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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 03-11-10, 10:04 AM   #1
albanian
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Would an old Schwinn touring bike make a good CX bike?

I just bought a 1984 Schwinn Voyageur. It is a touring bike but looking it made me think that is probably the closest thing to a CX bike that you can get without buying a CX bike.

I am ignorant about CX bikes so let me know what I am missing.

The Voyageur has canti brakes like a CX bike.

It has a nice lightweight lugged steel frame so it should be both durable and provide some spring when the course gets rough.

It has a more relaxed geometry like a CX bike because it was built for touring.

So what about it other than the drop tube shifters which can be upgraded would prevent it from being used as a CX bike?

I am not going to turn my gorgeous Voyageur into a CX bike but the idea remains, why couldn't it be done with good results? I am thinking if I wanted to build a CX bike, I would use a touring bike as a base. Is that sound thinking or am I missing something?
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Old 03-11-10, 08:08 PM   #2
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I am thinking if I wanted to build a CX bike, I would use a touring bike as a base. Is that sound thinking or am I missing something?
Can be done. Frankly, it can be done with dual-pivots too, IMO - if you have the clearance:





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Old 03-11-10, 10:35 PM   #3
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Yes. Been raced on.

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Are they talking about spectators feeding the cyclists? You know, like don't feed the bears?
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Old 03-12-10, 08:56 AM   #4
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Would it be fair to say that touring bike tend to make the best loaner bikes for cheap CX builds?

I am assuming most touring bikes will have drop bars, canti brakes, cro-mo frame, triple cranks, more relaxed geometry, good strength because they are built to withstand many miles on unknown terrain and weather. You don't want your tour to be ruined by weak components or frame so they tend to be a little stouter than racing bikes.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:15 AM   #5
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It can definitely be done, but a modern CX bike is going to be a lot lighter (especially with the predominance of CF forks) and the frame is a bit more agressive than a traditional touring bike. A lot of the older touring bikes are also designed with 27's in mind while most CX I've seen is 700c.

My old Kona JTS weighed in at 21 pounds with no weight manipulation. My dad's Voyager weighed around 26-27 with weight manipulation.

I'm actually going the exact opposite route...I'm looking to pick up a used new'ish donor CX bike to move it's parts over for a touring build.

I think the cheapest way to do what you're talking about would actually be one of the older rigid MTBs. You'd end up with 26 inch wheels, but that would be the cheapest platform. Just switch out the front to a compact, add some drops and STIs...you're in business.
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Old 03-12-10, 09:43 AM   #6
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Would it be fair to say that touring bike tend to make the best loaner bikes for cheap CX builds?
I think it's fairer to say that whatever you can get your hands on makes the best cheap CX build, with singlespeed conversion ftw.
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Old 03-24-10, 12:35 PM   #7
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Here is my example of a SS cross bike:




The old center-pull brakes have plenty of stopping power.
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Old 04-14-10, 01:13 PM   #8
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Really about the only change you'd need to make to turn an old tourer into a capable crosser is from slick to knobby tires.
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Old 05-14-10, 10:34 PM   #9
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I've used a $20 Shogun and an Austro Daimler, each for a full season of cross. Canti's are a plus, as I used dual pivots, and they got a little clogged up. The biggest thing for older road/touring bikes is the amount of tire clearance they have in the back near the chainstays. Touring bikes will have more space, but you'll want to make sure there is at least room for a 30mm, if not a 32 or 35mm tire. The relaxed geometry makes them fairly stable, but you won't be able to turn on a dime like is sometimes needed to get by some other riders in a race. It sure is fun though to beat others that have spent more money on their frame then you spent on your whole bike
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Old 05-16-10, 06:06 PM   #10
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Yes. Been raced on.

I really like the looks of that bike.
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