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Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?(19 posts)

Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?mikebikr
Jan 14, 2003 10:51 AM
Do you think I'd have to have one built or is there a market for used bikes like this?

re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?kevins
Jan 14, 2003 12:14 PM
I just built one this weekend with a Surly Crosscheck. I used the bike for commuting in college and now I really had no use for it. I got bored this winter and converted it to SS. What size do you need? I maybe willing to part with it.
re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?mikebikr
Jan 14, 2003 1:36 PM
Thanks for the reply. I'm about a 56. Let me know.

re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?ctisevn
Jan 14, 2003 12:15 PM
not a bad idea at all. see the post below about the van dessel, thats a ss cyclocross bike. surly makes the crosscheck that can be singled easily. on-one ( makes the il pompino. theres some higher end stuff out there too if you like your bike a bit more chichi-lala. or you could build one. what do you want to do with it? if youre just looking for more versatility maybe put some wider tires on a fixie frame if the stays will accomodate them. I put 700X30c michelin xcross jets on my steamer for the winter.
re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?mikebikr
Jan 14, 2003 1:47 PM
I'd ike to be able to ride it in the winter slop. Maybe hit some mild trails etc. Work on my spin. Save my sunny day bike for better weather.

The 700 x 30 c xcross tires are a good idea. But it looks like there would be a problem with mud cleaance with the roadie type breaks on your bike.


Jan 14, 2003 2:20 PM
youre right, most brakes wont clear the tires. my ultegra brake wouldnt. surly tells me theres a lower end shimano road brake that would though. I dont recall the model. the best solution, if you must run a brake, is a fork with canti mounts.
brakes - long reach caliperzmarke
Jan 14, 2003 3:00 PM
They are made for sport/touring/commuter 700c frames when you want to run bigger tires and/or fenders. They are availible in 2 models/levels.

A550 - Long reach (Tiagra level)
R600 - Long reach (Ultegra level)

The Shimano USA site is not very good but the European one has much more detailed information.
Click on Road racing, Tiagra, A550-57

I know that Nashbar stcoks the ultegra ones and I think the others you can get from any LBS or from Harris Cyclery (sheldon brown)

Most recent "track style - road" frames like the Surly Steamroller and the Soma Track require long reach brakes.
No, it's a great idea!SS_MB-7
Jan 14, 2003 12:42 PM
I raced my SS cross bike this fall/winter and placed 6th overall in Vet A. I also race Expert XC MTB on a SS and race my SS road bike (Fuji Track) at local road races. In fact, I haven't ridden a geared bike in nearly 2 yrs.

When the conditions deteriorate (typical in cross, or, at least it should be), that's when having a simple drivetrain pays-off. When things get too steep, you are typically forced to dismount anyway for barriers.

I'm using 42x18, which seems to be a pretty good compromise.

As for frames, I'd suggest looking at Surly and On-One. They are relatively inexpensive. With the On-One, be aware that the stock fork's clearance is pretty tight so you'll need to buy a 'cross fork. Or, you can go with a geared cross frame and convert it to a SS with a Singleator, if required.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
No, it's a great idea!mikebikr
Jan 14, 2003 1:52 PM
Beautiful bike! You get that baby dirty???

What's a Singleator?

A Singleator is....SS_MB-7
Jan 14, 2003 4:32 PM
A Singleator is a chain tensioner for use on frames with vertical dropouts since they have no means of adjusting chain tension -- see pic below. It's made by Surly.

Traditional SS frames have horizontal dropouts so you can slide the rear wheel fore/aft to get the appropriate chain tension. My frame has vertical dropouts, but it also has a eccentric bottom bracket which is used to adjust the chain tension. Chain tensioners are fine, however, they do make noise, cause some drag and can be susceptible to mud, snow, ice, etc.

Now, depending on your gear ratio and your chainstay lengths, you may or may not need a chain tensioner. My first converted SS did not need a chain tension since the gear ratio (36:18) and chainstay length was perfect.

Trust me, my cross bike has seen it's fair share of mud, snow and ice this fall/winter.

Ride Hard,
Mike B.
Wow, sweet bike!!! -nmTig
Jan 14, 2003 4:30 PM
re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?kevins
Jan 14, 2003 2:33 PM
I ride a 56cm too. The CC is a 53 with a 55cm top tube. It fits me ok. I spaced out the rear wheel so I could use a set of Rolf wheels I had sitting around. Drop me an e-mail at if you are interested.
What about fixed gear on a cross frame?jayb29
Jan 14, 2003 2:36 PM
I've heard that the relaxed seat angle on cross frames makes them not so good for fixed gear riding, and the extra pressure from being behind the pedals can cause some knee pain. Any supporting or contradicting information out there?

I want to build a fixed/ss, and need to know if using a cross frame is better or worse than a road frame.

That is exactly what my Gunnar Street Dog is.MB1
Jan 14, 2003 5:03 PM
The picture shows it in full commuting mode. The thing has tons of clearance, I run Paul cantis and ride it in the dirt as often as I can.
That is exactly what my Gunnar Street Dog is.jayb29
Jan 15, 2003 5:40 AM
How did you find a Street Dog with bosses for canti brakes? The ones I've seen are set up for calipers.

It was the stock setup in 2001.MB1
Jan 15, 2003 6:23 AM
Last year they switched over to the road bike setup for the Street Dog. One of my main reasons for buying the Street Dog in '01 was the Cyclocross setup.

Check with Waterford/Gunnar, they might be convinced to build you one without much extra cost.

Worth a try, it is a really great bike (except for the crummy Gunnar decals).
re: Is a SS cyclocross bike a bad idea?pauly
Jan 15, 2003 5:47 AM
I converted my CX bike to a Single Speed after having mechanicals in 2 of my 3 races this year. [Unlike Mike B, I'm in no danger of winning anything -- it's all about fun. But it's hard to have fun when your drivetrain craps out up on the 2nd lap.]

I converted my bike using the Soulcraft Convert and it is smooth and quiet. The only drawback is that a chain tensioner doesn't allow you to run 'fixed'. I'm saving my cash for a custom SS/FG (horizontal drops or EBB) next year which will replace the FG road and SS CX bikes.
Travis Brown sometimes competes that way ...Humma Hah
Jan 20, 2003 7:35 AM
... he's been known to win on a SS 'crosser.
You've given me an idea for my Bianchi.look271
Jan 20, 2003 1:04 PM
That's what I'll do with it when I get my Gitane done! It has long reach calipers and I just found out that my lbs has 'cros tires in 27" (I love those guys!). I'll post a pic when it's done.....