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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 07-15-17, 10:54 AM   #1
Lars Honeytoast
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Cyclocross build worthy? Opinions.

Ive been lurking around the cyclocross forums and doing a little research and im starting to get the itch. I want to build my own gravel/cross bike and maybe something that I can take to local meet ups and have some fun and get a little competitive in the hobby classes.

I found this Peugeot at the LBS for 70. Tires look new, 35 width with some good tread, brand new BB installed. Shimano deore shift system. I would not have to put a lot of money into it. I got enough spare parts laying around, drop bars and shimano 105 levers (if they are comaptible with the cantis) or a set of flat bars ,crank set for a single gear up front (and two gears to chose from 38 and 46.) Of course its a little on the heavy side. I would like to get some opinions if it would be worth the build. since im not all to educated on cross bikes.

hopefully you can make somewhat of a judgement from the pictures.
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Old 07-15-17, 01:19 PM   #2
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I don't see why you couldn't convert a hybrid to a drop bar gravel bike. Perhaps not a cutting edge racing bike, but a good all around bike. The top tubes are supposed to run slightly long, but you should be able to adjust the fit a bit.
  • What is the tubing type? Double Butted?
  • Are those 700c wheels, 26", or 650b?
  • What is the rim material? Single Wall?
  • Is the seat in the photos adjusted to your height?
  • Freewheel or Cassette on the rear?
Everything on the bike is a little passe (horizontal rear dropouts, QR on front, rim brakes), but nothing screams that it can't be done.
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Old 07-15-17, 01:21 PM   #3
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It is a start. Removing the stand, genset and lights, fenders and rack, (?bell also) and possibly a lighter saddle
should drop 5# off the bike weight. Then give it a try on gravel and see how it feels. The 35mm tires are
a reasonable start but if OEM they may not last long on any extended gravel usage. After getting 50-100
miles on gravel you can make some informed decisions.
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Old 07-15-17, 02:11 PM   #4
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The saddle was a tad low for me. They are 700c wheels. The rest ill have to go back and look. I guess Ill want to get double walled rims, I know they were wolber rims with shimano hubs. Im going to take it for a longer test drive tomorrow, see how it feels.
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Old 07-15-17, 02:30 PM   #5
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I suppose the question about the seat height. If you raise the seat by more than an inch or so, that will put the bars quite low unless you go with a riser stem (or the stem that is on it already).

What is the frame size? 54-ish?

Of course, bar height is a matter of preference.
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Old 07-15-17, 10:58 PM   #6
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I suppose the question about the seat height. If you raise the seat by more than an inch or so, that will put the bars quite low unless you go with a riser stem (or the stem that is on it already).

What is the frame size? 54-ish?

Of course, bar height is a matter of preference.
Frame size was 54, and my road bike 57 and that seems to be a good fit for me. Im going to take a saddle with me today. I guess if I have to raise it anymore the an inch its to small, was a little worried about that.
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Old 07-15-17, 11:24 PM   #7
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Frame size was 54, and my road bike 57 and that seems to be a good fit for me. Im going to take a saddle with me today. I guess if I have to raise it anymore the an inch its to small, was a little worried about that.
I'm not saying it is all bad, just one more thing to consider. If you have vintage 57cm road bike, it is quite likely both the seat tube and top tube are close to 57cm.

The MTB or Hybrid may be different, so a 54 seat tube may have a 57 to 60cm top tube. I believe one can do a lot of fit adjustment by choosing the right stem and seat post adjustments.

And drop really depends on the person. If you are reasonably flexible, then you may well be able to get used to a fair amount of drop (although not necessarily for your gravel touring bike). It all depends.

I have an old Jamis Hybrid, in some ways quite similar to your Peugeot that I keep meaning to add some road bits to. Perhaps it is time to drag it out of the basement.
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Old 07-16-17, 01:17 AM   #8
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I'm not saying it is all bad, just one more thing to consider. If you have vintage 57cm road bike, it is quite likely both the seat tube and top tube are close to 57cm.

The MTB or Hybrid may be different, so a 54 seat tube may have a 57 to 60cm top tube. I believe one can do a lot of fit adjustment by choosing the right stem and seat post adjustments.

And drop really depends on the person. If you are reasonably flexible, then you may well be able to get used to a fair amount of drop (although not necessarily for your gravel touring bike). It all depends.

I have an old Jamis Hybrid, in some ways quite similar to your Peugeot that I keep meaning to add some road bits to. Perhaps it is time to drag it out of the basement.

Whoa.. first off excuse my horrible grammar, dyslexia gets the best of me sometimes

Ok I understand what you are saying. The top tube is 57cm. Im thinking for a used bike at that price I shouldn't be very picky, it would make a great winter bike anyways. If I end up buying it, ill ride it around stock for a awhile then see where I can make improvements.

well I hope I can inspire a new project for you haha
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Old 07-16-17, 06:35 AM   #9
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I've done this. If you can scavenge used parts it's fun. New parts get expensive. I had to stick with long pull levers (Tektro) for my V-brakes. I converted to some old bar end shifters that get bumped on dismounts and are a disadvantage for braking & shifting at the same time. I suppose I could buy some Gevenalle's $$$ to solve the shifter/brake issue. I still have a heavy frame (and I started with aluminum), not bad on gravel but not competitive for CX. I approach CX as fun so I don't mind and I don't worry about banging up the bike. Someday when I'm old and fat I'll get one of those lightweight CX bikes.
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Old 07-16-17, 09:02 AM   #10
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I've done this. If you can scavenge used parts it's fun. New parts get expensive. I had to stick with long pull levers (Tektro) for my V-brakes. I converted to some old bar end shifters that get bumped on dismounts and are a disadvantage for braking & shifting at the same time. I suppose I could buy some Gevenalle's $$$ to solve the shifter/brake issue. I still have a heavy frame (and I started with aluminum), not bad on gravel but not competitive for CX. I approach CX as fun so I don't mind and I don't worry about banging up the bike. Someday when I'm old and fat I'll get one of those lightweight CX bikes.
I got enough used parts laying around I could make a fun build. Thats all im looking for here with this bike. I've also found a track that runs a hobby class, for non serious run what you brung bikes. I plan for a good all arounder with some fun on the weekends if possible.
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Old 07-16-17, 11:03 AM   #11
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Below is a Univega Hybrid i turned into a gravel bike. Fantastic way for me to see if i liked this discipline.
Space for 40mm tires(bigger was possible), double butted tange tubing, and modern mounting points for bottles and brakes.
Relatively inexpenive conversion and it worked great. Not a lightweight, but it was solid and fun. A forum member now has the frameset and built his own gravel bike from it.

This frame was technically too small for me, but i made it work with the riser quill stem.


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Old 07-17-17, 08:16 AM   #12
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Below is a Univega Hybrid i turned into a gravel bike. Fantastic way for me to see if i liked this discipline.
Space for 40mm tires(bigger was possible), double butted tange tubing, and modern mounting points for bottles and brakes.
Relatively inexpenive conversion and it worked great. Not a lightweight, but it was solid and fun. A forum member now has the frameset and built his own gravel bike from it.

This frame was technically too small for me, but i made it work with the riser quill stem.


That looks great! Well im taking the dive now, I bought the bike yesterday. What brake levers did you use for that bike? Im looking for some that work good with cantis.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:09 AM   #13
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That looks great! Well im taking the dive now, I bought the bike yesterday. What brake levers did you use for that bike? Im looking for some that work good with cantis.
Its a lever that is branded by a few companies. Tektro rl340.

Its sold as-
- Cane Creek scr5 (has brown or black hoods with lizard pattern)
- Tektro rl340
- XLC aero levers BL RO1
- Origin8 aero pro levers


Mine are technically labeled XLC. That logo came off the lever with some rubbing alcohol. The body of the brake is labeled Tektro. The XLC version is typically $17 online and i dont care about paying over 2x as much for lizards on the hoods.

Any short pull brake lever works with canti brakes. Just avoid linear pull as thats meant for Vbrakes. Tektro makes a brake lever for linear pull- rl520 i think. Stay away from that and you are good.
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