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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 09-30-02, 12:48 PM   #1
Brian_T
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Can I convert it?

I've got a rarely ridden Trek 6000 front suspension mountain bike that I'd like to convert (if possible) to a 'cross machine.

Has anyone done this and, if so, was it worth the potential cost-savings or would I be better served looking for yet another bike?

Thanks in advance,
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Old 09-30-02, 12:55 PM   #2
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A lot of people race MTBs in 'cross and, to tell the truth, it's easier to convert an MTB than a modern road bike.

For racing all you'll need to do is lose the suspension fork and replace it with a rigid fork [save you about a 1lb in carry weight and make the steering more predictable], swap out the tires for something a little narrower -- say 1.25" -- and lose the bar-ends.

Putting drop-bars on the bike will be more of a challenge... that would mean getting new bars, a new stem and, at very least, new brake levers and barcons. Do-able, but a pain.
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Old 09-30-02, 02:55 PM   #3
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CycloCross looks like alot of fun, but I don't have a mountain bike rather a road bike. What about converting a road bike over, what is involved? I realize it could not take near as wide a set of tires as a cross bike, but is that the main limitation?
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Old 10-01-02, 01:55 AM   #4
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Hi Kev,

As Velocipedio says above, it is easier to convert an MTB. If you're riding a road bike, you'll need lower gears both on the front and wider gears at the back.

I ran a 8 speed 12-28 set up on the back of my Cross bike and a 44 tooth chain ring up front...which worked pretty well. As you said, you'll have problems with tires, but I think Specialized do a nice range of widths that might fit.

Road bike brakes are another problem...very close fitting to the tires means they'll clog like a bugger in mud...have a look at either a set of V-brakes (not too sure if these will do the job, ask your LBS...you'll also need an adaptor for your brake levers) or cantilever brakes. In either of the above cases...you'll need a front fork with has brake bosses attached (either buy a fork, or if you're front fork is steel, have a set welded on).

It's not easy as has been said, but it is do-able.

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Old 10-01-02, 06:27 AM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Can I run 700c wheels on my MTB frame? Do I want a mountain or road fork for the front?

Thanks again,
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Old 10-01-02, 07:22 AM   #6
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You can't run 700c on your mtb. The brakes would be too low. You need a mtb fork for the front, not road.
there are alot of skinny 26" tires that will work for you- and they will give you some speed on the smoother stuff. Still, you can run 1.85's or something just fine.
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Old 10-03-02, 06:30 AM   #7
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Let me see if I've got this right:

I can run the MTB in a 'cross event as long as I lose the suspension fork. (I don't have any bar ends so I'm good there.) Add some narrower wheels and I'm good to go?

This seems too easy...not too CHEAP, but pretty easy.

Other than aerodynamics, are there any handling benefits to putting a drop bar on a MTB frame?

Thanks again for all the valuable feedback.
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Old 10-05-02, 06:47 AM   #8
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New approach. I'm not going to convert the MTB. I'm just going to buy myself a 'cross bike. Now I just need to find a good deal...

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Old 10-05-02, 06:49 AM   #9
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Good plan... what's your price range?

BTW, you don't HAVE to lose the suspension fork to race your MTB, but you'd probably want to. The suspension will make the bike very front-heavy and difficult to shoulder up a runup. I do know of one guy who swaps out his RockShox every fally for a rigid for and then re-installs the suspension fork for the summer MTB season...
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Old 10-06-02, 06:49 AM   #10
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I'm TRYING to snag a cyclocross bike off of Ebay but the price has run up about $350 in the last two days. Soon it'll be wa-ay out of my price range. I don't really have a "range" to speak of but I'm trying to justify any price increases for the bike before jumping.

I think steel is the way to go as my Cannondale seems to be really beating me up on the rough pavement lately. Ti is nice but I don't have the mucho bucks to spend on just a frame.
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Old 10-23-02, 08:24 PM   #11
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I'm converting my MTB to a cross/commuter and wanted to know what would be a good tire to run on the 26" wheels.
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Old 10-28-02, 05:50 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Born2mtb
I'm converting my MTB to a cross/commuter and wanted to know what would be a good tire to run on the 26" wheels.
If you're racing cross you want as light a tire as you can find. If you're running a commuter, you want a heavy tire to avoid the flats. Different function, different requirements.
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Old 10-28-02, 05:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian_T
New approach. I'm not going to convert the MTB. I'm just going to buy myself a 'cross bike. Now I just need to find a good deal...

Redline is making some nice bikes that are pretty well priced, but they are Alum..... Not free, but considering that I had to build my bike out of scratch parts years ago, and now you can get a fully loaded (local racer type) for 900 bucks is just amazing. Same bike would work equally well as a commuter. Lots to choose from now....Good luck.
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Old 10-28-02, 05:54 PM   #14
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Oh, and I forgot about Surly. They are making some really good frames that are WAY reasonable in price....
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