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My Cross Rig - MTB converted to Cross(11 posts)

My Cross Rig - MTB converted to CrossFixie-ated
Mar 10, 2003 10:55 AM
I have been debating on building a cross rig from my Litespeed mountain frame and various parts laying around. Well, I finally did it. And I am pleased to say this thing is AWESOME.

Litespeed Hiwassee frame
Surley rigid fork (the only real expense)
Ultegra 9sp STI
105 and STX drive train
STX Crankset 48x32 double chainrings
Avid v-brakes (with travel agents)
Mavic 517 rims Lx hubs
Bontrager ti saddle
Mutant 100 stem
Coda 44 bars
Kenda 26X1.75 semi slicks

Ride results: As expected, the bike handles rough terrain much better than my Fuji Cross. Also, as expected, the Litespeed was about 15 seconds slower on a rolling grass, fire road and paved road course.

If you have an older mtn frame and you have been considering this option, do it! It was a blast to build and even more fun to ride. Take it to a single track and watch the mtbr guys try to figure out how you can keep up with them, as most of my friends don't even notice it is a mountain rig.
Arrrrrgggghhhhhhh!!!! Why'd you do this?The Walrus
Mar 10, 2003 6:59 PM
The powdercoated Hiwassee I've got in the back of the house is living on borrowed time--I've spent the last hour with it, thinking of the sick things I'm gonna do to it, after seeing your post.

Best bit of Frankenbiking on the board for a while...
Awesome cxFixie-ated
Mar 11, 2003 8:05 AM
My biggest fear was that after all of the time put into dis-assembly and reassembly I would be left with something that was not worth the time and effort.

As mentioned in my original post, I think you will be very well pleased. I was very surprised at how well my Ultegra 9sp STI's and chain worked with the 8 speed 105 der, chain and 8sp STX crankset.

Nashbar has a great deal on 46 or 48 toothed 5 hole chainrings, perfect for the gearing you will need for the road.

Good luck!

BTW, after a ride on my cross training ground, I am actually considering selling my Fuji Cross. That is how much I like this ride.
Mar 11, 2003 8:10 AM
Great to hear. A smart and nice looking rig.

Any negatives on the mountain bike side...

Climbing, Descending???
Mar 11, 2003 11:25 AM
The Hiwassee's climbs much better (the hard stuff) than my cross bike. No surprise, it is a mtn rig after all. The top tube is a bit on the long side, but once I traded the 130 stem with a 100, everything felt fine.

When climbing the big hills, with hands on the top bar, it handles like a mountain bike. When descending the technical stuff, I wish there wasn't quite as much room in the cockpit. However, coming from a tri – time trial back ground, I find myself happy with having a flat back. Still, it is not all that big a deal.

Now that I think about it, you could add a set of levers to the flats, that would solve the braking issue when descending the crazy stuff.

The bike rides more like a road bike with a 55cm seat tube and a 56cm top tube with some pretty relaxed geometry. My Hiwassee has a 73 degree seat tube and a 72 head tube.

I put some 26X1 slicks on the bike and honestly could not tell much difference between this and my Fuji Cross. It does look a bit odd with the small tires due to all of the room between the rubber and the frame.

The travel agents used (to accommodate the v-brakes) are a pain. I happened to have them laying around so I thought I would give them a try. Once they were finally assembled, they work great. However, I am not sure I like the v-brakes because of all of the sticks and mud that gathers. Stick with the canti's!

The Hiwassee's frame was built before the top tubes really began to slope as much as most frames do today. It is easy to toss onto your shoulder when necessary. The cables run along the side, also good for portage. The slightly sloping top tube provides just a bit more clearance when hopping on and off.
yeah,2 thumbs upbuffalosorrow
Mar 11, 2003 4:14 PM
hard to tell from a glance that it is a mtb frame.
Whats your address? I will make a certificate of perfection with lots of stickers for you....
Wish I could do this with an older aegis, the top tube is just to long for my girlfriend, I would have to get a small less than 50mm stem, salsa does have one. Ill look ebay for a small top tube mtb frame.
Once again, nice work!
Wow, cool!GlowBoy
Mar 11, 2003 6:18 PM
Now you've got me thinking about the same concept (true MTB toughness, medium tires and drop bars) with 29"/700c wheels. Every time I think about it, the Karate Monkey is sounding more and more like the ultimate adventure bike. Of course it doesn't have the advantage of being built up from a frame sitting in the garage, though. Anyway, lookin' good. Have fun on that thing.
re: My Cross Rig - MTB converted to Crossgrease monkey
Mar 12, 2003 6:34 AM
Mmmmmmmm good! Back in the early 90's I remember stopping in to my local shop and seeing something similar. This guy had a steel Specialized Stumpjumper with a rigid fork and drop bars. I didn't know what to think and didn't even know what cyclocross was, but man did that bike move me. I thought it was the coolest thing since the Bridgestone XO-1. It's great to see someone else actually do this because it's been on my mind for many, many years.Do you think this bike would work well as a "do everything because I only have one bike" kind of bike? Not exactly the fastest on the road, or most aggressive on descending singletrack, but a butt load of fun absolutely everywhere I take it kind of ride? It's extremely inspirational and you did an excellent job!
re: My Cross Rig - MTB converted to CrossFixie-ated
Mar 12, 2003 9:32 AM
I can answer that question by telling you about my lunch ride that I just now completed.

Destination, Subway! Veggie, extra peppers, mustard and vinager. Left the parking lot and rode 1.5 miles on the road. Met a few "roadies" and took my turn at the front of the pace line. All of them commented positively on the bike.

Left the road for a few shopping center shortcuts involving one flight of stairs (10 to 13 steps), curb jumping and one wheelie beside an activity bus full of kids. Got lots of approvals.

Over the river and through the woods (literally), I traveled .5 miles on a par course and single track. Back onto the road, pulled into Subway. Leaned the bike against the window next to my favorite seat.

Good sub. Hey, since I am getting in 7 fun miles at lunch, I think I'll spring for a chocolate chip cookie.

Back on the bike. A couple of miles through some residental areas, stomach too full to keep a respectable pace on the main road.

Back on the trail. Took another set of stairs, wooden ones, about 20+. Back on the single track, then back on the road and finally back to work.

Best lunch in memory.

GO BUILD THIS BIKE. Best thing I've done in a while.
re: My Cross Rig - MTB converted to Crosssnwbdrhoon
Mar 12, 2003 2:20 PM
Wow. And did you get approval in full bike regalia.

That IS impressive. I am now aptly motivated to swap my mtn bike around when I get the chance to make another 'cross bike to the stable.
re: My Cross Rig - MTB converted to Crossbacoes
Mar 14, 2003 6:32 PM
I've been working on something very similar to this for a couple of weeks now and I have to ask a question. How did you get your rear derailleur cable tensioned? I've been playing with it and haven't had much luck. My project is with a '98 Trek 8000, 7spd sti shifter for the right and a non-indexed left barcon. I'll post pics if I ever get it set up.