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What would you do..? Calling all experts.(14 posts)

What would you do..? Calling all experts.Jwag
Dec 30, 2002 2:39 PM
I have been racing MTB the last few years and am ready to take the plunge to CX. I have ordered a new custom steel frame, and have yet to narrow down the component mix. While I am comfortable with road or mountain part selection, I am a newbie to CX. Here is what I am currently thinking...

Wheelset Mavic Open Pro Ultegra
Crankset Truvative Elita
Shifters Dura Ace BarCon
FD Dura Ace
RD Dura Ace
Brake Caliper Grumpy
Cassette Dura Ace
Bottom Bracket Race Face ISIS XS
Headset King
Chain PC99
Stem Salsa Moto Ace
Bar Salsa Moto Ace Bell Lap

Any suggestions for changes/improvements?

I am pretty sold that Bar-cons is the way to go for me..So I really do not want to start that debate again.
re: What would you do..? Calling all experts.hummu
Dec 30, 2002 4:56 PM
Sounds like all those are excellent choices for a nice cross rig. Some alternatives might be:

Tubular wheels. Mmmm. 25 psi. and lighter, stronger wheels. Okay, so I've never ridden mine below 35 psi, but you could do it.
A 110 bcd crank like TA Zephyr for smaller rings.
Paul Neo Retros. Retro style with modern pads AND toe in adjustment.
Cheaper Sachs chain. Gotta save money for those cranks.
Ritchey WCS stem. (Relatively) inexpensive lightness.

Be sure to post a pic when you get it built up.
Hummu is right!phatlizard
Dec 30, 2002 5:34 PM
110 Cranks is the better choice
Salsa/Ritchey is probably a quesiton of taste - they probably get build by the same factory in Taiwan .... ;)
re: What would you do..? Calling all experts.DoubleD
Dec 30, 2002 6:16 PM
Hold the presses. You have the start to a sweet cross bike but need some changes. I have been very succesful at cross so hear me out.
Lose the shifters if you are new to cross you will be better off running STI levers. You will be riding on the hoods most of the race and its more stable and comfortaable to not have to move your hands all the time. What happens when you come into a bog and have to down shift you move your hand and there goes your ballance. Also If you get cought up in a group on a run up and some ones wheels get tied up with your bars off go the shifting. So heres what you should run.

Dura ace sti on the right and shimano aero on the left
no need for two rings up front
wheels are good.
cranks are ok get a 42 or 44 tooth ring and ring guard. plus third eye for seat tube.
stay with rear Dura Ace, head set, and chain. go with avid brakes Tru Vative SL bb, stem is cool as bars. Take a look at Tru Vative road bars and stems very nice. You might want to use the Frog legs top levers to for better handing and control when going to bunnyhop the barriers. And the most important thing is get the Off The Front Cyclo cross specific bar tape it rips.

Dean Dealy
2nd place mens B's 2002 cross nats
Dec 30, 2002 9:31 PM
I'd definitely go with the STIs. I know you've decided, but think again. unless it's heinously muddy, the STIs will be a lot easier to control. almost everyone in the races in MI was running STI. the exceptions were the singlespeeders, one or two people with Kelly Take Offs, and one guy (me) with Campy Ergos. if you're sold on barcons, I'd definitely get the Take Offs (these put your barcons next to your brake hoods).
your gearing will depend on your terrain; single front may not be appropriate for you. it would actually have been appropriate for me, but I use my crosser as a winter bike.
Dec 31, 2002 12:20 AM
Now you have me rethinking this issue again. If I choose not to go with Barcons, what are the pro's and cons of the Campy's vs the Shimano's? I would prefer Campy, but the though of 10 speed spacing in the muck makes me a bit nervous..
GET ERGO OR STI.snwbdrhoon
Dec 31, 2002 5:42 AM
Don't think, just get the ERGO or STI.

As a former roadie, now mountain biker and crosser, I love STI. You're already used to close cockpit controls from your mountain bike, so bar cons will seem too far away.

Don't go 10 speed unless it's dry. Go with 9 speed. Again my opinion is to keep the set up as familiar as possible to your comfortable set up. A single ring is a good idea, but if you ever want to ride it on the road, it won't be much fun. Will you also be riding it on the trails? Something to consider. Now on mediocre trails, I don't bother using my Fuel and pull out my 'cross bike instead.

Happy new year.
Dec 31, 2002 7:22 AM
Single rin on the road does suck. You are off the back so fast its crazy. Its just one less than to go wrong duning a race and saves weight. Also depending on the coarses you race you will want a 12-27 if you stay with nine speed.
GET ERGO OR STI.richpierce
Jan 1, 2003 7:40 PM
I still use barcons and like them- althought the indexing is not always perfect. I have not tried Campy ergo so can't comment. Campy parts are too rich for my cross taste, I'd need new tools. I prefer barcons to Shimano STI for severe conditions and 8 speed for severe conditions. But mud is different all around the country and so are cross courses. I find 9 speed cogsets more likely to ghost shift when leaves or weeds combine with mud and wrap around the cogset.

I like having 2 chainrings up front but I am old. Some races are big ring races, some are small ring races, depends on terrain, mud, how much pavement etc. Heck on my state champ cross race I just shifted up front and left the rear on the 12 cog. Seemed simple and I was needing simple. I guess I was running a 2-speed.

next year I will have 2 cross bikes and one will be for severe conditions- 8 speed barcons, low BB, long wheelbase, super-slack angles (a converted hybrid, HORRORS)- an incredibly stable bike in sloppy descents where it feels like I'm skating. The other will be a "real" cross bike with 9 speed STI, quicker geometry than the converted hybrid but no crit bike.
Jan 2, 2003 12:59 PM
if you are going from the ground up (scratch) and have no parts I'd say go Campy Centaur 9. It's relatively cheap, repairable (unlike STI) and works well. If you have parts (as I did) that were shimano I'd go barcons. Dura Ace STI's are great but considering 1 muddy crash can equal about 200 bucks it's not prudent. If you are sponsored or get deals (work in a shop) great but I won't pony up that much scratch every time (or near every time my bars hit mud). Single rings are great if you are riding traditional courses and racing. If you use the bike for commuting, light road or trail riding you'll run out of gears.
I being on the frugal side built 2 bikes out of spare parts/bike swap/ ebay etc.... both have served me quite well for the entire race/training season and total investment for both is well under 2 grand. I use one for my commuter/adventure bike in the off season as well. I use Barcons on both. 9sp on one and 8 on the other. I prefer 8 for the same reason I run Campy 9 on my road bikes. I break skinny chains. I like the 8 as it doesn't clog as well either. the 8 speed is my grunge racer (vintage XT 8sp rear der. IMHO the best der. shimano ever made) the rest on both being XTR except for the AC XTR style cranks on bike #2. I may take this one down to a single in the front otherwise I'm quite happy with both. Barcons are a little more inconvenient in regards to shifting but not so much to offset the multi hunrded dollar savings and DNF's that come from dead STI's.
Dec 31, 2002 9:54 AM
I left this one alone because you said you decided on barcons. But now, since you asked . . .

I would go with Ergo because I think Ergo offers a few advantages over STI.

It should be more reliable as the shifter mechanism is in the hood, not the brake lever. Every time you brake with STI you expose the shifting mechanism to the elements. It might not be a concern where you ride, but I have heard stories on this message board of racers augering in and packing their STIs with mud rendering them useless. Ergo shifters should be more resistant to this.

Ergo is rebuildable. Shifter wears out eventually. Order the parts you need and rebuild it. I have been told that they are way easier to work on than STI.

The rebuildability also offers flexability. See my post in the barcon discussion. Campagnolo kills off 9s and melts down all the 9s components? Rebuild to 10s. Every bike in your house is Campy 8s but you just have to have Record carbon Ergo. Buy em, rebuild em with 8s guts, and race em until you crash and leave carbon splinters all over the trail. Will they have yellow flags on the course while they sweep up the carbon bits like at CART?

My latest frakenbike will have 8s Ergo rear (shifting Shimano 7s of course) with a bar con shifting a triple up front. I want the triple for climbing on the mtb trails. Or does anybody know if 97 Chorus front Ergo will shift a triple?

Whatever you decide make sure you post those pics.

my 10v works just fine in mudlonefrontranger
Dec 31, 2002 11:00 AM
If you don't believe me, look up my many rants on this and see my response to the "Campy Sucks" thread below. In fact, my 10v Centaur is the only thing I've ever run, in 10 years of 'crossing, and INCLUDING BARCONS that actually shifts accurately (read: will find a cog immediately, and then *stay* there on the first click) in heavy, sticky mud, probably because those Campag rear mech springs - hell all their springs in general - are so beefy. Barcons do solve the problems of shifter jam that are indeed inherent to the Shimano STI design (I've both seen and experienced this with STI too many times to count), but they do nothing to keep the rear mech itself shifting properly.

In my case, our entire household is Campag 10, so in addition to the other advantages, I wanted to have all our wheels be compatible. Oh, by the way, we use Mavic wheels with Shimano cassette bodies and Wheels conversion cassettes on all 5 of our 10v bikes.

9v is still widely available and Campag will always stock replacement parts, plus it will work with Shimano drivetrain bits if you just can't bring yourself to convert to 10 and/or feel the financial or otherwise need to build a Frankenbike. Personally when I was putting together the build last January, I simply couldn't bring myself to hang Frankenbike bits onto my brand new Colnago Dream Cross frame, but that's just personal.
re: What would you do..? Calling all experts.clippard
Dec 31, 2002 10:33 AM

OK, I admit I don't have near the palmares as Dean, but here's my own two cents. I race with a single ring (42)and one barcon shifter (rear for a 12-27 range). I ride STI on my road bike, but I like the simplicity of the single barcon on my cross rig. I have never had any balance concerns reaching for my barcon, but maybe the courses aren't as muddy here in the Mid-South. Also, I sometimes use my cross bike as my commuter and haven't had any problems with using just a single ring. If you gear it right, you don't lose too many steps. BTW, recently switched to the new Ritchey cross specific cranks. They are great! Like I said, I'm not going to be joining Dean on any podiums, but if your'e in it for the burn, your setup sounds great.
re: What would you do..? Calling all experts.jrm
Jan 4, 2003 9:39 AM
Full size V brakes with the bar cons, Shook ISIS BB, and Ricthey Biomax Pro. Personally i dont see the need for DA over Ultegra or 105 for that matter but thats just me.