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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, 08:03 PM   #1
westphill
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New guy needs help.

Hi everyone this is my first post here and boy do I need some advise. I recently purchased a used Schwinn Crosscut from the Bike Church in Philadelphia. I paid 125 plus and they let me exchange some of the parts with their used parts to make it more like a cyclo-cross bike. The only problem is I want to redo the bike the way I want it. Not completely new everything, but some of the components need to be replaced. The bike rides fine but these are the things I need help with.
1. Shifters - Ive been looking on jensonusa.com and they say 8,9, or 12 speed but my bike as I figured is a 21 speed. (3 front x 6 rear) Could I have some assistance in figuring out which ones will work.
2. Tires - There are 700-35c on the bike now but they are pretty worn so should I look for this same size when buying a new set? Is that a good size for road and light gravel?

Before anyone sais drop that crappy bike and buy new, I'm currently laid off and money is limited. I also dont care for top of the line because Im only riding, at the moment, for exercise and to save a little gas when possible. I approximate spending about $180 for everything, minus bike of course, but would like help getting there.

Thanks
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Old 06-24-09, 09:00 PM   #2
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when they say 8 or 9 speed they are referring to the rear gears only. what type of shifters does it have now! i would say the shifters you can buy now probably won't work with your bike. 35c tires are a good choice, but not as fast as skinnier tires.
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Old 06-24-09, 10:07 PM   #3
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First, if your bike is a 3x6, it's an 18 speed and not a 21... If you have down-tube or bar-end mounted friction shifters then you can swap out the rear cassette for a seven-cog model and make it a 21. That will cost you around $25. If you have different shifters then things will get a little more complicated and much more expensive. Personally, I'd leave the shifting "as is" unless I had a compelling reason to change it.

I'd say that for light gravel and normal city (i.e. potholed and poorly maintained) roads, I'd go with a range of anything from 700x28 to 700x40. 32's might be the "sweet spot" in weight vs. performance, That is a gross generalization, though...

The wisest thing you can do is ride the bike for a few weeks and get an idea of what really needs changing. Your day-to-day experience will tell you if you need more gears or a different sized tire (I realize the current ones are worn). Manufacturers and retailers want you to believe that going from 6 to 9 cogs in the back - or changing your shifting mechanism will magically transform your riding. It WILL change things, but maybe not $400 worth. With your budget and circumstances, I'd hesitate to spend the money.
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Old 06-25-09, 06:59 AM   #4
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Don't throw money after a problem that "might" come along, this advice is similar to the revered "If it aint broke don't fix it". As previously mentioned, ride the bike for awhile to determine what exactly you like and whether you think cycling is going to be a long term thing for you. In the mean time ride what you have and replace things only as they break or wear out. Save your money up for a nice new bike that you really want, by time this happens you'll have a much better idea what type of riding you actually do. Then go buy the type of bike that suites your riding needs.

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First, if your bike is a 3x6, it's an 18 speed and not a 21


Take it easy on him dwr1961, he did go to school in Philly.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:10 AM   #5
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Completely agree. Only spend money on this bike to replace worn out stuff. Even the tires may not need to be replaced. If you see the cords, then replace. Don't worry about it until then. With it being that old, I wouldn't put a dime in it to upgrade it. Like bautieri said, save your money and buy something later. Ride this one into the dirt in the meantime.
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Old 06-25-09, 09:34 AM   #6
westphill
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Ahh you got me on the math. I have a mountain bike that's 21 speed and Im working on them both so I didnt notice I put numbers for both. Thanks for the advice guys. I was thinking if I upgraded things little by little that I could just switch everything over to a new frame.

Last edited by westphill; 06-25-09 at 08:29 PM.
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