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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 10-23-07, 12:39 PM   #1
bobbotron
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My mountain bike conversion

A year and a bit ago, I got my hands on a department store aluminum mountain bike frame. At the time I built it up with drop bars as a single speed, with some 26x1.9" smooth tires and called it monster bike. It was fun, although the tires were quite heavy and slow, so it wasn't something you'd want to ride for long distances.

I got into cyclocross this year, and road my faithful touring stead Waldo for the first few races. It worked well enough, but it's too nice to destroy racing cross so I started thinking of alternatives. I decided to turn monster bike into a cross bike to see how well a mountain bike frame would fare with drop bars as a cross bike. I kept the bars and wheelset. I bought a 8 speed bar end shifter and put a 11 to 28t cassette on the back wheel and slapped a dérailleur on it. I put a set of schwalbe cx pro 26x1.35" tires on it, and a sugino 165mm crankset. The tires really lowered the bottom bracket of the bike. Having the shorter cranks really helped reduce pedal strike and were way lighter than the triple crankset I had on before.

I took it out yesterday for the weekly race. It handled really well. I definitely think a real cyclocross bike would be better for cross racing, and I'm planning on getting one next season, but monster bike wasn't too shabby. I could definitely use some lighter wheels, the wheelset I have on there now is quite heavy. I think it might be a touch small for me, but overall, tons of fun. I have plans to build a second fixed wheel for it, and going mountain biking with it at some point.

Here's a photo of the finished product and one of me riding.

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Old 10-23-07, 12:56 PM   #2
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you didn't find it to be a bit of a pain in the neck to shoulder?
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Old 10-23-07, 01:03 PM   #3
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Sweetly done.

Those 26" wheels make you look like a giant in the second photo.
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Old 10-23-07, 01:15 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by comradehoser View Post
you didn't find it to be a bit of a pain in the neck to shoulder?
Tis a heavy bike, yeah, it is a pain to shoulder. I ran with it for the run ups. If it were lighter, I don't think it would be too bad although the triangle isn't optimal for shouldering.
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Old 10-23-07, 01:17 PM   #5
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Sweetly done.

Those 26" wheels make you look like a giant in the second photo.
Haha, it's true eh? The bike looks a bit odd with the small wheels.
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Old 10-23-07, 03:00 PM   #6
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I love the monster bike. That's what cross is all about. That said, find a way to keep that chain from jumping. Trust me, without a retention system, it will. I know it probably doesn't jump when you ride it around, but when you're racing, you'll be putting that thing back about 47 times. I speak from experience.
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Old 10-23-07, 03:03 PM   #7
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I love the monster bike. That's what cross is all about. That said, find a way to keep that chain from jumping. Trust me, without a retention system, it will. I know it probably doesn't jump when you ride it around, but when you're racing, you'll be putting that thing back about 47 times. I speak from experience.
Thanks!

I'm definitely going to get a retention system on it soon. I'm thinking a n stop guard and a outer chain guide. The only reason it doesn't have one now is because I ran out of time before the race.
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Old 10-23-07, 05:43 PM   #8
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That should be just fine. I'm running an old derailleur that's locked out, and a outer guard from BBG. Erin is really cool, and the equivalent product from Salsa is 4x the price.
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Old 10-23-07, 06:10 PM   #9
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Couldn't you just throw on a super cheap front derailleur? That's what everyone does out here anyways.
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Old 10-23-07, 07:43 PM   #10
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very cool indeed.
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Old 10-24-07, 08:36 AM   #11
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pain in the neck: I didn't mean from the weight, but from the small triangle and sloping TT. I'd hate to try and wedge my shoulder in there. I think some folks shoulder with the nose of the saddle.
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Old 10-30-07, 12:48 PM   #12
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I got nothing........
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