Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Bikes: Haro V2 [rip / stolen], PEUGEOT '93 SELECT
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rear derailleur can usually handle bigger steps in the gears from what I understand and fairly cheaper then typical road components. Don't ask me why it's just what I noticed. Other people have mentioned that it is just a marketing ploy done by the companies.
regardless a road crank usually gives you more gearing in a compact double then what you would often find in a triple mtb crank. I'm not a 100% sure about that, but that is the impression I get from it and from other riders. I don't fully understand gear inches and gear ratios, so I can't go fully into detail about all of that. Others most definately can.
My rear derailleur is a shimano 105 short cage which allows for more clearance (it is higher up) because it is smaller but it doesn't nesscessarily mean it is more durable or better. It does allow for more tension on the chain and 'supposedly' smoother shifting, regardless, it's just what I bought and am using.
If you want a decent set of wheels / rims that will do you fine for non-racing and more for some recreational firetrail & gravel road riding along with commuting and using disc brakes look into getting a set of alex td-17 rims and have them built up with say some avid juicy 5 or 7s. That was a nice setup I was going to pick up but found a tad pricey for my first bike. Mind you it is a nice and durable enough setup. You could probably pair that up with some deore hubs and you are good to roll.
Reading articles on the net, from what I have seen and understood:
a cross bike is just smaller in frame size, has its bottom bracket raised up higher from the ground and uses knobby tires on a road bike setup. read Sizing And Cyclocross Bikes
If you are concerned about durability, get a nice steel frame road bike and just swap out the pieces to make it more durable and now you have a cross bike ala old school.
As for the brifters, I have heard of people using them with disc brakes... don't ask me how though for I really wouldn't know. With a bit of hunting on the internet you could probably find out how to do it.
check the thumbnail from the thread 'show us your cross bike' from SLB Canuck's bike photo... notice the rims, disc brakes, and then notice the brifters...
Last edited by dzinehaus; 06-30-07 at 01:41 PM.