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  1. #1
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    Wanting to build a cross bike from and older road bike?

    Is this doable? Will I be laughed away at the first cross race I enter?

    I'm on a limited budget with a plethora of older road and mtb's at my disposal. I'm thinking an older touring frame will do, but I'm concerned about the brakes. Should I try to run mtb brakes? I'm guessing that road style brakes can get clogged with mud and gunk?

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I don't know how you get cantis on a road bike without welding skills, but as far as being laughed at, my buddy rides with sneakers and a camelback and finishes before plenty of the carbon guys in full kit. I f you can swing it I wouldn't worry what other people think.

    Course, you could just ride one of the mountain bikes.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    IMO, just take the mountain bike.

    I actually did the older touring bike/knobbies combo for a while. It's workable, but I don't think it was superior to my mountain bike. Let alone given the shape I was in at the time.

    You're not going to be competitive for your first couple of races. They're a good time to see if you want to pursue it and figure out wtf you're doing with barriers and run-ups. Once you've been to a couple, if you have a touring frame that'll take cantilevers or Vs (Mini-Vs are better, IMO) and a 34mm tire, sure, build up a more competitive rig. It really won't give up much to a purpose-built 'cross bike if you equip it right.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    I've been riding a road bike off road for a year or so and my advice would be that it is fine when you're able to stop every five minutes to clear out mud and leaves from around the brake calipers but you couldn't race like that. I've just bought myself a cyclocross frame.

    I think an MTB makes a better base for a cyclocross bike, just make it as light and fast as you can.

  5. #5
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    Some people weld on canti mounts on the frame. Those kinds of conversions are really cool. Surly also makes (or made) their cross for in 1'' threaded steerer diameter too.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  6. #6
    Ride da mOOn Moderator
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    Never worry about being laughed at...
    ..just do it!

  7. #7
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    The cool steel frames from the late 70's and early 80's have all kinds of clearance for 35's. I did race my old Trek 610 before it became my commuter. Yeah totally doable. Plus the old steel frames ride nice.

    Run with the scissors and build one. You always buy a cross frame later.

  8. #8
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    My only concern would be the brakes. I don't wanna run road bike brakes but I don't see how I would adapt canti's to an old road frame?

  9. #9
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Are we talking about older road frames in general, or a specific older road frame?

    Some road bikes, especially older touring frames, which you brought up in your very first post, have cantilever posts. There's no adapting to do - cantilever brakes are natively compatible.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Check out an early 80's Trek 720. Hand built in Wisconsin by craftsmen. Canti brake ready too! They are a great bike with good clearance. Trek has some models that may satisfy your needs.

  11. #11
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    I built one this year out af a mid 90's trek mulitrack 720 hybrid. It has worked out well, There are a few different hybrids from that era with canti's built by trek. I used a quill to threadless adapter with a 1-1/8 stem, drop bars, cheap aero brake levers and bar end shifters (brifters are expensive). With a set of CX tires I probably have $150 in parts and it has been quite fun.

  12. #12
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drummerboy1975 View Post
    Is this doable? Will I be laughed away at the first cross race I enter?

    I'm on a limited budget with a plethora of older road and mtb's at my disposal. I'm thinking an older touring frame will do, but I'm concerned about the brakes. Should I try to run mtb brakes? I'm guessing that road style brakes can get clogged with mud and gunk?

    Thoughts?
    It's cyclocross--what do you think they use to use in the ol' days? Don't worry about the brakes, it won't matter, you can always run. Go have a good time.

    I've used this bike for a number of races.

    Ride On!

  13. #13
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    It's cyclocross--what do you think they use to use in the ol' days? Don't worry about the brakes, it won't matter, you can always run. Go have a good time.
    Right on!

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