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Building a Crossish bike - need suggestions

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Building a Crossish bike - need suggestions

Old 06-29-07, 12:48 PM
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Building a Crossish bike - need suggestions

Im building (I have lots of spare parts, otherwise I would probably be buying a Biance Volpe or something. I lucked out and got a pretty good deal on a kona JTS frame so thats going to be the body of this beast) up a sturdier bike so that I can put nice racing wheels on my Trek 5200 and not have to worry about hurting them on curbs and poorly maintained MUPS. I plan on taking this bike for rides with my friends who like to go XC mountain biking, commuting around town, and generally abusing it. I have some questions and I hope you guys have some suggestions!

*Disc brakes vs rim brakes: How useful are disc brakes? I probably wont have rear discs, but front disc brakes are currently an option and I would like to hear some people's opinions on how much of an improvement disc brakes make in really sudden stopping over rim brakes.

*Fork selection: Fork is one of the components I dont have, and I would appreciate any suggestions on ones that have worked well for others (and have disc brake mounts). My main concern with forks is durability.

*Drivetrain: I dont think this is going to be an issue, but I have a full shimano xt drive train from 2005. That should work pretty well for this project, no?

*Any hints or suggestions as to anything else I should be looking at?

Thanks for any and all information!
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Old 06-29-07, 01:48 PM
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go rim brakes, v-brakes or cantis. disc breaks are great for muddy weather and if you are not racing pro because they are not cross legal (so I have read)

disc brake enabled cross fork, save some cash and get the one off nashbar.com ( https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...20Road%20Forks )

drivetrain yeah what the hey use your xt drive train

Last edited by dzinehaus; 06-30-07 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 06-29-07, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by dzinehaus
go rim brakes, v-brakes or cantis disc breaks are great for muddy weather and if you are not racing pro because they are not cross legal (so I have read)

disc brake enabled cross fork, save some cash and get the one off nashbar.com ( https://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...20Road%20Forks )

drivetrain yeah what the hey use your xt drive train
Yeah I just found that nashbar fork after I posted my question and I think its the answer to atleast that part of the puzzle.

I dont plan on racing, so I think I will be doing the disc brake thing, though it looks like I might have to build up my own wheels (based on preliminary search). Though I just realized I wouldnt be able to use brifters with disc brakes.

I have been looking at some of the other cross bikes people build up and it looks like a lot of people like to build up the front of their drive train with road components and the rear with mtb stuff. I assume the rear is because the derailler is higher up and what not, but why the road front?

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Old 06-30-07, 07:17 AM
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rear derailleur can usually handle bigger steps in the gears from what I understand and fairly cheaper then typical road components. Don't ask me why it's just what I noticed. Other people have mentioned that it is just a marketing ploy done by the companies.

regardless a road crank usually gives you more gearing in a compact double then what you would often find in a triple mtb crank. I'm not a 100% sure about that, but that is the impression I get from it and from other riders. I don't fully understand gear inches and gear ratios, so I can't go fully into detail about all of that. Others most definately can.

My rear derailleur is a shimano 105 short cage which allows for more clearance (it is higher up) because it is smaller but it doesn't nesscessarily mean it is more durable or better. It does allow for more tension on the chain and 'supposedly' smoother shifting, regardless, it's just what I bought and am using.

If you want a decent set of wheels / rims that will do you fine for non-racing and more for some recreational firetrail & gravel road riding along with commuting and using disc brakes look into getting a set of alex td-17 rims and have them built up with say some avid juicy 5 or 7s. That was a nice setup I was going to pick up but found a tad pricey for my first bike. Mind you it is a nice and durable enough setup. You could probably pair that up with some deore hubs and you are good to roll.


Reading articles on the net, from what I have seen and understood:

a cross bike is just smaller in frame size, has its bottom bracket raised up higher from the ground and uses knobby tires on a road bike setup. read https://www.bikeforums.net/cyclocross-gravelbiking-recreational/138316-sizing-cyclocross-bikes.html


If you are concerned about durability, get a nice steel frame road bike and just swap out the pieces to make it more durable and now you have a cross bike ala old school.

As for the brifters, I have heard of people using them with disc brakes... don't ask me how though for I really wouldn't know. With a bit of hunting on the internet you could probably find out how to do it.

check the thumbnail from the thread 'show us your cross bike' from SLB Canuck's bike photo... notice the rims, disc brakes, and then notice the brifters...


Last edited by dzinehaus; 06-30-07 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 06-30-07, 08:55 AM
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the XT drivetrain should be great.

I would also go with a disc on the front: get the Avid bb7 Road mechanical disc brake, It will work with brifters and is a well respected brake. A canti on the rear will allow the brifter use without any goofy V-brake adapters.

Make sure your cassette and brifters match. Its getting harder to find 9 speed brifters, let alone 8 speeders.

I used that nashbar fork on my crosscheck and liked it, even though it was heavy. It was pretty stiff and steered well. very beefy!

Sounds like a fun bike you're building, enjoy it!!
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