Cyclocross - Recommendations for Components for a Gunnar Crosshairs Build
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08-30-06, 10:48 AM
I am going to get my LBS to build me a Gunnar Crosshairs to use for commuting, riding on light gravel trails, and hopefully some 'cross races if I can work up the guts.
I have an FSA 50-34 Compact Crank with Ultegra components on my road bike and I am thinking of using this as the start for the Crosshairs also. Any views on that? What other components do people recommend (pedals, headseat, brakes, tires, etc..)
Any thoughts much appreciated. Thanks.
08-30-06, 11:51 AM
Do what you want. It really depends on what you want the bike for more - commuting or cross. This thread will probably get elitist cross people talking about cyclocross bikes are only for cross racing. I will assume you will know how you would set up your road bikes. I will list the differences for a pure racing cross bike and I imagine you could simply formulate a comprise. Definatly do a cross race and have fun and give us a report.
Myself and most cross racers I race with rarely go above Shim 105 level components if they are paying for the components themselves. Any weight savings or improved mechanics is far over ridden by the abuse factor. Cross racings bikes go through mud, sand, rocks, water and timber every week. Many component do not last 1 or 2 years. Don't let this stop you buying nicer stuff if your only going to go in a race 1 or 2 times.
Saddle Height is usually 1 cm lower than road bike. Reach (Nose of saddle to bars) is 1 cm shorter than road. Drop (Saddle Hgt vs Bar Hgt) is 1 to 2 cm smaller than road (i.e. Bars are higher). Many people like to ride in the drops in cross races. Chain rings are usually 48/39. Cassette is 12/25. Cross Bikes also race on very low tire pressure like 40-50 psi. Some Cross bikes use a single chain ring on the front. That only works on flat courses. I will change out to a single if I know the course is flat. Also cross bikes will have brakes on the bar tops as well as normal brakes. Let me know if you have any further questions. Racing cross bikes do not have bottle cages to make them easier to carry. Do not let people give you crap if you have cages. I guess you could take them off if you race.
Definately race - I think you need to go for it. The races are really an experience. They are much different than road races or tri's. Just have fun and avoid the dull and ignorant.
I use my Crosshairs for trail riding, tours and the occasional commute (when my commuter bike is down). Here are the specs on mine:
Bike Specs (http://david.filcoff.com/index.php?p=b)
I like the 32mm Richey Speedmax pro up front and the 30mm version in the back. I tried a 35mm in front for a while, but I did not like the square tire profile, and it was just too wide. The Salsa Delgato Cross rims have been bullet proof, and the Salsa Bell Lap bars are very comfortable.
I would use pedals that have a decent size platform if you are going to race. I have eggbeaters on mine now but they will be switched back to the spd type during the racing season. When you are dismounting and remounting after the different barriers you want something to step down onto to pedal and there just isn't much there with some of the smaller pedals such as the beaters. Nice frame though, really nice. I like the steal and the fact that it is not a run of the mill Spec, Trek, C'dale, Giant. I hope to get a Gunnar some day.
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