox front forks. after that many others used front shocks and johan museeuw even used a full suspension bike one year....

read the write-up on cancellara's winning machine to get the writer's opinion on what future PR bikes will look like.

ed rader
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Echoes said:
Hello,

I was just wondering whether it would be a good idea for the likes of Boom or Chainel to ride Paris-Roubaix on their cross bikes. Or do they even do it?

I'm not a specialist but I remember that Franzoi did choose his cross bike to ride Paris Roubaix a few years ago.

It doesn't seem really wise to me. Paris-Roubaix is also 200km on asphalt.

What makes you think that it's not wise to ride a cross bike on the road (or more specifically, on the roads from Compiegne to Roubaix)?

Cross bikes are basically just road bikes with stronger frames (and which are therefore typically about 500g heavier than an equivalent sized road frame) , slightly slacker geometry (although not always), longer wheelbases and more clearance. In many ways the set up of a cross bike of today is not that dissimilar to the "standard road (racing) bike" of the '80's and early '90s ...

I've done thousands of kilometres on the road on my cross bike without any problem. The only disadvantage I noticed was on the hills - my roadie is definitely faster for climbing and, being shorter wheelbase and tighter geometry handles twisty descents better ... but I could still make training buddies on road bikes hurt on the climbs ... ;)

As a side comment - we're too often told by marketers and magazine reviewers that we need this bit of kit or if you don't have this frame or that wheelset or the latest "gee whiz, go faster, racing striped thingamee" you are gonna be **** outta luck in any race. There's no question that some stuff does make a difference (as I'm reminded whenever I ride my old 653 framed bike and watch the bottom bracket swing under load), but really 90%+ comes down to the rider ... as it always has done ... :)
 
OK Thanks for the reply.

I don't know why I said that. I've never ridden on a cross bike. I guess I had that intuition because I've never heard of riders who rode Paris Roubaix on a cross bike but Franzoi.

If I have understood your comment correctly, it has no drawback (for a route like Paris-Roubaix, which is rather flat) but doesn't bring any advantage either, does it? Maybe for a question of balance? In rainy conditions?
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Echoes said:
If I have understood your comment correctly, it has no drawback (for a route like Paris-Roubaix, which is rather flat) but doesn't bring any advantage either, does it? Maybe for a question of balance? In rainy conditions?

Never having had the pleasure of riding on French (or Belgian) cobbles, I'm not best placed to answer the exact benefits. But, the general concept of the longer wheelbase and slacker angles are that the bike is less twitchy and therefore more stable. When you're getting the crap shaken out of you over a section of pave, I'd be guessing that stability would be a great help! :)

As for whether a cross bike - or in fact any of the number of "Paris Roubaix specials" that the various teams get made for them - would actually translate to an advantage, it'd be hard to say. I seem to remember a piece on CN last year saying that Pozzato rode a stock standard Ridley Damocles to second place ... (although I stand to be corrected if anyone has better info). But I'm guessing that the P-R specials and cross bikes must make some difference - even if turned out to be only psychological ... ;)
 
OK. :)

I've just read the CN article 'bout Breschel's "Paris-Roubaix special".

http://www.cyclingnews.com/features...specialized-s-works-roubaix-sl2-paris-roubaix

This passage made me think of what you've just said:

To Specialized's credit, many of them are already built in, including the slightly longer wheelbase and slacker angles to provide more stable and predictable handling on the cobbles, greater tire clearances to fit higher-volume rubber


So the Paris-Roubaix specials have all the main characteristics of cross bikes, to which are added special forks, for better suspension (as mentioned by Ed), I suggest, because you don't need those in cross, do you?
 
Mar 31, 2009
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Wheel / tyre clearances simply - fitting 27mm FMBs or Paves and still needing a few mm clearance which generally don't fit modern frames. The dirt on the course is very fine and very sticky when wet - it builds up under the caliper and fork crown very easily and brings you to a halt pretty quickly. Running big fat tyres means you can safely run pressures as low as 5 bar - enough to stop you 'bottoming out' but stop good enough for comfort and traction over the stones. It was the Mapei victories from 1995 onwards that killed-off suspension - particularly as the suspension was heavier and often less reliable - Museeuw's full-sus Bianchi simply fell apart the first year they used them
 
Mar 10, 2009
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Monty Dog said:
Wheel / tyre clearances simply - fitting 27mm FMBs or Paves and still needing a few mm clearance which generally don't fit modern frames. The dirt on the course is very fine and very sticky when wet - it builds up under the caliper and fork crown very easily and brings you to a halt pretty quickly. Running big fat tyres means you can safely run pressures as low as 5 bar - enough to stop you 'bottoming out' but stop good enough for comfort and traction over the stones. It was the Mapei victories from 1995 onwards that killed-off suspension - particularly as the suspension was heavier and often less reliable - Museeuw's full-sus Bianchi simply fell apart the first year they used them

that tells you a great deal about Bianchi's QC :mad:
 
Jul 3, 2009
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Afair, the UCI had somthing to do with getting rid of "suspension" frames from P-R. The advantage of the cross frame is the ability to fit larger volume tyres for more comfort/traction/puncture resistance. The fact that 200k is on asphalt is imaterial as reliability on the cobbled sections takes precidence as this is where the groups tend to break up & a puncture/mechanical on these can spell the end of your race.
 
Mar 17, 2009
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kiwirider said:
What makes you think that it's not wise to ride a cross bike on the road (or more specifically, on the roads from Compiegne to Roubaix)?

Cross bikes are basically just road bikes with stronger frames (and which are therefore typically about 500g heavier than an equivalent sized road frame) , slightly slacker geometry (although not always), longer wheelbases and more clearance. In many ways the set up of a cross bike of today is not that dissimilar to the "standard road (racing) bike" of the '80's and early '90s ...

I've done thousands of kilometres on the road on my cross bike without any problem. The only disadvantage I noticed was on the hills - my roadie is definitely faster for climbing and, being shorter wheelbase and tighter geometry handles twisty descents better ... but I could still make training buddies on road bikes hurt on the climbs ... ;)

As a side comment - we're too often told by marketers and magazine reviewers that we need this bit of kit or if you don't have this frame or that wheelset or the latest "gee whiz, go faster, racing striped thingamee" you are gonna be **** outta luck in any race. There's no question that some stuff does make a difference (as I'm reminded whenever I ride my old 653 framed bike and watch the bottom bracket swing under load), but really 90%+ comes down to the rider ... as it always has done ... :)
Not quite. A cross bike not only has mud clearance and a longer wheelbase, but also has a higher bottom bracket. So its centre of gracity is higher.

Most of the P-R specials that appear to be cross bikes are hybrid road/cross bikes. The main triangle is ostensibly a road frame but the back end and forks are from a cross frame to allow the mud clearance.

http://autobus.cyclingnews.com/road.../?id=/tech/2007/features/ballan_leroi_roubaix

gbBallan02.jpg
 
May 20, 2010
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ultimobici said:
Not quite. A cross bike not only has mud clearance and a longer wheelbase, but also has a higher bottom bracket. So its centre of gracity is higher.

Most of the P-R specials that appear to be cross bikes are hybrid road/cross bikes. The main triangle is ostensibly a road frame but the back end and forks are from a cross frame to allow the mud clearance.

The bb height varies with tire size on all bikes.
What's more important is bb drop.
Most modern cx bikes are built with bb drop closer to road bikes.
 
Aug 8, 2009
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kiwirider said:
...Cross bikes are basically just road bikes with stronger frames (and which are therefore typically about 500g heavier than an equivalent sized road frame) , slightly slacker geometry (although not always), longer wheelbases and more clearance. In many ways the set up of a cross bike of today is not that dissimilar to the "standard road (racing) bike" of the '80's and early '90s ...

Thanks for explaining that. I only discovered the beauty of cross bikes earlier this year when I picked up a 1991 Bianchi Axis off Craigslist. I bought it to have an extra bike around for guests, but it quickly became my main ride. I ride on the shoulder of roads with rough surfaces, pebbles, gratings, litter, glass, potholes, et cetera. For that, the Bianchi is hands down the best bike I have ever been on. My road bike was 10x more expensive and a piece of crap in comparison.
 
Mar 31, 2009
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My cross bike, a Kuota Kross is hugely over-built and is probably the stiffest frame I've ever ridden - it simply has no give and can be pretty uncomfortable on regular road tyres. However, with 32mm tyres it rolls surprisingly quick and can keep up on on fast road rides. Whilst 200k of P-Rx is on asphalt, poor bike, wheel and tyre choice on a critical section could mean a crash or missing a key break.

I recently rode L'Eroica on a bike shod with 32mm file-tread tubulars and was able to negotiate the dirt roads significantly quicker than those with regular tyres - loose, washboard surfaces, rocks and potholes added to the excitement. I'm looking forward to the first wet Montepaschi Strade Bianchi classic come spring..