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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) 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 12-21-05, 12:54 PM   #1
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a less expensive way to get involved...?

I'm interested in getting involved in cyclocross, but only have a road bike currently.

Any good ideas for getting involved without dropping a bundle?

I don't have any fantasies of winning races, etc. Just looking to have some fun on a bike that can handle road, dirt, grass, and less techinical single-track. I don't need the latest & greatest and don't mind turning a few bolts.

Are there any specific older commuting bikes that I may be able to pick up cheaply that could be easily converted to being more cyclocross-friendly (ie. rugged, good tire clearances, pre-rigged for cantilevers, etc.)? If so, I'd love to know the make/model/year(s) to look for.

Or, would I be better off looking for a light(er) mountain bike?

Thanks for any help you can provide.

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Old 12-21-05, 01:31 PM   #2
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cyclingtom gave some good advice on a thread earlierer today about using an older touring road bike. You could modify an old mtb but I'd look for an older steel cross frame like a lemond poprad. Check ebay and ask around some local shops and races with a little luck you should find something. If you have time and are willing to "turn some wrenchs" you can easily put together a race ready cross bike.
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Old 12-21-05, 03:15 PM   #3
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I would not go with the mtb option. especially if you are already a roadie.

maybe this will sound strange, but I think a great way to get involved in cross is by riding/racing a single speed. first, you can use just about any cross frame as an SS if you ENO hub the rear wheel. that means you can pick up a used redline or some other raceworthy frame for super cheap. also keeping the cost down is the fact that you wont need expensive derailieurs and sti shifters/levers (this will also make your bike lighter). you can pick up an IRO rob roy complete bike for under $700 i think.

other benefits of riding/racing ss is that you'll never drop your chain, cleanup/maintenance is easy, you wont have to replace expensive broken parts, and, as a beginner, you can just hammer and focus on getting your cross-specific skills down, which will help you 10x more than having a great bike. also, you CAN be competitive on a SS...i see ss-ers finishing well ahead of gearies all the time.

i race geared now, but my first 2 years racing i raced SS and it was great.
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