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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 11-01-06, 05:42 PM   #1
ronbridal
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Best Frame For Racing

I know this is a subjective question, but what is your opinion about the best frameset for racing cross. I currently ride a Ridley Crossbow and would like to upgrade to something lighter. I don't want to spend more than $1,000 to $1,500 for the frame. I will use all the components from my current bike to build. So I am talking frame only. Frames I am considering include:

Bianchi Cross Concept
Ridley Crosswind or Supercross
Redline Conquest Pro

I know it's a short list at this point. For those that race, what do you think? I want to build a sub 18 pound bike, so let me know what I should be looking at. Thanks! Ron
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Old 11-01-06, 05:52 PM   #2
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For 1,500 I'd go custom. IMO, a bike that fits perfect is the best race bike. I'm lucky... my 99 Surly fits like a glove.
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Old 11-01-06, 06:32 PM   #3
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Habanero will build you a custom ti frame for 1200. I've heard mixed reviews on their stuff though. It seems some aren't crazy about the fact that they're build in Asia.
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Old 11-01-06, 06:34 PM   #4
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actually, better I found a better idea.

a custom Sibex frame is $1300. Can't remember a bad thing ever being said about their cross frames.
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Old 11-01-06, 06:34 PM   #5
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Custom Ti for 1200$ Something is very wrong there, me thinks. I do have a warm spot in my heart for Bianchis. The concept is nice and right in your price range. 100+ years of frame building.
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Old 11-01-06, 07:01 PM   #6
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I would like to stay with aluminum or carbon. I could get a great custom steel frame from Waterford in team colors like my road bike, but I want something lighter. I'll have to take a look at the Ibex. Thanks for the input and keep it coming.
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Old 11-01-06, 07:20 PM   #7
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What is the total weight of yourself, your kit and your bike?

What does your bike weigh?
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Old 11-01-06, 09:40 PM   #8
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save one more paycheck, and toss it toward the bike. then you could get a seven mudhoney. i'm pretty sure that it's 3.1lbs.
----
edit: you said aluminum, i thought you meant titanium. whoops.
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Old 11-01-06, 11:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
What is the total weight of yourself, your kit and your bike?

What does your bike weigh?
I weigh 145. I don't know the exact weight of the kit, but it is Ultegra 9 speed. Right now the Ridley built up is 20 pounds. I have two sets of Tufo tubies I am finishing building to throw on the bike. One set will be on some old Mavic Heliums and the other on an older pair of Mavic GL 330's with Dura Ace hubs. They will both weigh considerably less than the Shimano R540's I have on the bike right now. I guess my main goal is to have a light weight bike that comes in under 18 pounds. With Ultegra 9 speed, what do you think I need to meet this goal? Thanks
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Old 11-02-06, 03:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbridal
I weigh 145. I don't know the exact weight of the kit, but it is Ultegra 9 speed. Right now the Ridley built up is 20 pounds. I have two sets of Tufo tubies I am finishing building to throw on the bike. One set will be on some old Mavic Heliums and the other on an older pair of Mavic GL 330's with Dura Ace hubs. They will both weigh considerably less than the Shimano R540's I have on the bike right now. I guess my main goal is to have a light weight bike that comes in under 18 pounds. With Ultegra 9 speed, what do you think I need to meet this goal? Thanks
Saving weight is great but the 20 lb bike you have now seems plenty light. Remember, you said that you are on a budget. That tells me that you don't have a sponsor. Anything you break comes out of your pocket. Aluminum is light but one good crash and your out a $1000 With the beating cyclocross gives your bike, an aluminum frame won't last too long before you need a new one.

Sponsored riders get free/discounted frames and parts. They don't care about durability. Why should they? They aren't paying for it. Their only concern is to win. Good luck on whatever you choose.

Tim
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Old 11-02-06, 08:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbridal
I weigh 145. I don't know the exact weight of the kit, but it is Ultegra 9 speed. Right now the Ridley built up is 20 pounds. I have two sets of Tufo tubies I am finishing building to throw on the bike. One set will be on some old Mavic Heliums and the other on an older pair of Mavic GL 330's with Dura Ace hubs. They will both weigh considerably less than the Shimano R540's I have on the bike right now. I guess my main goal is to have a light weight bike that comes in under 18 pounds. With Ultegra 9 speed, what do you think I need to meet this goal? Thanks
Firstly your total weigh of rider and bike is about 165 lbs. If you were to reduce your bike weight from 20 to 15 lbs - a preposterous assumption - you would save only 3% of your weight. In human terms it is generally not possible to detect changes of less than 5%.

Mavic Heliums may be more reliable than those Shimano wheels but they are not strong rims and it is probable that you will break them post haste. The GL330's aren't a whole lot more reliable.

I'm sort of curious why you would go for light over reliable.
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Old 11-02-06, 09:06 AM   #12
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I always find it curious when people say that you can't detect the difference when you take a bit of weight off the bike. I swapped my stock '05 JTS fork for an Reynolds CX a couple of weeks ago which saved exactly 1lb. I'm not saying that it's translated into faster lap times for a hack like me, but I can certainly feel the difference shouldering the bike!
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Old 11-02-06, 10:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1
Aluminum is light but one good crash and your out a $1000 With the beating cyclocross gives your bike, an aluminum frame won't last too long before you need a new one.
I don't know about other people's experiences but I'm working on my third season with the same Conquest Pro frame. Mine's been pretty durable. I actually had a pretty good season-ending crash on (off?) it last season where I separated my shoulder. Surprisingly, the bike did pretty well with a dinged up shifter and a tweaked rear wheel the only damage.

I have it built up with a mix of Ultegra and DA with Tufo Prestige tubies on Velocity Escapes. It is reasonably light (don't know for sure but sub 20) and most importantly for 'cross it was CHEAP.

Last edited by outofthesaddle; 11-02-06 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 11-02-06, 10:25 AM   #14
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I'm an older cat, 40, the alum these days must be better than the stuff i know from 20 years ago, that stuff was 1-2 season stuff.
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Old 11-02-06, 11:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
I'm an older cat, 40, the alum these days must be better than the stuff i know from 20 years ago, that stuff was 1-2 season stuff.
I have five seasons on my aluminum GT. We've experienced many gnarly crashes and it's still going strong. Then again, the 57cm frame and fork weigh close to seven pounds -- about the same weight as a Surly Crosscheck. It's Definately the brick ****house of aluminum frames.
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Old 11-02-06, 03:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclintom
Firstly your total weigh of rider and bike is about 165 lbs. If you were to reduce your bike weight from 20 to 15 lbs - a preposterous assumption - you would save only 3% of your weight. In human terms it is generally not possible to detect changes of less than 5%.

Mavic Heliums may be more reliable than those Shimano wheels but they are not strong rims and it is probable that you will break them post haste. The GL330's aren't a whole lot more reliable.

I'm sort of curious why you would go for light over reliable.
The Helium wheels are very common around here for cross and the added bonus is they are tubulars so I can run whatever amount of tire pressure I want. They weigh 1 pound less than the Shimanos. I understand your reasoning about rider weight, total weight . . . .yada yada. But I am not talking about it in those terms. I am talking about lifting and shouldering a 20 pound bike 15 times versus shouldering a 17 pound bike 15 times. I don't have anything to measure it with at this point, but I would be willing to bet that during the race I will be thankful I have a lighter bike. As for durability and reliability, I only need the frame for 2-3 seasons anyway. By then I will probably want something else. I recently saw a write-up on cyclingnews.com about a Conquest Pro Ti and that had me kind of interested. And with the low price of the aluminum Conquest Pro I am definitely leaning in that direction. Does anybody have a Conquest Pro built up that weighs in somewhere on the light side? Thanks
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Old 11-02-06, 07:12 PM   #17
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Check out Plusonelap.com

Jeremy's site has a bunch of sub 18# 'cross bikes including this Conquest Team:

http://plusonelap.blogspot.com/2006/...s-redline.html
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Old 11-02-06, 07:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbridal
The Helium wheels are very common around here for cross and the added bonus is they are tubulars so I can run whatever amount of tire pressure I want. They weigh 1 pound less than the Shimanos.
I assumed you meant Helium clinchers. The sewup rims are stronger by far.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ronbridal
I understand your reasoning about rider weight, total weight . . . .yada yada. But I am not talking about it in those terms. I am talking about lifting and shouldering a 20 pound bike 15 times versus shouldering a 17 pound bike 15 times.
You can absolutely feel this difference. The question is whether it makes any difference and I suggest that you race your bike for a year before talking improvements.

And if you're looking for a ti cross frame I suggest you go with Habanero.
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Old 11-02-06, 07:36 PM   #19
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www.yamaguchibike.com

Yamaguchi Cyclocross frameset is built with Yamaguchi designed True Temper “Biconical RCX” tubing with a seamless lugless fillet brazed finish. It has a 1-1/4"head tube with 1" steer tube (or you can select Ahead system and 1-1/8 steers) and uni crown fork. Top tube is 1-1/8" MAX shaped tubing. Down tube and seat tube are 1-1/8" to 1-3/8 round tubing. It has center pull brake bosses. Geometry is all custom CX design. I have worked with the U.S. Cycling Federation CX clinic/camp National CX coach to fit riders with good balanced CX geometries. - Koichi Yamaguchi
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Old 11-03-06, 10:25 AM   #20
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My Merckx is great.
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Old 11-03-06, 11:04 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
Custom Ti for 1200$ Something is very wrong there, me thinks. I do have a warm spot in my heart for Bianchis. The concept is nice and right in your price range. 100+ years of frame building.
Ok, I have to throw in my .02, cause I have never had a better bike related purchase experience than what I got with my Habanero frame. Totally exceeded my expectations-unbelievable customer service.

I have owned my custom Ti Habanero CX for 2 years and counting-and I have put a lot of abusive miles on it, on and off road. I think it is one of the nicest Ti frames I have seen- nicer than my litespeed MTB. Flawless welds, the frame was perfectly aligned and prepped, and Mark Hickey, the owner made sure I got exactly what I wanted over the course of probably 100 emails (I'm surprised the guy didn't strangle me to be honest). I couldn't be happier with it-makes me smile every time I throw a leg over it. I'd buy another Habby again in a heartbeat.
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Old 11-03-06, 12:32 PM   #22
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HOw the heck does he do that for the that little? I'll take DarkM's word for it.
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Old 11-03-06, 12:40 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
HOw the heck does he do that for the that little? I'll take DarkM's word for it.
Essentially, it's cheaper labour that makes the frames affordable. The guy must kind of like designing custom frames, cause it's only a $200 premium over his standard frames, which is peanuts when you consider the amount of time you'd spend going back and forth with the customer, plus the added production cost/time of doing a one off.

I suspect a custom frame takes 25+ hours to fab up, and in north america that is going to cost you.
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Old 11-04-06, 01:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
HOw the heck does he do that for the that little? I'll take DarkM's word for it.
AFAIK, his overhead is very low (no production space = lower costs). Think bikesdirect's prices. All he has to do is email the plans for the frame to Taiwan, and they do the rest. Using modern movable jig setups, I doubt it takes 25 hours to set up a frame and weld it. I'd think computerized plans lead to computerized setup models.

Anyway, the cost of producing a frame at a Taiwanese plant that's open 24-7 vs a US "workshop" open 10-4 (I'm guessing the boutique brands don't go 9-5, they're artists remember) is really different.
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Old 11-04-06, 06:24 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darkmother
Ok, I have to throw in my .02, cause I have never had a better bike related purchase experience than what I got with my Habanero frame. Totally exceeded my expectations-unbelievable customer service.

I have owned my custom Ti Habanero CX for 2 years and counting-and I have put a lot of abusive miles on it, on and off road. I think it is one of the nicest Ti frames I have seen- nicer than my litespeed MTB. Flawless welds, the frame was perfectly aligned and prepped, and Mark Hickey, the owner made sure I got exactly what I wanted over the course of probably 100 emails (I'm surprised the guy didn't strangle me to be honest). I couldn't be happier with it-makes me smile every time I throw a leg over it. I'd buy another Habby again in a heartbeat.
How does the feel of Ti compare to steel or aluminum? I've never ridden one, but I'm intrigued. Especially at that price.
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