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  1. #1
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    Nashbar CX frame versus the Nashbar AL MTB frame for 135mm rear wheel commuter/gravel

    .......grinder.

    Which would you choose and why?

    Here's the scoop. I've got a sweet set of Cane Creek Strados disc 700c wheels and would love to put them to use on road/commuter/gravel grinder frame or frame-set.

    I actually like the looks of the AL MTB frame more than the CX frame and I think I could use my current Salsa Cromoto Grande fork on it vs. having to buy a CX specific fork for the CX frame.

    I've read a review where a guy used 700c wheels with 34s and had room for a fender - so tire clearance should still be plenty adequate with the AL MTB frame.

    Any reason to choose the CX frame over the MTB frame? The MTB frame actually has steeper HT angles listedn than the CX frame. Although my 29er fork might slacken it out a tad - although I could suffer temporarily with my Raleigh XXIX non-suspension corrected fork - but that thing is a pig and is harsh.

    What would you do and why? MTB or CX?

    Cheers,

    Mark

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Natural Born Killer
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    Dion, I just built something very similar to your Urban/Rural Smasher. I'm really diggin' the concept. Of course, almost every part on it is a "downgraded" part from another bike, including the 26" wheels and V-brakes. I also put a new 1x1 fork on mine. On the other hand, OP, if I had a set of 700c wheels laying around I would be all over tha CX frame and be done with it, just because I'd like to have a CX bike. But for an urban/rural all-around bike it's hard to one of those MTB frames and a set of fat 26" tires! FWIW
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
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  4. #4
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    I thought about picking up the Sette Reken frame, currently $75 at price point, for the same purpose. Its already matte black and evil looking

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by nemhed
    Dion, I just built something very similar to your Urban/Rural Smasher. I'm really diggin' the concept. Of course, almost every part on it is a "downgraded" part from another bike, including the 26" wheels and V-brakes. I also put a new 1x1 fork on mine. On the other hand, OP, if I had a set of 700c wheels laying around I would be all over tha CX frame and be done with it, just because I'd like to have a CX bike. But for an urban/rural all-around bike it's hard to one of those MTB frames and a set of fat 26" tires! FWIW
    Thing is my wheels are 700c and 135mm disc - so Dion's build is quite different than the direction I'd be headed.

    I like the look of the MTB frame over the CX with the massive downtube.

    Gotta figure it out and figured I'd bounce it off you guys.

  6. #6
    Natural Born Killer
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    Sorry not to be much help. I would still default to using the CX frame if I had the 700c wheels to go on it. It might not be the prettiest thing but it "looks" sturdy enough to handle anything you could throw it at while riding relatively skinny 700c tires. The fork wouldn't have to be CX specific if it is disk ready, right? This thread reminds me of the train wreck going on in the VRC forum:
    turn an old trek 850 into cyclocross bike
    All of which started because some guy asked about turning an older Trek into a CX bike with 700c wheels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skrufryder View Post
    Silly rabbit Jack Daniel drinking donkey kissing caterpiller

  7. #7
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    Get the CX... I just got my frame from nashbar yesterday, and it is SWEET. Obviously, haven't ridden it, but it looks incredible.

  8. #8
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    Here's the scoop. I've got a sweet set of Cane Creek Strados disc 700c wheels and would love to put them to use on road/commuter/gravel grinder frame or frame-set.

    I actually like the looks of the AL MTB frame more than the CX frame and I think I could use my current Salsa Cromoto Grande fork on it vs. having to buy a CX specific fork for the CX frame.
    Are you thinking about a 29er or 26" MTB frame?

    I don't think that fork would work well on anything other than a 29er MTB frame. Salsa says it has a 468mm axle-crown height. By contrast, a 'cross fork comes in around 400mm, and a 26" suspension-corrected fork comes in around 445mm.

    My experience is that changing ride height makes a big handling difference. A fork 68mm taller than the design fork in a 'cross frame would be bad news, or so I'd expect.

    I think skinny tires, let's say anything below 35mm, on 700C wheels on a 29er frame are probably about as wrong as skinny tires on 26" wheels on a MTB frame. I had a 1.5" rear tire on my MTB in college and liked it, so I don't want to say it's wrong. Too skinny a tire lowers the frame oddly, and lowers the gear inches, making a road crankset desirable. Getting those onto MTB frames is often problematic - the big chainring doesn't always clear the chainstay.

    IMO, if you want to use this wheelset with road and 'cross tires, a 26" MTB or 'cross frameset would be desirable. If you want to use a road crank or drop bars, I vote for the 'cross frame - just do a basically CX build. They usually have clearance to spare with 35mm tires, to leave room for the mud and grass that get flung all over the chainstay and seatstay bridges, so fenders are still on the menu, and parts availability is pretty easy. Frankenbikes are fun, but can be an uphill battle.

    If you don't want higher gear ratios (and honestly... 48-14 is the highest on my 700C commuter, and it's enough for me) and would prefer flat bars, a 26" MTB frame and appropriately-sized fork would be a good combination. Trying to get drop bars to fit right on a MTB frame would be similar to trying to put your current fork on a non-29er frame - you can do it, but the results will probably not be that great.

    For the sake of disclosure, my commuter is a traditional road bike with 28mm tires, my 'cross bike is generally kept in a pretty standard 'cross racing setup, and I rarely mix dirt and pavement in a ride outside of competition. So that's where I'm coming from.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  9. #9
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    I wrote the review, I'll get some pics if you would like.
    Quote Originally Posted by MMcG
    .......grinder.

    Which would you choose and why?

    Here's the scoop. I've got a sweet set of Cane Creek Strados disc 700c wheels and would love to put them to use on road/commuter/gravel grinder frame or frame-set.

    I actually like the looks of the AL MTB frame more than the CX frame and I think I could use my current Salsa Cromoto Grande fork on it vs. having to buy a CX specific fork for the CX frame.

    I've read a review where a guy used 700c wheels with 34s and had room for a fender - so tire clearance should still be plenty adequate with the AL MTB frame.

    Any reason to choose the CX frame over the MTB frame? The MTB frame actually has steeper HT angles listedn than the CX frame. Although my 29er fork might slacken it out a tad - although I could suffer temporarily with my Raleigh XXIX non-suspension corrected fork - but that thing is a pig and is harsh.

    What would you do and why? MTB or CX?

    Cheers,

    Mark

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattskn
    I wrote the review, I'll get some pics if you would like.

    That would kick ass to see some pics of your set up.

  11. #11
    I Ride for Donuts
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    I would get the CX bike, because I beat on mine hard for a few years on my pothole infested dirt road, and it liked it...and when I got to the pavement it took off like a road bike. Ideal commuter in my opinion. It will clear a 1.75 tire if you want some beef. Mine is hanging in the shop in pieces...might re-incarnate it as a singlespeed sometime soon.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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