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  1. #1
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    Frankenbike for cross? Help? tips?

    Been getting miles on my new road bike and have always wanted to compete in cross.

    Finding a bike in my size was already difficult. I have a 43cm with 650c wheels and even during the fitting they had to jam the stem all the way down.

    I have a single speed I built up but I ended up giving to my brother because it was too big. It was a 49cm with 700c wheels with annoying toe overlap.

    I have a old Schwinn Caliente that I converted years ago to a single speed because I got tired of the shifting not working. I used to commute on it until I got a new road bike recently. So now the Caliente is just sitting and in the garage so maybe it can be good to build a frankebike for cross? The bike as 24" wheels. Would I put 24" wheels or even be able to put 650b wheels on it? Would I have to get a new fork? The caliente is a tank though.

    I suppose my other option is to look on CL and find a frame small enough for me and build up from there? It could be a fun project. I have heard that I should just find a mountain bike frame and do that instead of the Schwinn. I've never seen a mountain bike with drop bars either...can you do that?

    I'm not interested in getting a new bike right now. people have suggested getting the Redline Conquest 24 but I've also heard it would be a disadvantage (not that I care) in competing with the 24" wheels, is that true? I've been on the smallest surly crosscheck and long haul and even they were too big.

    I probably won't have anyone to help me with this project since no one I knows enjoy bikes the same way I do. I honestly don't know where to start though, like what parts to get and what not.

  2. #2
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    If you're just looking to get out and try CX, you could get an old rigid mountain bike like a Specialized Rockhopper or Hardrock. You can usually find them for around $100 and they came in some pretty small sizes. You could race one of those as is, but with a few parts you could put drop bars on it. They typically came with cantilever brakes.

    One of the local co-ops could help you with a build, or just come out to a race and talk to people.

  3. #3
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    I don't see why a 24" bike would be a disadvantage. Some people mention the lack of tire selection but 24" is the BMX cruiser standard so there should be a few to choose from provided they will clear the frame and fork.

    If you run something other than 700c you won't be able to use neutral pit wheels if you flat, but that isn't enough reason to ride a bike that doesn't fit you.

    One important consideration with smaller frames is having the ability to shoulder the bike. If the main triangle is especially small this can be difficult.

    If your Schwinn takes 700c wheels I suggest getting some narrow-running cross tires that fit under the brakes and just racing what you have. Kenda Karv or Small Block 8 in "32" or Panaracer Cross Blaster would all be potential options.

  4. #4
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'm with Andy_K, I'd probably rather shop CL for a $100 13-14" rigid MTB than spend money getting the Caliente race-ready, myself. You don't have to have drop bars to ride CX races but there are a couple of threads about drop bar MTB conversions around here somewhere. No barends allowed on MTBs at CX, tho.

    BMX cruiser tires probably won't fit on Caliente rims, two different 24"s (if it's the same kinda Caliente I'm thinking of). 507mm for BMX, 547mm for stock Caliente.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  5. #5
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Ah. I guess I missed the wheel size of the Caliente.

    Well I still think seeking out suitable tires for that bike is the way to go, provided they exist and will clear the frame, fork, and brakes.

  6. #6
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Oh, and if you do get a small 26" MTB to race, biketiresdirect had a couple of 1.85" Hutchinson Bulldogs for $10 a couple of weeks ago, dunno if they're still there. Those puppies are only about 450 grams apiece. You gotta call them or go to the warehouse by the airport to check though, cuz they're on the clearance shelf, not on website.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    YupRedline is one of the companies shipping a 24" wheel cyclocross bike to dealers.

    Portland Oregon has probably a dozen SBS/ Red Line dealers..

    there are 24" wheel BMX bikes, so, already a single speed..


    good luck with your challenge on converting other bikes..

    one of the PDX Co Op shops may have 2nd hand parts..

    I probably won't have anyone to help me with this project since no one I knows enjoy bikes the same way I do. I honestly don't know where to start though, like what parts to get and what not.
    you need to get out more..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-06-12 at 12:16 PM.

  8. #8
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Saw this beauty on CL just now. Maybe you could get for $200?? Might still be too big for ya, though.

    http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/bik/3386227794.html
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  9. #9
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    are there any co-ops in vancouver, wa?
    the only one I can think of is the CCC but that's in portland

  10. #10
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    CCC tried a Vanc. location a few years ago but it only lasted a couple of months. I volunteer @ a shop on 13th and Kauffman but we have a limited parts selection. We just got a steel cx frame in but its a gigantic. 58 or so. Drop in and sayhi to Ramona and I sometime. We do thur and sat 1-5.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

  11. #11
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    Oh ok, that's sad.

    I think I will stop by the shop on 13th and Kauffman and bombard you guys with questions. I used to live near that area too

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