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help req'd with new cross bike build(7 posts)

help req'd with new cross bike buildeccolafilosofiadelpedale
Nov 28, 2001 1:45 AM
hello everyone

i'm building up my first 'cross frame, an old paul milnes steel thing, and i'll be using it during the winter to give my mtb and road bike a rest.

i'm putting it together with old parts, and using the wheels(ambrosio elite on veloce 32h) off my roadbike.

i plan on using it for commuting duties, and also a bit of offroading, and i need some advice in putting it together, here goes:

i've got two chainsets that i can use for it: mtb (42-32) or road (53-39) - what would be best(cassette is 12-23)?

what tyres should i use: i've heard that wider is better for beginners at cross, is this true?

what sort of offroading is a 'cross bike capable of?

is there any other stuff i should be aware of?

all advice gratefully received....

re: help req'd with new cross bike buildclimbo
Nov 28, 2001 5:29 AM
wider tyres = more comfortable off road, that's the reason why I use them. 30's are pretty skinny unless they are Michelin's. Cross bikes are capable of any off-roading you can handle, they might not be great for 5 foot drops but for nice singletrack they are a blast !!

Crankset? If you're going to ride offroad you should put on the 42-32 with anything at the back, depends on how much climbing you plan to do.
re: help req'd with new cross bike buildeccolafilosofiadelpedale
Nov 28, 2001 5:34 AM
cheers for the reply, climbo. as it happens, i just popped out to my lbs at lunchtime, and bought a pair of specialized cross baldies - semislick pattern, 32mm width - that were on offer.

since i'm using the bike on the road as well as off, semislicks seemed like a good choice. is 32mm a good width though, or should i have gone wider?
32 is fine, if you can get a set of road tyres tooclimbo
Nov 28, 2001 7:56 AM
if you plan any longer road rides, you can swap out for the road tyres instead of wearing out your CX tyres.
Specialized Cross Tires, Gearing, Etc.Fred the Cross Poser
Nov 29, 2001 7:57 AM
Hi -

I am using the Specialized S-Works MtBaldy Cross. Climbo makes a good point about wearing out the cross tires - they are pretty soft. But, they work just fine if you inflate them up to the 100 psi max. Sometimes I forget that I am on cross tires. One caution - always remember that you have cross tires on when cornering - those flexi-knobbies on the side of the tire do some wild things on pavement when cornering...

As for gearing, using cranks with roadie rings on it them combined with a 12-23 cassette is not going to work well off road. This is just too steep. I have a similar situation on my built up form an old racer bike (12-27 with 52/42 rings) and I never come out of the 42 off road. For mixed riding like you are describing (if you stick with the cross bike), I would recommend a triple. This gives you the close gear ratios of the 12-23, maintains the 52/42 combination for the road and gives you a 32/42 combination for offroad.

Have fun and good luck!
re: help req'd with new cross bike buildBlair
Nov 30, 2001 10:31 PM
I'm in a little of the same situation. I'm running the same rear wheel as you on my road bike with the same cassette (8 spd). From running this wheel, I've become jealous of all the shimano users. They can get cheap rear hubs with any drilling and run any mt or road cassette.

If you're smooth and there aren't too many rocks you can ride lots. However you are jeopardizing a valuable wheel that should be stiff, strong and true for the road. The only real gamble is the rim, because you could rebuild the wheel.

Why not run a cheap shimano 12-27 on the rear?
What are your shifters?
re: help req'd with new cross bike buildeccolafilosofiadelpedale
Dec 3, 2001 6:15 AM
yeah, i was starting to think the same.

either i'll get some cheap shimano wheels, 'cos i've got a spare mtb cassette, or get some track hub wheels and run it as a fixie.

anyone one know what sora or tiagra hubs are like? i don't mind rebuilding them, or them being heavy, just as long as they'll hold up. same with rims, some ma3s would be cheap, but will they hold up???

oh, the shifters are suntour, i'll be using them in friction mode.

cheers, simon