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  1. #1
    5AM ride again? Damn... XC99TF00's Avatar
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    Softride Solo into a CX bike...

    Just wondering if anyone thinks a Softride Solo could be made into a decent cyclecross bike. Just looking for anyone's opinion on the matter. And also, would it be eligable to race in most cyclecross events being the beam bike that it is? Thanks.
    Road: '04 Campy Veloce equipt Softride Solo
    Mtn: '97 LX equipt Softride Powercurve
    Work in progress: Late 70's Richard Sachs - yet to be restored...

  2. #2
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    #1 I don't think you'd have enough tire clearance
    #2 No standover
    #3 Would the beam hold up under those conditions, especially with it being carbon?
    #4 Bouncey bouncey bouncey bouncey throughout the course

    I'd have to say no to that but that's just my 2 cents.

    Dave
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

  3. #3
    5AM ride again? Damn... XC99TF00's Avatar
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    Looking at my bike, I think I can respond to three of the four.

    1: well, this is the one I am unsure of, but you are probably right.
    2: On the Mtn. Bike version, its the same clearance wise, so it isn't too bad, I'm relatively tall at 6'3" so I think I could handle that.
    3: The beam holds up on my Powercurve XC, and I have done some hard downhill and XC on it, so I would assume it can hold up.
    4: The bounciness just saves my a**, literally, lol, but wouldn't you prefer a tad bit of cushioning in the rear on some of the rougher terrain anyhow? It kinda lets the bike go over the bumps while you keep your momentum in a forward motion on the road and while mtn. biking, so I would think that applies to CX as well, though I don't know for sure.

    Not trying to be contradictory, just kinda delving into the subject a bit more, so any continued input is appreciated. Feel free to respond to any of my notes above as well...

    Assuming it can fit the tires though, do you think it would be a feasible legal ride? I'm a big time noobie on the CX stuff and am not sure how everything is run, ie: events, legal bikes, etc...
    Road: '04 Campy Veloce equipt Softride Solo
    Mtn: '97 LX equipt Softride Powercurve
    Work in progress: Late 70's Richard Sachs - yet to be restored...

  4. #4
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    Tire clearance would be the first thing to come to mind. Have practiced any dismounts and remounts with barriers to get an idea how the beam holds up?
    As for shouldering the bike, the triangle looks pretty small so for runups, you might have to push, rather than carry, the bike on any runup.

  5. #5
    5AM ride again? Damn... XC99TF00's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dlbcx
    Tire clearance would be the first thing to come to mind. Have practiced any dismounts and remounts with barriers to get an idea how the beam holds up?
    As for shouldering the bike, the triangle looks pretty small so for runups, you might have to push, rather than carry, the bike on any runup.
    What do you mean by "how the beam holds up"? If you mean durability, I have 3000+ miles on my mountain one, and about 500 on the road (because it is newer, and if it ever sags at all, i can just adjust the beam).

    And for shouldering, do you mean just picking up the bike and carrying it? If so, I think I could grab it by the beam and carry it that way. This is something I have not tried nor done, but I guess I could give that a go. What type of instances do you exactly shoulder the bike, cause like I said, I'm just kind of introducing myself to CX and trying to get a feel for the sport while learning about it.
    Road: '04 Campy Veloce equipt Softride Solo
    Mtn: '97 LX equipt Softride Powercurve
    Work in progress: Late 70's Richard Sachs - yet to be restored...

  6. #6
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    I dont know much about cx, im just a lurker here but what about shouldering?
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  7. #7
    Senior Member oldskoolboarder's Avatar
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    I don't know much about softrides or the durability of the beams. But could it hold up to multiple remounts during races? I've seen carbon seatposts break during races, and if you're not careful, that can get ugly.

    You might be better off speeding up that Sachs restoration for CX...

  8. #8
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    He's already said multiple times that his XC bike softride's beam can hold up to a beeting so I say give it a go. The tire clearance however would be a definant problem, not sure how that would work.

    As far as the shouldering goes, you're right you probably wouldn't be able to shoulder that. Basically shouldering is just throwing the bike up onto your shoulder making it a little easier to get yourself up a hill so you'd probalby have to push it which isn't all that bad, a lot of guys don't shoulder their bikes because pushing it can at times save energy.

    The dismounting would be interesting, I'd like to see that how that would go. Also, you said you only had 500 miles on that bike, just keep in mind that doing cyclocross is gonna kick the crap out of that thing so I hope you're not too keen of the paint job.

    Dave
    '02 Bianchi XL Boron (Training/Crit Bike)-'06 Specialized Stumpjumper (MTB)
    '05 Orbea Lobular 100 (RR/CR Bike)------'05 Colnago MIX (RR/CR Bike)
    '07 Redline Conquest Pro (CX Bike)------'05 Alan Ultral Cross (CX Pit/Backup Bike)

  9. #9
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    Rather than try to explain all of the techniques, take a look at the trailers from last year's Nat's:

    http://www.paulweiss.bz/videos.html

  10. #10
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    Or you can check the out the pix from the NorCal districts (which I did and suffered a whole lot!):
    http://www.abbiorca.com/bike/cross/c...est/index.html

  11. #11
    5AM ride again? Damn... XC99TF00's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input from everyone. If I do convert it to a CX bike, it would be a little down the road after I get the Sachs or Teledyne Titan running, or if I go get another road bike. I would like to try CX sometime, probably about 2 years down the road, and I figure I ride a softride for everything else, why not here. I see the concerns about clearnace and the such though, so I suppose I can take some current clearance measurements and try to figure out where a CX tire would come to etc, and I would also probably use a shorter crankarm since I am riding 177.5's at the moment. Anyhow, thanks for the input, and if you have anything more to say, by all means, chime in.

    Edit: Oh, by the way, the Sachs got torn apart last night and I am going to try rebuilding it as a nearly duplicate road bike, with bar end shifters and all. But the idea was good, just not for me, thanks though.
    Road: '04 Campy Veloce equipt Softride Solo
    Mtn: '97 LX equipt Softride Powercurve
    Work in progress: Late 70's Richard Sachs - yet to be restored...

  12. #12
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    No. Don't do it. I've encouraged people to convert Schwinn Varsity, Hybrids, (normal) hardtail MTB's, converted road bikes. But a Beamer? No way. I have one on the back of our Tandem, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with it. Problems?
    1) Boing boing factor. You are hopping onto the beam several times each lap. You are going to be challenged to get your feet on/in the pedals, especially as a beginner crosser because the beam is flexing, you'll be tired, it's hard to look down, and your feet have a moving targe. The beam itself can probably take the abuse from landing on the saddle, but I'd be worried about the attachment to the frame. This is a lot more stress than a MTB takes. Notice that you'll see a lot more carbon seat posts on MTBs than cross bikes...
    2) Stiffness- You'll be all over the course, a beam bike is not going to be laterally stiff enough and will be a challenge to control
    3) Tire clearance? I doubt you can get anything bigger than 28c's under your brakes
    4) Geometry- this bike is built for Tri's- aero position, short head tube, your head way low. Exactly the opposite of what you want for cross. Your back will fuse mid-race. The bike will be scary on the steep downs- you won't be able to hang off the back of the saddle, and the beam will catapault you over the bars (think hitting tree roots on a nasty muddy dowhill- boing!) It may not climb very well either, sometimes its necessary to remain seated to keep your back wheel from spinning. The beam will not enhance this.
    5) You don't need much comfort saddle-wise during a 45-60min intense race. You won't be thinking about your azz, I promise. Holding down breakfast, tunnel vision, seized legs, sore back... but don't worry about your butt. Stiff is good for a cyclocross race bike (but maybe less good for something you also ride on the road though...)
    6) Shouldering IS an issue. Pushing a bike through mud, or up a steep hill is sometimes just a terrible option when you have no choice. Even picking the damn thing up over barriers would really slow you down. Again, watch a race and you'd get it.

    Really, it's a nice bike for what it was designed for- long bike legs on Tri's, on smooth roads. The conversion will be frustrating, and the bike even more frustrating in a race. Save your money for your crosser, or better yet, convert a used MTB or even hybrid- you can do this will little or no investment and it will be fine for beginner C races. Geez, you're really gonna wait two years to try cross? Don't wait, jump in, it takes a couple of seasons to get your cross skills down. So you want to wait 4 years to be competitive in A races? Oh, and don't dump your long cranks just yet, you might actually like them on a cross bike, especially if you get one with a high bottom bracket so you have the ground clearance- the extra leverage can be really nice in mud and steep upslopes. Lots of people run a longer crank on crossers.

    People would be so much better off if they were patient and tried a race or two before making any decisions about buying/converting a bike, if they are going to invest any money in it at all. People would answer their own questions like this if they were ever to hop in, or even watch a cyclocross race. Go. Then you'll get it. One experience on a race course is worth 1,000 posts in any forum.
    Last edited by ZenNMotion; 08-26-05 at 09:13 AM.

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