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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 05-30-07, 06:42 PM   #1
John Dark
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What do you think of this Soma build?

So I did my own research, mostly from lurking here and other helpful places like sheldon brown's site, and came to the conclusion that I am going to buy and build up a Soma Double Cross (58 cm) later this year. I am 6'2", 200 lbs, out of shape, mid 30s, looking to use it for the same things that everyone who posts in this forum does. i.e. some commuting, occasional light touring, hard packed dirt, some rail trail crushed limestone, etc. etc. etc. Pretty much anything except CX races. A nice comfy, sturdy do-it-all bike.

Here's the build I'd like to do. Can any experienced builders eyeball it for me and see if there are any compatibility problems? For example, I read up on derailleur capacities and I'm not sure of the front derailleur can handle a 16-tooth chainring difference. http://velospec.ru/en/components/shimano/fd5501f lists capacity as 15T. Any input or advice is appreciated.

I thought I had sold myself on a compact double but now I'm seriously considering a triple again. Especially if I try to commute (I live in the North Hills of Pittsburgh and it's an appropriate name)

Total build should be around $1525 for those of you who've asked.

Waffling
Cassette: Not even set yet on the gear range. Five options I'm considering, in order of what I'm leading toward: 12-28, 12-27, 12-25, 11-28, 12-34,
F. Derailleur (bottom-pull, 28.6mm clamp): Shimano 105 8/9 sp. triple or IRD Alpina
R. Derailleur: Shimano 105 RD-5501-SS-L 9 sp. (short cage) or Shimano Rd-5600-GS (medium cage - if using a wider cassette). May have to use a MTB rear with the 11-28 or the 12-34.

--
Decided
Crankset (172.5 mm arms): Sugino XD 500T Special Edition 48-36-24 triple
Bottom Bracket (English, 68mm): IRD QB-75 JIS square taper 113 x 68mm
Headset: Chris King NoThreadset 1-1/8" (silver)
Chain: Shimano CN 7701 Dura-Ace 9sp.
Brakes: IRD Cafam cantis (silver)
Levers: Soma Aero Road Levers (silver)
Shifters: Shimano SL-7700 9 sp. downtube
Bar: On-One Midge (stem clamp: 25.4mm/mtb; component diam: 23.8mm/road; drop: 11cm )
Stem: Soma 3D forged MTB stem, 100 mm, +/- 7 deg. (silver)
Seatpost: Soma Kalloy, 250 mm x 27.2 mm (silver)
Saddle: Brooks B-17 (black)
Pedals: MKS Sylvan tour w/ Clips + straps
Wheelset: Sun Ringle ME14A 36h rims on Shimano 105 hubs
Tires: Ritchey Speedmax Cross Pro 700 x 32C Maybe 35.

Last edited by John Dark; 06-21-07 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:01 PM   #2
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Sounds like a decent build but, I would opt for 175 crank arms at your height without thinking twice.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:07 PM   #3
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I had 175 down first but talked myself out of it because of the potential for knee concerns down the road.
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Old 05-30-07, 07:41 PM   #4
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Looks like a winner. Make sure you have your LBS cut the steer tube long, too long at first. Don't let them try to make it look like Lance Armstrong's bike. If you find that you want it shorter, they can cut it again for you for a few dollars. Re: crank arms...I would be shocked if 2.5mm difference in length had a higher rate of knee problems. Pedals/shoe soles/shoe inserts/etc. vary by much more than that.
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Old 05-31-07, 02:34 PM   #5
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The front derailleur will handle the 16 tooth difference on the compact crank. I've run the same combination with no problems. I wouldn't be too concerned with running the shorter cranks, I'm 6'01" with about a 35.5 inseam & I run 170 cranks. I like the shorter cranks both for cornering clearance as well as being used to them from riding fixed gear. And as hamr22 said, go long with the steerer. I ended up not cutting my steerer at all on my Cross-Check. As a result, I can sit in the drops all day & still get very low drafting behind a short person if I have too.
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Old 05-31-07, 03:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveF
... drafting behind a short person if I have too.
5' 6-1/2". I resemble that remark.

I commute using shorter cranks on my 49cm Double Cross. The numbers say I should run 170's and that's what I use on my other three bikes but I have 167.5's on the Soma for less toe overlap with fatter tires. It also seems to help with my training. I find I notice my cadence dropping sooner when turning 170's on the mountain bike or the roadie rig. I tend to wonder if makes riding in street clothing a little less uncomfortable for me as well.
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Old 05-31-07, 07:00 PM   #7
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damn! nice bike! steel!
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Old 06-01-07, 12:27 PM   #8
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Since everyone seems to be going with external bearing BB's, why the choice of the Ritchey crankset + BB-6500? Just curious.
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Old 06-02-07, 11:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somnambulant
Since everyone seems to be going with external bearing BB's, why the choice of the Ritchey crankset + BB-6500? Just curious.
Aha. Here's a perfect example of why I made this thread.

I have no idea what external bearing BBs are and what their advantages and disadvantages would be. Can you sum it up. Or maybe time to hit the search function again.
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Old 06-02-07, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dark
Aha. Here's a perfect example of why I made this thread.

I have no idea what external bearing BBs are and what their advantages and disadvantages would be. Can you sum it up. Or maybe time to hit the search function again.
exteral bottom brakets were invented by shimano and came out with the dura ace cranks a few years back. in concept, these thread onto a frame outboard of the frame and because they are further apart, they are stiffer. and because they are outboard, they are bigger bearings and therefore smoother.
http://www.excelsports.com/new.asp?p...ajor=1&minor=6

these cranks are designed specificly for the bottom bracket so the shimano ones only work with shimano cranks and the new campy cranks only work with campy bbs. fsa also make cranks and bbs. the ritchey cranks were designed to be an after market item for shimano cranks and they sold a bunch of them that way but it puzzles me why they never made a version of this crank for the fsa bb since shimano has pretty much stopped making the octalink bb.

the think about the centuar compact and the shimano compact crank is the weight...they both weigh in around 800 grams! of the two, I think the centuar is nicer.
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Old 06-05-07, 05:53 PM   #11
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I disagree with external bearings being smoother. I have found them to have more friction than cartridge bb's. They claim to have an advantage in increased stiffness, and whether this is correct, significant or relevant, I can't say.
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Old 06-06-07, 02:14 PM   #12
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I don't know about the BB debate, but why bar-end or downtube shifters? Integrated shifting is a gift from the gods. Embrace it. If they seem too expensive, buy them used (easily done if you're going nine speed.) If you're planning on touring through south america and you're concerned about road side repairs, then sure, go with the bar-ends.

Also, I'd exchage the ritchey cross tires for some good touring tires with a tread pattern, but no knobbies. They just don't corner well on pavement, if that's mostly what you'll do. If you try riding in the mud, they might be a bit slippery, but on balance, you'll be more pleased.

Finally, if you're not racing, you might consider mini v-brakes. I've not tried them, but they are supposedly easier to set up and adjust. Do a search in this forum for them. And they're probably less expensive.

Otherwise, good choices.
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Old 06-06-07, 04:26 PM   #13
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I like the setup, I seem to be going the shimano 105 / ultegra / dura ace route myself. Any reason why you went the short cage instead of the long cage derailleur? I never heard anything bout the front derailleur and 16t being a problem... something to look into for myself I guess.

Good luck with the bike, send pictures when you can !!!
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Old 06-07-07, 06:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amorrow
why bar-end or downtube shifters? Integrated shifting is a gift from the gods. Embrace it.
It was an accommodation to the midge bar, which I am really curious about. With it's short drop and wide flare, I wasn't sure STI would operate smoothly on them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amorrow
Also, I'd exchage the ritchey cross tires for some good touring tires with a tread pattern, but no knobbies.
Yeah, at first I had Panaracer Pasela TG on there. It will probably boil down to what's on sale or what my mood is when I buy the tires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amorrow
Finally, if you're not racing, you might consider mini v-brakes....supposedly easier to set up and adjust.
Thanks, I'll check them out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dzinehaus
Any reason why you went the short cage instead of the long cage derailleur?
I assumed it was best to not go with any more cage than the minimum needed based on the capacities. I also have it in my head that shorter cage will result in crisper shifting, but that may just be a hallucination caused by a chimichanga I ate at a street fair once.
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Old 06-07-07, 09:22 AM   #15
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From what I understood about shortcages is that, yes, it can result in a smoother change... if your drivetrain is setup properly. I think I remember reading about it on www.sheldonbrown.com or parktool.com But I can't remember.

I was advised a short cage or a mtb / bmx rear derailleur as the short cage gives for more clearance (which was my main factor for buying one) but the bmx /mtb derailleur was suggested because they can (usually, and I say that loosely) take a beating.

dude, if you got a place for the down tubes or the bar ends, enjoy it, but curse the bar ends if you ever bail. Bar end bail = impale (it's like a cute lil flexy knife on the end of your bar waiting to gauge you or your friend )

I like down tubes just cause I am slowly working my way to single speed but I am taking baby steps by modding my cassette to only 3 or 5 speed ( i really don't see the point in all the extra gears past a 5speed... even a double crank is excessive to me)

If you can go with brifters (combo brake and shifter often called 'double taps')... a lil more $$ but can be well worth it. And yes all the shifters will work on midge bars, but some need a shim to be used for the conversion. (SO I'VE BEEN TOLD, AND SO I HAVE SEEN IN OTHER BIKE GALLERIES)

but hey, why not embrace the index shifters? unless your bike is an older fixie...
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Old 06-07-07, 09:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Dark
Chain: Shimano CN HG-73 9sp.
Negative. I've used HG-73 and recently switched to CN7701 DuraAce/XTR and will NEVER go back. 73 will turn to rust first time it's exposed to nasty conditions. 7701 stays shinney silver forever. This isn't just a cosmetic issues as I find the rust generated on the 73 tends to cause it to run rougher in foul conditions. For the extra $10 bucks it's a no brainer for me.
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Old 06-07-07, 12:26 PM   #17
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KrisA thanks you helped me out on picking out my chain for my bike.
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Old 06-07-07, 06:28 PM   #18
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Not bad, but I'd make some minor changes. I am 6'1" 200 lbs and I WAS kind of out of shape, prior to getting my own all-purpose 'cross bike up and running in the winter.

Here's my story: I found a ti frame online, and the owner -- a pro who was selling because he was getting a sponsor's bike -- and I were uncannily the same dimensions. Inseam and arm length as well as height. I went for Ultegra triple, cassette, and hubs. I also definitely recommend the bar end shifters over the downtube ones. (Actually I think Shimano only make bar end shifters in Dura-Ace). My rear cassette is 12-28, which with the triple gets up all the steepest hills in Vancouver. (Okay, not the mountains but that's another story.) What I like about Ultegra is the quality and the stiffness. It's not DA light but it is tough enough, for sure.

I even bought a Midge handlebar, like you are considering, but I found it disappointing, so I went to a FSA ergonomic drop bar, which I love. The Midge requires a steeper angle on the stem.

Now the tricky part was getting an uncut fork. (Most steerers are cut too low for the older-than-30 rider.) I have an Independent Fabrication steel fork, which of course is professional quality, but I want an uncut steerer, so I wasn't bent over too much. I just bought a carbon CX fork online (Ebay to the rescue again). I'll install it, and then see where I want it cut. Like someone else pointed out, when you buy your bike, don't let them cut the steerer.

Also, I had a B17 but then plumped for a Swift, which is ti and fantastic. It's considerably lighter than the B17 although it does cost a fair bit more. It's just as comfy but it's a lot lighter. (I have a ti fetish anyhow, with the ti frame, custom Moots stem, and Moots seatpost.)

Finally, I went with the UltraGatorskins, and they are very good. I like Schwalbe tires, normally, like on my touring bike and recumbent, and on my wife's bike, but they are heavy. Oh yeah and the cross levers make a difference in traffic: quickly within reach.

Anyhow, I just thought I'd mention these things because I went through the same process as you just in the last 6-7 months, and we're approx. the same age and height/weight etc. And I wanted -- like you -- an CX all-purpose bike, though not for CX itself. (I.e., commuting, bombing around town, over all kinds of surfaces etc.) The bike is a pleasure.
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Old 06-07-07, 06:32 PM   #19
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Oh yeah, one last thing. Get some good brakes. I'm completely sold on cantis over V-brakes which I have on other bikes and I find require more attention.

Paul's or Froglegs. I went with the Paul's touring cantis and they are without a doubt the most solid, reliable and gratifyingly predictable thing on my bike. They are so very easy to adjust and they almost never need to be fiddled with. I had a chance to go to discs, which I have on other bike and enjoy, but no way. I love the Paul's too much.

Don't take my word for it, do a search and see what other users have said.
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Old 06-07-07, 07:48 PM   #20
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I did a tour on a set of Peselt tourguards and had many flats with them.. the sidewalls are just too wimpy and I wouldn't want to depend on them if I didn;t have to.. (I had to unfortunately.) look elsewhere.
I have run Bontrager hardcase 32's slicks on my poprad for the past two eyars with ZERO issues! they are slick and not going to get you too far off road... but thats what my 41mm tricross' are for!

have fun
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Old 06-07-07, 10:21 PM   #21
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Thanks for the suggestions. However....

Quote:
Originally Posted by tkehler
Here's my story: I found a ti frame online, and the owner -- a pro who was selling because he was getting a sponsor's bike -- and I were uncannily the same dimensions. Inseam and arm length as well as height. I went for Ultegra triple, cassette, and hubs. I also definitely recommend the bar end shifters over the downtube ones. (Actually I think Shimano only make bar end shifters in Dura-Ace). My rear cassette is 12-28, which with the triple gets up all the steepest hills in Vancouver. (Okay, not the mountains but that's another story.) What I like about Ultegra is the quality and the stiffness. It's not DA light but it is tough enough, for sure.

Now the tricky part was getting an uncut fork. (Most steerers are cut too low for the older-than-30 rider.) I have an Independent Fabrication steel fork, which of course is professional quality, but I want an uncut steerer, so I wasn't bent over too much. I just bought a carbon CX fork online (Ebay to the rescue again). I'll install it, and then see where I want it cut. Like someone else pointed out, when you buy your bike, don't let them cut the steerer.

Also, I had a B17 but then plumped for a Swift, which is ti and fantastic. It's considerably lighter than the B17 although it does cost a fair bit more. It's just as comfy but it's a lot lighter. (I have a ti fetish anyhow, with the ti frame, custom Moots stem, and Moots seatpost.)

Paul's or Froglegs. I went with the Paul's touring cantis and they are without a doubt the most solid, reliable and gratifyingly predictable thing on my bike. They are so very easy to adjust and they almost never need to be fiddled with. I had a chance to go to discs, which I have on other bike and enjoy, but no way. I love the Paul's too much.
...Your budget was probably 3-4 times what mine is. I'll keep all of it mind though for when my ship comes in.
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Old 06-11-07, 08:04 PM   #22
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Quote:
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Thanks for the suggestions. However....



...Your budget was probably 3-4 times what mine is. I'll keep all of it mind though for when my ship comes in.

Well, perhaps. But almost everything on my bike was used (Ebay or Craigslist). From the frame, to the wheelset, the seat, and the shifters even (from a local bikeshop). What cost was the Moots seatpost and the Moots stem, both from Ebay but expensive. And frankly unnecessary, as Thomson would have done....
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