Cyclocross - Outfitting a innexpensive CX Bike
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09-06-10, 11:04 PM
I'll looking to get my feet wet in CX, but I'm deciding between using a very entry level MTB of mine (1999 Diamond Back Sorrento SE) or outfitting my Fuji Touring Edition III as a CX bike.
One can see what my Fuji is equipped like here (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?49471-Commuter-Bicycle-Pics&p=2461699&viewfull=1#post2461699) (although the rear derailleur will need to replaced as its been put back on the DB MTB it came from).
I'd like to possibly set the bike up with indexed shifting in back but possibly a single chainwheel up front. Any suggestions ideas on some inexpensive changes i could/should make?
Did my first couple of CX races on my 2005 Fuji Touring (http://www.bikepedia.com/Quickbike/BikeSpecs.aspx?Year=2005&Brand=Fuji&Model=Touring&Type=bike)
I just removed the rack, fenders, lights, and cages, then put some knobbies on. Kept it on the 42 ring up front, so basically ran as 1x9. Bike performed just fine and was not the thing "holding me back" in the noob category races.
Of course, I got hooked on the sport right away and ended up starting a build project on a dedicated cross bike after a few races.
You'll be fine getting your feet wet with either bike with few adjustments. Good luck.
09-07-10, 05:49 AM
I used a Trek 520 with knobbies last year. My experience was the same as myclem's. Stayed in the 42 all season. I started on a mtb and found the touring bike much better suited for cross. good luck.
Use whichever bike is lighter -- probably the Fuji? Your top priority should be to get some good CX tires. I like Michelin Mud2's, but there are a lot of good options depending on your budget, frame clearance and typical course conditions.
The 1xN setup should be good. If you can get a chainring in the 38-42 range, that would be best. Definitely remove the unused small ring and the front derailleur. I wouldn't worry too much about indexed shifting. Once you start getting mud on your cables shifting becomes less precise, and the friction shifting might actually benefit you.
If you still have the flop-n-chop handlebars you might want to check with the race organizers about that. Some locals rules discourage forward facing pointy objects. Salsa's Moto Ace Bell Lap bars are a good balance of cheap, light and race-worthy if you've got a 26mm bar clamp.
When you're removing the commuting accessories, you might want to take off the pie plate and reflectors too, but be sure your rear derailleur limits are right if you take off the pie plate.
09-07-10, 11:39 AM
Do a forum search on improving the Fuji's canti brakes by adding a hand cut straddle and fork mounted hanger. Add some premium brake blocks like Kool Stops and you'll have much better brakes for hardly any cost.
09-07-10, 10:38 PM
I'm in a similar boat, outfitting a Univega to give CX a trial run this season. Upon a recommendation by someone at this forum, I just got a couple Schwalbe CX Comp 35mm tires for a little over $20 apiece from Amazon.
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