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  1. #1
    Senior Member freefallkev's Avatar
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    What's in a cross bike?

    I haven't found this covered in much detail, but if I'm beating a dead horse, sorry. CX seems awesome, but I lack the funds to get a CX specific bike. I do have an old road bike frame (no name steel, in good condition) that's a little on the small side for road riding, so it just collects dust. I'm thinking about throwing on some wider tires, raising the stem a bit, adding top mounted brakes and just going for it. I don't really plan to compete, just looking to pound around the firebreaks on Ft Bragg for fun. Other than the mods above, is there anything else I should look at doing to the bike? Thanks.
    would you rather weave through traffic, or sit in it?

  2. #2
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    The important requirement is enough clearance for larger tires. If 700 x 32 tires can fit you should be able to use it for cross.

    A low gear-range helps also, what chainrings (how many teeth) and cassette (ditto) is on the bike?

    Michael
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
    2010 Origin 8 CX 700: "Servizio Grave" Monstercross/29er bike
    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike

  3. #3
    Senior Member freefallkev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    A low gear-range helps also, what chainrings (how many teeth) and cassette (ditto) is on the bike?

    Michael
    none right now. I like the simplicity of a single chainring on my bikes, and was thinking something like 42-46 with 8spd 12-25 cassette.

    the frame will fit at least 700cx28 (tested), and 700x32 should fit (measured but not tested)
    would you rather weave through traffic, or sit in it?

  4. #4
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Not essential, but I think good ideas and cheap:

    - Lube your brake cables, etc, to get the best out of your brakes. If you need a pad change then try to get Kool Stop Salmons.

    - If you tweak your own wheels then spend some time with a spoke key before going off road.

    - As long as you're re-taping your handlebars for the cross levers (actually I don't use these myself - so I'm not sure that you will have to re-tape to fit them, but if you do...) then add some cheap padding to the bars. Bar Phat, a cut up mouse mat, a second layer of cheap polymer tape, pipe insulation, whatever. A few extra mils of shock absorb are a nice thing to have when you're riding on the rough stuff.

    After years of experiment I've found that BMX style pedals with the pins are a great choice offroad. They might be a marginal disadvantage for racing, but the ability to dab down a foot is priceless when you're riding singletrack - especially with a bike that has a higher top tube than an MTB. The pins give terrific grip for pedaling and body english. $20 should get you ok ones on ebay.
    Last edited by meanwhile; 10-27-09 at 10:15 AM.

  5. #5
    I suck, but you're worse
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    I like to take mine over logs and MTB type obstacles on freerides. A Bash guard is nice to have if you plan to be pretty aggressive(nashbar sells em with 110 bcd)

    Also chainring clearance is good, use the smallest one you can get away with.
    Last edited by sooprvylyn; 10-27-09 at 04:44 PM.

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