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  1. #1
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Singlespeed cyclocross project - help out a newbie

    Hello. I'm looking into building up a cyclocross bike on the cheap. Singlespeed, at that. I just want to be able to tool around with my friends on their off-road adventures, and maybe do a light race or two. I'd like to keep it under $200, preferably more like $150. So here're my ideas so far:
    Hybrid frame (700c wheels, canti brakes, used)
    Old road drops (have some)
    Aero levers (canti specific)
    700c wheelset (used)
    700x37 tires (not sure what brand)
    BMX freewheel or cassette cog (depends on hub)
    Beat-up canti brakes (used)
    BB, crank (used and used, 170 length)
    Threaded headset and quill stem (MTB stem, spread to fit drops)

    Hopefully I can get most of the stuff free or cheap, and unfortunately, there isn't a trade thread in the CX forum. But if anyone's interested in trading any of the above items, I've got quite a bin of parts (mostly older stuff, nothing too fancy). This is all subject to change/abandonment, but let me know if you've got anyhting for me. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  2. #2
    Senior Member FRANKIEJ's Avatar
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    I built something along those lines last year. I had a Fuji Dynamic 10 that I bought at a yard sale for 10 bucks that I wasn't doing anything with. I proceeded to strip off all unecessary componentry, re-spaced and re-dished the rear wheel and screwed on an 18 tooth bmx freewheel. It had a 39 tooth middle ring on the crankset, which combined with the 18 tooth rear freewheel gave an acceptable ratio to accomodate light trail riding, so I removed the outer ring and and put on some bmx chainring bolts.

    I topped it off with some Kenda 27x 1 3/8" cyclocross tires that I got from Lickton's. The frames on the old, cheap 70's road bikes have mile of clearance around the tires, and combined with the original long reach center pull brakes, I've got more that enough clearance for any mud that would accumulate. I've got less than $40 in the entire conversion (I have a pretty good stockpile of spare parts on hand though)

  3. #3
    Senior Member FRANKIEJ's Avatar
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    Here are a few of pics of it that I found.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by FRANKIEJ; 07-11-06 at 01:19 PM.

  4. #4
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Hmm...I guess that's not a bad way to do it either. How do you like those centerpulls for 'cross riding? Do they do well with mud (stopping power, not clearance)?
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  5. #5
    Senior Member FRANKIEJ's Avatar
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    I really like centerpull brakes. These do fine for what the bike does ( light trail riding, some city riding). They stop as fast as I need to stop. As long as they have decent pads and good cables, centerpulls have always performed wonderfully for me. And they are a dime a dozen.

  6. #6
    crotchety young dude el twe's Avatar
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    Yeah. I've got centerpulls on my fix and i do love them. I actually found a possible frameset: an old Miyata MTB set up for V-brakes, and I can fit 700c wheels in it. Would that be too weird, or could it work?
    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I explained that he could never pay me enough cash for the amount of work I had put into that bike and the only way to compensate me for it was to ride the hell out of it.
    IRO Angus Casati Gold Line

  7. #7
    Senior Member FRANKIEJ's Avatar
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    Could work, although I wouldn't put 700c wheels on it. The brakes would probably not line up. Here is another idea (see pictures). This is an old Schwinn High Plains ATB converted to a heavy duty touring-style bike. You could quite easily build up something similar and put some mildly knobbed tires on it for mud detail.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
    Senior Member MrCjolsen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by el twe
    Yeah. I've got centerpulls on my fix and i do love them. I actually found a possible frameset: an old Miyata MTB set up for V-brakes, and I can fit 700c wheels in it. Would that be too weird, or could it work?
    Someone could make a lot of money with a cantilever brake that will adapt a 700c wheel to an mtb frame. Every mtb I've ever had has enough clearance for a 700c wheel, but the brakes don't work.

  9. #9
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Someone could make a lot of money with a cantilever brake that will adapt a 700c wheel to an mtb frame. Every mtb I've ever had has enough clearance for a 700c wheel, but the brakes don't work.
    It would have to be a direct-pull brake (as in, v-brake) with long arms and you'd need brake levers for old-style cantilever/caliper brakes, otherwise the leverage would be all wrong. But I bet it would work.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Milice's Avatar
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    They do make brakes like that. Compleatly old school!! They were/are the Onza brakes. You can find them on ebay from an outfit out of Mexico. But remember the frame geometry between road bikes and mt bikes are different. If you go with a mt bike frame you will most likely have to get a really short stem to bring your bars back closer. evan then the bike will still feel twitchy. I know this from experence my single speed cross is a 1998 Giant Iguana mt bike.

  11. #11
    Team Beer Cynikal's Avatar
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    El, I just started a similar project. I found a 80's nishiki tourer with canti's and horiz dropouts. I just thru on 30mm tires on an old set of wheels I had. Still need to respace and redish the rear and get brake levers. I'll post a pick when done.
    I'm not one for fawning over bicycles, but I do believe that our bikes communicate with us, and what this bike is saying is, "You're an idiot." BikeSnobNYC

  12. #12
    www.messnyc.net bldzr's Avatar
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    as far as the brakes go, canti's are absolutely the best. They provide the best mix of clearance and stopping power (remember, you don't really need that much stopping power in a race situation - the idea is to go fast!). I just read an article in Velonews that compares different types of brakes.

    Center-pull calipers are going to get very quickly swamped in muddy conditions, rendering them pretty useless. And if you adjust them to give you enough mud clearance, then they won't really stop very well. I recommend an old touring frame. The brakes will be easiest to set up, you'll already have the right clearance for large tires, it won't be twitchy. The only thing you'll have to worry about is the weight, which isn't that big a deal.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JimmyMack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrCjolsen
    Someone could make a lot of money with a cantilever brake that will adapt a 700c wheel to an mtb frame. Every mtb I've ever had has enough clearance for a 700c wheel, but the brakes don't work.


    I'm still waiting to see someone use them to convert a MTB to 700C. (The adapters change the canti stud positions to a correct location for 700C wheels) Should make for a good basic cross bike on the cheap.

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