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What to look for in a cyclocross frame?

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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

What to look for in a cyclocross frame?

Old 03-27-12, 02:17 PM
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What to look for in a cyclocross frame?

I'm kind of a n00b when it comes to this but I decided I'm gonna try to build a budget cyclocross/commuting bike. Obviously it's not going to be anything super high end, but I was wondering what I should look for in a cyclocross frame? I'm currently considering a Nashbar cyclocross frame as it seems like a good frame for the money, but I've seen people score frames for less that were just as good (2nd hand), so I was wondering what makes a good cyclo frame. I
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Old 03-28-12, 02:48 AM
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I think is stiffness and comfort makes a good frame
 
Old 03-28-12, 11:06 AM
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If you are actually going to race.. horizontal top tube, for the portaging
the bike on your shoulder.
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Old 03-28-12, 01:00 PM
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Figure out what is more important. If it's commuting, look for fender/rack eyelets and shallower geometry. Weight isn't critical. If racing is more important, don't worry about the eyelets, go for steeper geometry and a lighter frame. If you're not racing competitively, get any bike and race it. Have fun and go all out on whatever you can.

Don't worry about the shaped top tubes. The bike usually isn't on your shoulder long during run-ups.
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Old 04-03-12, 01:42 PM
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Ill probably be doing trails and stuff like that, maybe a race or two when I get into shape a bit more haha. Would something like the Nashbar CX frame be a good choice? I cant really find anything cheaper, used or new....and I'll be honest I really want to build a bike, I just like fiddling around....probably doesnt help that Im broke hahah. Im thinking Ill do a budget build around fall when people are selling more used parts. Thanks for the help so far guys!
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Old 04-03-12, 02:57 PM
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I look at the following;

Chainstay length: 425mm is the minimum, a chainstay length 440mm or longer is too long for a sports bike.
Rear dropout spacing: 130mm for road hubs, 135mm for MTB hubs, 132.5 fits both.
Chainring clearance: 53 & 39 allows any crank, 46 & 36 limits options
Dics brake tabs, Cantilever bosses or both. Does the frame accept the brake system you want? Some accept both disc & cantilever brakes
Horizontal or vertical dropouts. If using an IGH or singlespeed you will want horizontal dropouts.
Tire size clearance: Want big tires? Most frames take 700x38, some take larger tires, a few only take 700x35.
Do racks and fenders install easily? Many frames have eyelets, but not all.
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Old 04-04-12, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I look at the following;

Chainstay length: 425mm is the minimum, a chainstay length 440mm or longer is too long for a sports bike.
Rear dropout spacing: 130mm for road hubs, 135mm for MTB hubs, 132.5 fits both.
Chainring clearance: 53 & 39 allows any crank, 46 & 36 limits options
Dics brake tabs, Cantilever bosses or both. Does the frame accept the brake system you want? Some accept both disc & cantilever brakes
Horizontal or vertical dropouts. If using an IGH or singlespeed you will want horizontal dropouts.
Tire size clearance: Want big tires? Most frames take 700x38, some take larger tires, a few only take 700x35.
Do racks and fenders install easily? Many frames have eyelets, but not all.
Thanks! This is just what I was looking for. to clarify though. The chainstay needs to be between 425-440mm ideally?
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Old 04-04-12, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by elstevodiablo
Thanks! This is just what I was looking for. to clarify though. The chainstay needs to be between 425-440mm ideally?
Less than 425 will restrict tire size to 700x35 or smaller. However longer chainstays make the bike feel less agile and sporty.
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Old 04-04-12, 10:09 PM
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What would the ideal cyclocross tire size be? I dont have experience with 700 tires at all. (Still rocking the 27''s)
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Old 04-05-12, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by elstevodiablo
What would the ideal cyclocross tire size be? I dont have experience with 700 tires at all. (Still rocking the 27''s)
700 tires: tires outside diameters is 633mm
 
Old 04-05-12, 05:39 AM
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One thing to consider, which I find annoying on my F75x - while the frame easily clears 34c tires, I have to deflate them to take the wheels off the bike. With Shorty Ultimates, the brake pads hit the frame when I release them, and they don't open wide enough to allow the tires to pass thru.
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Old 04-05-12, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by simonaway427
One thing to consider, which I find annoying on my F75x - while the frame easily clears 34c tires, I have to deflate them to take the wheels off the bike. With Shorty Ultimates, the brake pads hit the frame when I release them, and they don't open wide enough to allow the tires to pass thru.
These will help: https://www.koolstop.com/english/thinline.html

https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...10&category=34

The Thinline pad was designed for brake systems with tight brake clearance and easy tire removal. This pad has a hardened rigid internal backbone that packs a lot of performance.

I can now get 700x38 tires past the pads.
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Old 04-14-12, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv
I look at the following;

Chainstay length: 425mm is the minimum, a chainstay length 440mm or longer is too long for a sports bike.
Rear dropout spacing: 130mm for road hubs, 135mm for MTB hubs, 132.5 fits both.
Chainring clearance: 53 & 39 allows any crank, 46 & 36 limits options
Dics brake tabs, Cantilever bosses or both. Does the frame accept the brake system you want? Some accept both disc & cantilever brakes
Horizontal or vertical dropouts. If using an IGH or singlespeed you will want horizontal dropouts.
Tire size clearance: Want big tires? Most frames take 700x38, some take larger tires, a few only take 700x35.
Do racks and fenders install easily? Many frames have eyelets, but not all.
I hope this isn't too much of a thread hijack.

I test rode the Specialized Crux and loved it. I'm looking for something similar that's more commuter friendly. There's no eyelets for fenders or a rack on the Crux. The closest thing to the Crux that's more commute friendly is the Specialized Tricross. The Crux has a chainstay length of 425 mm the Tricross chainstay is 440 mm.

I'm a noob but I think the reason I really liked the Crux was the quick, fast, fun feel compared to the other bikes I have been riding. I've been having trouble finding a Tricross at a local bike shop to test ride. I finally found a shop that is willing to transfer one from another shop to my local store. Will the Tricross feel sluggish and loose the fun factor I liked so much in the Crux?

Prior to getting interested in cyclocross bikes, I was looking a basic hybrids. I've test rode about a dozen different models and the one that I liked the best was the Jamis Allegro. The reason I liked it was because it also felt fun fast and just a tiny bit twitchy. The Allegro has a shortish chainstay length at 435 mm.

Does the shorter chainstay length of both the Crux and the Allegro, which are very different bikes, explain why I like them both?
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Old 04-14-12, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by broodwich
I hope this isn't too much of a thread hijack.

I test rode the Specialized Crux and loved it. I'm looking for something similar that's more commuter friendly. There's no eyelets for fenders or a rack on the Crux. The closest thing to the Crux that's more commute friendly is the Specialized Tricross. The Crux has a chainstay length of 425 mm the Tricross chainstay is 440 mm.

I'm a noob but I think the reason I really liked the Crux was the quick, fast, fun feel compared to the other bikes I have been riding. I've been having trouble finding a Tricross at a local bike shop to test ride. I finally found a shop that is willing to transfer one from another shop to my local store. Will the Tricross feel sluggish and loose the fun factor I liked so much in the Crux?

Prior to getting interested in cyclocross bikes, I was looking a basic hybrids. I've test rode about a dozen different models and the one that I liked the best was the Jamis Allegro. The reason I liked it was because it also felt fun fast and just a tiny bit twitchy. The Allegro has a shortish chainstay length at 435 mm.

Does the shorter chainstay length of both the Crux and the Allegro, which are very different bikes, explain why I like them both?
Ride the specialized tricross. Has eyelets for fenders and racks is still a tough bike and I think it is almost as much fun as my crux; I had a hard time deciding between the two.
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Old 04-14-12, 10:39 PM
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Great post. I was going to make a new one asking much the same questions.
I was on BikesDirect, looking at some of their cyclocross bikes, thinking about what I'd need to sell in order to buy one. The it hit me that I could maybe convert my Specialized Crossroads Cruz hybrid into enough of a cc bike to see if that was something I'd like to ride. Is it better to start with a road frame vs. hybrid mountain bike frame? The Crossroads already has 700c x 38 tires and is a 20" x 23" frame.
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Old 04-14-12, 11:38 PM
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The Tricross has been hard to track down. I have a local dealer transferring one from another location so I can take it for a test ride. It will be here next week. 
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Old 04-15-12, 10:57 AM
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Originally Posted by broodwich

Does the shorter chainstay length of both the Crux and the Allegro, which are very different bikes, explain why I like them both?
It could. The shorter chainstays is probably one of several factors.
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Old 04-17-12, 03:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
If you are actually going to race.. horizontal top tube, for the portaging the bike on your shoulder.
I'm not doubting your observation but how is this different when compard to an angled top tube? It's a newb question.
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