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Converting Road Bike to Cross...need advise(5 posts)

Converting Road Bike to Cross...need adviseWiseGuy
Dec 29, 2003 7:36 AM
I am converting an older road bike to do "light cross" riding including some casual off road riding on surfaces that aren't too radical. I am doing this to see if I like the sport...if I do, I will eventually go the whole route and build or buy a nice cross bike.

A couple of questions:

1) I currently am using a full 9Sp Ultegra group. I plan to switch to a flat bar, and want to know what to use for shifters and brake levers. I would like to keep my existing Ultegra brakes and components to start out frame does not have v-brake mounting lugs.

2) Aside from wider tires, what other non-radical changes do you suggest for the conversion?

Please advise!!
Check for tire space first...Cory
Dec 29, 2003 9:39 AM
I've done this a couple of times, and IMO the first thing to check is whether you have room for bigger tires. My wife is a very casual rider, and a few years ago I thought she might enjoy it more if she had a hybridized, cross-style bike rather than the marketing-department pseudo-racer she was riding. Her Bridgestone (like most modern road bikes) wouldn't accept anything bigger than 25-28 mm, which wasn't enough to make much difference in stability on dirt or gravel.
My singlespeed is a 20-year-old Trek tourer that got cross-ized for a few years before I made it into an SS. It has room for tires up to at least 41mm, and that makes a huge difference. I'm running 37mm Spec Nimbuses now, but I've also had 35mm cross tires on it. If you really want to go crossing, even just for fun, I'd check that first.
Without brake posts, you're kinda stuckpitt83
Dec 29, 2003 10:28 AM
Wider tires will be your only real change. The canti / V-brakes would be the most desired change IMHO. If this bike is steel, is it possible to get these added for not too much $$$ ? If so, that's going to allow mud shedding and more tire clearance than traditional road brakes. That will make a huge difference

Flat bar: Check what they sell on comfort bikes at your LBS. Cable pull for levers will be a big concern. I think the trigger shifters work fine with almost any road derailleur.

FYI: You might consider a new frame. Surly Cross-check is only $389 at excel sports. That'll already be set up as a true cross bike and you could switch all that nice Ultegra to the new frame?
Few thingsSenorPedro
Dec 29, 2003 6:59 PM
If you go for a flat bar, you will need to get a new stem or shim the flat mountain bar to fit in the road stem.

Then you will need to get a set of shimano road flat bar shifters; i.e. Tiagra rapidfire shifters, I think are the only ones they make. The road front derailluer has a different cable pull ratio than a mountain one so mountain shifters won't work on it. V-brake levers will work with the calipers, just not the other way around.

It seems that you may end up spending a good amount of cash on a test that may not turn out well or even give you a good idea of a cross bike. Try test riding one at your LBS, then decide if that is really for you. If you get a new frame, then all you would have to buy is brakes and you will be good to go.

Good Luck
Few thingsWOY
Jan 4, 2004 7:02 AM
Any Shimano 9 speed rapid-fire or the new 04 XT/03 XTR combined levers will work with any Shimano 9 speed road deraillurs.