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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 06-04-07, 06:16 PM   #1
Adagio Corse
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suggestions for custom CX singlespeed

I'm in the process of building my custom cyclocross singlespeed (fixie for city riding) and wanted some suggestions from the forum as to what features to include. Give me ideas, even if it sounds too "bling" or an unnecessary luxury. I'm not a serious racer, but do plan to take this bike on weekend races - 'tho I don't expect to win, I would like to be competitive and have fun.

My initial research tells me that I should have the following basic components:
Bottombracket: Phil Wood Ti premium
Rear hub: Phil flip/flop low flange
Front hub: White Industries H1 Ti
Wheelset: Velocity Escape tubular rims, Sapim CXray spokes
Crankset: Sugino Grand Mighty Gold/ Gigas 46t ring (with ENO 22t cog/18t fixed)
Chain: Izumi Super V
This build shows a preliminary weight of 17.5 lbs. (with Tufo 700x30 tires, Eggbeaters 2ti & Brooks saddle)
Comments, suggestions, changes?

Also, need suggestions for brakes and handlebars; I initially wanted to use bullhorn handlebars since most of my riding will be in the city during the week (Soma Pursuit), is this a bad idea for CX?
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Old 06-04-07, 07:23 PM   #2
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Unless this wheelset will see all its time racing, don't bother with tubulars. You will regret it. You can always race on clinchers if you're just trying it out. Then again, it sounds like you've got plenty of $ for two wheelsets.

Not sure if bullhorns are race-legal. Go with Bell Lap bars or mustache bars.

Last edited by thatguy; 06-05-07 at 09:19 AM.
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Old 06-04-07, 08:07 PM   #3
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bullhorns are a no go (edit: by no go i mean illegal) at most if not all uscf races. same with bar ends, too easy to hook someone.

for the difference in price of phils, you could probably build up two wheelsets (one tubie one clincher) with formulas and save some weight on each. but phils are very nice.

i like my regular ole hoods and road drops, but a little flare can be nice. lots of good bar options.

Last edited by dirtyphotons; 06-05-07 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 06-05-07, 08:09 AM   #4
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why run all the weight weenie part-horrr parts with a heavy azz brooks? also, why run super high dollar square taper track cranks?

please for the love of all things good, don't run ******** bullhorns on a 'cross bike. is this a 'cross bike or a possenger cool kid fashion fixie with a top tube pad and 90 spoke cards? i like my regular ol fsa rd-200 road bars, but am considering swapping them out for some bell laps.

as for brakes, i'd look into the paul neo-retro and/or touring canti's.

Last edited by isotopesope; 06-05-07 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 06-05-07, 12:48 PM   #5
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haha

iso, why so aggro??? did a fakenger steal your lolly?

bell laps = sweet
and I just scored a nice pair of them Paul neos...smoove
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Old 06-05-07, 01:39 PM   #6
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bah humbug. i'm so sick of internet fixies i'm seeing red! red like my stolen lolly that had a funny smell... or maybe not so funny.

so you're getting ready to race 'cross this year?
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Old 06-05-07, 01:48 PM   #7
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yes - indeed. what is the colorado circuit going to do? I wouldn't mind coming out for a race and then dying from altitude induced deathiness

hit me up via email

/derailling of original thread
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Old 06-05-07, 05:03 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isotopesope
why run all the weight weenie part-horrr parts with a heavy azz brooks? also, why run super high dollar square taper track cranks?

please for the love of all things good, don't run ******** bullhorns on a 'cross bike. is this a 'cross bike or a possenger cool kid fashion fixie with a top tube pad and 90 spoke cards? i like my regular ol fsa rd-200 road bars, but am considering swapping them out for some bell laps.

as for brakes, i'd look into the paul neo-retro and/or touring canti's.
That's why I'm throwing up my "proposal"! This is not final, just had to start somewhere right? But to address a few of your concerns:

1. Bullhorns: agreed, this appears to be unpractical and dangerous if I'm serious about running in CX races
2. Saddle: actually, for race day I plan to throw on my spare Fizik Aliante Ti Gamma stripped from one of my roadies, but the heavy azz brooks is for city riding, so the weight is no biggy. Otherwise, I would agree, crazy to run heavy Brooks at a race.
3. Expensive crankset: I was under the impression that for SS/Fixie, the more "round" your chainring/crank set, the smoother your drivetrain. So I figured that since smoothness is the whole point of SS riding, I'd buy the most round crankset/chainring available, which is the super high end Sugino crankset Gigas combo. I also thought square taper was a proven strong spindle and easiest to find cranks for SS parts.
4. Cool fixie? Ok, I concede it WILL BE a cool fixie, but not a mainstream cool fixie, just cool because it fits what I imagine to be cool. It's gonna look bling and very fine when I'm done with it, however, not in an attempt to "fit in" with any preconceived image of what I thought a "fixie" should be.
5. Good advice on the Paul brakes, I've been reading a lot of positive reviews on those.
6. On the tubulars: yep, I'll have a spare set of clincher rims too. Just wanted to ride both to see how the other half lives, simply because there are soooo many people dedicated to the "feel" of tubulars, just had to see for myself what all the hoopla is about (isn't this what custom bikes are all about? having fun??). At worst, I'll have an extra set of tubie rims to play around with on my other bikes.

What do you guys think of the On One Midge handlebars? These seem to be made for CX frames.

Last edited by Adagio Corse; 06-05-07 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 06-05-07, 09:02 PM   #9
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I was going to say Midge Bars. Moustache Bars too.

Awesome set up!
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Old 06-06-07, 05:58 AM   #10
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You haven't mentioned your custom frame. Please don't put all that bling on a Huffy. If you do at least put some electrical tape over the logo.
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Old 06-06-07, 07:19 AM   #11
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if you are set on a Phil BB, save some dough and get a cromo spindle one. I dont think the extra money for a ti spindle is worth it.

Tubulars? only for racing unless you have a hole burning in your pocket for lots of $60-100 tires. Yeah you can repair tubulars but its a pain and usually a winter project.
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Old 06-06-07, 10:59 AM   #12
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cranks, go paul, or white industries for the single speed stuff, if you are going to spend the high dollar, those will definatly stand up to the rigors of CX. Or if it is compatable with you frame, get the Truvativ Noir cranks and a bashguard. They are hot as hell, but they are also on my MT Bikes. Or force.....

And Phil hubs are nice, but heavy as hell

the TI pedals are $100s more than the standard Sls and only weight 150 grams less....plus they have a shorter wear cycle

bell laps with pauls, but then you are going to need brifter style brake levers

and the more i think about it I am confused as to what you want to accomplish with this bike. City riding.....are you going to have fenders and such? Weight weenie.....why not the force crankset with only one ring? High dollar bling.....king hubs in place of a ti BB spindle. Race bikes and city riding and high fashion bikes are typically all sort of radically different.

you dont have to have a high dollar bike to be competative either. It brings me great pride to really hand the guys riding full carbon rigs their ass at races. This almost seems like it would be a better idea to build a bike that could serve both uses the best. ie, a soma cross check, supports fenders and racks, bigger tires, cantis, more upright riding position so it is comfortable both on and off road.....

Last edited by cardstock; 06-06-07 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 06-06-07, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tmax1
You haven't mentioned your custom frame. Please don't put all that bling on a Huffy. If you do at least put some electrical tape over the logo.
Frame and build up by Tony Pereira. http://pereiracycles.com/
He hit it big at the recent NAHBS and won 3 awards: best fillet braze, best road bike and best offroad bike. I liked his passion and enthusiasm and had to give this young gun a try. I also wanted to catch a young talent before his lead time passed the one year wait list. A Vanilla custom SS CX would be an instant classic, but 5 years is ridiculous for a non-collector. I also considered Kish, Sycip and Kirk, but ultimately went with Tony because he enjoys building up his bike complete from frame to bar tape.

As for the tubulars, yeah, I followed the past tubular debates with much interest, reading the emotional posts of both pro/con parties. It's almost like reading a religious debate. However, as a lover of bicycle heritage and history as well as bike riding, it would be a crime not to at least try tubulars so I can engage in these debates myself with some modicum of knowledge! Concerned about getting flats? Yep, but I'm hoping the Tufo+sealant proves to be as magical as people say. Just need to see for myself if the differences in ride between tubs and clinchers are truly noticeable and worth the trouble.
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Old 06-06-07, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nitropowered
if you are set on a Phil BB, save some dough and get a cromo spindle one. I dont think the extra money for a ti spindle is worth it.
Good point on the spindle - I'm actually hearing that a steel spindle may be stronger than Ti spindle (complaints of Ti pedal spindles breaking). Since I'm more into quality parts than weight weenie parts, I'll probably end up going with cro-mo.
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Old 06-06-07, 11:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by cardstock
cranks, go paul, or white industries for the single speed stuff, if you are going to spend the high dollar, those will definatly stand up to the rigors of CX. Or if it is compatable with you frame, get the Truvativ Noir cranks and a bashguard. They are hot as hell, but they are also on my MT Bikes. Or force.....

And Phil hubs are nice, but heavy as hell

the TI pedals are $100s more than the standard Sls and only weight 150 grams less....plus they have a shorter wear cycle

bell laps with pauls, but then you are going to need brifter style brake levers

and the more i think about it I am confused as to what you want to accomplish with this bike. City riding.....are you going to have fenders and such? Weight weenie.....why not the force crankset with only one ring? High dollar bling.....king hubs in place of a ti BB spindle. Race bikes and city riding and high fashion bikes are typically all sort of radically different.
I'm still in the development phase of this build, getting ideas from you all and incorporating changes where needed.

The ultimate purpose of this bike is to be my multi-use bike. I have a dedicated road bike in my Bianchi 928, but would also like a bike to ride on firetrails and CX. I also wanted a singlespeed/fixed because I'm getting tired of shifting and the rattling and the periodic adjustments. Since it's custom, I can make it sort of bling for individuality. I don't necessarily intend for it to be "weight weenie" compliant, but sometimes quality bling=weight weenie. Since the frame is custom, I can go with any crankset I want, I just want it to run smoothly (thus the Sugino track crank parts for perfectly round spider/ring). And as a singlespeed, it should be trouble free for CX as long as I have some kind of chain deflector to keep the chain from popping inside. Other than these general ideas for the character of my bike, I really don't have any hard and fast rules.

All your suggestions are constructive and definitely welcome. My initial choice of Phil Wood parts was based on "everybody" saying that Phil makes the smoothest rolling hubs and near indestructible BB, etc. If you have better suggestions (Chris King is better?) please advise!
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Old 06-06-07, 12:14 PM   #16
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it is hard because certain parts by certain people tend to have their benifits and their bad points and it is going to have to be you that decides what you want and what you want to get out of it.

Hubs: Phil wood is industructable but heavy as hell. Kings are sealed just as good as a Phil but in my opinion a little more delicate, but also a hell of a lot lighter. King can't be run fixed. Racing, I run Kings, commuting I'd run Phils.

Bottom brackets: Again, commuting everyday in the rain and the crap on the street, a sealed phil will work flawlessly forever, but are you riding EVERYDAY? Be honest with yourself, and if you aren't then a phil isnt worth it. I am riding a crap shimano BB on my everyday commuter. EVERYday, tons of miles and there are not any problems with it.....

Cranks: I have seen some pretty janky setups for singlespeed and they have worked fine. The Highend Sugino stuff is overkill, especially if you are going to be racing it in the mud and sand of cyclocross. I would Imagine the cranksets Paul and WI make are of similar quality and trueness.

Chain: Again, think about when and where you are riding this thing. Get a $15 KMC chain. With mud from CX and the grit and grime of the road, you will probably be replacing it soon enough.

Dont get tubie if you dont need to, or just to try it out. They are good, but only if you intend riding at LOW pressure. Are you going to race that much or that competativly for it to matter? Are you ready to carry around a spare tire on your commute?

In the end, it doesnt matter what any of us say. Just cause it costs alot, doesn't mean it is the best solution for things.
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Old 06-06-07, 01:15 PM   #17
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Bottom Bracket: Ok, good points. I didn't realize BBs in general were durable, regardless of maker. If most brackets are durable within my usage limits (weekend CX, occasional mud depending on CX conditions, daily training rides) than I can definitely use a lighter sealed BB.

Cranks: my other choice was going to be the WI integrated crankset system. Might be worth exploring their Double/double crankset...

Chain: didn't know that grit and grime would wear out a chain! Just thought I had to clean it and it would be good as new again! Seems like my road chains last forever, but apparently CX conditions change that.

Tubie: Not commuting, but this will be my city trainer 50% of the time (live in mostly flat O.C.) and the streets here in coastal OC aren't too bad. I'm also reconsidering the tubie because there are no tubies in a 700x28 size that's a road tire. The closest one is a Tufo Diamond 700x30, but it's max inflation is 65, and is probably inappropriate for street riding (65 psi for the streets sound inefficient and low) even though its tread is near smooth. The lack of street tire tubie choices in a nice comfy 700x28 (or larger) size may be the number one reason to stay away from a tubie!

Unfortunately, with so much selection and so many products on the market, one of the ways I narrowed down my component choices was based on price (higher the better?). There aren't that many reviews out there, so it's these forums that definitely give valuable insight based on experience which I'm relying on to educate myself.

Thanks for your responses
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Old 06-06-07, 02:04 PM   #18
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I totally understand the higher the better, thing, and not knowing what is better, and asking for user experience. I am having the same problem justifying running something like the Zipp 404 cross wheelset without hearing some specific user experience. And i am finding very few people actually ride them......

The problem with tubies isalso on the street you want to be running a 100 psi ish tire pressure anyway, cross tires are not good for that, plus rolling resistance etc. you can easily get a 28c clincher and a pair of nice cross tires, or why not the tufo tubular clincher CX tire......

A chain will last a while if you take care of it, but unless you are going with the SUPER fancy hollow pin sram chains or the like, they are typically sort of the same.......

For cranks, get what you like, they are all pretty good. Sachas photographs of the single speed speedvagen have carbon record cranks on it with a single chainring. The possibilities are endless......

and yeah, a BB is a BB......I would love to have phils in my bike, but they really do seem to be the last thing i upgrade. I change it if an old one goes bad, but before the original shimano one goes, it works perfectly fine.....

ask questions away, I will give you as much of an unbias opinion for what you might need, but initially it was hard to tell what you were really looking for......
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Old 06-06-07, 02:07 PM   #19
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it also appears from Tufo's website that their CX tires come in tubular clinchers.....
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Old 06-06-07, 04:59 PM   #20
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Ok, I've come to the conclusion that this bike can only be a dedicated CX build, and any attempts to make it into a cool street fixie on the side will only undermine its CX capabilities. I'll reserve all the track bling for a dedicated fixie build and just work on the SS as a CX build.

Ok so it's back to the drawing board for cranksets.
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Old 06-06-07, 05:27 PM   #21
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as for cranks, have you considered a two piece outboard bearing setup? that's by far the stiffest and lightest crank/bb interface. fsa makes some super nice ones. the new campy design looks sweet too. then there's always the shimano lineup.

i'm still not really sold in the integrated crank/chainring setup with the paul's and white industries. what if you want to change your ratio? or if you smash your chainring super bad? tears for weeks i'd gather.

i think there was a thead awhile back about some folks rolling their tufo tubular clinchers off the rims. i think it was under low pressure race situations though. thoughts for food.
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