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Old 11-01-09, 10:37 AM   #1
ljrichar
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Roadies trying cross, setup differences?

Just wondering if some of you guys who are racing both can chime in on how you've set up your cross bikes. I know about the buy a size smaller, less drop, etc. but can anyone give more details or show some pics of both setups? Thanks.

bdcheung? lith? rtc? umd? bueller?
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Old 11-01-09, 10:43 AM   #2
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Pretty much just get a bike the fits; edit: Just like road bikes, it's helpful to get "fit" for a 'cross bike because the geometry varies a lot between different companies. The "one size smaller" rule is not universal. Talk to local racers to get a feel for what tires and inflation pressure people are using in your local. Tires and inflation pressure matter much more in cross than on the road.

The most important thing to remember is to practice thos 'cross specific skills before the race! Mounts, dismounts, run-ups, barriers and the like. There's nothing worse than heading into a barrier at 20 mph and not having that muscle memory programmed in to know what to do to avoid falling face first into the barrier!

Last edited by Mtn Mike; 11-01-09 at 10:52 AM. Reason: clarity?
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Old 11-01-09, 10:59 AM   #3
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From what I've seen, unless you can barely clear the TT on your road bike, you should just get the same size.

Setup is the same, except you'll probably want to raise your front end and put the drops where your tops would be by flipping up your stem, etc.

I'm no expert on this, and my cross bike is a neither here, nor there solution. I'm not even sure if I'm going to keep up with cross, so I just cobbled together something by trading things and buying cheap things.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:29 PM   #4
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Well, I did my first 2 races last weekend & I've done a handful of practices, all on a borrowed mountain bike. I just got a used XO off of CL but haven't set it up yet.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:40 PM   #5
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get the same size bike and use a 10mm shorter stem and possibly drop your seat a hair. setup is pretty similar for both road and cross.
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Old 11-01-09, 09:24 PM   #6
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Lith, is pretty spot on, IMO, though you should be very aware of your core strength - if its weak I'd reduce the amount of drop to the bars or you'll waste your back before the rest of your body.
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Old 11-01-09, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lithuania View Post
get the same size bike and use a 10mm shorter stem and possibly drop your seat a hair. setup is pretty similar for both road and cross.
I agree with all but the seat height. A beginner might try with the seat, but if you're going all out for an hour, small things like seat height can make it harder to stay on the rivet, especially when you begin fighting a mud-clogged bike.

And here are my (ex)road bike and my new cross bike.


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Old 11-01-09, 10:46 PM   #8
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I got the same size, set it up pretty much the same. Less drop, mainly because of geometry and available parts. This was right after I built it up last year. It's currently taken apart, but I'm about to put it back together with some different components.



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Old 11-02-09, 08:40 AM   #9
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From my experience I'll agree with much of what is said here. Don't get a different sized bike, per se, just plan to set it up a little bit closer and a little bit higher. My cross bike is 1cm shorter in the toptube and I ride it with a 10mm shorter stem, higher than my road bars.

There are exceptions, though. I'm short and bikes that fit me in the toptube tend to require me to only use a fistful of seatpost, so I have little standover clearance. My cross bike, then, is a bit shorter in the seattube than my other bikes, to have a bit more generous clearance there. But it's still not a major difference - just what comes with the territory of fitting bikes to short people.
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Old 11-02-09, 09:10 AM   #10
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some things to consider:

head tube length is a useful number, but it must be used in context. cross bikes tend to have higher bottom brackets which will require a longer head tube. cross bikes also have a longer fork, which will require a shorter head tube. additionally, if you scoot your saddle back and maintain your saddle to bb length, you will have a lower vertical distance which will also require a shorter head tube (and shorter tt). there are questions about shoe/pedal stack height as well as the brake cable hanger on the steerer tube which may have an effect on your position.
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Old 11-02-09, 08:30 PM   #11
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i like the bars a little higher on the cross bike as i need to ride the drops more to be able to get the most braking power whereas on the road bike i can brake as hard as i need to from the hoods
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Old 11-02-09, 10:12 PM   #12
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Run your TT+Stem length about 2cm shorter. Bars are higher. Saddle height/setback is about the same. Cross is majority hoods riding so make it comfortable there. If you are an in the drops rider, make sure the bars are high enough so you don't kill your back.

Don't spend all your money on fancy frames or parts. Get what works and spend the rest on tires.

Be prepared for 30/45/60 minutes of hurt.
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Old 11-02-09, 11:43 PM   #13
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I like my bars a little wider in addition to what people have already mentioned.
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