I wanted to get people's opinions on Gravel Bikes used for Cyclocross. I've read the opposite happens quite a bit (people using cylcocross bikes for gravel races, with some modifications), but was wondering if anyone has used a gravel specific bike to race cylcocross.
This question came up while I was looking at the Salsa Warbird series (beautiful bikes btw) and noticed they are using some of the Shimano CX70 components. The geometry of the bike is different from most cyclocross bikes but seems to serve some similar purposes. The big difference I can see is gravel races are usually long distance so gravel bikes designed more with comfort in mind.
Please feel free to discuss. I would love to hear people's opinions on these two styles of bikes, the differences and similarities.
I see no issues with it. I race a Soma Double Cross, which is more of a do everything bike. A gravel bike may not be a quick handling as a true cross bike, but they will work. I am looking at a Niner RLT 9 for my next bike.
It should work out fine. The gravel road bikes are designed with a longer wheelbase to increase stability. I think you would get used to the handling quick enough that it wouldn't pose any real problem. They may sit a little higher too but that's probably more dependent on the individual bike since CX bikes have been losing BB height recently.
Technically, you can race whatever you have, some just may be more ideal than others. I think a gravel road bike in CX would be comparable to an endurance road bike in a criterium. It will work just fine but it's not what most would choose if they could choose any bike they wanted for just that style of racing.
I agree with @Chad Rector, you can race whatever you have. The big thing to be aware of with the Warbird is the cable routing runs underneath the top tube. It might not be comfortable to shoulder in cross race, but if your goal is to have a good time I wouldn't let that stop you.
Thanks for the feedback! The cable routing issue was something I neglected to consider. Looking again at the Salsa website, you're right, they are on the bottom of the top tube.