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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking 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 07-20-05, 10:46 PM   #1
almoniyot
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She started life as a mid 1980s Gitane Tour de France road bike with a coat of fuscia paint. I ordered her from a mail order outfit that had an add in the back of Bicycle Magazine. They had a couple of Gitanes left as the company was no longer selling bicycles in the US. I had her assembled at the LBS.

She was full Mavic then with the exception of the rims that are Matrix. I have since tweaked her a bit so that she is a bit more versatile - suitable for dirt roads, though nothing too rough. I am aware that she certainly lacks the proper geometry of a true crosser. The parts I have added are:

Nashbar Aero Brake Levers
Suntour Barcon Friction Shifters
Shimano cable stops
Nashbar MTB pedals (I took off my Look pedals because I wanted to wear shoes I could walk in)
Vredestein Campo 700x28 cross tires

Curious what everyone thinks. I know my psuedo crosser won't please the purists. Also, anyone have suggestions for better routing of the barcon shifter cables?

Last edited by almoniyot; 07-20-05 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 07-21-05, 05:49 AM   #2
wildjim
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Very nice road, hard packed stone Rail/Trail bicycle with 28mm tyres.
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Old 07-21-05, 07:22 AM   #3
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Hey, cool bike. I love seeing old mavic components still in use.

That's how I route the bar-end shifter cables, too. I think it's pretty standard. They're out of the way down there and don't interfere with the steering.

You could get dual-pivot brakes if you wanted more stopping power.
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Old 07-21-05, 05:30 PM   #4
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B!tch'n simply, b!tch'n, mate. I built my own cross bike from an old
NOS road bike too. The purist can go fish.........
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Old 07-25-05, 10:40 AM   #5
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Cool bike- Frankenprojects are the best! Just a suggestion- the brakes may give you some trouble because of mud clearance. A cheap way out is to install some old centerpull brakes- better clearance and they stop better (invest in decent pads)- less modulation, better power, good for cross. Nice job!
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Old 07-25-05, 02:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ZenNMotion
A cheap way out is to install some old centerpull brakes- better clearance and they stop better (invest in decent pads)- less modulation, better power, good for cross. Nice job!
Any preference between Mafac Racers or Weinmann 610s or is it a wash? I got both.

And almoniyot, thanjs for the inspiration., I think
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Old 07-26-05, 08:41 AM   #7
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I don't think it matters, whichever fits your rims better, better clearance- or if they fit the same, go for the heavier (likely to be stiffer) I have an old road bike that I beat up on trails once in awhile with Weinmann Vainquers that work great with kool stop (red) pads. If you really go all out, you can also switch your cable stops to the top of the top tube so you can shoulder the bike comfortably. Grind or cut the old ones off, then install new ones (I cut mine off my converted fixed gear as they were no longer needed or you can order some through your LBS). If you have a cheap plumbers torch you can use a MAPP gas cylinder (propane not hot enough), silver brazing rod (MAPP gas not hot enough for brass) and flux (boric acid mixed into a paste with water) from the hardware store. All this should cost about 10 bucks or so if you have the torch already. Sand or burn off the paint where the new cablestops go, and clean the spot really well with alcohol or paint thinner. Cake the flux thick on the tube (pre-fluxed braze rod doesnt have enough flux!), heat it up until the flux bubbles and melts and melt a few drops of silver on the top tube. Let it cool, reflux the tube and gob a little flux on the bottom of the cable stop and hold it in place with some long pliers, heat it up until the flux bubbles then melt some silver rod to flow around the stop. Don't let your top tube get too hot- red glowing steel is too hot! Air-cool it, then file away the excess silver and glassed flux with a small metal file or emory paper. Touch up the paint and Voila- junker frankenbike cyclocross frame! Brazing cable stops is pretty easy and safe, but don't try cantilever bosses (especially on a fork- yikes!) until you get some lessons and experience. Obviously this is for a frame you don't really care about appearance, and not on Aluminum (duh!) and not on the new superthin steel tubing until you know what you're doing. Safety glasses, gloves, and adequate ventilation mandatory.

Last edited by ZenNMotion; 07-26-05 at 09:25 AM.
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Old 09-02-05, 02:28 PM   #8
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I might say that I built almost the exact same bike but on a PX-10 frame. It was a great bike for off-road at a level below a full fledged mountain bike ride.

I will say that I think that the bike is almost an inch too big for you judging by the height of the saddle though.

Tom
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Old 09-02-05, 09:06 PM   #9
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Nice bike. Don't you love those Suntour shifters? Another way to rout the shift cables is to just run them all the way up the handlebars covered by the bar tape. I run mine to the opposite side cable stop and cross the cables as they run down the down tube.
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Old 09-19-05, 10:35 AM   #10
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I built one almost exactly the same so I've compared it to three other 'real' cross bikes and I can assure you that there isn't much improvement with a special-built bike EXCEPT for mud clearance in the rear triangle.

Someone might argue that you need cantilevers but since your sidepulls have sufficient clearance you are fine. The only reason for cantilevers was to get sufficient clearance to push in a fatter ride with knobs. Your normal brakes also don't push the seat stays apart when you grab a handful.
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