Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Setting up a track bike for SSCX
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07-27-10, 12:22 AM
Going to race my first season of cyclocross this year. I'm trying to get a bike together to ride SS. I'm thinking of setting up my work bike for it..... Its an urban/light tricking frame, and is pretty sturdy...it has that extra trick lug thing under the downtube/headtube. With the rear wheel pulled far back in the dropouts, it will definitly fit atleast a 35mm tire. With the stock fork it barely fits a 25mm though. Its currently set up fixed/fixed, 46/19&17 brakeless. I run SPD MTB pedals. I have a set of cheap fixed/free wheels laying around....the front is machined.
I plan to put use a C/X fork and cantilever brake up front. But my issue is the rear. I don't really care about messing up the finish on the rear wheel (non machined).....But the frame is drilled for short reach road caliper brakes. Is running just one brake UCI legal? Or even advisable? Will I have issues running a short reach brake? How narrow of a tire will this limit me?
Oh and I can't seem to find anything good on gearing for singlecross. My gearing is already low for the streets, but i imagine it being a bit steep for cross.
07-27-10, 09:41 AM
It doesn't matter what the UCI says because you won't be racing in any UCI-sanctioned races. USA Cycling, however, does require brakes front and rear, and you definitely want both if you are using a freewheel. And you definitely want to use a freewheel.
If you can fit the tire under that frame, you almost certainly can find a long-reach caliper or center-pull brake that will work. I would double check on the tire clearance, though, before messing around with anything else; I'm skeptical that you'll fit a 35mm tire under there.
I think 42:19 is a good cross gear, but it really is an individual matter. Tarik's article has some stuff to say about gearing:
07-27-10, 09:57 AM
Gearing is a tough one because it depends on your conditions. I run 42x17 which works on our flatish courses. i would agree with what Flargle said. You should be able to find a brake that will reach your rim.
07-28-10, 01:40 PM
I have my Surly Steamroller setup as a SSCX w/ 42x16 for some flat fireroad training this time of year. I ran 39x16 in some dry races last year. I threw on some long reach calipers (tektro, I think) and they worked fine. With the wheel set closer to the back of the rear dropout, I'm able to run Maxxis Raze but with not much mud clearance. I'm looking to pick up a dedicated SSCX soon.
07-28-10, 03:07 PM
Tire clearance is an issue , Most Track frames like narrow tubulars with scant clearances.
Probably better off with a single speed conversion of a Touring Bike.
07-28-10, 03:58 PM
He has one of the new fixed gear bikes made for tricks. They accept wider tires. The term "track bike" is being stretched a bit these days.
07-28-10, 04:33 PM
I have my Surly Steamroller setup as a SSCX w/ 42x16 for some flat fireroad training this time of year. A Steamroller was my first cross bike, too. IIRC I was able to fit 32mm file treads under it, with the stock fork.
07-28-10, 06:16 PM
He has one of the new fixed gear bikes made for tricks. They accept wider tires. The term "track bike" is being stretched a lot these days.
07-28-10, 06:47 PM
08-02-10, 12:20 AM
Apart from getting tyres to fit, there's the issue with weight, since you're carrying the bike a fair bit. I'm looking to buy an aluminium cross frame. Nice and light and will fit the tyres no probs.
08-06-10, 02:55 AM
You can do it and it may be a fun thing one time around, but don't plan on using the setup long term. Even with tire clearance with the axle slid all the way back in the dropout, you may not have good mud clearance when conditions get sloppy. Also, not having a rear brake means less ability to modulate speed coming into dismounts, especially on sloppy conditions.
08-06-10, 07:44 AM
You could probably get away with just having the front brake. Just don't line up near any officials :)
Seriously though all you need is a front brake to stop the rear does like 5% stopping so it's almost worthless. I do however use the rear wheel to skid around tight corners sometimes but rarely.
I've done sanctioned TT's on a fixed gear bike with a front brake only and no one ever said anything.
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