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frame recommendation(11 posts)

frame recommendationdana
Sep 19, 2001 7:12 PM
hi, i am a long-time low key mtb racer who is looking to get into cyclocross. i am looking for a good frame to serve as the heart of my new ride. can anyone recommend a good frame in the $600-$750 range. i tend to lean toward steel because of durability. being an mtb guy, i tend to beat on frames. i am 5'9" and weigh 168lbs. i'd love to get my hands on a used frame of comparatively better quality if possible. thanks
re: frame recommendationBAM
Sep 20, 2001 3:47 AM
That price range should give you some decent choices. Off the top of my head the Gunner crosshairs and Lemond poprad for 2 good steel framsets.
re: frame recommendationflyweight
Sep 20, 2001 8:22 AM
I second the Gunnar recommendation. I've got two myself: a regular Crosshairs which function as my 'cross bike, road bike and MTB and also a Street Dog single speed frame. I've beat the living daylights out of mine riding down stuff like Eldridge Grade here in Marin and it's never let me down. Probably the only criticism I have of the bike (and this is really reaching) is the fork. The fork has some pretty light blades on it. This is good in the rough stuff but if you use a really powerfull brake (like the wide arm Paul cantilever) you get quite a bit of chatter when going down steep road descents. I switched out the Paul for a low profile old school Shimano XT cantilever and that ended the problem. I also found out that next year Gunnar will be going to a 1 1/8" steer tube and a different fork crown to try and eliminate this one, very small problem. Also try to test ride before you buy. The frames are measured center-to-center and they have a sloping top tube so you'll probably wind up on a very small frame. I'm 5'10" and wound up on a 54cm frame even though I normally ride 56-57cm frames.
re: frame recommendationindyjones
Sep 20, 2001 8:50 AM
thanks to you both for taking the time to reply!!!!
re: frame recommendationCliff Oates
Sep 20, 2001 9:10 AM
FWIW, I just bought a Crosshairs, and I put some Paul touring cantis on it and they seem to work quite well. I moved them over from a Bianchi steel CX frame and they were great on that frame also.

I went even smaller on the frame than you. I'm 5'11 with a 32" inseam and I went with a 52cm frame and a little more standover clearance.
re: frame recommendationflyweight
Sep 20, 2001 1:09 PM
Which Paul cantis, the low profile model or the wide arm model? My shuddering problems came on steep, paved, downhills (mind you I live in San Francisco so when I saw steep downhills I mean **STEEP**) using the wide arm model. The low profiles had no problem.
re: frame recommendationCliff Oates
Sep 20, 2001 1:52 PM
The "touring" model, which are low profile. I imagine many cross forks have some troubles, at least under certain conditions, with the wide arm cantis. I'd hate for people to overlook _all_ Paul brakes on the basis of your observation, because I think they're darned fine brakes.

I live and ride a few miles East of you over in the shadow of Mt. Diablo, so I'm familiar with the steep thing...
re: frame recommendationBAM
Sep 20, 2001 3:44 PM
The Lemond`s sizing is very short on the top tube, but also rather tall (standover). I normally ride a 57-59 cm road frame depending on the brand and went with the 55 using a Thompson setback seatpost. It has less standover than my 56 Surly. I will add that the Lemond seems overly stiff for a Reynolds 853 main frame and 525 stays.
re: frame recommendationWoofer
Sep 20, 2001 11:04 AM
Kelly makes new steel cross frames for less than this. Try or to order. I would recommend getting a cantilever brake stop added on the rear.
re: frame recommendationflyweight
Sep 20, 2001 1:12 PM
But are they straight? I had a Kelly MTB and the chainstays were not straight nor were the bottle braze-ons. I've seen 4-5 other frames Chris built that were less than straight. Chris is a really nice guy but I'd like to see him invest in a better frame jig. :)
re: frame recommendationEricM
Sep 25, 2001 4:13 AM
I know you said you were primarily interested in steel but if you'd consider aluminum the Empella frames are nice. They are light and totally designed for cross. They are raced by spaar select for Belgium and now by some good US racers. At only 575 they look to be a good deal. This price even comes with a fork.