Cyclocross - the ultimate cheep...just use my my mt bike?
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10-02-09, 08:05 PM
ok, here is the situation. My son is a pretty competitive Mt. Biker. He was racing jr's last year, and even though he is just 15 he has moved up to where he was running middle of the pack Mens Sport (cat 2).
Mt Bike season is over here...and cross season starting. Just to have more time on the bike, he wants to run a couple of cross races. Locally there are only 5 races. Sat/Sun this weekend. A sat in 3 weeks, and then another Sat/Sun in late November.
we are planning on just running his Mt Bike...then a buddy said go buy a relativly cheep vintage road bike (vintage because most older ones have more room for the fatter tires) and get some tires.
I guess I dont know enough about cross to know what the advantage of a vintage roadbike would be.
I have a Raliegh Grand Prix from the 80's, 700cc wheels...but its a 58cm...and he is 5'8" so I am thinking 55-56cm is right for him, and 58cm would be too big...but I dont know anything.
10-02-09, 08:09 PM
Mt Bike is probably a little to heavy to carry.
58cm to big. 54-55 depending on inseam. Need room for the boys.
10-03-09, 10:13 AM
The vintage road bike will let you run something a bit closer to a real cross bike (drop bars, 700C wheel/tires, etc) and be a bit lighter than a mtn bike. But, but the time you rehab it, add tires, etc, you'll be at least $100 in, possibly more - I'd put that money in a jar for a real cross bike next season.
Mtn bikes are legal in everything but the top UCI classes. Just remove any bar ends (required to be removed) and anything else for weight (bottle cages, saddle bag, etc). Add some narrower tires and go have fun. The mtn bike might be heavier and harder to shoulder (smaller main triangle), but other than that, it's fine. Lock out the fork, or at least crank up the compression.
10-03-09, 11:46 AM
At that height, I'd think something along the lines of 52/53cm. For cross, I've found a bike a little smaller than normal works better for me. I'm 5'10" and I normally ride a 54-56cm bike, but find a 54cm cross bike to be ideal for cross, but a 56cm cross bike to be ideal for road riding. Personally, I'd go with the mountain bike for the first race. If he likes it, maybe then go out looking for a road/cross bike that will work. On craigslist here in Portland, I routinely see older cross bikes going for a couple hundred dollars.
10-03-09, 11:51 AM
the vintage road bike will let you run something a bit closer to a real cross bike (drop bars, 700c wheel/tires, etc) and be a bit lighter than a mtn bike. But, but the time you rehab it, add tires, etc, you'll be at least $100 in, possibly more - i'd put that money in a jar for a real cross bike next season.
10-04-09, 08:29 PM
yeah, we had first 2 races this weekend. Did not do too bad. fitness requirements from Mt Bike to Cross are different. Much more work done at LT I think was the biggest thing that he noticed. He had a lot of fun though.
just ran the Mt Bike. we will see from here.
Question for you. My son really likes Mt Biking and Cross...but we live in an area where a lot of his training rides are on the road. we have a good caliber Mt bike. He needs a road bike, or a cross bike. prob not enough bucks for both.
Since he likes to race cross, thought about getting a cross bike and getting skinny tires for it to ride on the road.
Or do I just let him stay on the Mt Bike for cross and get a road bike. Cross season here is pretty short with only 1/2 dozen races that we can make it too.
Honestly I dont know the difference between Road Bikes and Cross Bikes.
10-05-09, 08:52 AM
If racing cross is something he will stick with, get a cross bike, ride it on the road.
The main differences between a 'cross bike and a road bike:
- tire clearance - cross bike will fit at least 35s with room to spare for mud
- brakes - road will have calipers, cross will have cantis. Cantis have more mud clearance, but don't work quite as well
- geometry - cross bike will be more relaxed, road bike will have steeper headtube, cross bike might have less bottom-bracket drop (for more pedal clearance on off-camber bits)
- in the sub-$1500 range, the cross bike probably weighs a few lbs more - probably around 21lbs. The road bike might be sub-20lbs.
At the end of the day, a cross bike is perfectly suitable for riding on the road (if you add water bottle cages and road tires). But a road bike might not be suitable for racing cross (not enough tire and mud clearance). As long as he isn't planning to start running the local crit series, he won't notice the extra weight of the cross bike (and if you have a dedicated set of road wheels/tires, the weight won't really be much different).
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