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Budget first cross bike

Old 08-27-17, 03:14 PM
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Budget first cross bike

I know the general wisdom is "bring what you got," but I don't think either of my current bikes are even close to appropriate for a cross race. Given that, what is a reasonable bike to bring to my first race when I'm not sure whether I will keep doing it? So far, I can think of a few options:

* a cheapo used cross or gravel bike from Craigslist with a cheap drivetrain and aluminum frame.
* something like a vintage rigid Stumpjumper with 26in wheels, cantis, and knobby tires.
* a rigid monstercross singlespeed built on one of those lynskey sliding dropout mtb frames,upgraded to an igh some day, maybe. Not necessarily the most practical, but it sounds like a fun project.

I have no idea if I will like cross. I am absolutely certain I will never be competitive. But I would like something I can ride around on muddy hills and gravel in the winter here in Seattle. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 08-28-17, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf
I know the general wisdom is "bring what you got," but I don't think either of my current bikes are even close to appropriate for a cross race. Given that, what is a reasonable bike to bring to my first race when I'm not sure whether I will keep doing it? So far, I can think of a few options:

* a cheapo used cross or gravel bike from Craigslist with a cheap drivetrain and aluminum frame.
* something like a vintage rigid Stumpjumper with 26in wheels, cantis, and knobby tires.
* a rigid monstercross singlespeed built on one of those lynskey sliding dropout mtb frames,upgraded to an igh some day, maybe. Not necessarily the most practical, but it sounds like a fun project.

I have no idea if I will like cross. I am absolutely certain I will never be competitive. But I would like something I can ride around on muddy hills and gravel in the winter here in Seattle. Any ideas? Thanks!
do you still own a fuji absolute? if you can fit some larger, more appropriate cx tires in there, you're in business.

if you're just looking for another project, any of the things you mentioned will work. pick the one that appeals to you most.
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Old 08-28-17, 09:20 AM
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Originally Posted by justin1138
do you still own a fuji absolute? if you can fit some larger, more appropriate cx tires in there, you're in business.

if you're just looking for another project, any of the things you mentioned will work. pick the one that appeals to you most.
If I take the fenders off the absolute, I can probably do 32s. Would that work? I suppose I'd have to take the bar-ends off, as well, to avoid fish-hooking someone.
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Old 08-28-17, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf
If I take the fenders off the absolute, I can probably do 32s. Would that work? I suppose I'd have to take the bar-ends off, as well, to avoid fish-hooking someone.
If you're just wanting to get your feet wet, that sounds great! There's a handful of tires in the 32 and lower range that would work well.

Definitely get rid of the fenders and bar ends. Especially the bar ends, those are usually frowned upon. While you're at it, I'd get rid of anything else you don't need in a race (lights, cages, bells, etc)
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Old 08-29-17, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by cormacf
If I take the fenders off the absolute, I can probably do 32s. Would that work? I suppose I'd have to take the bar-ends off, as well, to avoid fish-hooking someone.
32s would be fine. The maximum UCI size is 33mm. Not that most people in recreational CX really care about that.
A mountain bike is fine for getting your feet wet.

Probably the most important thing is setting up your tires tubeless - allows you to run low tire pressures. But play around with a few races and see what you think...

I got lucky, found a Bikes Direct Motobecane Fantom Cross in my size for $400. Hard to do better than that price wise (with Ultegra).
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