CX bike on trainer

I’ve currently got a 3x10 hardtail. I just did a ramp test and tested at 253 (woohoo!).

The problem is I’m in the second to last gear. I held 316 for 1 minute (ouch) at about 90-93 rpms, so I don’t have too much gearing left.

I ONLY ride MTB on singletrack and with the kids.

My bikes:
2012 Jamis Dakar XC race bike
2018 Scott Genius 930 trail bike
2014 Giant XTC hardtail (about to be a singlespeed)
2013 Jamis hardtail 3x (trainer bike)

So, I’m pretty good on MTBs and ideally I would get a smart trainer, but I don’t think my MTBs with 1x10 or 1x11 will be any better.

There’s a 2010 Scott CX Team bike for sale for $500, I don’t know much about the geometry (has it changed much for CX since 2010?) and I don’t know much about the gearing for CX.

Is CX gearing much different than MTB?

I’d rather get a CX/gravel bike that I could in theory use to try a CX race, but if a cheap road bike makes sense, then I will probably look at that route. The ONLY thing I would use a road bike for is riding in my neighborhood (20 mile route in 4 laps). If I have time to ride outside, I’m going to 99.9% of the time choose singletrack :slight_smile:

Another bike I might be interested in - Cannondale Topstone Sora $1100

TIA! I’m so new to all this indoor training stuff!

Take a look at the size of the front chainring and smallest cog on the cassette and work out your final drive ratio in the biggest gear. This will give you an indication of which bike could be best. Usually the last cog on a 10 speed cassette will be an 11 (if it’s Shimano).

You can use something like this page to see what the drive ratio is in the biggest gear. Just work out what gives you the biggest number. - Bicycle Gear Ratio Chart

I use a CX bike with 11 speed on the rollers. It has a 46 big chainring and 11 on the back and that is ok in the biggest gear for high power efforts, albeit with a fairly high 100+ cadence.

With a triple front chainring on the MTB, you might just be best looking for a bigger chainring, assuming that you can’t turn up the resistance on your trainer.

If you are only going to use it on the trainer, then the Scott seems like a reasonable deal. If you are going to use it outside at all, I’d avoid it. Canti brakes, narrow rims, etc. will all limit your options to ride gravel / trails.

And my guess is that at some point, you’ll want to ride it on some gravel…

This seems to be more a problem of your trainer not having enough resistance than of the bike? What trainer have you got? Maybe invest in a trainer, instead of a bike? Doesn’t have to be a smart trainer, just one with more resistance.

Tbh I’m suprised you max’d it out at about 300W.

Good point. You might be right. It’s a $200 trainer from like 2006…Nashbar. Cheap cheap! I’ve actually thought about selling my hardtail for like $450-500 and then put another $400 into a Kickr core trainer and use my 1x11 MTB Scott Genius since I can full lock out front and rear suspension. I don’t really want to ride gravel…I mean, I probably would, but if I have a few hours to ride, it’ going to be MTB. So, honestly, if I was going to get a new bike, I’d rather just get a new XC race bike (a couple would probably have to go!). Thanks for the thoughts. I might try to look at picking up a Kinetic wheel on trainer. I see people getting ride of those from time to time.

That’s what I was looking for! If I was to get a gravel bike, I’d prefer disc brakes because I know how to work on those…Thanks!

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To be honest, if you only ride MTB, and all your bikes are MTBs, then I wouldn’t make your indoor trainer bike a drop-bar gravel bike. The position on it is quite different, and it makes sense to train in a position you’re actually riding in.

A better trainer doesn’t have to be expensive. I’ve got a cheap £200 tacx flow smart trainer, but I think these are fairly hard to find in the US. Elite have a similar one I think. I’d buy something like that instead of a gravel/cx bike, and then you can still think about upgrading the old hardtail to a new XC bike.