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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 09-20-07, 02:02 PM   #1
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Can I CX with my fixed gear track bike?

Unfortunately my only bike at the moment is a Bianchi Pista which can take up to 28c tires. I can gear down and raise my bars... that's the extent to which I can make my bike more CX worthy. Does this sounds feasible? Yes I have cross experience. I want to get in on the Portland cross season but I don't want to spend money on a cross bike.

Deathwish?


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Old 09-20-07, 02:06 PM   #2
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I think the bullhorns would be disallowed, because they point forward (aero bars and mtn bar-ends are disallowed in mass-start races for the same reason).
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Old 09-20-07, 02:08 PM   #3
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I suppose that technically you could CX with a tricycle if you wanted. I would think that you may want/have to invest a bit in tires of course, and you may want a smaller chainring. The only issue that I could think of that would stop you is that you only have one brake, which may or may not be in compliance with regs, and it will also get awfully clogged with mud I would think, which may make it virtually inoperable if you needed it.
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Old 09-20-07, 02:08 PM   #4
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I dont think a lot of races will let you start with bullhorns
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Old 09-20-07, 02:13 PM   #5
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I would get drop bars with dummy hoods and gear down to 42x18T or so. I can't run a rear brake (no holes) but if I ran it fixed then it wouldn't be a problem. The only issue is mud..... I would have 5mm clearance in the front and rear with a 28c tire setup, which is a thin tire to start with.

I really want to cross but I don't want to buy a cross bike.
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Old 09-20-07, 02:36 PM   #6
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I want to get in on the Portland cross season but I don't want to spend money on a cross bike.
One of the great things about racing in OBRA is you don't have to worry about those pesky handlebar/bar ends/bullhorns rules you hear about elsewhere. If I were you, I'd head down to the Veloshop and ask Molly or the other wrench if you can run any cross tires on that thing.

You won't be the first to race a fixed gear in the Crusade. I do, however, have a few suggestions: 1) Don't race it in the A race. Those dudes are serious and will run you over if you mess around with a fixie in that race. 2) Don't line up on the front row. 3) Probably the best place to race would be the SS cat. 4) figure out how to dismount and remount before race day.
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Old 09-20-07, 02:48 PM   #7
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^ Are you in Portland? Is the Cross Crusades the best series here?
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Old 09-20-07, 04:08 PM   #8
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Go for it! I'm going to my first cyclocross race in a month, and am planning on taking my fixed gear as a backup bike, but after I see the course, I may decide to use it as my primary bike. I'm not sure yet how difficult they are going to make it.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:14 PM   #9
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Just throwing this idea out there...
... have you thought about getting a cheap CX fork? You'd have room for a fatter front tire, and goop clearance. Sure, axle to crown would change, and your head angle would get shallower, but that might even be a good thing, since the pista is what, 74 HA?
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Old 09-20-07, 04:26 PM   #10
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Just throwing this idea out there...
... have you thought about getting a cheap CX fork? You'd have room for a fatter front tire, and goop clearance. Sure, axle to crown would change, and your head angle would get shallower, but that might even be a good thing, since the pista is what, 74 HA?
Might be worth a shot but the limiting factor is the limited clearance in the rear, which is the more important wheel for traction. I think I'm going flip my stem up, get some 28C tires and just give it a shot.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:27 PM   #11
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Go for it! I'm going to my first cyclocross race in a month, and am planning on taking my fixed gear as a backup bike, but after I see the course, I may decide to use it as my primary bike. I'm not sure yet how difficult they are going to make it.
The think the real difficulty will be dismounting at speed. Flying dismounts are key.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:46 PM   #12
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Only in Portland, kids, only in Portland . . .


btw John Galt is my tax preparer.
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Old 09-20-07, 04:53 PM   #13
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This is an interesting question thread for me because I'm also itching to try the cyclocross thing (I've put my deposit on the Rob Roy but that's obviously not going to get here until this winter sometime).

Anyway, I've got an old Trek 660 that I've been riding as a FG conversion. I wonder if it would work to get a cheap steel CX fork. I could put some canti brakes from an old MTB on them and leave the caliper brakes on the back wheel. Would this work?
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Old 09-20-07, 04:57 PM   #14
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^ Are you in Portland? Is the Cross Crusades the best series here?
vanwacx = Vancouver, WA cyclocross

The Cross Crusade is the ONLY series around here. There are a handful of indi races in the pdx area plus some races in Eugene and Bend ... and Seattle. The Cross Crusade is the biggest (participation) cyclocross series in the world. To see it is to believe it.

Check out the OBRA site for more races.

Seriously, you should be able to get some tires to fit that thing. Maybe you'll be constrained to dry weather races but at least you can get out and race.

Somewhere on the web there's a video of a fixie going over the barriers.

Edit: found it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2gwN_kDLmA
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Old 09-20-07, 05:11 PM   #15
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Sure, try it out. I saw a guy (try) ride a fixed cross bike in the SS category in Seattle. From my perspective, it didn't go so well. But then again, I don't go as well as I'd like with 9 speeds and two brakes. You would be a crowd favorite if had some humility about it.
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Old 09-20-07, 05:55 PM   #16
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fwiw you might be able to get a few extra mms in the back by adding a link/halflink to your chain so the axle is all the way at the rear of the dropout.
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Old 09-20-07, 07:00 PM   #17
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I really want to cross but I don't want to buy a cross bike.
Pony up 15 bucks or so for some garage sale beater, put some Kenda 27" cross tires on it, tweaky here, tweaky there...poof.

Or borrow a mountain bike.

That's my SS/ pit bike in a nutshell, except that it was free.

Good luck with your ride.
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Old 09-20-07, 10:36 PM   #18
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Here in Ohio people would flip if you brought that to a race, but out in CX dreamland, there's a category for unicycles so I don't think anyone will bat an eye if you enter the SS category race or even a category C. Whatever you do, sandbag the **** out of yourself especially if you haven't practiced (dis)mounting.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:20 AM   #19
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Here in Ohio people would flip if you brought that to a race, but out in CX dreamland, there's a category for unicycles so I don't think anyone will bat an eye if you enter the SS category race or even a category C. Whatever you do, sandbag the **** out of yourself especially if you haven't practiced (dis)mounting.
I practiced dismounts last night on the fixed gear. Wow, this is going to be difficult or I am going to suck. Or both. And I will love it.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:29 AM   #20
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on the fixed gear i like to dismount by unclipping, pedaling on my instep and then letting the pedal lift me up out of the saddle (kinda like kevin bacon in quicksilver but not as flashy).

trying a cross race fixed sounds like fun, but i'm gonna see what it's like singlespeed first.
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Old 09-21-07, 09:34 AM   #21
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on the fixed gear i like to dismount by unclipping, pedaling on my instep and then letting the pedal lift me up out of the saddle (kinda like kevin bacon in quicksilver but not as flashy).

trying a cross race fixed sounds like fun, but i'm gonna see what it's like singlespeed first.
I have a flip flop hub so I could run it SS but due to my lack of a rear brake, I don't know if that would be the best. Using front only in muddy conditions = wipe-out.

For me, the first order of business is raising my bars. The 6.5" saddle to bar drop is not conducive to good bike handling due to the forward weight bias.
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Old 09-21-07, 10:23 AM   #22
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I think the CX fork idea is a good one. You can run a decent brake, and have a nice wide knobby front tire. You mentioned rear tire clearance for traction. I've heard from others and have had great luck myself running a thinner rear than front. I'm light, so a thinner rear tends to sink down in the mud and grab the dirt underneath. So, a narrow rear tire might not be a terrible problem. Mud buildup will stink though. Maybe you can rig up some kind of mud scraper?
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Old 09-21-07, 11:18 AM   #23
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the longer i read this thread the more i am convinced the best solution is to sell it and find a used or cheap cyclocross bike.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:25 AM   #24
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No way dude, I love the track bike. I am thinking about buying a used cross bike but I do want to give it a shot on the fixed gear. For tits and giggles.
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Old 09-21-07, 11:28 AM   #25
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FYI, I have an '05 Pista, and I run 700x32 Continental Twisters on it in the spring. They seem to fit just fine.

A fixed-gear bike is entirely the wrong tool for modern cyclocross races, which is precisely why you must race it! Just don't expect to be competitive by any stretch of the imagination, unless the entire race course is one big mud bog, in which case you might have the advantage.

Good luck!
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