When it comes to bikes, their speed is largely dependent on the bike weigh and more importantly, their tire size. Have you ever just been curious about which between the cyclocross and the road bike is the fastest?
Just like myself, every enthusiastic cyclist knows the great significance of tires to a bike of any kind. It is focal to a bike’s performance and endurance in the face of varied terrain.
Understandably, if a bike is not able to navigate a terrain, no matte it’s size, it will be slowed down considerably. The only way to ensure the resilience of your bike’s tires is to test them on their intended and other terrains to see how they differ.
I personally took the challenge on and Todd, my cycling partner came along for the ride. Here is my verdict on the fastest bike type.
What is the Difference between the Cyclocross Bike and the Road Bike?
Comfort and Agility
Heavier 18 lbs
Lighter 15-17 lbs
Disk and cantilever
Pannier – optional
Mudguard, Racks, Bottle Holder
Cyclocross Vs Road Bike Speed – How do they compare?
Based on my personal experience, I found that though road bikes are fast in the soft dirt and pavement type of roads, they cannot go half the places a cyclocross bike can go. On estimate, if a 40lbs heavy weight was put on a road bike with 25mm tires, it would be significantly faster than if the same weight was on a 34mm wide gravel bike.
Having said that, it doesn’t mean that a road bike is the automatic best pick of the two. Because the cyclocross bike, with its extra wheel width allowance, can easily slip in slimmer tires to go fast on the streets and thicker harder tires to go out mountain climbing.
All facts considered, a cyclocross bike is the fastest most versatile bike option to pick on compared to the limited-terrain road bike.
Other factors that contribute to Speed
Considerations in the bike’s designs such as geometry, weight, material, gears and handlebars all play a role in the performance of the bike and the comfort and posture of the rider.
The tires on a cyclocross bikeshould not be any bigger than 33mm wide. However, they always have available room to fit wider tires up to 40mm. the wider the tire, the more stable the riding experience will be.
Road bike tires can range anywhere between 20mm and 28mm with the most commonly used width being 23mm. They are designed in this fashion to increase aerodynamic properties of the bike meaning less tire touches the ground which super charges their speeds.
On estimate, if a 40lbs heavy weight was put on a road bike with 25mm tires, it would be significantly faster than if the same weight was on a 34mm wide gravel bike.
Cyclocross bikes are fitted with disc brakes because have advantage over others due to their strong and unfailing resilience especially in the wet regions or on very rough surfaces. Unlike the other brake types, these ones are unaffected by rim damage meaning they still work exceptionally well in the face of any circumstances.
Caliper brakes are the kind you will find on a road bike and while they do a satisfactory job cycling on paved grounds, they do wear down quickly and sometimes fail to respond fast enough in wet and muddy circumstances.
Cyclocross gear levers are mostly on the left handlebar which is convenient for the rider and the cable goes over the head tube for safety precautions.
Handlebars and Gears
Cyclocross bikes have dropped handlebars with a slight difference in width which is a little bigger compared to road bikes and ensures a comfortable and firm grip over hard terrain. These handlebars are also placed a bit higher compared to road bikes to give the rider maximum comfort and control.
Road bikes are all about going against the wind and having straighter, narrower and lower handlebars guarantees that the rider’s posture stays uprighthelping the rider ease into the riding experience and have greater control over the bike.This adds to the speed and agility of the bike overall.
Gears on the cyclocross bikes are lower and designed to go over tough and rugged terrain while gears on road bikes are higher to push through the needed speeds while racing on the road. With a narrower gear range, you can shift gears rapidly.
Cyclocross bikes have drop handlebars with low gear and road bikes have straight handlebars with high gear.
Cyclocross vs Road Bike – A Comparison Overview
Cyclocross Bike – Overview
Thesebikes were designed specifically to train racers during off season months. This trend started in Europe where racers were subjected to harsh weather conditions in rugged terrain where you will have to mount and remount your bike severally. It’s honestly quite an exhausting cycling discipline but it works wonders.
They feature drop bars that increase your arm shoulder and overall comfort and control of the bike in various kinds of terrain. They are made of aluminum and sometimes carbon material which makes the bikes strong and durable.
Cyclocross bikes have a top tube that the cyclist uses to carry the bike over steep slopes. Despite its added weight in tire size, the bike only weighs 18 pounds which is quite fair for any athletic person. Heel clearance is provided by a tall bottom bracket whose position also protects the bike’s crank.
- Quick and efficient
- Holds upright riding position
- Comfortable and gives rider control
- Easily damaged
- Not as comfortable for long casual rides
Road Bike – Overview
These have been around and primarily made to speed along paved roads and semi-dirt roads. They feature a low bottom bracket and a high-top tube. Road bike’s tires are slim and are made with aerodynamics and speed in mind.
The upright posture they set you up in will give you control and comfort as you cruise around town doing errands or just headed to your daily occupation. The lighter weight of a road bike coupled with its slimmer tires makes it fast and agile.
With flat bars highly placed, a road bike takes the pressure off of your back, neck and shoulders essentially minimizing pains or aches that are a result of excessive riding.
- Covers varied terrains from paved to dirt road
- You can swap out or customize parts of the bike you want to like pedals, tires etc.
- Thicker tires provide better shock absorption in the face of bumps or rocky roads
- Suspensions provide better comfort
- Not as fast as road bikes
- Not capable of high speeds or sharp bend maneuvers
- Not equipped for mountain biking
Verdict: So, which between Cyclocross and Road bikes goes further?
As expressly stated, the bike’s tires among other factors or parts of the bike contribute to its speed and ability to maneuver sharp bends or really rugged terrain. In these regard, cyclocross bikes beat road bikes because their tires are customizable meaning the bike is versatile.
The general expectations dictate that the road bike is faster on paved roads and the cyclocross bike is faster on rough or uneven terrain.