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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 01-06-09, 02:29 AM   #1
gerald_g 
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anyone use a MT bike for cyclecross ?

To expand on my question...

has anyone ever changed a mountain bike into a sort of cross bike ? I don't plan to race or anything, I mainly want to ride for fitness, and some local commuting trips.

I will be 75% on the roads, but would like to be able to hit gravel or dirt trails which I can't on my road bike.
The trails I will be on are not hardcore MT bike trails, just gravel or non paved Multi Use trails.

I really like drop bars on the road.
I'd like a rear rack.

I have a early years stumpjumper, that I am thinking of using for this purpose. Change the bars, use some trail tires, and ride it where ever I like.

Is this absolute crazy thinking ?

Any recommendations for shifting ?

thanks
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Old 01-06-09, 02:59 PM   #2
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Dirt drops + bar-end shifters.
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Old 01-06-09, 03:09 PM   #3
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dirt drop bars or midge bars are nice and comfortable. I use the WTB dirt drop bars on my cx bike. Id reccomend going witha higher rise stem though..

but anything is doable....is your bike a 26 or 29?
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Old 01-06-09, 04:05 PM   #4
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It's a 26.

Got links ? or pics - I'm not sure I'm envisioning the shifters.

Last edited by gerald_g; 01-06-09 at 04:29 PM.
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Old 01-06-09, 04:28 PM   #5
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Schwable also makes a CX tire for 26 inchers. Picked them up this off season and mounted them on a second set of rims, hope they help next racing season!

http://www.schwalbetires.com/cx_pro

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Old 01-06-09, 04:43 PM   #6
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forget about the riser (this guy is 6'9") but what kind of shifting setup is this ?

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4...0/extender.jpg
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Old 01-07-09, 08:38 PM   #7
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Here's mine, a '84 Schwinn Mirada with drop bars and suntour friction barcons. A lot of fun too ride and bullet proof. I have less than $150 in this bomb.


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Old 01-07-09, 09:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gerald_g View Post
forget about the riser (this guy is 6'9") but what kind of shifting setup is this ?

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/4...0/extender.jpg
Kelly Take Off -- mounts a standard downtube shifter on a stalk under the brake lever. Can work better than bar ends if you like to keep your hands on the tops or hoods most of the time.

Unfortunately, Kelly is out of business, so finding them takes some hunting. Occasionally a set comes up on eBay.
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Old 01-07-09, 11:53 PM   #9
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WTB Mountain Road Drop bar



I still need to add cross brake levers.


Last edited by Saddle Up; 01-07-09 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:56 AM   #10
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Nice - thanks guys - I think mine is going to end up a lot like Unapomer's.

Unapomer - What do you use yours for mostly ?

SaddleUp - you still have no way to shift ? Till you install the cross brake levers ?

Last edited by gerald_g; 01-08-09 at 11:04 AM.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:17 AM   #11
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Kelly Take Off -- mounts a standard downtube shifter on a stalk under the brake lever. Can work better than bar ends if you like to keep your hands on the tops or hoods most of the time.

Unfortunately, Kelly is out of business, so finding them takes some hunting. Occasionally a set comes up on eBay.
Those actually look kind of neat. Should mount them outward and install my twist shifters.
I wonder if some bar extenders could be modded to work for testing ?

I just read bout "thumbies" at http://www.paulcomp.com/ too.

Last edited by gerald_g; 01-08-09 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 01-08-09, 11:18 AM   #12
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I still need to add cross brake levers.
The canonical setup for dirt drops is significantly higher than yours, which obviates bartop levers to some extent.
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Old 01-08-09, 08:43 PM   #13
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Unapomer- What do you use yours for mostly?
I use it for bombing around the neighborhood, short commutes, local singletrack trails, girl watching, etc. etc. It's just a fun bike to ride, no need to go around glass in the road, I just plow right through it.

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Old 01-08-09, 09:31 PM   #14
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Those actually look kind of neat. Should mount them outward and install my twist shifters.
I wonder if some bar extenders could be modded to work for testing ?

I just read bout "thumbies" at http://www.paulcomp.com/ too.
I just got a set of On-One Midge bars in and tried them out with Take-Offs. Didn't really find a mounting position that would work with that setup -- the take offs are meant to be operated from above, while the midges are meant to be set up high and ridden in the hooks. They would work great with regular drop bars though.

You already have twist shifters? There's the hubBub: http://aebike.com/page.cfm?action=de...=30&SKU=LD6087 but you could just ebay some bar-end shifters for that price.

On the cheaper end, supposing you have a 1" threaded fork, you can clamp a MTB bar end around your stem, saw off the curved part and mount the shifter there: http://sheldonbrown.org/raleigh-inte.../pages/10.html. Note there's a big fat shim in there as well. Sheldon wanted the shifter a little forward of what that gave so he came up with a solution with a threadless stem and a piece of mtb bar: http://sheldonbrown.org/raleigh-inte...l-nexus12.html

Last edited by zzyzx_xyzzy; 01-08-09 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 01-09-09, 03:14 AM   #15
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That forward mount for the twists looks kind of cool. I got enough junk in the bins to try something like this for nothing, so might give it a go to try. Thanks for the note!

Of interest after he made the mount for the shifter he wrote...

"I liked this rig a lot, but decided to try out the HubBub adaptor just to see how well it worked. As it turned out, I liked the HubBub adaptor even more, so I've kept it on the bike. "

Thanks Sheldon!

PS I'm working on a Sheldon inspired tandem in my garage right now. I intend to paint his name on it somewhere in homage.

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Old 01-10-09, 07:25 PM   #16
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Very cool throw back. I remeber when John Tomac did that when he raced road part time after winning the MT Worlds.
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Old 01-10-09, 07:52 PM   #17
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Kelly Take Off -- mounts a standard downtube shifter on a stalk under the brake lever. Can work better than bar ends if you like to keep your hands on the tops or hoods most of the time.

Unfortunately, Kelly is out of business, so finding them takes some hunting. Occasionally a set comes up on eBay.
Kelly is back in business. Check it out: http://www.kellybike.com/
I stumbled across it the other day...I love their stuff.
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Old 01-13-09, 12:56 PM   #18
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How do they do this ?



Is the bar split or is it special twists that can slide over the curves ?
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Old 01-13-09, 04:27 PM   #19
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What dirt drops really call for is a pair of Suntour command levers. If you can find them that is, and no you can't get my pair.

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Old 01-13-09, 05:27 PM   #20
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Are these command levers ?

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Old 01-22-09, 12:26 AM   #21
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So the next question is which frame to use. When I conceived this plan, I had only one bike in mind, but since then, I have acquired a new bike for the wife, and a second stumpjumper.

I have three MB frames to choose from.

Norco Bush Pilot - 18" - 47cm (says so on top tube, and measures seat post)

Specialized Stumpjumper #1 - 20" or 51cm measured seat post.

Specialized Stumpjumper #2 - same size as number 1 near as I can measure.

I am leaning toward the Stumpjumper #1 for the following reasons.

1: smaller tubing might look better on the road.
2: has lugs for luggage rack.
3: Think the 18" is too small so norco is out.

This does mean I want to loose the shock forks (which need repairs anyway).

Option #2 is to fix the forks, and use the #2 jumper leaving #1 as a MB setup.

I am about 5'10" and have measured my inseam at 81cm.

Pics to follow, any advice ?

Norco:


Jumper #1:


Jumper #2:
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Old 01-22-09, 01:42 AM   #22
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Having done a mtb-> drop bar conversion lately, one issue you will probably run into is that frames designed for flat bars are longer in the top tube and shorter in the head tube than frames designed for drops. If a frame starts out fitting you it will have to have a stem with more rise and shorter reach to fit you with drops. So if one of these bikes is comfy as it is with the flat bars, go shopping for different stems with the idea that bars will have to come upwards and towards you by a couple of inches.
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Old 01-22-09, 01:52 AM   #23
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Thing is, I really don't know if any of these "fit" me. Jumper #1 is the only one I've put any km on at all, and I get sore wrists and forearms on it real bad.

My RB I measured at 59cm. I feel fairly comfortable on it. (Do get numb toes once in a while, which I hope to solve perhaps in another thread)

PS - see post 18 - How DO they install twist shift on drop bars ?
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Old 01-22-09, 08:52 AM   #24
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What's the top tube length c-c on the bikes? The Stumpy with the rack mounted looks like a good candidate. Mostly level top tube, rack mounts like you mentioned. A Surly 1x1 rigid fork would do the business.
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Old 01-25-09, 12:13 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Are these command levers ?

Yep, those are command shifters, they allow for all the ease of shifting of STI, but still the versatility of friction. You can even shift from positions you can't with STI. I have a set on my touring/cross bike.
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