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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 01-31-08, 09:40 AM   #1
paris5
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Buying a Cross Bike

I've been riding regularly for the last few years. Most of my riding has been on a mountain bike (single speed 29'er), or on my fixie road bike. I'd like to start racing cross this fall, and am looking to purchase a new cross bike soon.

My budget is around $1000, though I'm not adverse to spending less. I'd also like to use the bike for a bit of touring over the summer.

I'm also thinking of running one chainring up front for a 1x9 setup. I understand that some racers do this. I see it as a weight saver, as well as a way of reducing the number of things that can break/go wrong during a race. If I go that route what are recommended size gears.

Thanks for reading, and for any and all helpful advice.
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Old 01-31-08, 11:40 AM   #2
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Bianchi Volpe and Surly Cross Check would fit the bill. You might also be able to find something used on eBay, right now (off-season) is best buyer's market.

I run a road compact (50/34) crank during the off-season for road-riding, and run a 42 single for racing. (The cassette is 12/27). The 42:12/27 seems to be a pretty common way to go.
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Old 01-31-08, 12:13 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by paris5 View Post
I'd also like to use the bike for a bit of touring over the summer.

I'm also thinking of running one chainring up front for a 1x9 setup.
1x9 may be tough for touring. Perhaps consider having a triple road or MTB crank set for non-racing season use?
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Old 02-29-08, 09:54 PM   #4
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I'm running a 1x8 setup not just to save weight but to eliminate confusion since it's such an intense form of racing that it's easier to work off one shifter instead of two. I used to have a 42t ring but I changed it to 39t since I use it more for mountain biking than 'cross. I want to race mine this fall, too!
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Old 03-01-08, 12:00 PM   #5
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I'm shopping around as well and my head is swimming in options and choices. Whew.
I'm going to see the Rocky Mtn rep at the bike show next week about the new Team Edition.

What's the advantage to racing a single?
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Old 03-01-08, 06:11 PM   #6
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What's the advantage to racing a single?
Open to debate. Perhaps marginal weight savings. Simplicity. Depending on how well you set it up, you might be less likely to drop a chain.

For me, my road compact double (50/34) would not have worked well in a race, so the simplest thing was to convert it to single 42t.

Another way to go, which is pretty clever, is to set up the front with, say, a 44/38 combo, and you pretty much choose one or the other ring for a given course. Boggy muddy mess, use the 38, fast hardpack, use the 44.
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Old 03-01-08, 09:59 PM   #7
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Single rings are good in the mud especially in a place like Portland. I've been in races where my cassette got so clogged that the chain kept falling to the smallest cog due the the lack of link-to-tooth engagement.
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