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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 11-20-07, 09:23 AM   #1
chickenmonkey
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My New "Cross" Bike - Is it Safe?

A few years back I put some Kenda Kwicks on my old Peugeot PN-10 so I would not have to pump up the tires so often for a 10 minute ride from the train to my office. Last weekend, I put the tires back on and went for a very light cross ride. Fire roads and non-technical singletrack. There is not a lot of clearance for the tires so mud rides are out of the question, but my question is...is this safe?

The frame/fork is one of the old Vitus 780 steel noodles. Am I going to kill myself on this? How safe is it to ride a converted road bike on light fireroads and non-technical singletrack. No rocks, no jumping, no high speed downhills.

Here is a picture, please disregard the mess in our garage:>



Thanks in advance!

Chickenmonkey
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Old 11-20-07, 09:33 AM   #2
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everybody's gotta go sometime.

p.s. unless the frame is damaged you're probably gonna be fine.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:27 AM   #3
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You might get your bike dirty.
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Old 11-20-07, 11:43 AM   #4
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You might get your bike dirty.
Haha That bike has been in CalTrain bike lockers or on our back porch for the last four years. I'm not worried about dirt on that thing.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:20 PM   #5
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I would not worry about it a bit. I also have an old peugeot that runs knobbies and goes offroad. I LOVE it and often ride it offroad instead of my Major Jake.
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Old 11-20-07, 12:28 PM   #6
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If you don't have a lot of tire clearance I would worry about picking something up in the tread and having it jam between the caliper, fork or stays and tearing the tire or locking the wheel.

I had this happen once and it was pretty scary... I flew off the seat onto the top tube/stem, both feet forward and slid to a stop on my heels (road shoes) from ~20mph. Found my front tire had picked something up and it had jammed between the caliper and tire and locked the front wheel. It was one of those anti-theft dye packs they put on garments. Apparently it had been on the road lying nail side up and I rolled over it dead center (what are the odds?). The tire (23mm slick) had plenty of caliper clearance but it was a big object. This happened ~5yrs ago and I still have the dye stains on the socks I was wearing from wiping my hands off after pulling it out of my tire. I curse that shoplifting litterer to this day...

With the clearance you look to be running along with the tread it might take something smaller to put you in the same situation...
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Old 11-20-07, 02:11 PM   #7
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Have fun - what's the worst thing that could happen?

It's a bit tricky to see in the photo, but it looks like the chain is a little long.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:36 PM   #8
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With the clearance you look to be running along with the tread it might take something smaller to put you in the same situation...
I strongly disagree with this conclusion. For one, it looks like he has ample clearance (can't see the front so well, but rear looks fine). Second, the accident you describe was a total freak occurence.
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Old 11-20-07, 03:51 PM   #9
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Have fun - what's the worst thing that could happen?

It's a bit tricky to see in the photo, but it looks like the chain is a little long.
Yes, in that photo it was. It was fixed before I rode it.
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Old 11-20-07, 04:24 PM   #10
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I strongly disagree with this conclusion. For one, it looks like he has ample clearance (can't see the front so well, but rear looks fine). Second, the accident you describe was a total freak occurence.

In general I would be more worried about the front than the rear. And yes, my accident was a freak occurrence. No need to debate that.

The intent wasn't to scare the OP from riding or state anything in absolute terms. Just share an experience which relates to the OPs question (they were concerned enough about clearance to post the question).

Picking up debris and jamming a wheel or tearing a tire isn't outside the realm of possibility or unheard of. It's something the OP might think about while looking at their bike and thinking about where and how they ride...

I tried putting some 30mm cross tires on my commuter last week. After finding ~2mm of clearance from the front caliper I decided against it (the debris issue and not enough tolerance if the wheel goes out of true...)

To the OP, that is a beautiful bike...
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Old 11-20-07, 04:35 PM   #11
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You gonna diiieee, mother****er ...
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Old 11-20-07, 05:09 PM   #12
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The memories... I had a similar looking Peugeot back in about '89 or '90 that I turned into a "cross" bike. However, I don't recommend trying to jump your "new cross" bike while wearing a cast for a broken ankle. No way I could really tell the Dr how I got the gash in my head. I went with the story that I feel and hit a coffee table while on crutches. The real story was that my brothers were having so much fun on a jump at the dirt hills that I had to try as well...
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Old 11-20-07, 05:32 PM   #13
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It looks way cooler than anybody else's cross bike? That's the only issue I see.
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Old 11-20-07, 07:45 PM   #14
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I'd think about some bar-end shifters, but that's just me- I'd have either Ergo, bar-end shifters or shimano w/Paul Thumbies on anything that was going to see any time offroad.
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Old 11-20-07, 09:20 PM   #15
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Don't think twice about it, but I'll second the recommendation of bar end shifters.

Ron
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Old 11-20-07, 10:30 PM   #16
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Hey Everybody-

Thanks for all of your comments and feedback. It's very helpful.

On the clearance issue, check these photos out.

Front Wheel Clearance:



Rear Wheel Clearance at Chainstay (this is the biggest issue):



As for the rest of the bike...this is what I have done/planned:

1. DONE: Put 8 speed cassette on old Mavic CXP-23s (Leftovers from another upgraded bike)
2. DONE: Installed vintage Sugino (170) 34x45 compact crankset (Purchased a few months back)
3. PLANNED: Remove Simplex 6 speed derailluer, tap hanger, install 8/9 speed centaur (need to purchase)
4. PLANNED: Install 8 speed Daytona brifters (Leftovers from another upgraded bike)

Done! If it doesn't work out, I can put slicks on it and it's my rain bike...actually...either way it's my rain bike.

Believe it or not, the only issue with the Simplex derailluer is that it brushes against the spokes when in the largest cog...which is a little scary...so I've been avoiding it.
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Old 11-20-07, 10:33 PM   #17
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Some new brake pads would be a wise investment. Salmon pads all the way.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:10 AM   #18
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Soooo unsafe!!! Send me a PM and I'll come get it from you ASAP so you don't get hurt... I'll even throw in some beer.
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Old 11-21-07, 12:22 AM   #19
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That's one of the cooler bikes I've ever seen
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Old 11-21-07, 01:30 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenmonkey View Post
Hey Everybody-

....
As for the rest of the bike...this is what I have done/planned:

1. DONE: Put 8 speed cassette on old Mavic CXP-23s (Leftovers from another upgraded bike)
2. DONE: Installed vintage Sugino (170) 34x45 compact crankset (Purchased a few months back)
3. PLANNED: Remove Simplex 6 speed derailluer, tap hanger, install 8/9 speed centaur (need to purchase)
4. PLANNED: Install 8 speed Daytona brifters (Leftovers from another upgraded bike)
Is your 8 spd cassette shimano spacing or campy? If it's campy, no worries, but if it's shimano, you'll find better performance either using a shiftmate, or seeing if you can find a combination of rear mech/brifters/cassette that will work ok. This article has been immensely helpful in that regard.


BTW, That's a beautiful bike. Enjoy the hell out of if.
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Old 11-21-07, 10:03 PM   #21
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Thanks again everyone for the advice and props on the bike.

DazPro: You are so right on the breakpads...the koolstops on the front are from 1990, I think the rear pads are original from mid-late 80s. It's been in the back of my mind and I was going to install them when I did the brifters.

Justinb: Yes, the cassette is shamino spacing and I will probably end up with a shiftmate. I've read that article many times for I also have a 9 speed shimano-campy mix bike.
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Old 03-15-08, 12:33 PM   #22
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The bike named Mu

Was my PUGEOT project cross bike...
I swapped everything out for shimano 105s, I just didn't feel like popping extra $$ for the campy setup that would inevitably get trashed...
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Old 03-17-08, 12:22 AM   #23
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this is how cross started! the other problem would be the power of the brakes, if you are just going through fire roads that you know are not steep, thats one thing but if you went on something steep and didn't have enough power on those wienmenn brakes, that would be a real problem...nashbar has some cheap dual pivots that might get you some extra clearence.
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