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Could someone please tell me the key differences between the what people would call a cyclocross bike and a cyclocross-commuter?

I have seen people saying bike x is not a true cyclocross bike etc.

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2 Answers 2

A cyclocross bike is designed for cyclocross racing. This typically involves riding as quickly as possible around a muddy field. So for a cyclocross bike:

  • Lightweight frame and forks, usually aluminium or carbon
  • More 'aggressive' riding position, with lower down bars
  • Nearly horizontal top tube, to allow carrying it over your shoulder
  • Knobbly tyres, and plenty of mud clearance

Whereas a commuter bike is designed more for comfort, and carrying luggage as required. So it may have:

  • Heavier frame and forks, may be made of steel.
  • Mounts for fitting a pannier rack, and full mudguards.
  • More 'relaxed' riding position, often more upright.
  • Mostly slick tyres, often heavier, with extra puncture resistance.
  • Components may be heavier, but more durable, so they last longer without much maintenance.
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The geometry of the frame ( wheelbase, bottom bracket height, etc.. ) will also likely be different as well. –  Fred the Magic Wonder Dog Apr 10 at 19:19

The tyres :)

I will be honest I have no idea what a cyclocross commuter is or why it would exist.

Cyclocross bikes are basically road bikes with V or disk brakes and tyres with some tread. What major differences do you notice from this description and bike x? The only thing I could imagine is they switch up the bars and tires to slicks.

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They make "Gravel" bikes, which (as far as I'm aware) are cyclocross bikes with tires that work better on gravel. I think they realized that a lot of people were using cyclocross bikes for commuting since they have a road posture, but can accommodate racks, and decided to create a new market segment. Strictly speaking, a cyclocross bike has no need for racks, so a cyclocross commuter would probably be a cyclocross bike with braze-ons to accommodate racks. –  Kibbee Apr 10 at 17:08
    
Thanks for the insight. What are they going to do now to make a cyclocross tourer? –  Will Apr 10 at 17:59
    
Probably the proto-type for a Cyclo-cross commuter is the Surly Cross Check. It's more of a do everything bike verses a cross only racer. As cyclo-cross has grown in popularity there are more race specific models. –  Fred the Magic Wonder Dog Apr 10 at 19:18
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Probably a better example is Trek Crossrip/Specialized Tricross. Crosscheck as a whole is a bit of a weirdo. –  Batman Apr 10 at 20:58
    
Cyclycross are disc and cantilever brakes (not disc and V). –  Blam Jul 6 at 19:59

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