Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I'm attempting to return my Bianchi Reparto Corse steel cyclocross frame to it's off road roots now that I have dedicated road bike and some more time in my life. See my other thread about build options if you're interested.
I'm going to try to get this done this fall in time to try it out and maybe enter a beginner race around here (Seattle). Seems like a lot of folks try to have their cross bike do double duty as a road bike, a winter training bike, a commuter etc., I'm interested in going the other way and having it be more of a gravel trail bike, fire road bike, and maybe single track bike. I'm planning on trying out flat bars with classic mountain style shifters (XT thumbies) and brakes. I'm debating the crankset right now. I have a compact double on it now that needs new rings. I understand triples aren't needed for cyclocross racing, but a mountain triple with like 46/36/28 gives you the cyclocross rings, but also a granny for trail riding. You don't have to use the granny in the race or you could even take it off and swap BBs to get a double chainline for race season if you really wanted to.
So has anyone done this, other than for a lark? Can you get yourself basically a usable old school rigid mountain bike? I haven't mountain biked in a long time and I'm not real interested in full suspension, full body armor DH, hucking meat, etc. But a flat bar (maybe with bar ends you could remove for cx), triple cranks, and the biggest tires you can fit (700x40c with no fenders?) would be pretty mountainish. My bike is old has a 1 inch threaded headset that takes quill stems, one advantage of which is that changing the height is simple loosening of one bolt. I could try a long quill high rise stem that I could lower for cx and raise for xc.
Good enough for single track cross country or am I trying too hard to make it fit? The frame being traditional diamond and the lugged crown forks being a little slender I don't see it taking a ton of abuse but I'm getting old and can't take a ton of abuse anymore either! I can see open country trail riding where the tires stay on the ground and it's not too twisty or rooty. Faster on the multi-use trails and fire roads for sure. Not even sure what I'd ride around here.
I'd be happy to hear from anybody who went in this direction whether they liked it or not.