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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 08-26-09, 02:42 PM   #1
robb.j
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My first cyclocross bike!

I bought a 58cm '09 Kona Jake on Monday.

Nothing too fancy...but I've been thinking about it for months now. The guy at the LBS said it was his last Jake and I really wanted to get an '09 (not a huge fan of the way the '10 Jake looks). I'm really happy I pulled the trigger and went for it. The shifting is so sweet and it's a really comfortable ride in any position. I normally ride a 60cm (my '09 Dew), so I was unsure about the fit of a 58cm. As it turns out...58cm is just about perfect for me with this type of bicycle.

I do have a question:

when I really get going during my commute...the tires make a buzzing/humming sound as they roll across the road surface. I got the standard wheel set which i think is intended for 'cross racing rather than road riding. Would a set of road or asphalt tires eliminate the noise? Any suggestions for a solid/cheap set of commuting wheels?
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Old 08-26-09, 02:51 PM   #2
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don't change the wheels- just the tires. go to two wheel tango & get some specialized armadillos or continental gatorskins.
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Old 08-26-09, 02:52 PM   #3
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Conti Sportcontact 28 mm. I like my Racing Ralph (great on gravel, mediocre on tarmac)tires so much that the "hum" is just a nice sound as I ride along.
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Old 08-26-09, 02:55 PM   #4
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Another Ann Arbor resident

Go to Two Wheel, Wheels in Motion, or A2 Cyclery and pick up some road tires. Seeing as the weather is turning sour, maybe some 700x28 slicks.
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Old 08-26-09, 05:10 PM   #5
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I do like the red Jakes. I've got an '08 (black).

Road tires will make a world of difference both in terms of sound and speed/efficiency. I've used Gatorskins and Panaracer RiBMos on mine. The Gatorskins roll better, but I think the RiBMos are more puncture resistant.
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Old 08-28-09, 11:13 AM   #6
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Love the 28mm Gatorskins. For commuting I highly recommend them.
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Old 09-01-09, 03:59 PM   #7
robb.j
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thanks for the tips. I stopped by my LBS yesterday and got some good advice on tire options. Is changing the tires something I should be able to do on my own?
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Old 09-01-09, 04:11 PM   #8
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Definitely. You'll need a few tire irons and a decent bike pump.

To change a tire do the following:
* Let all the air out of the current tire/tube
* Use a tire iron to unhook the tire from the rim and slide one side completely off
* Remove the tube
* Remove the other side of the tire
* Remembering to get the rotational direction of the tire correct, put one side of the tire back on the rim
* Install new tube
* start at the valve stem and work the other side of the tire back on the rim moving away from the valve stem. Use your hands to really work the tire on the rim, depending on the rim/tire combination it can be really tight or done completely by hand
* Use the tire iron to assist in sliding the tight spot back on the rim
* Use your pump to put just a little air in the tire... not too much, maybe 2 pumps
* "seat" the tire into the lip of the rim. It's called a "clincher" tire for a reason... don't get the tube stuck between the tire & rim or it will pinch and put a hole in the tube. Rock the tire back & forth on the rim to make sure there are no pinches.
* Fully inflate tire (to whatever PSI is recommended for your particular tire, usually 80-110 PSI)

Forgot to mention, you're also required to ride at least one cross race on any new cross bike. Especially when you post it in the Cyclocross forum

Last edited by superjohnny; 09-01-09 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 09-04-09, 03:40 PM   #9
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haha...fair point . I'm actually planning on racing in a Kiss Cross event in Grand Rapids, MI the weekend after this coming. After that, I'll probably think about getting some new tires for the commuting.

Also, I had my first wipe-out today! I swerved to avoid a group of peds on the sidewalk as I was leaving my co-op and spilled into the road. Only cost me a front reflector (somehow??), and burned knee, and some dignity. I took it to the lbs on my way home from work and they checked it out for free (main thing was a slightly bent derailleur hanger). I was amazed that my feet came out of the clips so well....I had been wondering how eating my first sh*t would go.

Not too bad, way I figure.
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Old 09-04-09, 11:44 PM   #10
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I have almost the same bike. a 60 cm 09 jake. I ended up putting the Forte Gotham's on it for city commuiting. I think its performance's inhouse brand. They were pretty cheap and do the commuting/asphalt riding. Tomorrow I'm going back to the stock continentals to start the CX season.
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Old 09-08-09, 01:05 PM   #11
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you've never changed a flat???
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Old 09-08-09, 01:18 PM   #12
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Pics or it didn't happen !!!
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Old 09-09-09, 03:48 PM   #13
robb.j
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kennykaos View Post
you've never changed a flat???
never HAD a flat...which I guess is good and bad.
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Old 09-09-09, 03:56 PM   #14
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Also, an update.

The "fixed" RD hanger snapped while I was riding home on Labor Day. The RD itself was bent-up and the real wheel bent out of true in the uphill/rainstorm-process. The guys at the LBS switched out the Tiagra RD for Deore, trued the wheel, and cleaned/lubed the drive train. I got a 20% discount for everything (a nice gesture on their part, I thought). But what a hassle.

then again...the 1.5 mile home in the rain was probably good cyclocross bike-carrying practice.
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Old 09-09-09, 04:26 PM   #15
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Sorry to hear you wiped out. You really shouldn't ride your bike on the sidewalk.
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