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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 09-10-11, 10:03 PM   #1
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Budget CX build, and wheel advice needed.

Well, here's the deal. I recently built this budget bike for cyclocross racing. It's an old 2007 Redline Conquest pro. The wheels I have on it, are off of my single speed commuter bike, that I never ride. I swapped some Ritchey Speedmax 30mm wide tires on them, and slapped a bunch of parts I had sitting around together, and viola.



Well I weighed it the other day at the LBS, and I was a bit unimpressed, but optimistic. With 1/10 first gen Force, and heavy Alex wheels, it was 20.06lbs. The wheels with tires alone are 2969g/pr. Well, I really want to build a set of Chris King R45 / Velocity Major Tom wheels for cross racing, if I like it as much as I think I will. Well for now, I am thinking of upgrading the fork to a carbon unit, that should drop a ton of weight. The steel fork has got to be at least 1200g so this 550g Bontrager unit should drop a good bit of mass, and also with the fork mounted brake cable hanger it will make it read for the Paul Neo Retro brakes I just bought.



So that should lighten the frontend, a bit, but the problem of the wheels remains. It might be awhile before I have the extra funds to build an $750-800 wheelset, so I am thinking of robbing my Spinergy Stealth FCC carbon clincher wheels from my Cervelo, and mounting the cross tires on there. They are only 1500g, ride extremely well, and have proved to be very strong. These are the wheels here:



I've not ever had to true them, and they have been my main set of training wheels on my race bike all year. I also have a rain/crit/training bike so I will still be able to ride it. Plus if I really want to ride my Cervelo for some reason, I still have a set of 404 tubies I race on that I can put on it. So what do you think good or bad idea using the Spinergys for cross racing? I just feel like I have the wheels, I might as well use them, but I don't want to thrash them either. I know cross is a dirty sport. The thing that scares me, is they are only 16/20 spoke, and the front is radial laced, which I know isn't ideal for cross. They are the PBO spokes that they claim to be 3x the strength of stainless steel. So they might be alright, that's probably why I haven't had to ever true them.
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Old 09-10-11, 10:07 PM   #2
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Also I only weigh 150lbs, so my wheels shouldn't take too much of a beating, since I am pretty light.
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Old 09-12-11, 04:53 PM   #3
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Don't know if this will help, but I ran D/A 7850 SL Tubeless last year with no issues at all. They have 16/20 spoke count(radial front) as well and I'm about #160 for cross. I don't bunny-hop the barriers and try and pick the line w/o roots,rocks and what-not, and might be easier on the wheels than you may be. In the last year I've broken four spokes; all on the rear and all on my road bikes. I use the 7850 Sls for training on the road bikes and still no issues at all.

Now that I've proclaimed my D/As somewhat bomb-proof, they will promply crater on my next ride.
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Old 09-12-11, 05:09 PM   #4
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these may not be the lightest option but they have a great rim profile, durable hubs, strong spokes, and already have tubulars mounted:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cycyclocross...#ht_500wt_1201
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Old 09-12-11, 05:23 PM   #5
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The wheels with tires alone are 2969g/pr.
Depending on how heavy your tires and tubes are, that isn't terrible. Obviously you can get away with lighter wheels, but if you're nervous about racing with your light carbon rims then you should leave them at home. You don't want anything on your bike that might have you riding gingerly. Better to have heavy wheels that you're willing to run all out through some bumpy singletrack. Your Spinergy wheels would probably survive.

You may want to raise your handlebars a bit.
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Old 09-12-11, 05:34 PM   #6
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I doubt that's a steel fork, probably alloy like mine was on my 2000 Conquest team model, unless you're sure its steel. I did save a little weight going to a winwood CF fork but it got rid of te chatter and I got it for a song. Looks good but darn if that seatpost isn't super long. Must have long legs as it looks like my frame size of 54?
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Old 09-12-11, 06:10 PM   #7
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these may not be the lightest option but they have a great rim profile, durable hubs, strong spokes, and already have tubulars mounted:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cycyclocross...#ht_500wt_1201
That is a really good deal, only thing is they would save very little if any weight. According to my calculations that's about 1800-1900g worth of wheels. I am still really tempted to get them at that price, but I think a better decision is to order the fork instead for less money, and build the wheels I want later on.

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Don't know if this will help, but I ran D/A 7850 SL Tubeless last year with no issues at all. They have 16/20 spoke count(radial front) as well and I'm about #160 for cross. I don't bunny-hop the barriers and try and pick the line w/o roots,rocks and what-not, and might be easier on the wheels than you may be. In the last year I've broken four spokes; all on the rear and all on my road bikes. I use the 7850 Sls for training on the road bikes and still no issues at all.

Now that I've proclaimed my D/As somewhat bomb-proof, they will promply crater on my next ride.
I don't want to jinx myself, but I've yet to break a spoke ever. I bunnyhop often times on the road too. I pretty much bunnyhop every railroad crossing I come to. You are about my weight, so I definitely appreciate your advice. I've been thinking about trying tubeless as well. I am sure I will be bunnyhopping, in cross, and I really don't want to be choosy about my lines. We shall see how it goes. Gonna do my first race this weekend.

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Depending on how heavy your tires and tubes are, that isn't terrible. Obviously you can get away with lighter wheels, but if you're nervous about racing with your light carbon rims then you should leave them at home. You don't want anything on your bike that might have you riding gingerly. Better to have heavy wheels that you're willing to run all out through some bumpy singletrack. Your Spinergy wheels would probably survive.

You may want to raise your handlebars a bit.
It's not that I am nervous about them, it's just I really don't want to screw them up. I did get them really cheap, but there is no sense in destroying them either. On another forum I frequent, I was told that mud really eats up the brake tracks on carbon rims. That pretty much made me rule the Spinergys out. At this point, I am thinking the Chris King R45 / Velocity Major Tom / DT Comp 24fr and rear 2x is the way to go. I'm just going to have to save up for them.

Believe it or not the bars are about 1" higher than my road bikes. It feels good there.
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Old 09-12-11, 06:15 PM   #8
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I doubt that's a steel fork, probably alloy like mine was on my 2000 Conquest team model, unless you're sure its steel. I did save a little weight going to a winwood CF fork but it got rid of te chatter and I got it for a song. Looks good but darn if that seatpost isn't super long. Must have long legs as it looks like my frame size of 54?
It's actually a 52cm, my S2 is a 54 though. It just happened come across this frame, fork, and stem for $100 so I snagged it. I am not sure the fork is the factory one. I am pretty sure it is just something someone tossed on there. It feels really heavy. The seatpost is up there a bit. I am pretty much all arms, and legs with a short torso.
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Old 09-15-11, 03:21 PM   #9
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Got the Paul brakes in today. They are awesome. Tons of stopping power, and 50g lighter than the Avid I had on the rear. Still haven't put the front on. I need a fork mounted cable hanger. I can actually lock the rear up if I need to on pavement. They look pretty awesome too. I need to order that fork soon.
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Old 09-15-11, 04:30 PM   #10
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Out of curiosity, are you by any chance a triathlete? Most people I know don't get Paul brakes for a "budget" build. I've got cheapo Tektro CR720's on my "good" CX bike and am thinking about "splurging" on something more expensive.
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Old 09-15-11, 04:41 PM   #11
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Out of curiosity, are you by any chance a triathlete? Most people I know don't get Paul brakes for a "budget" build. I've got cheapo Tektro CR720's on my "good" CX bike and am thinking about "splurging" on something more expensive.
Nope, definitely not a tri-geek. I am a road racer, about to get my feet wet, no pun intended, in cross this weekend. I got the Paul brakes used on ebay for $86.20 shipped with Swiss Stop Yellow pads, and all. That's pretty cheap. I'm trying to do this all as cheap as possible, that's why it's a budget build. I've waited for weeks to come across good deals for it. I'd still say the total investment is still around $500, maybe just a shade over. The problem is, I am a bit of a weight weenie. I would still no matter what like to keep the total price of this build under $1500 if I can, and maybe get it down around 15lbs with a custom built set of Chris King / Velocity Tubulars. Also I stopped by the LBS today, and a friend working there has a set of 42mm wide tires for me for free. So I've got something to ride mountain bike trails on with a bit more comfort now.
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Old 09-15-11, 06:55 PM   #12
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Out of curiosity, are you by any chance a triathlete? Most people I know don't get Paul brakes for a "budget" build.
Andy, you're hilarious. We'll have to meet sometime.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:06 PM   #13
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This project is on such a strict budget, I am about to fashion a front cable stop for the Paul front brakes out of an old paintball gun part lol. Since the new fork will come with one, I'm not real worried about it. It's beefy so it should be stiff. The front brake was only 30g more, so by the time I finish the brake stop, it's gonna be a wash. Compared to my road race bike, this thing is hella cheap. It's a ton of fun too. I love riding it down the road, and just cutting through gravel or grass or whatever. It's really great. The most fun, I've had for $500 since I bought a Suzuki Samurai for $500 once.
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Old 09-15-11, 07:09 PM   #14
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BTW, I think I already know the answer to this, but I'm going to ask anyway. I'm going to buy some new handlebars for my S2. Would it be a bad idea to put my carbon FSA K-Wings on my cross bike? They survived a hard slam in a crit race that my frame, and my collar bone didn't survive, so I would say they are rather strong....
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Old 09-15-11, 08:34 PM   #15
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BTW, I think I already know the answer to this, but I'm going to ask anyway. I'm going to buy some new handlebars for my S2. Would it be a bad idea to put my carbon FSA K-Wings on my cross bike? They survived a hard slam in a crit race that my frame, and my collar bone didn't survive, so I would say they are rather strong....
i would have said they were fine until you said you went down on them. the only carbon bars ive seen fail were involved in a prior accident. that said, ive onle seen two, maybe, three carbon bars fail.
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Old 09-15-11, 08:38 PM   #16
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BTW, I think I already know the answer to this, but I'm going to ask anyway. I'm going to buy some new handlebars for my S2. Would it be a bad idea to put my carbon FSA K-Wings on my cross bike? They survived a hard slam in a crit race that my frame, and my collar bone didn't survive, so I would say they are rather strong....
I just installed some on my new cross build. I like the 1cm (or so) rise from the clamp section. It allows me to use less spacers under the stem, plus I prefer a wider bar top. I'm not worried in the least about snapping them.
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Old 09-15-11, 11:09 PM   #17
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i would have said they were fine until you said you went down on them. the only carbon bars ive seen fail were involved in a prior accident. that said, ive onle seen two, maybe, three carbon bars fail.
I thoroughly inspected them, and they have had a couple thousand miles since then no issue. Besides that they are really heavy. 270-280g irc, but still lighter than the alloy bars on there now.
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Old 09-16-11, 06:10 PM   #18
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What about Mavic Aksiums?
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Old 09-16-11, 09:20 PM   #19
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What about Mavic Aksiums?
Never been a big Mavic fan. Never had a set either though. Gotta be tubies, though, and gotta be 1500g, or lighter. A wide aluminum rim would be preferred.
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Old 09-19-11, 06:04 AM   #20
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So I was supposed to go racing yesterday, but my gps would not recognize the address as I tried to input it. Then my laptop shut off for no reason. I took that as a sign not to race. So instead some friends of mine were going mountain biking. So I threw some 42mm wide tires on, and joined them. OMG this bike is sooooo much fun. Not only was I the fastest of our group, I am pretty sure I had the most fun too. The Paul brakes worked flawlessly. Love them. I did have an issue, I am going to try to sort out today. I was somehow amazingly dropping chains in the 39-28, even with my chain catcher, on hard effort climbs. Which sucked, because there was no room to put the chain back on. I had to break the masterlink, and run the chain back around. I think the problem is with the 39t it doesn't fit super tight over the chain, and I have it down so far it almost makes contact with the spider arms. So I am going to try grinding part of the catcher down, and see if that works. The other option would be go with a 42t, but the 39t proved optimal yesterday.
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Old 09-19-11, 08:27 AM   #21
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I'd suggest you run the wheels you have and save your money. Unless you are almost winning races. A little extra weight in cross wont kill you and wheels and bearings have a short life expectancy anyway.
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