Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Help me with this build please.
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I want to build a cross bike and a set of road wheels for the weekend mountain rides. I'm not sure what's compatible and what's not.
Mavic Open Pros
2005 Ultegra 10 build kit
35mm tires of some sort
My LBS says they can get me Bontrager Race wheels for $280 a pair. They carry LeMond but after a lot of research I think I like the Surly more than the Proprad.
Is there any advantage to buy only parts of the Ultegra kit and go with other makes like FSA for the cranks, etc? And what forks should I look at?
I'm also planning on a forward set seatpost and aero bars. Maybe I should have a straight seatpost and remove the aerobars for the singletrack rides.
07-19-05, 08:24 AM
it sounds like you have a bunch of different uses in mind for this bike. i agree that the surly is a better choice than the poprad, but after owning a couple treks, i am not the biggest fan of bontrager, so i guess i am biased.
if you go with the surly frameset, you will get the surly steel fork, which is durable and quite nice. personally, i would just stick with that. again, i'd stay away from bontrager wheels and go with the mavics. a good set of wheels is a good investment, especially if you are going to be off-roading.
the surly geometry is more "relaxed" than the poprad, but i dont think that will be a problem for you....although, with aero bars it might be a bit weird. typically you would size a cross bike a little smaller than a road bike or a time trial bike. this means that on a cross bike the top tube would be a bit shorter, and you'd likely have a more upright riding position -- perhaps even with an angled stem. this makes for better/easier/safer handling while racing or offroading. so...thats why i'm saying it might be weird with aero bars. but this all depends on which framesize you go with. if you size your cross bike to fit more like a road bike, you'd be all set.
keep the seatpost straight. trying to fudge the geometry with a seatpost is almost never a good idea.
as for components, this is a matter of preference, but you should be able to run FSA cranks with shimano gearing without a problem. if you can, i would stay away from ISIS as they tend to get worn easily, and the REALLY good ISIS bottom brackets that can actually withstand abuse are quite expensive.
if you like steel, another decent option for you might be the on-one il pompino.
you can get this frame with single speed dropouts if you want, or geared. also, you can get a carbon fork that goes with the frame...which might be nice for long road rides, but prolly not the best for beating it up in the mtns.
07-19-05, 09:50 AM
It's cheaper to buy a whole group of ultegra 10 and sell/trade what you don't want, than it is to buy parts. I assume you're using ebay for that.
You talk about 'build kits' (which in y experience include groupo, wheels, bars, headset, stem, post, and seat). I'm guessing you mean 'groupos'....
An Ultegra 10 groupo runs about $600-650 new on ebay. good spec wheels are $200 for machines and maybe $275 for handbuilts. You'll still need the rest.
It might at least be worth considering buying a bike and stripping it, so long as it comes with the components you want. sometimes it seems that you can actually save money that way. colorado cyclist and bikesdirect both have cross bikes taht might be worth a look. or buy this: http://bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/lechamp05_sl.htm and a cross frame.
07-19-05, 03:53 PM
My Cross Check (2-3 years old) is built with Mavic wheels and 109 group components. It has done everything I have asked of it and stands up to my Clydesdale type beef.
PS: Don't forget a Brooks B17 saddle if you want a comfy bike.
I read somewhere, or maybe I was told, that steel is preferable in a cross bike over aluminum. Would an aluminum frame with carbon fork and triangle have a similar ride to a steel frame in regards to vibration absorbtion?
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