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I am 33years and just moved to belgium. My work commute is about 25km (16miles). I plan to buy a bike mainly to commute to work and get the exercise and decompress after work. I am new to biking but was introduced to Cyclocross, which I thought a great alternative since it also gives you the flexibility to ride in the woods.

I went to a bike shop and asked the sales guy if it would make sense to buy a cyclocross, most of the time I will be on the road (there are no woods on the way to work). He scared me away from that idea, saying i would be more likely to get injury, back/knee/neck if I did 25km commutes regularly on a cyclocross. However on the internet I got the opposite feedback, saying the position on a CX bike is more relaxed then on a road bike. Even so I hear that a CX bike can be set up exactly like a road bike. I don´t care so much about bike weight etc.

Anyone has experience on this and is willing to share ?

thanks so much

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    Yes the bike shop guy's comments surprise me also. However as I'm sure you're aware cx is big in Belgium so why not check out some of the race distances. I'd bet they are > 25km, so that should reassure you that it is possible to ride such a bike (comfortably, safely) over such a distance. It would be interesting if you knew why he said that... Maybe if you said to him "I'm only going to ride on the road but an thinking of buying a cx bike", he might find that weird and try to convince you otherwise. – PeteH Jan 14 '15 at 22:33
  • the guy in the bike shop said that the different geometry of a CX would be likely to cause me injury, if I would be riding road bike type of routes... he said my upper body would not be as comfortable as on a road bike. This surprised me, since I thought the position would be more relaxed on a CX bike anyway. – Goalhouse Moon Jan 14 '15 at 22:50
  • also, road bikes come in many different geometries. An audax bike will have more relaxed geometry than a Tour de France bike, but each has their purpose and each is undoubtedly a road bike. Do you think he maybe had a particular road bike in mind that he wanted to sell you? Don't forget at this time of year the guy is looking to shift his 2014 stock to make way for the 2015 models... – PeteH Jan 14 '15 at 23:02
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    It depends on how aggressive of a cross bike it is in regards to how relaxed/comfortable you are. Your head position is more down than on most flat bar bikes, and your steering is faster, so that may have been some other issues. It depends on what he was steering you to. – Batman Jan 15 '15 at 1:32
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    Find a new bike shop... – Fred the Magic Wonder Dog Jan 15 '15 at 4:20
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A CX bike is stable, strong, and will take wider tires. It is a great road and commute bicycle. It is built to race in city parks. It has a comfortable riding position. Just put touring tires on it (I like 35mm). I don't mean to advertise a bike but if you look at a high end CX like Moots the even say use as light touring. Rout

You are not going to road race a CX but I will take it as a daily grinder and light touring every time. At the end of CX season in the US and you can usually find great buys on used bikes.

As for risk of injury the only time I would rather be on true road bike is a 50 mph road decent. But I am 50 years old - I don't 50 mph decents.

This is getting a bit of discussion so will add a little. I don't road race and gave up my only road bike as for me my CX is was better road bike. My road bike was limited to 25 mm tires and that is good for racing but not what I want for commuting or even a long road ride. In this pic it has 35 mm tires but with 28 or 32 mm tires it is a road bike. It even came geared more for road (52T). I would not commute on this as it is kind of my baby.
enter image description here

This Salsa below is a bike I bought to CX race but I just did not feel as comfortable on it so I race the above Bianchi. The Bianchi is softer and not as quick. As a commuter and light touring this Salsa is an awesome bike. Other than spend a lot more money on a Moots there is not other commuter I would rather have. I picked this up used for $1600 US. It is light enough to get up and go and strong enough to take a beating and titanium does not rust. And it will take a rack. I also have a steel Salsa Vaya that I use for shopping but even at just a few pounds difference this bike way nicer for light commuting. I like 35 mm tires for daily commuting. Salsa LaCruz

This is my beater commuter. At my gym I have to leave a bike out in a lower end neighborhood. I picked this up used for $400. For a single speed I like 32 mm tires.
SpeciazedSingleCross

You can do so much with a CX bike. If you get a nice one you will keep it the rest of your life. Avoid an aluminum true race CX bike. A steel bike is heavier but has a longer life than aluminum. Look at the Surly Cross Check. No one races a Cross Check - it is just a ballistic commuter. A bit more money but like the steel Salsa Vaya.

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  • A very good and comprehensive answer. I'd just want to add the possibility to mount proper fenders and to get disc brakes to the advantages . I commute on a Merida cyclocross, with cantis, and if I'd buy a commuter today I'd definitely get disc brakes. – drRobertz Jan 15 '15 at 8:44
  • I can only agree. A CX bike is great for every day rides. – Carel Jan 15 '15 at 15:59
  • @SRobertz That is kind of what I meant about not a true race CX - would come with mounts. As much I am a fan of disc the canti allow for better rack and fender installation. – paparazzo Jan 15 '15 at 16:06

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