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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 09-06-08, 02:36 PM   #1
Meek
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How to build a CX bike? - Newbie

Decided I want to try cyclocross. I have only seen a couple fo cross bikes in my life.

1. I am going to be looking for a stiff frame (small cyldesdale), suggestions appreciated. Price range 0-750

2. What parts are typically from road vs mtn bikes? This leads to the next parts of the question: what parts can I liberate from my collection of bikes I don't really ride much anymore to build it. I have a full 8 speed XT-R gruppo , which parts should I use from this etc? Should I rebuild the XT-R hubs with a 700c rim? If so, which rims are great values (Can't afford nor do I really need 404s or something as a noob)?

Sorry for the tons of questions in no particular order.

Thanks for helping the cross noob. Oh any youtube videos I should watch for methods or tips?

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Old 10-03-08, 07:39 PM   #2
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Old 10-03-08, 09:08 PM   #3
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If you plan on racing and taking it semi-serious you probably want to use some sort of Brifter (Brake-Shifter combo) which would preclude the use of your existing 8 speed stuff. Honestly, your best bet is a complete bike from one of the bargain places, BikesDirect or Performance. . Or if you have the money go for something from one of the better manufacturers like Redline , Felt, Kona etc. You always get way more for your money with a complete bike.
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Old 10-04-08, 07:07 AM   #4
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Thanks. Is sizing the same? I ride a 58 on the road, do I look for a 58 or do I want it smaller for hopping off easier...Thx again.

Last edited by Meek; 10-04-08 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 10-04-08, 08:24 AM   #5
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Most CX frames have 130mm rear spacing and will require road hubs. A few, like the Nashbar X require 135 MTB hubs, 29er wheels work on these. Several steel frames are spaced at 132.5 and can take either hubs.

I agree that buying a complete bike is both economical & foolproof.

If you want to build your own, here are a few frames to consider;

http://www.pakebikes.com/pakemute.html
http://www.somafab.com/frames.html
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...Frames%2FBikes
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=380068920729
http://www.bikeman.com/KON-F09JS58.html

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Old 10-04-08, 08:49 AM   #6
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Sizing is the same as you would be on a road bike, you can use a MTB front hub and rear derailleur, you'll need road brifters and compact crank (46/36T double is common).

For rims Mavic Open Pro are a good choice.
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Old 10-04-08, 11:22 AM   #7
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I recommend the Surly Cross Check, the 2009 colors are great. I am loving mine, I am also a newbie and have raced only once on it - but it performed well.

You could sell your existing bikes and pay for most of a new Surly.
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Old 10-04-08, 12:01 PM   #8
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1. I am going to be looking for a stiff frame (small cyldesdale), suggestions appreciated. Price range 0-750

- How about a Surly Cross Check? These are strong bikes. And cheap for the frame/fork.

2. What parts are typically from road vs mtn bikes? This leads to the next parts of the question: what parts can I liberate from my collection of bikes I don't really ride much anymore to build it. I have a full 8 speed XT-R gruppo , which parts should I use from this etc? Should I rebuild the XT-R hubs with a 700c rim? If so, which rims are great values (Can't afford nor do I really need 404s or something as a noob)?

- You can use all the XTR group with the possible exception of the front mech and the gear/brake levers (Obviously). Was XTR a canti group back then? You'll need travel agents for vees. Shimano Sora 8 speed levers will work fine for brake/shifting duties. Rebuild the hubs onto 700c rims. Open Pros will be fine, but Ambrosio Excellences will be cooler. You can almost always get mtb hubs into modern 130mm frames because it's only 2.5mm on either side. The hubs are tough and well suited to cross. So.. that just leave the front mech. You made need a pulley to convert the top pull cable to bottom pull for a roadie mech (Sora or Tiagra will be fine). Speak to your LBS/supplier about this.

As for the chainset, you could whip one ring off and use it as a double, or just leave it as a triple, and ride past the guys who mocked you on the climb they all had to "run". Boom boom!

Last edited by acorn_user; 10-04-08 at 12:02 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 10-04-08, 12:37 PM   #9
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My cross bike has XT mountain bike hubs on 130 spacing. I just had to take out a bit of the outside spacers and file down the axle. I also use an XT rear derailleur. No problem.

Many cross racers use only a single front chainring, and bar-end shifters. So, if you want to go cheap, get some Tektro single-speed brakes, one bar-end shifter and that'll cost 1/2 or less than a single brifter. Bar ends aren't as easy to use as brifters, but they're a lot more reliable - won't get gunked up by mud, survive crashes better.
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Old 10-04-08, 03:16 PM   #10
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yeah.. i want to try cx this season, so i built one up as well. Like you, I used an array of stuff I found in my parts bin. I used a first generation 105 rear derailleur (6speed) paired with a 9speed cassette, and 9speed indexed barcon. Probably not as easy to use as a brifter, but i would rather get better at crashing and not destroying an STI. I was considering using a trigger shifter somewhere on the tops.. but whatever???...we will see if that ever happens.
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Old 10-04-08, 06:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
Sizing is the same as you would be on a road bike, you can use a MTB front hub and rear derailleur, you'll need road brifters and compact crank (46/36T double is common).

For rims Mavic Open Pro are a good choice.
although a lot of geometry is a little different, in the frame im looking at (soma double cross) a 54 matches the geometry of my 56cm cannondale roadie.
go to a shop that knows cyclocross and chat at them
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Old 10-04-08, 09:16 PM   #12
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The Cross Check is a great "cruiser" bike but if you are considering racing I'd look elsewhere. Similar amounts of money will get you an aluminum frame and carbon fork that are almost half the combined weight of the Cross Check frame and fork...that's a lot. No need for the extra weight when racing....or just riding but that's my opinion.
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Old 10-12-08, 12:26 PM   #13
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Going to various bike stores and demo-ing CX bikes. Most of these places never seem to have my relatively common size (58) in stock which makes it tough to tell how they really ride.

Out of curiousity, is the Cross Check flexy? Last steel bike I rode had some crazy BB flex.
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Old 10-12-08, 07:43 PM   #14
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The cross check is a tank. Not flexy at all. That's the bonus of all that extra weight.

I'm a clyde too (range between 250-265) and I ride a Gunnar. They use True Temper OX Platinum tubes, and use larger/thicker tubes for larger frames. Mine is sturdy and I've noticed no undue flex.

I owned a Soma Rush and felt like I was riding a big spring, and could hear the chain and cog teeth grinding and popping when I was out of the saddle. So, I'd avoid a Soma Doublecross, as it's made from the same steel and/or tubes.
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Old 10-13-08, 06:36 AM   #15
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The bottom bracket area of my 62cm cross check is pretty flexible, but not cause a problem when riding.
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Old 10-18-08, 07:24 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MONGO! View Post
Sizing is the same as you would be on a road bike, you can use a MTB front hub and rear derailleur, you'll need road brifters and compact crank (46/36T double is common).

For rims Mavic Open Pro are a good choice.
Most mfg's I've talked to say go down a size. They say that a true cross bike has a higher BB. Thus, the seat tube is shorter. Say you have a 56cm ST and a 56cm TT in a road bike. Now, in a cross bike the mfg raises the BB 2cm the 56cm seat tube becomes a 54cm. The TT is the same 56cm and the standover height is the same. Only the ST measurement changes. So, if you buy a 56cm cross bike it's probably more like a 58cm road bike. WOW, I'm exhausted from so much typing. Hope it helps.
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Old 10-19-08, 09:04 AM   #17
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I'm a bit of a clyde at 225//6'2" and I race on a Specialized Tricross SS. It is absolutely my favorite bike. Very light and quick, climbs well, low maintenance, and just overall great bike. The only mods I made, since it is SS, is extra wide bars for extra leverage while climbing.

Buy one and you will love it. And they're cheap, mine was only $650+tax.
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