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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 08-10-08, 07:13 PM   #1
kudude
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I'm going to do CX......but I need a bike

I race on the road. I'm only a lowly Cat4, but apparently the collegiate conference around here may be starting up some CX. The problem is there is NO WAY my wife will let me get another bike. There isn't room in our apartment. I'm not arguing with her, since I don't want to spend any money now anyway. I have a road race bike, a mtn bike and my commuter. My solution is to turn the commuter into a CX bike.

I currently have a several years old Fuji roubaix. It's mostly 9 speed 105/ultegra. My thought is -- get a used CX frame in my size, but a set of crank brothers pedals (I have these on my mtn bike already -- so I've got the shoes), some cheap canti brakes, and some 1.75? knobbies.
Done.

What am I missing? Do you hate me for starting this thread?
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Old 08-10-08, 11:50 PM   #2
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Your gearing will need to change for cross. Keep the same cassette in the back, but change your front rings or run a single ring in the front. You will also need a front and rear brake cable hangers.
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Old 08-10-08, 11:56 PM   #3
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Your gearing will need to change for cross. Keep the same cassette in the back, but change your front rings or run a single ring in the front. You will also need a front and rear brake cable hangers.
will a 42 w/ a 12-23 not cut it?

42-23 SEEMS like it would be an easy enough gear, maybe pick up a 27 or something of that like? I'm thinking I'd like to be running an effective 1x9, maybe just tightening limit screws or something on the FD for now.
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Old 08-11-08, 12:25 PM   #4
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that will cut it. you'll probably find yourself in 42x16-18 for most of the race anyway.
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Old 08-11-08, 01:48 PM   #5
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I see you're in SF -- the ncnca.org website has a cyclocross link...but I can't find the races. Do you recommend just diving in around here? Is there a particular race/races that would be good to get my feet wet?

Any resources in the area you'd care to share? thanks again
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Old 08-11-08, 02:35 PM   #6
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Your plan sounds reasonable. Given that your wheelset is reasonably solid, I see no reason why it should not work. I mean, the bike you would be building up would be a cx bike, without question.
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Old 08-11-08, 03:07 PM   #7
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Heck, you can even just leave the double on. You'll be in the 42 the whole race, but as long as you can still use the smallest cog with the 42t chainring you'll be golden. If you get more into cross you may make a more permanent adjustment to your gearing later.

Whether the 23t cog is low enough is going to depend on you and your course. But worse case scenario is that you end up running a little more than you might have otherwise.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:22 PM   #8
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Heck, you can even just leave the double on. You'll be in the 42 the whole race, but as long as you can still use the smallest cog with the 42t chainring you'll be golden. If you get more into cross you may make a more permanent adjustment to your gearing later.

Whether the 23t cog is low enough is going to depend on you and your course. But worse case scenario is that you end up running a little more than you might have otherwise.
+1....besides, a cassette is a LOT less expensive than new chainrings. I am running 38/48 with a 12/32 out back on an ultegra short cage.
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Old 08-11-08, 04:28 PM   #9
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The ultegra short cage handles that gear range ok? Good to know. I'm thinking about going 11-32 out back (running a 38 or 40t chainring) but figured I'll need to pick up an XT or something. Might as well see if the Ultegra short cage that's on there now is up to the task before laying down the coin.

Not to derail the thread, but what 9 speed cassettes are out there that have an 11t cog but are wider range than 11-23?

Ok...I guess that is a thread derailment, sorry.

If you're commuting and crossing on the same bike, you may want to pick up a set of Ritchey Speedmaxes. Kinda squirrelly in corners but they wear really well for a cross tire. I've been training and commuting on them and they seem to be lasting quite well. On race days I'll put on something a bit nicer, probably.
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Old 08-11-08, 05:27 PM   #10
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....i have a triple, so I guess there is a 30t available. I prefer to avoid shifting up front in races, although I know a properly adjusted drivetrain won't drop a chain............

As far as I know FSA makes a 38 for 130BCD arms, so maybe I'll do that and get a 12-25/27. I don't know what the terrain is like around here, and I don't really like running out of gear, but I also like a closely spaced cassette. So many choices, but I'm sure it's the kind of thing you adjust to preference later.

For me, now anyway:
Crits = big ring
hilly circuit race = shift front once at the bottom, once at the top
long road race = hoping to stay in the big ring, or the small ring. Will crosschain as necessary

M_S - thanks for the suggestion on tires, I'll look into them
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Old 08-11-08, 08:47 PM   #11
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Another thing you'll want to consider if you go a single ring setup with bashguard: Chain rub. Most are built to be used with a 42t chainring or similar, as I found out tonight when I mounted my brand new BBG guard on my 38t ring, forcing me now to go to a 42 . This is with that FSA 38t you were mentioning, by the way.

Oh well, the 42 is probably a better size anyways. Jenson has these for 21 bucks plus shipping.
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Old 08-11-08, 10:50 PM   #12
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^^ no ramps or pins. As long as I'm committed to a 1x9 that would work well.

I'm starting to get excited about this. Now I just have to do a little running. feck
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Old 08-21-08, 12:17 PM   #13
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ok, how about this -- what if I switch the fork, and get some long reach calipers for the rear? What is the min tire width you'd want to run during a race?
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Old 08-21-08, 12:40 PM   #14
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ok, how about this -- what if I switch the fork, and get some long reach calipers for the rear? What is the min tire width you'd want to run during a race?
Changing the reach of the brakes doesn't give your frame any more clearance, unless you also switch to smaller wheels.
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Old 08-22-08, 08:15 AM   #15
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^^ that's true, but I'm curious what width tires I could fit in there, and how small I should/want to run?
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Old 09-07-08, 04:49 PM   #16
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ok then. I got a bike

cheaper to buy a whole used one and sell my current one. Now i just have to fix up my current bike and get it gone before my wife kills me.

i'll have pics later
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