Hi there,

i have been wanting to let go some of my bikes and now after some testing i am selling my CX bike.


I have just done 2 different rides with data,

1. along a rough cycle track with some muddy parts, tarmac, and some smooth hard pack canal path. 12 miles.

Both bikes had WTB Nano's 700 x 40c


2. All on road, including a 3 mile climb with some very steep parts.

Both bikes with Vittoria Voyager Hyper's 700 x 35c (37mm wide)


Both rides were done February in the UK, so very wet and cold.

I rode at about 70% - 80% of my maximum power, on average, a fast cruise.



2013 Voodoo Bizango MTB hard tail. 14kg. With the tyres used in the test, the bike weight would be getting close to 13.2kg. Flat pedals. BAR ENDS, Tioga power stud 6.


2014 Boardman CX Team. 9.6kg. With Shimano MT35 wheel set which is 400g's lighter than the stock Mavic xm319's.

SPD pedals.





I had the WTB NANO's at 39psi R and 37 psi F.

A little hard for the conditions, not as much float as i'd like normally, but this gave good speed on the smoother parts.


CX bike


12 miles

ave speed 11.85

max speed 20.5




12 miles

ave speed 12.6

max speed 24 

6% faster





The Vittoria Voyager Hypers were at 80psi R/F, as they are 37mm wide, it would be roughly the same as 32mm tyres at 95psi.


CX bike



ave speed 14.25

max speed 40


MTB bike


21.7 miles

ave speed13:86

max speed 38 

2% slower








Going from the CX to the 29er with its much wider bars and excellent Tioga bar ends, i felt so much more secure, so much more leverage.

The Suntour SR fork soaked up most of the bumps. And as most of the conditions were (typical British winter conditions) wet, muddy, mossy tarmac surfaces having the extra control inspired confidence to push harder with the 29er.

I had more fun on the 29er for sure.

On the CX bike, it was fun too, but with the front end jumping around a bit more, i had to choose my lines more.

Not surprised at all that the 29er was a lot faster.



Over all the CX was a little more comfortable with its various hand positions. But the 29er with bar ends was ok, no problem. Maybe a really long road ride i'd want the CX bike, but i don't like being on roads with cars that much. I did 6 years as a cycle courier, done my time with traffic.

At 2% slower the 29er is close enough to the CX for me to sell the CX.

And the CX has lighter wheels, is 3.5kg lighter and has SPD's.

I think if the 29er had these, the times would be almost identical.




I am 50 years old. When i was in my prime as a courier riding all day long 25 years ago i may have got more out of the CX bike at the higher speeds, thats a guess.


The test has proven to me, what i thought, that with the same tyres and with bar ends to get more aero, a MTB or hybrid can keep up with road style bikes.


But a CX just can't keep up with a hardtail on rough surfaces.


And of course the CX would get blown away on proper single track.


I am now going to sell the CX bike. 


I'm going to have 4 sets of tyres for the Voodoo Bizango.


3.0 front (rigid fork) and 2.4 rear (the most clearance allows)mtb tyres for mud and mountains.

Thunder Burts or Panaracer 42mm Gravel kings or 40mm Nano's for gravel.

2.35 Schwalbe G-one speeds front and rear for hard pack and road. These tyres have the same rolling resistance as fast 25mm road tyres.


40mm Voyager hypers for tarmac touring.


I am quite amazed at the Voodoo Bizango. I bought it for £280 on Ebay. Highly recommended.

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Thanks for sharing your data and feedback.  I have thought about converting an old hardtail for use on gravel but worried about the weight penalty.  I'll have to give it a go.
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Hi Cajoe64, i might stick a rigid fork on mine for 29er + tyres, that will save some weight.
If you live in a dry climate, you might want to try
Schwalbe Big One SnakeSkin TL-Easy Folding 2.35. I just put them on the hardtail. Amazingly fast tyres for anything except wet off road. For gravel they would be perfect. The Snakeskin ones are tough. Very comfortable on gravel, and on tarmac they are as fast as good quality road tyres.
They also only weigh 530g's, so there is another weight saving.

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Sorry all, i shouldn't  have put data in the title, i tried to edit it, as i didn't have a power meter.

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Nice Post Tablatom.   I have not put the effort you have into comparing a Hardtail 29 vs CX.    But, from what I "feel" when riding on gravel roads, I agree with your conclusion.   I ride a Trek Superfly with a carbon fork and bar ends on most gravel rides and it performs better than my CX bike in almost every area.              
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Great post Tablatom!  Lot of great information.  I recently switched to a hardtail MTB for my gravel, singletrack and bike packing efforts.  I am now a very happy Proudfoot Resolve owner.  It is great on gravel, pavement and singletrack.

I have never compiled all of the information that you did.  I based my rides on how I felt on climbs and how I felt at the end of the ride for that day.

Like you I am 50, well 51 recently, so I get the comfort factor.  And let's face it, after 12+ hours in the saddle, comfort is high on the list of priorities, at least for me.

Thanks again for the information...great post.

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Nice bike Pedaltopia,
                               those G one speed 2.35's are a riot.
And very fast.
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IMHO the greatest disadvantage of the mtb to the CX/gravel bike comes with the flat bars.  For off road yes the flat bars are best but I'd never consider giving up drop bars for gravel rides.  I have several old school rigid mtb's where I've put on drop bars. The only challenge to proper fit of a drop bar on a MTB is with the top tube length where comparably sized CX and modern MTB's will differ by 2" to 5".  

I agree that running the test with a power meter would be much more interesting.  A properly setup CX bike should have much less wind and rolling resistance than the MTB.

My experience is that the hills are where I see the greatest difference between my 26" frankenbike conversions and other bikes (road, CX). The 2.25" Schwalbe Marathon XR's have more rolling resistance but it's in the hills that I really feel the weight and resistance.

Thanks for sharing,

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Here are my times (cheap mountain bike on infamous 2.35 G-One speed vs fast CX bike)

MTB bike:   9.4 miles
41:30 time
13.6 MPH
108 watt est
147 bpm
93 rpm

CX bike  9.4 miles
39:30 time
14.3 mph
162 watt
150 bpm
92 rpm.

MTB compared to cross
+ 2 minutes (5%)
- 0.7 mph (5%)

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