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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 06-22-09, 10:18 AM   #1
kat_astrophe
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can a short girl make a frankenbike and use it for cx?

I really want to try cyclocross because it looks super-fun. Currently I have a road bike that I use for long rides, group rides, and triathlon, and I have a crappy old hybrid that I don't really use. I don't have a lot of money (the roadie was a recent purchase), so I'm not really able to spend a huge sum of money on a new bike, especially if I don't even know if I like the sport. I'd prefer a steel frame/fork, since I figure I'm going to beat the hell out of this bike, and I'd also like to be able to use it for my commute. (That way, I could use some of the local crushed-limestone bike paths that aren't really suitable for a road bike.)

Trouble is, I'm too little for the cross frames I know about that I can afford. (A few manufacturers are making cx bikes for women, but they're either aluminum/carbon or like $2500, which is out of my budget.) I'm 5'4" with about a 28.25" inseam (yeah, my legs are really short...) I can just barely clear the top tube of my road bike, which has a SO height of 28.1" -- most of the cyclocross bikes I've seen, their smallest frame size has a SO of 28.8" or 29". I figure it's even more important to have some clearance on a cross bike, lest I fracture my crotch bone or something.

I was wondering if it might be feasible to try to find a steel road frame that fits me, and then try to mutate it into something I can use for cyclocross. Is this worth trying, or should I save up my pennies for a few years, get a spendy bike, and hope that both I like the sport and don't wreck the bike? If you guys think it's worth trying, what gearing, etc. would you recommend?
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Old 06-22-09, 10:59 AM   #2
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tire clearance on a road frame might be an issue. Call around to the local bike shops to see who has smaller frames for you to try. Some companies make smaller 46 and 48cm frames. I had issues w/ standover height (5'5") and got a 49cm fuji cross bike.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:26 AM   #3
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25.6 inch standover.
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Old 06-22-09, 11:47 AM   #4
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25.6 inch standover.
BRILLIANT! And I might even be able to afford it in a few months :-D

I had not even thought of looking amongst the juniors' bikes. What a great idea.
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Old 06-22-09, 12:55 PM   #5
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BRILLIANT! And I might even be able to afford it in a few months :-D

I had not even thought of looking amongst the juniors' bikes. What a great idea.
Let us know if you go this route and can make it fit. Standover isn't everything but short-legged people of the world should look out for each other.
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Old 06-22-09, 01:24 PM   #6
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Consider this Soma double Cross frame in a 42cm size, it provides 28.0 standover height.
http://www.somafab.com/doublecross_one.html

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Old 06-22-09, 04:43 PM   #7
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I second the soma double cross. Its a decent frameset to build off of. I've seen so many types of bikes, mtn, fixed gears track what ever in a cx race but I think a cx bike does best. Stand over is important, but not greater then your ability to mount and dismount quickly and effectively.
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Old 06-22-09, 08:10 PM   #8
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If this is a hack type bike, you could buy a small, older mtb frame and build it up. It would be fine for cx and make a great commuter. Anything made from Tange Prestige would be awesome!
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