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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 11-10-13, 07:16 PM   #1
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Roadbike frame with clearance enuf for CX?

OK, I'll try again. It's a twist on my usual theme (which hasn't *really* been dealt with well enough yet). I'm trying to dial it in better. I need a light frame, like a Giant TCR, only with clearances. Does such a thing exist? I don't need a frame with canti studs. I don't have canti brakes to install on them! I don't need no steenking canti brakes neither! My old road brakes brake just fine for all the CX races I've done. I want a frame that will simply fit my 30-32mm tires. Even just 30mm with a bit of elbow room would be fine. I'll use the frame for road riding in the summer. I don't need those stinking wings sticking out in the wind in the pacelines. Yeah, they're cute and say you're a crosser but I just don't need 'em. I even like them, but as I said I don't have em and I don't need em. They do seem a touch less aero to me than the brakes THAT I HAVE. So I'll take a pass despite any coolness they offer. I just want a common lightweight road frame easy to find on the 2nd hand market cheap that has clearance. A TCX would be fine if I didn't have to put canti's on it. Tips, leads?

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Old 11-10-13, 09:55 PM   #2
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These are steel. I can't think of a CF frame with room for a 700x30 or larger. I'd look at these models;

Surly Pacer: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pacer

Soma ES: http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/es

Soma Stanyan:http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...anyan-frameset
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Old 11-10-13, 11:17 PM   #3
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TCX disc when they release it...

You'll find in muddy races that road calipers will gum up quickly.
If you flat without a pit bike, changing a flat with road calipers, & CX tires will be a pain, you most likely have to deflate them to clear your brake pads.
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Old 11-11-13, 06:58 AM   #4
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I've been in muddy races, but none that clogged. I'm sure it'll happen, but still. My older calipers have plenty of room around em.

Maybe our Michigan races are their own thing, weatherwise -- our courses seem well drained and when we have mud we have rain. So I've been in ankle deep mud but it hasn't built up.

As for wheel changing, I just pop 'em in and out, no sweat. I suppose there are modern-era calipers with low clearance. Thankfully I don't have those.

I'm not very serious. Have never pitted yet. I do just like a light cheap frame like a TCX. Don't need disks. My brakes have always stopped me just fine. (My personal shortfall is in power. I usually ride up on folks in the technical parts.)

I want an allrounder, yearround bike. And that bike needs to be light, cheap, without "wings" -- like a TCR with more tire-room. That's all I ask!

Whups, my list just got longer: no reason such a bike couldn't have little tiny bolt holes at the drop-outs for attaching handy goodies like fenders and racks!!! Then I could have 1 bike in place of 3 ! If they made it, I just might do it. (Well, a few years later, after it showed up 2nd-hand.)

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TCX disc when they release it...

You'll find in muddy races that road calipers will gum up quickly.
If you flat without a pit bike, changing a flat with road calipers, & CX tires will be a pain, you most likely have to deflate them to clear your brake pads.
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Old 11-11-13, 07:10 AM   #5
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Can any of these readily be built into a 19-lb bike without boutique parts?

My situation reminds me of when Dahon accidentally made, like, a 18-lb alum folder without rack or light for $600 -- it soon disappeared. It was "wrong" for the world. They made that $600 model into a true "budget" bike that weighed 24 lbs with commuter doodads and low-spec parts. Then they made their 18-lb model into a "real performance" bike that was maybe 17.5 lbs for $1800. ...The high-perf cheap bike spec was all wrong for the "market" and its scripted expectations -- and profits and margins. (I'm ballparking these weights -- though that cheap, light Dahon was amazing for a few years there.)

So I'm guessing that Soma's/Surly's light "road" frames still end up being too tight for a 30mm tire, while their bikes with clearances all weigh several pounds more for no real reason. ...Because everyone knows that the market says nobody wants a light, nimble bike that can fit 30's.

But I hope I'm wrong.

I want 'em to aim for: TCR-like with clearances and little extra bolt-holes for racks/fenders, bitte!


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These are steel. I can't think of a CF frame with room for a 700x30 or larger. I'd look at these models;

Surly Pacer: http://surlybikes.com/bikes/pacer

Soma ES: http://www.somafab.com/archives/product/es

Soma Stanyan:http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...anyan-frameset
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Old 11-11-13, 07:27 AM   #6
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Why not just contact a custom frame builder like Doug Curtis (www.curtlo.com) and have him build exactly what you want? A full custom True Temper S3 road frame starts at a very reasonable $1125 and can give you precisely what you are looking for.
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Old 11-11-13, 11:18 AM   #7
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I wish the races in PNW/up here were as friendly.
We often need pit bikes, & the mud is a game changer.
"Down & dirty" is what I call my rig. We always get dirty, but I'm usually the one that goes down. I'd rather it be me than one of my girls...



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Can any of these readily be built into a 19-lb bike without boutique parts?

My situation reminds me of when Dahon accidentally made, like, a 18-lb alum folder without rack or light for $600 -- it soon disappeared. It was "wrong" for the world. They made that $600 model into a true "budget" bike that weighed 24 lbs with commuter doodads and low-spec parts. Then they made their 18-lb model into a "real performance" bike that was maybe 17.5 lbs for $1800. ...The high-perf cheap bike spec was all wrong for the "market" and its scripted expectations -- and profits and margins. (I'm ballparking these weights -- though that cheap, light Dahon was amazing for a few years there.)

So I'm guessing that Soma's/Surly's light "road" frames still end up being too tight for a 30mm tire, while their bikes with clearances all weigh several pounds more for no real reason. ...Because everyone knows that the market says nobody wants a light, nimble bike that can fit 30's.

But I hope I'm wrong.

I want 'em to aim for: TCR-like with clearances and little extra bolt-holes for racks/fenders, bitte!
Soma/Surly fit the bill in terms of eyelets for fenders/racks, but will be tough to get down to 19-18lbs.
The money spend trying to get either of those frame could be used on a proper CX bike, but you'll get either "wings" or discs.
So that's out of the question.

I'd go the custom route as kopis mentioned.
You could even make is a SSCX, or 1x8/9/10(for everyday use)
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Old 11-11-13, 02:47 PM   #8
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Why not just contact a custom frame builder like Doug Curtis (www.curtlo.com) and have him build exactly what you want? A full custom True Temper S3 road frame starts at a very reasonable $1125 and can give you precisely what you are looking for.
Well, I'd for sure take the hit and just get a $150 TCX before going custom. Whew, talk about mood-swings! So far I've really enjoyed my TCR with 28mm tires. That's a very light frame you can get for $200. My only complaint is I need a frickin' QUARTER-INCH more clearance. (Or so.) Whatever supposed durability this kind of frame may lack is fine by me. I'll take the risk. My hunch is that it's gonna hold up. I guess I want a TCX without canti's. Nuthin' like that out there? The Soma, Surly tribe is cool -- prolly a lot pricier too on 2ndhand market -- all for the benefit of another, what, half-inch of space and another, what, 2 pounds of metal. Sheesh! There's gotta be something out there. Or maybe not. Someday there will be a generic light (alum?) road frame with some clearance ... $200 secondhand ... and I'll be golden. I might just settle for a TCX in the meantime and endure the coolness of "wings" during the summer. I suppose I can find a set of them in somebody's extra parts bin. I hope I wouldn't scrape my legs on the thangs. Them wings is cute but they do stick out...
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Old 11-11-13, 03:25 PM   #9
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I've never seen anyone try so hard not to buy a CX bike for CX racing. Is this still about the extra weight?
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Old 11-11-13, 03:41 PM   #10
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I've never seen anyone try so hard not to buy a CX bike for CX racing. Is this still about the extra weight?
Yes, it is kinda funny. I guess I'm looking for something like a 1970's type of roadbike with today's benefits. Meaning, made to today's specs but without today's useless clearance problem.

Yeah, it's about weight, but it's also about aerodynamics.

I note that the road freaks have been slowly discovering that fatter, softer tires are faster than their 23's. Someone will soon figure out that a roadbike that'll handle 33's, say, will be popular for crits AND gravel AND CX.

A roadbike with a scootch more clearance (and little bitty boltholes in the dropouts) won't have much slower handling but can still be nice'n'light -- and lots more versatile. Its time will come!
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Old 11-11-13, 04:04 PM   #11
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This is the same reason for roadies...Weight.
Any unnecessary extra weight added by eyelets, wider tires, etc will probably be the reason we won't see a road/race bike with eyelets, or extra clearance for wider tires.
As many have witnessed in the Giro, & the Vuelta(or any UCI sanctioned races).
Pro racers have no use for fenders, or racks.


If you're really worried about weight you wouldn't have mentioned the Soma, or Surly.
"Wings"/cantis/V's/mini V's can be lighter than road calipers,most definitely discs.
Its having to dial them in that's the only downside to having them.
Have you considered an older touring bike?
They have more clearance, some accept "wings", or road calipers.
In reality there's no cheap fix to building a race rig, from an older road frame. It is cheaper buying a whole bike than building up a frameset.
Take it from someone who's done it both ways many times.
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Old 11-11-13, 04:22 PM   #12
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A roadbike with a scootch more clearance (and little bitty boltholes in the dropouts) won't have much slower handling but can still be nice'n'light -- and lots more versatile. Its time will come!
you said it yourself, the bike you want doesn't exist... sorry dude.

in the meantime why not just get a CX bike and park it next to your road bike, and use the one that's most appropriate for the upcoming ride?
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Old 11-11-13, 06:47 PM   #13
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I recently found a pristine 1986? Cannondale ST400. It has clearance for actual 32's after change to 700c, eyelets and uses long reach calipers. I expect it may be lighter than a Surly.
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Old 11-11-13, 08:54 PM   #14
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Eyelets don't add much weight -- less than an ounce, it would seem. I'm looking at 19 lbs, not 12 lbs. Clearance also adds negligible weight -- I'd give it 3 ounces.

I didn't bring up those steel bikes, another did. They were given as the examples of roadbikes with clearance. I like their geometry but not their weight. I'd think the answer is in an alum frame, since thrift is also desired.

Pro racers enjoy touring as much as anyone. They like versatile bikes. They race on their thoroughbreds but appreciate other bikes. And for low-level races they know as well as anyone that a bike with a few extra ounces of accessories isn't noticeably slower than another.

An older touring bike? You're totally misreading my mission.

Yeah, canti's can be light, but the fact that they stick out bugs me. Also, I just don't have them. If I can start with a light modern frame I have the extra common parts to slap onto it to make a nice 19 lb bike. Again (again) a TCR-like frame with a bit more clearance and a couple extra tiny little bolt holes would be fun. OK, I could even do without the bolt-holes. All I really need is clearance. I don't need canti-studs.

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This is the same reason for roadies...Weight.
Any unnecessary extra weight added by eyelets, wider tires, etc will probably be the reason we won't see a road/race bike with eyelets, or extra clearance for wider tires.
As many have witnessed in the Giro, & the Vuelta(or any UCI sanctioned races).
Pro racers have no use for fenders, or racks.


If you're really worried about weight you wouldn't have mentioned the Soma, or Surly.
"Wings"/cantis/V's/mini V's can be lighter than road calipers,most definitely discs.
Its having to dial them in that's the only downside to having them.
Have you considered an older touring bike?
They have more clearance, some accept "wings", or road calipers.
In reality there's no cheap fix to building a race rig, from an older road frame. It is cheaper buying a whole bike than building up a frameset.
Take it from someone who's done it both ways many times.
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Old 11-11-13, 09:23 PM   #15
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No,eyelets, & clearance don't add weight, but the reason they're there does.
Fenders,racks,bigger tires, all add weight.
The reason why you don't see eyelets on race bikes, is because these are race specific frames. I can slap on removable mud guard on my race rig, but I wont. This is what my tank/gravel grinder for. I don't even put fenders on my JTS/pit bike even though it has eyelets.

Certain bikes serve certain purposes, same for components.

Older touring bikes offer the clearance, & road calipers you seek. Are they nimble like a road bike or CXer... No.
But if your after a rig on the cheap, this might be something to consider.

To be honest, I'd sacrifice looks of V's/cant is, rather than over spend on making something that basically the same as what you started with.
Run what you brung, it works for you.
No sense in making things difficult because you want to run wider tires, & won't compromise on the brake situation.

Edit: Not sure a TCR is tough enough to handle the beating some CX course have to offer.
This part of the reason CXer's are a bit heavier than road bikes.
Shaving weight often leads to repairs.

Last edited by Ghost Ryder; 11-11-13 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 11-12-13, 08:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Yes, it is kinda funny. I guess I'm looking for something like a 1970's type of roadbike with today's benefits. Meaning, made to today's specs but without today's useless clearance problem.
And apparently it has to be under $200, it must only use wide profile road calipers, must have rack and fender eyelets, etc. Happy unicorn hunting.
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Old 11-12-13, 08:32 AM   #17
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And apparently it has to be under $200, it must only use wide profile road calipers, must have rack and fender eyelets, etc. Happy unicorn hunting.

Thank you!
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Old 11-12-13, 09:09 AM   #18
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"No,eyelets, & clearance don't add weight, but the reason they're there does.
Fenders,racks,bigger tires, all add weight."

? When accessories are installed one is not racing and then weight doesn't matter so much (tho it's still nice to have a light frame). Take them off to use the bike for racing. For examples, see how many roadbikes used to be set up.

Race specific frames can be fun for regular riding. Not heavy touring, but a bit o' touring wouldn't hurt. No need for whole extra bike.

Also, gravel riding by no means equals "tank" for many folks doing it.

And lightweight doesn't have to mean fragile. At what weight range are CXer's finding fragile coming into the picture? I haven't had any warnings about TCR Aluxx (or even full carbon) being fragile or heard of that. My 19 lb goal is a cinch with tubies so no need for alarm that I see. Does it really raise the "12 lb bikes can break" flag for you?

I note again that 2ndhand TCR's and TCX's are often cheap. They're my benchmark. Is a used $200 generic alum road frame really a unicorn? Even if you can fit a wider tire into it to meet the new rage for grinders? There's also the reality that wider tires really aren't slower for a wide range of riding when they're high quality -- I believe this cat of tire is growing quickly in popularity. I have a wee little hunch that more road frames will be built to accept them. I was merely wondering if there was a common one out there now that I was overlooking. That's all.

A sidepull with clearance is a versatile thing. We don't have to be stuck on labeling CX and grinders as "canti-only." Disks are now accepted, somewhat. Sidepulls could be also, a bit anyway.

I'm not making anything difficult: just gimme a generic light roadframe with more clearance. I'm sure it could easily be done if it hasn't been.


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No,eyelets, & clearance don't add weight, but the reason they're there does.
Fenders,racks,bigger tires, all add weight.
The reason why you don't see eyelets on race bikes, is because these are race specific frames. I can slap on removable mud guard on my race rig, but I wont. This is what my tank/gravel grinder for. I don't even put fenders on my JTS/pit bike even though it has eyelets.

Certain bikes serve certain purposes, same for components.

Older touring bikes offer the clearance, & road calipers you seek. Are they nimble like a road bike or CXer... No.
But if your after a rig on the cheap, this might be something to consider.

To be honest, I'd sacrifice looks of V's/cant is, rather than over spend on making something that basically the same as what you started with.
Run what you brung, it works for you.
No sense in making things difficult because you want to run wider tires, & won't compromise on the brake situation.

Edit: Not sure a TCR is tough enough to handle the beating some CX course have to offer.
This part of the reason CXer's are a bit heavier than road bikes.
Shaving weight often leads to repairs.

Last edited by JeffOYB; 11-12-13 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:30 AM   #19
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I've never seen anyone try so hard not to buy a CX bike for CX racing. Is this still about the extra weight?
This.

They make CX bikes for a reason, racing CX. This thread makes my head hurt.
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Old 11-12-13, 09:39 AM   #20
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@ OP:

You missing what I'm saying...
My race rig has no eyelets. Race rigs have no use for them.
Mine only has one bottle cage mount, most have none.

Kona Jake the Snake- not race - eyelets.
Major Jake(mine is a team edition Rad Jake) - race rig - no eyelets.
If you want an all rounder you buy the JTS or the Jake(no carbon fork/lower component group), not the MJ.
= Bikes for specific scenarios.
Fenders are for commuting(or a friendly/fredly group ride), when's the last time you saw fenders during a race.

The saying "racing is for the rich" has more truth than we realise.
Anyone who has ever built a race rig can attest to this.
Even on a budget, your going to spend, & most likely will exceed you budget.

I would not attempt to commute on my MJ, heck I don't even commute on my JTS/pit bike.
Wonder why pros sell their race bikes after a major tour, while we normal folks have to keep our for a few seasons?




My tank is my do all bike.
I never said "your" gravel grinder has to be heavy, mine happens to be on the heavy side. I'm a roadie, so my view of heavy may differ from yours.
My tank has eyelets , but I choose removable to save weight.
I ride with 40mm tires currently, but can go up to 50mm, or a 29er tire if I want to. Disc brakes to deal with the mud, & wet conditions we frequent experience in the PNW.

Do you need more than 1 bike... Maybe not.
I like to have a bikes that fit my needs, I set them up for my needs, & choose the 1 I need for that need.
If I had to give them all up, & keep/have 1... I would choose a CXer with discs, & eyelets.

I'm done giving you attention...(I'd rather be riding )
Basically what your asking for is impossible for the budget you set, & your view on brake components.
Good luck easter egg hunting!

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Old 11-12-13, 09:43 AM   #21
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This.

They make CX bikes for a reason, racing CX. This thread makes my head hurt.
Exactly!
This is why we have so many different disciplines/styles of cycling... There's a bike for every style, & I have one for every style I ride! I don't BMX with my Fixie/SS just cause it has 1 gear.

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Old 11-12-13, 09:55 AM   #22
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This.

They make CX bikes for a reason, racing CX. This thread makes my head hurt.
Sorry about that! But of course CX bikes come in a fair amount of variety, often with a fair amount of mission overlap.

And it's worth questioning bike culture in order to move it forward -- possibly we could get even more overlap if we asked or looked around. (I say that one worthy assertion is that for the common racer there's no downside to a bit o' clearance and a few extra holes but there's a lot more fun to be gained.)

Anyway, I was just asking if there was a frame I was overlooking. No need for pain!

I'm sure the frame I'm hankering after will pop up oneathesedays if it doesn't exist already (bikes keep changing!) and then pop up again on the 2nd hand market after that! And if a fairly sizable maker is the one who delivers it then it'll likely end up as a fairly thrifty option then!
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Old 11-12-13, 10:01 AM   #23
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@ OP:
Just noticed you have a MTB, not sure what type it is, why not try using this for CX racing?
I'm pretty sure it doesn't have road calipers...
What keeps you from riding this bike, other than "its not equipped with road calipers"?
I don't know why I keep referring them to "road" calipers...


We tried to be polite, but you are making it difficult for yourself.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:12 AM   #24
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Sorry about that! But of course CX bikes come in a fair amount of variety, often with a fair amount of mission overlap.

And it's worth questioning bike culture in order to move it forward -- possibly we could get even more overlap if we asked or looked around. (I say that one worthy assertion is that for the common racer there's no downside to a bit o' clearance and a few extra holes but there's a lot more fun to be gained.)

Anyway, I was just asking if there was a frame I was overlooking. No need for pain!

I'm sure the frame I'm hankering after will pop up oneathesedays if it doesn't exist already (bikes keep changing!) and then pop up again on the 2nd hand market after that! And if a fairly sizable maker is the one who delivers it then it'll likely end up as a fairly thrifty option then!
There is a market... Its called cyclocross/CX...
2ndhand search TCX not TCR, or CAADX not CAAD.

Another thing worth mentioning.
My tank/gravel grinder(which is a CXer) has extra material built under the head tube where it meets the downtube to handle the beating it takes from CXing.
CXer are built to take a beating that a road bike isn't accustomed to. There's no suspension other than your arms, & legs to take the blows.
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Old 11-12-13, 10:16 AM   #25
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@ OP:
Just noticed you have a MTB, not sure what type it is, why not try using this for CX racing?
I'm pretty sure it doesn't have road calipers...
What keeps you from riding this bike, other than "its not equipped with road calipers"?
I don't know why I keep referring them to "road" calipers...


We tried to be polite, but you are making it difficult for yourself.
? I just said that I already had sidepulls and didn't want to buy canti's for this TCX-like frame I'm wondering about. I've also noted that just because I want a bit more clearance shouldn't mean I have to change brakes... since many road-brakes have plenty of room. What's so hard about this?

I do note that there are hundreds of quirky bikes out there and dozens more each season. I have stated the "quirky" bike I wish to see (and which I thought might already exist) and I've given my simple wish-list for it. What's the big deal? Also, it seems to me that my wishlist wouldn't yield a quirky bike at all, but a very versatile one suitable for common uses.

I did mention a 19-lb raceable weight goal. And a desire to use it in the summer for paceline riding. ...Throws a snag in the MTB concept.

I really don't think I've been unclear. It kinda seems like the MTB remark is totally off the subject.

...A 2ndhand generic alum road frame with clearance for 32mm tire and a few extra bolt-holes. Order up!
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