Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Another Bike in the Mix
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01-14-06, 04:31 PM
I've found a Pinarello Cyclocross frame and fork for a nice price. Not cheap but not expensive. Somewhat used but not beat up.
It's an aluminum frame with a steel fork. It's also a 55 cm frame but is 57 cm to the top of the seat post. This bike would seem to be too small for me.
Presently I have a 59 cm Raleigh Team CX bike. It's a really nice bike but it seems to me that it's too tall for me. That may be because I've ridden mountain bikes off road a whole lot and prefer the small bikes off road. In any case I'm going to try the Pinarello adjusted for me to see if it's a size problem.
The standover seems to me to be about right on the Pinarello. I like a couple of inches of top tube clearance.
In the picture there is a set of sew-up CX wheels on the bike but those racing wheel wouldn't be used nornally. I bought a set of those $90 Supergo Koda's and may either use those or a set of wheels I got off of a Felt. These are a little heavy but heavy is relative since my style of cyclocross RIDING isn't like cyclocross racing where you carry the bike.
I had a set of Coda (Cannondale) cantilever brakes I got off of Ebay for $30. These are nice brakes and although I PREFER Diacomp 986'sp, if I had to buy a new set I'd go for the Radius Cantilevers sold by Cyclocross World ( http://www.store.yahoo.com/cyclocrossworld/racabr.html ). They install easily and adjust easily though the Coda's adjust the easiest.
I had a bar and stem sitting around so I dropped that into the VERY NICE old-style threaded steerer. The bike already had a Campy headset so there was no sense in changing that since anything else would be a step down.
I ordered some 105 derailleurs and went onto Ebay and bought a set of DuraAce bar-end shifters. Nashbar is having a really hot sale on 105 stuff and they even had STI shifters for $120. I bought a set since I figure that if the bike doesn't work for me it will be more saleable with STI so I'll chang off the bar-ends if that's the case. And truth be known, I build up a lot of bikes for other people and so I can always use the STI for something.
The cranks were a problem. I really like the Trekking crankset from Shimano - it is almost perfect for my uses, but the price is bizarre. ( http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=81&subcategory=1031&brand=&sku=13137&storetype=&estoreid=&pagename= ) So instead I bought the much cheaper 105 Triple and will change off the small ring for a 24 tooth if I feel like buying one or one of the 26 tooth rings I have laying around. If the bike didn't come with a Shimano BB I would probably have gone with the Trekking cranks though since it does include external BB cups etc. So it would have run about the same as a 105 cranks and a normal bottom bracket.
I have saddles coming out my ears for a change (all of them good one's as well) but I've run out of seatposts. I ordered a Ritchey two bolt seatpost. I put on of those on my Fuji Newest that I just built up and really like it. The only negative thing about it is that it has "notches" for position and I suppose some people are too sensitive to exact seat position and might not like them. I've had enough of super light seat posts bending so I'm more particular now.
So now I'm hung up waiting for the parts to come in and then I'll be able to ride the Pinarello.\
(drumming fingers............................................................where are my parts?????)
curt in denver
01-14-06, 10:55 PM
I like it.
01-21-06, 02:12 PM
Well, the parts came in on Friday. I only had about an hour to work on the bike so I started to put it together and discovered that the chain stays got in the way of the triple. My first thought was that I actually had a double bottom bracket but when I measured it, it was the proper 119 mm. The problem was the chain stays on a bike that was meant to carry only a double.
But it was easily fixed. I could have placed a spacer on the right side bottom bracket cut. These are available from most bike shops for a buck or so. Or I could have changed out the 30 tooth inner ring for a smaller one. That's what I had intended on doing in the first place. I thought that I had a 26 tooth inner ring laying around but when I looked all I had were a couple more 30 tooth rings.
I had to go up to the bike shop to get a 24 tooth. And while I was at it, I discovered that I was missing the straddle cables and straddle yokes from the new-in-box Coda (Cannondale house brand) cantilever brake calipers I'd gotten off of Ebay for a song and a little dance.
I could have gotten a couple straddle cables and triangular yokes but I like the Shimano style straddle cables that are being made by Tektro. These are easier to install and adjust and they only cost about $3 apiece.
I greased up the Ritchey seat post and slipped it in and added the Concour saddle that Nashbar had on sale for $10 I think. BTW these Ritchey seatposts are REALLY nice seat posts. This is the second one I've used and I'll probably use them from now on. The Concour is a nice saddle for offroad because the kickup in the back gives you some support when climbing.
I've started using the Pedro's Synthetic grease and I like it a lot. I greased the cables where they go through the outer cables.
I didn't have the color handlebar tape I wanted but I was looking down in the waste basket and noticed some old yellow tape without the glued tape on the back of it. I installed it as it was a nice color and while there are some dirty spots on it, the tape looks OK to me. And what else counts?
It only took minutes to install the new derailleurs. Then I tried to put the barends on and found a problem. The older bar I was using had a dent in it down on the right hand side. It was only a small dent but it was enough that the bar end wouldn't push in all the way. I found that my 3/8" rachet handle was almost the correct inside diameter and pounded it up the inside of the bar with a rubber mallet. Then I filed the small remaining bump a little and the bar end went right in. You couldn't do this with one of those Ultra-light handlebars but this old standard bar has strength to spare.
As is usual, the longest time was spent fitting the outer cables for the brakes and the shifters. But in the end they went together VERY neatly.
One thing that REALLY bugs me is that the inner cable manufacturers don't make the cables long enough. You can get the 78" standard or the 105" tandem size shift cables but no 86" which would work with bar end shifters fully wrapped into the bars. So I have to find the few places where you can get tandem shift cables when I should be able to get a normal inner shift wire from any bike shop. Oh well, complaining ain't worth much.
I thought about leaving the tubular wheels on the bike but noticed that at some time or another I'd bought a set of Victoria Tigre Cross clinchers. My brother had given me the wheels off of his wife's Felt when he installed a set of Shimano wheels on it for her. Indeed, these wheels were nice and straight but a bit heavy. Didn't make any difference to me since they weren't extraordinarily heavy. So, off with the cogset from the Tubulars and onto the Alex wheelset. MAN is it a pain in the butt to mount those 28 mm knobbies the first time! I even pinched a tube on the rear wheel the first time around and had to replace it. I had some cheapo Chinese innertubes that I'd bought somewhere for $2 apiece so I put one of those in this time. The innertube is about twice as thick as a Performance tube and last time I got a flat on one I found that there were about 3 glass cuts, a Michelin wire (a steel belted tire wire that is almost impossible to see) and a goat's head thorn and yet I only had a slow leak. So I don't mind the small extra weight from that.
Finally I installed the chain. I only pulled out one link since I bought a long arm derailleur and in the future I may want a slightly larger rear cog than the present 27 tooth. I would actually like a 29 or 30 but no one seems to make a 9-speed cogset with a 14-30 or anything like that.
I had adjusted the rear and front derailleurs by eye and so was a little surprised to find out that they shifted just fine without any further adjustment.
So on with the Cranks Bros pedals and my MTB shoes and onto the wet streets to test it out. The bike rides well, fits almost perfectly and I'm ready to take it on a good Cross ride. Even though I didn't take any care to make the bike light it only weighs in at 22 lbs. I suppose that sound heavy in these days of 17 lb road bikes but if I changed out the saddle, the handlebar and the wheelset I could easily knock 2 lbs off of the bike and a 20 lb Cross bike ain't nothing to sneeze at.
I realized that my old Bridgestone MB-2 was a 55 cm bike and perhaps this 56 cm bike will ride as well. One thing that always bugged me about the Bridgestone was the flat bar which would always get really tiring with the single hand position. And I'm so much stronger now than I was then that I should be able to ride anywhere with my 24-27 that I did before with the 24-34. Especially since that Bridgestone weighed 36 lbs.
I've a couple of interesting routes planned but my riding pal Jensen has been sick for a month and a half and is just now recovering. We're planning on doing one of these rides early in February so I'll let you know about it.
01-23-06, 09:09 PM
I like how the bar ends look (which is good cause I can't afford 10 speed STI's right now for my cross project). I like the colors too.
01-23-06, 09:34 PM
that bike looks too nice to get it all muddied up.
01-27-06, 07:51 PM
Well, I can tell you, if you get used to good wheels you just can't stand crappy wheels anymore. They feel like they're glued to the path.
I also forgot to bring a multitool along and so the seat was about an inch too low. Well maybe a centimeter.
As I hit the mud and started pedaling REALLY hard to get up a small rise the damn seatpost CLICKED back a notch. I guess I hadn't gotten it all the way into the notch I wanted so it slipped back into one tilted back too far. Good thing it was only 10 miles on that saddle or I'd be talking in a higher voice.
Aside from the saddle height and tilt and the crappy wheels which I'll change out sooner or later, the bike is really nice. It steers a great deal better than the Raleigh but I suspect that is the 28 mm Tigre Cross tires and not the bike itself. Wide tires with flimsy knobs simply don't steer straight and that's what's on the Raleigh.
But the negative parts are this - the Tigre Cross doesn't hold much mud and flings that little off pretty fast. But there isn't a lot of traction afforded by a 28 mm tire vs the 37 mm on my Raleigh.
When I went through puddles with soft mud in the bottom the traction was good but in sticky mud there was essentially NO traction and it was off the bike to move it. That way the mud built up in the shoes instead of on the tires. I suppose that's a good tradeoff since the Tigre Cross's were good on hard surfaces, firm surfaces and shallow soft mud with hard stuff underneath.
More to come.
01-28-06, 03:01 PM
Looks nice, I like that frame.
02-07-06, 09:27 AM
Well, I weighed the complete bike without accessories and it weighs a meager 21 lbs.
The recent rains have kept the ground too soggy to ride off road. I don't mind the mud so much but I don't like screwing up the trails.
I did a 25 mile ride on the bike on the street and was rather surprised at the speed of the bike on the Tigrecross tires. I easily kept up with the street guys though we weren't going all that fast. But the tires didn't seem to especially slow me up.
As I mentioned before, these tires don't get much grip on soft deep ground, but they don't hold mud either and most of my riding is on relatively hard stuff. Sand and rock are fine and adobe that hasn't been rained on in a week is good enough. Who wants to ride on top soil? I don't like disturbing the wild growth so stick to trails. And if they've been graveled within the last year or so more's the better.
02-24-06, 07:54 AM
OK, got it out yesterday for a dozen more miles some of it off-road.
The smaller frame FEFINITELY feels a great deal better to me than the "correct" size. I especially like being able to bail off of the bike anywhere without having to worry about hanging up something important - at least to me.
The Pinarello feels very good. I'm always surprised when bikes with good reputations turn out to be as good as they're said to be. It's fast and unlike all the other 'cross bikes I've had it rolls in a straight line without any wandering back and forth.
Now, you certainly get used to the wandering of other bikes and it soon goes away (sort of - you just don't pay any attention to it I suppose) but the idea of a bike rolling straight on uneven ground is nice.
I was going about 20 mph through a section I'm familiar with and there was this HUGE pothole right in the middle of the path that wasn't there before. And I was on the tops and couldn't grab the brakes.
Quite to my surprise the Pinarello rolled right through it without enough THUNK! to throw me off of the bike. Sweet.
I did notice that the smaller frame and pulled in bars made some unusual muscles sore this morning. I guess it will take some getting used to. Think I'll take it around Lake Chabot soon and see how it reacts to what is normally a mountain bike ride.
I guess I ought to replace those crappy wheels with some good ones now.
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