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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 09-06-10, 11:04 PM   #1
mwmistak
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Outfitting a innexpensive CX Bike

I'll looking to get my feet wet in CX, but I'm deciding between using a very entry level MTB of mine (1999 Diamond Back Sorrento SE) or outfitting my Fuji Touring Edition III as a CX bike.

One can see what my Fuji is equipped like here (although the rear derailleur will need to replaced as its been put back on the DB MTB it came from).

I'd like to possibly set the bike up with indexed shifting in back but possibly a single chainwheel up front. Any suggestions ideas on some inexpensive changes i could/should make?
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Old 09-07-10, 12:07 AM   #2
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Did my first couple of CX races on my 2005 Fuji Touring
I just removed the rack, fenders, lights, and cages, then put some knobbies on. Kept it on the 42 ring up front, so basically ran as 1x9. Bike performed just fine and was not the thing "holding me back" in the noob category races.

Of course, I got hooked on the sport right away and ended up starting a build project on a dedicated cross bike after a few races.

You'll be fine getting your feet wet with either bike with few adjustments. Good luck.
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Old 09-07-10, 05:49 AM   #3
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I used a Trek 520 with knobbies last year. My experience was the same as myclem's. Stayed in the 42 all season. I started on a mtb and found the touring bike much better suited for cross. good luck.
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Old 09-07-10, 09:52 AM   #4
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Use whichever bike is lighter -- probably the Fuji? Your top priority should be to get some good CX tires. I like Michelin Mud2's, but there are a lot of good options depending on your budget, frame clearance and typical course conditions.

The 1xN setup should be good. If you can get a chainring in the 38-42 range, that would be best. Definitely remove the unused small ring and the front derailleur. I wouldn't worry too much about indexed shifting. Once you start getting mud on your cables shifting becomes less precise, and the friction shifting might actually benefit you.

If you still have the flop-n-chop handlebars you might want to check with the race organizers about that. Some locals rules discourage forward facing pointy objects. Salsa's Moto Ace Bell Lap bars are a good balance of cheap, light and race-worthy if you've got a 26mm bar clamp.

When you're removing the commuting accessories, you might want to take off the pie plate and reflectors too, but be sure your rear derailleur limits are right if you take off the pie plate.
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Old 09-07-10, 11:39 AM   #5
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Do a forum search on improving the Fuji's canti brakes by adding a hand cut straddle and fork mounted hanger. Add some premium brake blocks like Kool Stops and you'll have much better brakes for hardly any cost.
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Old 09-07-10, 10:38 PM   #6
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I'm in a similar boat, outfitting a Univega to give CX a trial run this season. Upon a recommendation by someone at this forum, I just got a couple Schwalbe CX Comp 35mm tires for a little over $20 apiece from Amazon.
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Old 08-22-13, 09:10 PM   #7
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Finally looking to get this project started.

Parts already in posession:
- New brake pads
- New Single Chainring Bolts (this is going to be a simple 6-speed)
- A stand-in rear derailleur (till i find something better)

Parts I'll need:
- drop handlebars (now regretting doing a "flip n' chop on the old bars)
- knobby tires (not having much luck finding 27" cross tires)

I'm looking to get this bike up and running for under $100 (not including tires) so I can try out cyclecross before I decide to invest any more.
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Old 08-22-13, 11:12 PM   #8
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If you've got any 700c wheels you'd be willing to put on the bike temporarily, you can probably adjust the brake pads to work with them. That would make finding tires a lot easier.

Of course, the Diamond Back would probably be good to go with no modifications.
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Old 08-23-13, 09:27 AM   #9
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If you've got any 700c wheels you'd be willing to put on the bike temporarily, you can probably adjust the brake pads to work with them. That would make finding tires a lot easier.

Of course, the Diamond Back would probably be good to go with no modifications.
I do have the original wheel set that came with my 2005 Felt F90

Quote:
Wheels
Hubs Aluminum, Q/R
Rims Alex DA-22
Tires 700 x 23c Felt Inertia
Spoke Brand DT Swiss stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge
Spoke Nipples Unspecified
Not as beefy as the original touring wheelset.
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Old 08-23-13, 09:33 AM   #10
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Though rear axle width would be an issue...
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Old 08-23-13, 09:52 AM   #11
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My only finds for 27" cross tires thus far:

Club Roost Cross Terra 27 x 1-3/8 Blackwall ($24.99)
http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...-Terra-27.html

Kenda K161 KrossCyclo 27x1 3/8 Black ($10.95)
http://www.treefortbikes.com/product...yclo-27x1.html,

I'm instantly suspicious of $11 tires. Any opinions on Club Roosts?
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Old 08-23-13, 10:04 AM   #12
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Those $11 gum walls would look old school sweet on the Fuji

I roll Kenda's on my commute set up and have been pleased, but yeah, they're not $11 tires. Maybe they're last year's version? They get generally good reviews on Bike Tires Direct.

Would they work well on the CX courses in your series?
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Old 08-23-13, 01:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mwmistak View Post
I do have the original wheel set that came with my 2005 Felt F90

Quote:
Wheels
Hubs Aluminum, Q/R
Rims Alex DA-22
Tires 700 x 23c Felt Inertia
Spoke Brand DT Swiss stainless steel, 14ga. (2.0mm) straight gauge
Spoke Nipples Unspecified
Not as beefy as the original touring wheelset.
That wheelset would probably be fine.

As for the rear spacing, you can actually "fix" that just by putting a 2.5mm washer outside lock nuts. It's not a great solution, but it would at least let you figure out if you like CX enough to get something better suited. Of course, the $11 tires you linked to would do that to.

Generally, I wouldn't worry too much about equipment. Use whatever gets you out there. Chances are you're going to suffer and slide all over the place in your first race no matter what you use. That's part of the fun.
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Old 08-23-13, 03:18 PM   #14
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If you do go with a 1Xn drivetrain, dont just remove the f.derailleur and the extra chainring. Bumping around cx racing, the chain will fall off the single front chainring unless you have inner and outer chainguards in-place. Easiest is perhaps to run the 42 chainring in the inner position, smoothly cut & grind all the teeth off of a worn outer chainring to fashion a chain guard. Chainkeeper guard that clams around the seattube can be used on inside or else buy/make another round inner guard mounted to the crank. If nothing else, leave a "dummy" front derailleur in place as a chainguard.

both of those 27" tires look absolutely craptacular, I would highly reccomend getting setup with some better 700c wheels/tires or even finding an old road tubular wheelset.
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Old 08-23-13, 10:13 PM   #15
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Those $11 gum walls would look old school sweet on the Fuji

I roll Kenda's on my commute set up and have been pleased, but yeah, they're not $11 tires. Maybe they're last year's version? They get generally good reviews on Bike Tires Direct.

Would they work well on the CX courses in your series?
Not sure how course appropriate they are... I haven't raced other than in triathlons (been solidly roadie except the occasional MTB ride).
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Old 08-24-13, 08:46 AM   #16
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Consider the Fuji as a single speed race entrant, to enjoy the racing .. keep both the cost and the bike weight down .

By not going overboard with trying to fit the latest Derailleur components .. And still have a good time..
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Old 08-27-13, 08:10 AM   #17
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Bike is rideable again. Stripped off some of the commuter bike hardware including:
  • fenders
  • front rack (going to leave the rear on for family riding this holiday weekend)

Also installed:
  • derailleur I had on hand
  • new eggbeater pedals
  • new chain

Items I want to complete for the weekend include:
  • installing new drop handlebars (and brake levers & tape I've had)
  • installing new cables
  • replacing brake pads
  • new tires (got the roosts for now)
  • stripping off the reflective tape
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Old 08-27-13, 08:53 PM   #18
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