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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 04-02-13, 09:47 PM   #1
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Building a Cyclocross Bike

I need to preface this post by excusing myself if I come across as harsh. Not my intention to do so, I am just really serious about this.
Am I a noob to bike mechanics? Meh, not necessarily. Am I a noob to building up my own bike? Certainly. And I need help. Forums are my only savior for this, and before I write anymore I want to very politely (not being sarcastic about that) throw out a few requests of people who offer their kindness and consideration in choosing to reply and assist me:
1. Yes, I know you know more than I do. That is why Iím writing this. Please, none of passive-aggressive writing style reminding me of this.
2. I want to build my own cyclocross bike. After weeks of price investigations, hybrid conversion ponderings, Iíve decided that yes, this is what I want to do. Please donít tell me itís unrealistic or not worth it, be it financially or effort-wise. This is my decision to do this and I realize it will be hard, especially on a budget, so please hear me out in my reasoning.
The point in writing this is to obtain help in part compatibility/selection, and then on how to throw it all together; hopefully coming out in the end with a budget-busting bike, and a better knowledge of bike mechanics as a whole. And maybe with a few new bike-enthusiast cyber (maybe turn real in the future) friends to boot.
Sorry for the stipulations, I realize youíre not getting paid by the word to help me. So without further ado here we go. I just notice certain forum user archetypes, some being of the condescending nature. AnywaysÖ..

I will try my absolute best with what I already know, then ask for help from all of you wonderful people 

I currently own your basic 2010 Trek 7000 hybrid bike purchased from a bike shop. After 2 years of hard riding in Chicago through every season itís time to get a new bike as I want to go on a bike tour this summer. Cyclocross seems like the best fit because it would give me that road bike look, with the pothole durability of Chicago and the long distance stamina and strength for a tour. Also just having a bad ass bike in general. I plan on simply swapping the rims out and putting everything else on custom. I have a Sun CR18 in the front, and a beefy Rhyno-Lite in the back. Anyways here we go. I need:

-Frameset (Aluminum seems to be in my budget, but is it strong enough)
-Bottom Bracket
-Crankset (I want to do a 1x9 so no front derailleur, correct? And one in color perhaps?)
-Seat post
-Rear derailleur
-Drop bars/drop bar tape
-STI shifters for sure (expensiveÖugh)
-9 speed cassette or flywheel??
-Chain (I know I need to purchase 9-10 speed chain but how do I know itís compatible from a technical standpoint?)
-Pedals (I want those single strap hipster pedals :x
-2 Brake cables and housing
-1 derailleur cable and housing
-Brakes (What would you suggest? Cantilever, V brake?)
-Tires (I already have inner tubes)

So this is where you come in!

Did I miss anything?

And what compatible, quality, but low cost parts would you recommend? (I found a lot of great deals on basic parts on amazon. The main thing Iím looking for quality in are the tires, a decent frame, and a nice drop bar setup. My rims are super sturdy already. The rest of the parts just have to work and be new and fresh. Nothing crazy.)

The things I really need knowledge and help on are the BB measurement and crankset compatibility. Also, what type of stem? And drop bar?

Thank you so much for any help you offer it is greatly appreciated. Iíll go ahead and leave this thread open for the duration of my build with future questions I have the more I get into it. Iíll post picture updates, and in the end if all is a success and Iím doing my tour maybe I can stop by and say hello if youíre on my journeys route!


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Old 04-03-13, 10:47 AM   #2
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you wish others to do the thinking, and research, for you.. good luck with that.

go to a bike shop buy the bike and the tools needed to take it apart and put it back together again.

Cross Racing you have the week between races to do that and make it ready for the next Start.
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Old 04-03-13, 11:32 AM   #3
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"Bike tour" can mean many things. Is this tour self-supported, supported? Will it take place on pavement or dirt roads?

True cyclo-cross bikes are designed to go fast for one hour (more or less). As such, the geometry isn't well suited to carrying loads/baggage.
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Old 04-03-13, 05:00 PM   #4
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The first thing you need to do is figure out your frameset. A lot of other things will be determined by that.

If you don't know what size frame you need, you should definitely go to a shop and get help. If there's a Kona dealer near you, that would be my recommendation. I love Kona CX bikes and I believe they sell them all as framesets. I believe the Jake the Snake frame with carbon fork retails for around $625. If you can find a place with a 2012, it should be a lot cheaper. Sellwood Cycle Repair has a 53cm 2012 Snake for $375.

If you are comfortable picking your size from a geometry chart, I think the Blue Norcross SP from Nashbar is a great deal at $375. A local shop would probably help you with sizing if you're buying the other parts through them.

Drivetrain depends on whether you want SRAM, Shimano or Campagnolo. If you're into slick looks, SRAM sells a brake-only lever to match their shifters that you could use on the left side. If you're not worried about looks, you can save some cash and gain a whole lot of reliability by going with RetroShift.

For brakes, I'd take a look at TRP mini-V brakes. You'll need the CX 9.0 if you go with new 10-speed Shimano shifters or CX 8.4 for nearly anything else. For cantilevers, Tektro CR720's are a nice cheap option. Shimano CX70's look great and work pretty well too.

Next step, make a few decisions and see what goes with what you get.
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