Cyclocross or Road Bike

Apologies if this has been done before.

Been riding a MTB and interchanging the wheel set depending on route for years now, but looking for a road bike, up to £1000 for newbie Triathlon training, (events if I'm any good) commuting and off road - canal side/track cycling.

Briefly looked at Cyclocross bikes which seem pretty good for the off road stuff, but are they quick on roads?

Is it possible to get just one bike and have a spare wheel set for it like with MTB? Can a road bike take nobbly tyres and vice versa with Cyclocross bike? Don't really wanna fork out for two bikes, want the performance aspect, but apprehensive about a road bike as where I live is pretty well cratered so don't want to trash it.

Advice on which type to go for, and any particular model is very much appreciated.

Cyclocross may be the way to go , nothing is going to beat a road bike on the road but with a skinny and light wheel set and different rear cassette they can be quick enough for most , a mountain bike is always going to be a slug on the road.... mate has a cyclocross bike and he is surprisingly quick off road on it .... mind you he compeats in Iron man and triathlon so is a fit bugger.
Whatever you get it is going to be a compromise one way or another , the cyclocross will take road wheels and / or tyres no problem.
There are cyclo cross bikes and then there are cyclo cross bikes.

The team replica ones are very very similar to road bikes the only real difference being a higher bottom bracket and obviously the mud clearance and canti brrakes, the majority are carbon and are going to set you back a grand upwards easily, with normal road tyres fitted they will still go like shit off a shovel, the rims are slightly broader so 23mm road tyres may not be safe, 25mm upwards tend to be the reccomended size. They will keep up with anything bar a time trial bike. There are road bikes and road bikes, you could get a £400 bike from the likes of Decathlon which would be perfectly servicable but it still wouldnt drop a good quality team replica cross bike.

This kind of beast Wiggle | Colnago World Cup 2.0 2012 Cyclocross Bikes

The other market for cyclo cross bikes are a bit more utility orientated and tend to have the rack eyes and possibly slighty more relaxed steering but not by much and frames are designed to be a bit more heavy duty for long term use, they still shift just fine once you add a pair of road tyres, just be sure that you dont go too thin as the rims can be a bit broader so 25/28/32mm tyres may be a better choice.

Bikes like this

Specialized tricross - Tricross - 2012

Genesis Day 01 Alfine - Overview - Genesis Bikes

My personal choice would be one of these running a fixed wheel.

Genesis Day 01 Cross - Overview - Genesis Bikes

Don't listen when people say "road bikes are the fastest", the greatest market for team replicas right now is middle aged men and they are in fact buying "sportive bikes" that look all racey with the right colour scheme and all the right team issue jerseys but in fact have a more comfy upright position for their beer bellies to cope with and a wider spread of gears.

A good quality MTB, especialy a XC race orientated one with a switch to a good rigid fork and slicks will again also keep up with a lot of road bikes,, this idea that they are always heavy and slow on the road is a false one. There is a huge and adaptable range of parts and formats to go for - don't get pigeon holed by guys saying "road" cyclo-cross" "mountain bike" etc etc as. Choose or build a bike for what you want it to do, not because someone claims so and so type of bike must be the fastest or slowest, most people can't ride at anything near a level to see the benefit anyway so it's academic.
Thank you very much for your replies.

I've heard that the brakes on cyclocross bikes are wack, is there any truth in this? If so, is it easy enough to stick on something better?
Since the rules have changed for cyclecross, disc brakes can now be used so no the brakes are not whack (depending I guess on the make/model), The Chris Boardman Cyclecross bike has got some good reviews as well and comes in under 1k (£899.99 in Halfords at the mo)
For triathlon, unless you are going to be messing around at sprints and don't give a flying hoot about your time a cross bike won't cut the mustard. Olympic disatnce to HIM you'll get away with a decent road bike. Iron distance and I've only ever seen a handful of competitors on non TT bikes.
What's been said above is more or less right. I've got the Boardman CX from 2 years back, and it's great, exceptional kit for the money. Cantilever brakes are a bit crummy, but for about £50 you can upgrade to some good straight-pull or high quality cantis that give you a fair bit of stopping power - it's not much of a difference though, I've been down some serious alpine descents with stock brakes.

A road frame with 'cross wheels won't work though, it's not got enough mud clearance and might stress the frame. Much better to go with a cross frame with road wheels and a slightly smaller cassette for the road, and you'll have pretty much everything sorted.
I've got a Surly crosscheck, it isnt much kop for racing as it is steel.
However it is comfier than an ali frame and can be repaired, it has huge clearances and old style sliding dropouts so I can use it as a fixed gear bike should I want to.
I use it on the road with 23 tyres and also on canal paths with 29inch mtb tyres.
Canti brakes are never going to be as good as discs but set them up well and have decent pads they're good enough.

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