Ghetto CX setup help
I want to try CX racing, and I happened upon an extremely cheap schwinn criss cross. The frame is lugged steel, and it has canti brakes. It's even pink. The seat tube is 22" which is great, but the top tube is 24"!! WTF? This brings me to my question...
I'm not sure what to do about the handlebars. It has flat bars with bullhorns. I have extra drop bars and stems (if the stems will even fit) however they seem like they would interfere with the front brake. Also, the top tube is a good 2" longer than what I have on my road bikes so I'm not sure if drop bars will even be usable. What bars I use will determine what kind of shifters I'll use I guess. Will I get laughed out of a race if I use flat bars? Will the aerodynamic disadvantage make it not worth attempting?
Also, do you guys think the stock wheels will hold up for long? They're pretty cheap but I was thinking about trying to true them and servicing the axles before looking into replacements. I want to use a 1xN gear setup I think, I doubt I'll need the granny gear or big ring.
Right now the bike needs a full servicing, tires, etc... so any other suggestions are appreciated. I know this isn't ideal and that it will end up being fairly heavy (~24lbs?) but I'm mostly just concerned with having a bike that won't hold me back much.