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Racing on a non cross specific bike

Old 08-21-15, 09:37 AM
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EmperorSnu
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Racing on a non cross specific bike

Pretty much I'm on a small budget to get a cross bike running from this upcoming season, and I've got a touring bike that I think could do the part. I plan on throwing on some new shoes, a cheap group and new brakes, but I'm curious as to everyone else's experience with racing cross on non-cross bikes.
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Old 08-21-15, 10:26 AM
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I did my first season on a Trek 660. I jammed the skinniest knobbies I could find in there. Worked great for September. Not so great in December. The main problem was mud and leaves jamming up the calipers.

What kind of brakes does your touring bike have? If cantilevers, you should be fine. But if calipers.... I would rethink it.
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Old 08-21-15, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I did my first season on a Trek 660. I jammed the skinniest knobbies I could find in there. Worked great for September. Not so great in December. The main problem was mud and leaves jamming up the calipers.

What kind of brakes does your touring bike have? If cantilevers, you should be fine. But if calipers.... I would rethink it.
It's got cantilevers. The bike itself is a tank (Cannondale T700). I've toured on it a few times through dirt roads and it handled it like a champ.
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Old 08-21-15, 11:11 AM
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I'd say go for it.
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Old 08-21-15, 11:21 AM
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I guess the BB might be a tad lower than ideal, but that's no biggie.

Cannondales are usually easy to shoulder.

Does it have brifters? Those would be preferable to barends for me. DT shifters would be pretty rough. I'd probably only shift those a couple times per lap.

Quite a few people around here race without CX bikes. MTBs, flatbar roadbikes, fatbikes...

My Lemond Buenos Aires fits 32mm front and 30mm rear. I'm tempted to take it out on a dry course.
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Old 08-21-15, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
Does it have brifters?
Naw, it has bar end shifters. Those are going to be replaced though, I just need to find an affordable group for it.
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Old 08-21-15, 02:47 PM
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I raced a season on my touring frame before it decided to break. No reason to wait out the season because you don't have the "right" bike. I did replace the touring bike with a proper CX bike when the touring frame bit the dust (plus I purchased a Salsa Fargo in between, so that has taken over touring duties). The geo is a bit different (my cx bike is more nimble) and I dropped 5 lbs when I went to a CX bike. But I had fun in Cat 5's on that touring bike.
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Old 08-29-15, 08:09 PM
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My first year was on an old road bike that had just enough room for 32s. And that was with some late 80s era side-pull brakes. Fortunately, it was dry.
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Old 09-29-15, 12:01 AM
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[img]https://flic.kr/p/x9vd[img]


doing my first race this year on this. https://flic.kr/p/x9vd9d
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Old 10-13-15, 11:19 PM
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My current cross bike is built on an early 90's Diamondback Crestwood hybrid frame. It's a tank at 26lbs, but it actually handles and rides great. I'll be upgrading to a lighter frameset sometime soon, but I got oriented with cross on this current setup, so it served its purpose.

If you don't mind the weight, your current touring frameset will be just fine for you.
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Old 10-14-15, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by EmperorSnu View Post
Naw, it has bar end shifters. Those are going to be replaced though, I just need to find an affordable group for it.
Check out Gevenalle. Depending on what bar end shifters you have, you might be able to use them with the Gevenalle levers. It's not only a cost saving measure, it's a great system for cross. I replaced working 105 shifters with Gevenalle a couple of years ago and wouldn't go back.

As for the touring bike, if it's a choice between that and not trying cross, definitely use the touring bike. Don't spend too much getting it ready. Just get out there and race. It'll be a bit heavy and won't corner the way you need it to, but it will get you started.
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Old 10-28-15, 11:12 AM
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I'm gonna race my Steamroller in a couple weeks. Let's compare notes
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Old 11-01-15, 07:16 PM
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i've been "racing" on a 2012 Salsa Fargo with the aforementioned Gevenalle shifters.

I am doing terribly, but it has nothing to do with the bike *pats belly*

what's important is that I'm having an absolute blast
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