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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 12-21-08, 04:44 PM   #1
LS2379 
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Road bike conversion

I just got a new road bike and was thinking about what to do with my old Cannondale CAAD3 bike when the semi brite idea of making a bit of a cross bike out of it hit me. I have some unpaved trails in a state park that has done a lot of mountain bike trail work near the house and figured that if I put some cyclocross tires on the bike and some Shimano PD-M520 pedals I should be able to do some off road riding.

I know that probably is not the makings of a true cross racing bike ( I'm thinking the fork may be a tad to flexable and the brakes could gum up a bit) but, I could get a feal for that style of riding and see if I like it, then if I get hooked, I can invest in something better. For $150 or less I could be giving it a try.

Is this logic sound?
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Old 12-21-08, 06:03 PM   #2
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I'd be surprised if you could get very large tires under that frame and fork.
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Old 12-21-08, 06:41 PM   #3
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I know I don't have alot of room for tires and will probably try to get a 32 in there. I don't plan on doing alot of mud and crazy stuff early on but just want to get a feal for off the road riding.
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Old 12-21-08, 09:08 PM   #4
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I did this on an old CAAD3 and used 28s and there was not much clearance as the brakes, 105 dual pivots, were the limiting factor.

Make sure to lower your saddle about a cm and raise your bars so that you have a ~2" of saddle to bar drop so that you can have a bit easier time off road. You also may want to rotate your brake hoods towards you as well.
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Old 12-21-08, 11:32 PM   #5
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Don't waste your time with 700x32 or 700x30. The maximum width tire that will fit is a 700x28. This holds true for pretty much all "modern" design bikes from 1986 onwards. Your CAAD3 is no exception. If you can, jump onto craigslist and pick up a hybrid for $50, and transfer your drop bars, wheels, etc. from your old road bike onto it. You may actually get some enjoyment out of it...
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Old 12-22-08, 07:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replys. I believe I will put some Continental GP 4 Season 28's on it and some Shimano M520 pedals and give it a whirl. If I enjoy it through the winter months here I may make the plunge and get a real cross bike.
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Old 12-24-08, 12:53 PM   #7
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I am going to say what you don't want to hear, and what you probably already know: You're probably not going to enjoy it and will not want to get into cross IMO. 28's are a far cry from 35's or 38's. I roll on 700x32's and I can tell you that it is much more jarring than I would like. I couldn't even imagine riding on 28's... nevermind on a CAAD3, which to me is one of the most uncomfortable modern road frames ever created. It's ok as a crit bike I guess, but cross? On 700x28's??? No way IMO.

Find yourself an old touring frame an go from there...
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Old 12-24-08, 03:40 PM   #8
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Was talking to a young lady today at LBS and basically the same conclusion was drawn, that the smaller tires and stiff frame will kill me. Will stick to the road with the CAAD3 and keep my eye's open for a cross bike.
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Old 12-25-08, 01:04 PM   #9
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you dont need cyclocross tires to ride offroad, get the widest fit you can and youll be fine for most fireroads... also vittoria's randoneering tires might be good for ya (if they fit) ... and you could possibly get more clearance by putting different brakes on, tekro has some "wide mouth" styles or centerpulls, if the reach isnt toooo long.

http://www.vittoria.com/index.php?op...=44&Itemid=163
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Old 12-27-08, 02:27 AM   #10
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... and you could possibly get more clearance by putting different brakes on, tekro has some "wide mouth" styles or centerpulls, if the reach isnt toooo long.

This is not true.
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Old 12-27-08, 10:58 AM   #11
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you could possibly get more clearance by putting different brakes on
Only if you also change the size of the wheels, i.e. 700C to 650B.
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Old 12-29-08, 12:50 PM   #12
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Only if you also change the size of the wheels, i.e. 700C to 650B.
For the sake of the person who will find this thread 2 years from now using the search function, I have to say that this is also FALSE.

Even with long reach caliper brakes, the distance is too great.
There are such things as brake "extenders" where a bracket is placed on the existing brake mount on the frame, and then the mount point is effectively lowered, but it is not at all a safe application for cross IMO.
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Old 12-29-08, 01:46 PM   #13
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For the sake of the person who will find this thread 2 years from now using the search function, I have to say that this is also FALSE.
Even with long reach caliper brakes, the distance is too great.
There are such things as brake "extenders" where a bracket is placed on the existing brake mount on the frame, and then the mount point is effectively lowered, but it is not at all a safe application for cross IMO.
Ahem. Google "650B conversion" and you will see that plenty of people have done successful 700C to 650B conversions. There is actually a pretty decent selection of tires and long-reach calipers out there. It's not a panacea and won't work for every bike out there, but it can be a viable option for people wanting to run fatter tires on their road bike.
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Old 12-30-08, 11:04 AM   #14
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Ahem. Google "650B conversion" and you will see that plenty of people have done successful 700C to 650B conversions.

You are right. I guess the Tektro dual pivots do have enough reach, but I am not sure how safe or effective such a conversion is. Just looking at this picture makes me think poor and jittery braking with an excessive amount of torsional stress on the brake arms. Anyhow, I guess it is possible though...


http://www.wallbike.com/oddsnends/tektrobrakes.html

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