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Hardtail to 'cross(29 posts)

Hardtail to 'crossoutofthesaddle
Nov 19, 2002 9:28 AM
I am itching to enter a 'cross race. Problem is I have a '98 Stumpjumper Pro (XT/XTR) and no 'cross bike. Bigger problem is that two months ago I built up brand new road bike and have reached the limit of my wife's understanding with my bike obsession. I think I can still make it work if I can accomplish the transition from Stumpjumper to 'cross bike with zero cash outlay. Would I be better off selling complete mountain bike and buying a used complete cross bike? Or would it be easier (cost effective) to sell frame/fork from Stumpjumper and buy 'cross frame/fork and build up with XT/XTR components? Any thoughts on cost of used entry-level 'cross bike and/or value of '98 Stumpjumper?

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
re: Hardtail to 'crossBrokenSpoke
Nov 19, 2002 9:34 AM
My own personal thought is to sell the frame / fork and keep the components. A decent cross frame and fork, Empella for example, can be bought new for about $550. If you go to a cross race and look at what riders are using it is the strangest assortment of componenets you have ever seen. In the lower categories it's mostly made up of whatever you had laying around the house when you bought the frame. As far as what you could get for you frame and fork, who knows. I would put it on eBay and see what happens. Quite often, people will pay far above what a knowledgeable buyer would give you for your frame / fork.
Seems a shameEager Beagle
Nov 19, 2002 9:55 AM
to get rid of a really nice MTB just to do a cross race. What if you don't like it?

I'd suggest:

If you can, just use the Stumpie - I doubt that anyone has won/lost thier first cross race just cost they are using a good light MTB rather than a CX bike.

If you can't, I'd beg/brorrow/acquire some drops and road shifters and gaff rig them on the stumpie for the race, and see how you like it, then go from there.
re: Hardtail to 'crossclimbo
Nov 19, 2002 9:55 AM
why not just race your stumpjumper and see if you want to go into 'cross with more effort before you sell it away and regret it?

If you don't care about the MTB I would sell it complete, if you sell the frame/fork, you'll still end up with a MTB wheelset which you can't use on a cross bike. You'll also have MTN levers and brakes which most people don't use on 'cross bikes, 95% use road levers and canti brakes which you'd need to buy.

I don't think you'll get all that much for the stumpjumper anyway so for the frame and fork only it will be less. I can't see you getting away with this for no cash outlay unless you just ride the bike as is for the race.
re: Hardtail to 'crossoutofthesaddle
Nov 19, 2002 10:45 AM
Thanks all for good advice. I'm going to look into to rigging Stumpy with drops and 'cross tires and see how things go.
re: Hardtail to 'crossWheelz
Nov 19, 2002 12:14 PM
I run a 97 Stumpjumper Pro from time to time as a cross bike. There is no problem with flat bars in a cross race. For your first race, I'd leave them on. Many guys run flat bars on their cross bike anyway. You'll have to take the bar ends off if you have any, and you'll have to take the water bottle cages off.

I run Continental Cross Country 1.5" tires pretty much year around now and they work great for cross. They hook up really well even with high tire pressure and they provide great mud clearance. They are not very expensive either

So there you go, a new set of tires and your cross'n

By the way, I got 6th in my last cross race on my SJ at Surf City

re: Hardtail to 'crossoutofthesaddle
Nov 19, 2002 12:47 PM
Wheelz - Great photo! Thanks for the inspiration. Congratulations on the 6th.
re: Hardtail to 'crossManicmtbr
Nov 19, 2002 12:47 PM
I would race the MTB as it is and maybe save/hide enough money next year to buy a used cross bike. Plenty of people race MTB's in cross and some of them are very fast on them.

Consider the 1.5 tires. They are definately the hot ticket for a MTB on a cross course.

BTW, used cross bikes get real cheap in January!
re: Hardtail to 'crossWheelz
Nov 19, 2002 1:34 PM
Yea, good point! In my area there is a swap meet at the first Surf City cross race of the season, and ROMP puts on a swap meet in April. If you live in the Santa Cruz/SJ Bay area they are great places to pick up gear at a great price.

re: Hardtail to 'crossoutofthesaddle
Nov 19, 2002 1:45 PM
Wheelz - I'm in SF Bay area (East Bay) - details on places to come by used cross gear would be great.

Also, have you seen anyone swap out the front shocks for a rigid fork? If so, anyone make a fork for that purpose that you know of?

re: Hardtail to 'crossTWD
Nov 19, 2002 1:58 PM
I've seen lots of guys (and gals) running rigid forks on their MTB for cross. I'm not running this setup for cross since I have a cross rig, but I did swap out my suspension fork for a rigid fork on an old mtb that I converted over to a singlespeed. I love it. Climbs like a billy goat.

You can get rigid forks from a number of custom/smaller builders or you can do what I did and go down to the LBS and see what they have laying around in the back.

Chances are they'll have a pile of old rigid forks laying around that they'd be willing to part with. I've got two forks that way, and didn't pay more than $15 for either. May not be the lightest fork, but you never know what you might find.
re: Hardtail to 'crossWheelz
Nov 19, 2002 3:13 PM
Some of the folks that ride Mtn bikes in cross races do run rigid forks, but not too many. Most like you will run what they ride everyday... Most all of the rigid forks are stock or retro forks available. Any of the local outfits such as Rock Lobster, SyCip, Voodoo, Independent Fabrication, and so on would be happy to do a rigid fork if you wanted one for cross. Paul at Rock Lobster does great work... he built my cross bike.

There is a race this weekend at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville put on by Surf City Cyclo-x. You can find them at The next event after that won't be until December with CCCX. You can get information on them at Both series are great. The CCCX series will run until the end of December. but this is the last event for Surf City. You should come out.

The ROMP swap meet won't be until April, but you can get more information on that at Cupertino Bike Shop ( in the March time frame or from ROMP.

Hope that helps.

re: Hardtail to 'crossoutofthesaddle
Nov 20, 2002 9:33 AM
Wheelz - I came across the Surf City event last night via the NCNCA site. Unfortunately, this weekend is booked with family commitments leaving no room for racing. I will check out the CCCX series.
re: Hardtail to 'crossWheelz
Nov 20, 2002 10:45 AM
The next CCCX event is in Prunedale, and it rocks! If we get rain by then, it will be a real blast.

Here is a pic from the last CCCX Prunedale race!
Hey - where did the Stumpy go? (nm)outofthesaddle
Nov 20, 2002 2:55 PM
Hey - where did the Stumpy go? (nm)Wheelz
Nov 20, 2002 3:16 PM
I run two bikes for cross. Some courses are better on a mtn bike and some on a cross bike, so I just make a judgment call when I get to the race.

Question re: Stumpyoutofthesaddle
Nov 21, 2002 11:09 AM
Do you ever get wicked brake squeal from v brakes on your Stumpy? I recently put some Aztec pads on and they squeal worse than anything I've heard before. Any ideas on solution?
Question re: StumpyWheelz
Nov 22, 2002 12:08 PM
No, but I run Paul Moto Lites. They set up a little different than Shimano V breaks. I also use Kool Stop pads...

Solved your problem...sell themarkNc
Nov 19, 2002 2:16 PM
wife & then get a cross bike. (only joking)

gosh, i would not give up mtn biking to go a crossin. since cross season is half over, i would keep the wife & mtn bike. try some races on the mtn bike this season for now.
if you have to have a cross bike, go for used one on ebay next year, and hope the wife understands. If she can't see it, then sell the road bike and get a cross bike.
option B: sell kidney, get cross bikeweiwentg
Nov 19, 2002 2:29 PM
just kidding. I would recommend that you try cross before you decide on which bike to get.
Old Touring BikeDavidK
Nov 20, 2002 6:33 AM
A cheap solution that worked for me was to look around until I found an old Schwinn touring bike with cantilever brakes and 27 inch wheels. My 700 wheels fit well and give more mud clearance. I used spare parts (with some new ones also) to make a very fun bike. It is not the best set up - low bottom bracket, very looong wheelbase, very slack angles - but it has let me have a tremendous amount of fun. David Krahulik
Put your road wheels on the MTBike.Jambo
Nov 20, 2002 2:57 PM
That is what I did. It works out great. I put my Ksyriums on my mountain bike, locked my fork out as much as I could, and it is fast as hell. Probably not as fast a real cross bike because of the more upright position, but mountain tires are too slow for cross. Just too much rubber.
The only tricky thing is the braking, but it's not really that tricky. If you are interested I can give you the full explanation. There is an easy, expensive way, or there is a slightly trickier, inexpensive way. Either way it is cheaper than buying a new bike. I've been meaning to put up a photo because people are always asking about road wheels on a mountain frame. People are always asking me about it at the races. They sort of have a double take, then ask me if it is a 29er.
Okay, I'd like to know what you did for breaks (nm)Wheelz
Nov 20, 2002 3:17 PM
700c wheels on a mountain frame-Jambo
Nov 21, 2002 10:01 AM
The problem with putting 700c wheels on a mountain frame is the brakes. Regular cantis or V's do not adjust high enough to reach the rims. I know of two options for the brakes that will work. The easier option is a set of brakes made by Paul's Components called the MotoBMX. Check them out here- They are made specifically for this problem (and BMX). They are pricy though, $107 per wheel.
The other set-up, the one I use, is with some old Onza HOLA V-brakes. Onza is long gone, so I found these used on MTBR for about $40 total for both sets. Just put up a wanted ad, because I'm sure there are plenty of these brakes collecting dust in garages. When Onza came out with these brakes, they just took their cantis and extended the brake posts long enough to use a side pull set up. There are some drawbacks to the Onza's though, but nothing a little patience won't solve. I'll try to explain this as well as I can. The brake post is just an aluminum cylinder, but above the area where the pad part is usually clamped, the cylinder is slightly more narrow. It is only a very small amount, but it is enough that the pad part won't clamp down tight on the cylinder. I took a small piece of aluminum foil, folded it over a few times, and used it as a shim. I put it inside the clamp part, then slid that on to the cylinder. This gives the clamp enough to grip on. Fold the foil over so it is a thin strip, about an 1/8 inch wide. The thickness only needs to be 4 or 5 plys at the most. You still want the clamp to interface with the cylinder as much as possible, so it has the most grip. I have been riding this setup for a while, have done several cross races, and it has not slipped at all. I'll put up some pictures as soon as I have time.
Overall, the Onzas are pretty easy to set up. The spring tension is kind of touchy, but they are a very simple design. I was getting some vibration that I think may have been from the longer reach, so I toed the pads more. That seemed to eliminate it.
700c wheels on a mountain frame-outofthesaddle
Nov 21, 2002 11:06 AM
Wow - you ride your Ks for 'cross? Definitely a testament to their durability. I agree - $215 for brakes in order to use mtn. bike is a tough sell. $40 sounds much better although I don't think I could get used to the idea of running my Ks in a 'cross race. I've got a set of Vector Comps but I bet that they're not much of an improvement over the Mavics on my mtn. bike.
700c wheels on a mountain frame-Jambo
Nov 21, 2002 2:32 PM
I've done two pretty rough cross races, plus all my road riding, on my K's and they are still perfectly straight. I was worried about it at first, but several of the A racers on my team ride have done the last two winters of cross racing on theirs. None of them have ever had any problems at all.
If I had another set of road wheels, I probably wouldn't use the K's. I'm not that good, and if something DID happen to them, I would be screwed. Last year I used a set of Ultegra/CXP30's, which were bombproof, but they were stolen.
700c wheels on a mountain frame-Wheelz
Nov 22, 2002 12:13 PM
Sounds interesting. Do you run drop bars or flat bars? What levers are you using?

Suggestion for using race-wheels on MTBJowan
Nov 24, 2002 2:31 PM

I knof of a nice device that helps you to use any kind of MTB brakes in combination with road wheels. It looks like a kind of brakebooster elevates the brake-mounts on your frame/fork. Simply place it over brake mounts and replace the original brakes. See picture.

I used it, works great. Sells for appr. Euro 25 a set. Dont know if they are available in the US.

Suggestion for using race-wheels on MTBtmotz
Nov 28, 2002 7:49 AM
Do you have a website we can order these from?