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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 06-16-07, 10:31 AM   #1
Riles
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Can normal road components be used ?

Hi,

I am intending to build a winter road bike and was wondering if i could also use it for cyclo cross.

So I am thinking to buy a cyclocross frame and wanted to know if normal road components will all be compatible with a cyclo cross frame ? (I already have the components)

So my intention would be to run skinny tires and normal road wheels for winter road training.

& then simply swap over the wheels with cyclo cross wheels and tires to go off road with it and try out some of the cyclo cross races in the winter - is this possible ?

Thanks for advice
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Old 06-16-07, 11:24 AM   #2
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something I learned:

to find out wheel sizing, look at the rim make / model, also measure the diameter if it is 622mm (62.2 cm) it is a 700 wheel (normally a road wheel)
http://sheldonbrown.com/tire-sizing.html
http://sheldonbrown.com/rim-sizing.html


switching the wheels out, yes, fully possible. Again, make sure you are grabbing the same rim / hub size for your wheel. Tire type / tread is all dependant on you.

Most road components will fit on a cross bike, example, a lot of people run shimano 105 components because they are easy to come by and are fairly inexpensive. What are your components? When I say most components will do, most will do. But good thing to find out is all the measurements.

Simple things will be common...

- If you have road cantilever brakes, they will work on any frame that uses cantilevers.

- your break levers, you might need to find shims to mount them, unless you just carry over the whole stem / fork

- If you wanna bring your fork over, find out if it is threaded, non-threaded, and find out if your cross frame will be compatible (that one is never good to just say 'yah it will work' cause you never know)

- seatpost from road bike to cross bike... measure the diameter of your seat post and check the measurements of your cross bike

- wheels, measure the hubs from the over-locknut-dimension of your hub
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_n-o.html#old

- drivetrain (crankset, bottom bracket, rear hub w/freewheel/freehub (coaster, singlespeed) whatever, front and rear derailleurs) you can usually transpose without an issue, but again, CHECK the measurements of your bottom bracket and width of the rear hub. The chain you will have to get a new one, or buy a replacement pin for the one you will have to pop out to get your chain off.

I think thats about all, I may have left something out.

Besides, if you want the fastest road / cross conversion, just buy a new set of wheels/hubs and put knobbier tires on that set, and like you said, swap them out when you want to use them. Just get the type of tire for the intended use.

Hope that helps.
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Old 06-16-07, 02:15 PM   #3
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The only thing to watch for is that some frames are spaced for a 135mm (mountain bike sized) rear hub instead of the standard 130 for a road bike. Other than that parts are basically all road bike pieces.

Ron
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Old 06-16-07, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronsonic
The only thing to watch for is that some frames are spaced for a 135mm (mountain bike sized) rear hub instead of the standard 130 for a road bike. Other than that parts are basically all road bike pieces.

Ron

yes, true, but don't forget that you need to measure to see if your new frame will take your old parts you are transferring over. Otherwise you will end up in a not so pretty situation as I have come across and finding out that the parts are compatible but don't fit.

The main places to look out for are your bb, fork, hubs and seat post.
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Old 06-16-07, 03:42 PM   #5
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Some frames are also spaced at 132.5mm in the rear. The Planet X is 135mm - and I am running a set of Cane Creek road wheels currently. I am building up a set of XTR hubs to better fit the spacing, and for tubular rims.

As far as componentry, I have a mixture of 9sp MTB/Road Shimano. Works like a charm so far.
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Old 06-16-07, 05:10 PM   #6
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brilliant info from the man Sheldon Brown:

found in thread: http://bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=308898

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
"Mountain bike" and "road bike" are marketing terms, not technical terms when you're talking about derailers and many other parts. The XT is what I would call a "wide range" derailer, vs. medium range (105 GS) or narrow range (105 SS). Wide range derailers were also formerly called "touring" models, but in the late '80s, the marketeers decided that "touring" was a worn-out term, so they re-named all of the touring stuff "mountain." It's a mistake to get suckered into thinking that there's some incompatibility where none exists.

The XT would permit a later change to a wide range cassette, while the so-called "road" models generally won't handle anything bigger than a 30 in back.

In terms of "level" (again, mainly a marketing issue) XT is the same "level" as Ultegra. Indeed, I replaced the Ultegra that came on my Raleigh Cadent 4.0 with an XT. I actually didn't change the gearing, so the XT is working at a small fraction of its capacity with the 12-25 10 speed and triple front.

I switched to the XT partly so that I would have the option of going lower in back at a later date, but mainly because it is the low-normal "RapidRise" version which provides slightly better downshifting. The use of a low-normal in back also reduced confusion when I would go back and forth between my Campagnolo equipped bikes and the Raleigh.

Sheldon "Reality, Not Marketing" Brown
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Old 06-16-07, 06:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riles
I am intending to build a winter road bike and was wondering if i could also use it for cyclo cross.

So I am thinking to buy a cyclocross frame and wanted to know if normal road components will all be compatible with a cyclo cross frame ? (I already have the components)
This has mostly already been answered, but I'll add that you want to watch out for front derailer cable routing.

Some 'cross frames use top pull cable routing, where the sift cables run along the top tube, and the front derailer cable then runs down along the seat tube. There are no "road" front derailers with top pull cable routing. There are ways around this, but it's basically a big hemorrhoid.

Sheldon "Ouch" Brown
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Old 06-16-07, 07:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
This has mostly already been answered, but I'll add that you want to watch out for front derailer cable routing.

Some 'cross frames use top pull cable routing, where the sift cables run along the top tube, and the front derailer cable then runs down along the seat tube. There are no "road" front derailers with top pull cable routing. There are ways around this, but it's basically a big hemorrhoid.

Sheldon "Ouch" Brown

Usually those frames have a derailleur pulley boss so you can use a standard road derailleur with top pull routing. If it doesn't, fire up the drill, drill a 1/4" hole and pop a riv-nut. Or I guess you can get a clamp on "E-Type" converter boss.
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Old 06-16-07, 10:33 PM   #9
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or, use and XT front derailleur. what's the difference really? weight? hell, eat less chips and salsa.

the guy isn't racing in Belgium. sounds to be more of a recreational build.
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Old 06-17-07, 09:37 AM   #10
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Brlliant advice and interesting discussion... Thanks..

This is really good news because I have lots of off road un-technical trails connected by long road stretches that will be good fun on a CX bike + I will try a few CX races that are close to where I live + I can use that bike for road winter training rides and rest my recently upgraded main bike.. All good really.

I have just one more question - do you need to buy specifc cyclo cross wheels ? or can you use normal road wheels and just use wider tires ? guess they would just need to be a set of strong wheels -
I have Alex AT450 rims with a 105 hub and LOTS of spokes gathering dust - is this wheel strong enough to go on off road trails with ?

Cheers..
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Old 06-18-07, 06:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitboss
or, use and XT front derailleur. what's the difference really? weight? hell, eat less chips and salsa.

the guy isn't racing in Belgium. sounds to be more of a recreational build.
Problem is Shimano road and mountain front derailleurs arent compatible with one another, STI stuff wont work correctly with a mountain front derailleur and vise versa (thats why Shimano makes road specific rapid fire shifters for flat-bar road bikes)
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Old 06-18-07, 06:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Riles
Brlliant advice and interesting discussion... Thanks..

This is really good news because I have lots of off road un-technical trails connected by long road stretches that will be good fun on a CX bike + I will try a few CX races that are close to where I live + I can use that bike for road winter training rides and rest my recently upgraded main bike.. All good really.

I have just one more question - do you need to buy specifc cyclo cross wheels ? or can you use normal road wheels and just use wider tires ? guess they would just need to be a set of strong wheels -
I have Alex AT450 rims with a 105 hub and LOTS of spokes gathering dust - is this wheel strong enough to go on off road trails with ?

Cheers..
Just about any road wheel will work for cross - pros race on carbon tubulars. The ones you have sound fine. I ride on Ritchey road wheels w/ 20 radial spokes up front and 24 2x in rear and have had zero issues.
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Old 06-18-07, 09:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMatt15
Problem is Shimano road and mountain front derailleurs arent compatible with one another, STI stuff wont work correctly with a mountain front derailleur and vise versa
Correct. This is addressed in my Front Derailer article: http://sheldonbrown.com/front-derailers

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMatt15
(thats why Shimano makes road specific rapid fire shifters for flat-bar road bikes)
Shimano's marketing is confusing on this topic.

As it turns out, the "road specific" flat-bar shifters are not functionally different from the "mountain" ones, that's just about styling.

The one part that Shimano makes that bridges the gap is the R453 (formerly R443) front derailer. This is designed for "road" (52-42-**) cranks and indexes with flat-bar shifters. (Any flat-bar shifters.)

Sheldon "Yes, It's Confusing" Brown
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Old 06-18-07, 09:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheldon Brown
Correct. This is addressed in my Front Derailer article: http://sheldonbrown.com/front-derailers

Shimano's marketing is confusing on this topic.

As it turns out, the "road specific" flat-bar shifters are not functionally different from the "mountain" ones, that's just about styling.

The one part that Shimano makes that bridges the gap is the R453 (formerly R443) front derailer. This is designed for "road" (52-42-**) cranks and indexes with flat-bar shifters. (Any flat-bar shifters.)

Sheldon "Yes, It's Confusing" Brown
Thats cool, Didn't know that - my experience has been solely with some specific shifters that work with tiagra/105 front mechs.
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Old 06-21-07, 10:02 PM   #15
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Good road wheels work. Get 'em cheap with lots of spokes.

Ron
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Old 06-21-07, 10:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMatt15
Problem is Shimano road and mountain front derailleurs arent compatible with one another, STI stuff wont work correctly with a mountain front derailleur and vise versa (thats why Shimano makes road specific rapid fire shifters for flat-bar road bikes)
hmm

I will let you all know when my shifting becomes problematic. I have yet to experience any sort of inability to shift properly on the chainrings.
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Old 06-22-07, 06:35 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitboss
hmm

I will let you all know when my shifting becomes problematic. I have yet to experience any sort of inability to shift properly on the chainrings.
I'll wager the guess that you're running a double with your Mtn derailleur and STIs, that would probably would make shifting less problematic. I'm not saying it won't work, I'm saying its not designed to work that way, the cable pulls for shimano mtn and road fronts are just slightly different.
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Old 06-22-07, 11:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptMatt15
I'll wager the guess that you're running a double with your Mtn derailleur and STIs, that would probably would make shifting less problematic. I'm not saying it won't work, I'm saying its not designed to work that way, the cable pulls for shimano mtn and road fronts are just slightly different.
Set-up:
-Tiagra shifter/brake combo
-XT Fr Der.
-FSA Compact 50/34

this is good info and I am glad the discussion continues!
Thanks for all the input
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