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  1. #1
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    would this frame work for a build?

    So i have never had a cyclocross bike, just road and mountain but we have a lot of gravel roads around where i live so im thinking that a cx bike would be nice. I also have an interest in racing but havent totally comitted to that yet. So i have an old trek steel road bike that I used as a fixed gear for riding around town when i lived in orlando. Now im in NC and really dont ride it, its just collecting dust. My plan is to conver it into a SS cross bike but I have a few questions. First, will an old steel frame even hold up like a cross bike should? I assume that it will be fine since those things were build like tanks but i just want to make sure before i start working on it. I believe that there will be plenty of clearance for bigger tires in the back and I plan to buy a different fork for the front and change it from a threaded quill style headset/stem to a threadless headset. My next issue that i can see are the brakes. i know cross bikes either take disk or cantilever brakes, neither of which will fit on my bike. Im not worried about the front because if I change out the fork I can easily use disk/cantilevers depending on what kind of mounts the fork i buy have. the back however just has the single hole for a road brake. is this ok? or is there some type of conversion that I can do? What recommendations, if any, does anyone have for this issue? Right now i have a flip-flop hub on the back so I can use that for now until i decide if i want to pursue cx riding or not. plus i will mostly be just riding gravel roads and not racing for now so i think it will be ok to keep the road rims that are on it for now. Thanks for any help and if anyone has any advice or pictures of similar build they have done I would love to see them


    cody

  2. #2
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    would this frame work for a build?

    Forgot to post pics. Here are two


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  3. #3
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    Frame will hold up fine, but the short wheelbase is less stable and will beat you up. I'd go for an XC frame for the relaxed geometry and clearance for juicy, low pressure tires if I was going to do a lot of time on gravel roads. Slap on a lightweight fatty fork and call it a day.

    I think you will find the chainstay clearance on this frame is a bit tight for CX racing. Need to have room for all the sticks and rocks that get sucked up in the mud that is stuck to everything.

    Good luck!
    I will suffer no butt-hurt fools!

  4. #4
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    personally i buy something like Save Up to 60% Off Motobecane Cyclocross Singlespeed Fixie Bikes - Fantom Cross UNO Track | Singlespeed Cross bikes | Save up to 60% off new bikes

    swap the parts you want to salvage from your existing bike. keep your current wheels for pure road purposes. and sell off whatevers left over.

  5. #5
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    i was thinking about that but my wife and i have been real short on cash lately so im trying to use whatever i have laying around for now. then if i like the whole CX thing i can look into getting something better at a later date. really i just want to make sure that it will work. i know it wont be ideal but im hoping i can get into things pretty cheap since i already have most of the parts. i did find this frame on overstock.
    Cro-mo Red Cyclocross Frame | Overstock.com Shopping - Great Deals on Bike Parts & Accessories
    for $80 i assume its total **** but maybe worth looking into.

    i ordered some tires and drops and may just run fixed for a little while and see how things go. if i like it on the gravel then drop a little more money and get brakes and switch to a freewheel and run SS. it will be a slow process for now till i can get a little more $$ flowing.

  6. #6
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    ordered these
    WTB Cross Wolf Race Cyclocross Tire - Cyclocross Tires

    Dont know too much about cross tires but these were cheap so i went for it.

  7. #7
    CS2
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    A garage full of steel frames means happiness.

  8. #8
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    would this frame work for a build?

    Any thoughts on that frame. Total **** or a good way to get into a cheap frame?


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  9. #9
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    Vertical dropouts of the red overstock bike would be difficult to use as a SS.

    I would suggest you go ahead and try using the trek first, frame will be plenty strong for CX use and it looks to have long touring chainstays, not particularly tight geometry. Try it out first with a road sidepull brake (or an older touring centerpull). If the bike works OK for you, then it is fairly minor operation to braze-on cantilver post to convert the brakes to real cantilevers, perhaps also relocate the rear brake bridge higher for more tire clearance. You can also crimp the inside of the chainstays in order to open them up for additional tire/mud clearance.

  10. #10
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    It's hard to comment on the Overstock frame. They don't provide enough information (geometry, for instance). Even basic fit would be a bit of a crap shoot.

    As Flamingtaco said, you'll probably find the chainstay clearance too tight on the frame you have, just based on the photo. Also, your plans to swap forks probably isn't sound as most CX forks are significantly longer than most road forks, so it would make big changes to the geometry of the bike.

    The basic idea of doing this with an old road bike isn't awful, and it's still possible that you could make yours work. Here's a pic of a '77 Gitane that I used for SSCX racing a couple of times a few years ago.



    This bike originally had 27" wheels and I switched to 700c, which got me just a little extra tire clearance at the chainstays. Notice I kept the original fork and centerpull brakes.

    It wasn't a great bike for the task, but it survived. The most important criterion for a first CX race bike is that it gets you out on the course. Everything after that is gravy.

    If the Trek doesn't work, consider picking up something like a late 80's/early 90's fully rigid mountain bike. They can usually be had for about $100 and with nothing more than a tire change they generally work as well for CX as an old road bike.

    Here's a pic of an '89 Rockhopper that I set up with drop bars for commuting.



    For a first CX race I probably wouldn't bother with the drop bars, though something like a set of dirt drop bars might be nice for long gravel rides. A lot of these old frames had drop outs suitable for singlespeed conversion too.

  11. #11
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    thanks for all the help guys. sounds like, while the frame would not be ideal for CX, it will work for now. To be honest Im not even sure if or when Ill be racing, just want to hit some gravel roads and light single track around home. I will probably just throw on a cheap set of road brakes on for now to get me in the saddle then look into a new frame or brazing on some cantelever mounting posts if I want to continue my CX experience. I have some parts in the mail as we speak (tires, stem, bars) so Ill post some pictures when I get that stuff done.
    One other question, and i apologize if Im hijacking my own thread, but what is a typical ratio that people run with SS cross bikes? on my SS mountain bike Im running 34/20 which seems to work pretty well for me. Would these same ratios work for cross?

    cody

  12. #12
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    Ride what ya got, race what ya brought.

  13. #13
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    would this frame work for a build?

    Well i threw on some tires, and new stem/bar combo and took it out for a spin. Had a blast on some single track and fireroads. Its still set up as a fixie with no mechanical brakes. Skid stopping on single track is a little different than on the road definitely want to get a free wheel cog and brakes. The ratio sucked too. A little climbing killed me. Still some work to do but having fun so far.


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  14. #14
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    Digging this thread .

    I like the direction you've gone sir . I'm looking forward to seeing your progress .

    There are far too many $$$$ builds on here that I am guilty of being drawn into . This is a prime example that goes to show you don't need to spend big to put a big smile on your face .

    Enjoy your ride and remember to keep us updated with progress pics too .




    Fat Biker

  15. #15
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    Good stuff. I know with the back brake that a calliper with enough clearance (tektro has a few) would be better than fixie braking. For the front you could do the same (put salmon kool stop pads for better all condition braking).

  16. #16
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    would this frame work for a build?

    Does a yo e know what the process is like to braze on cantilever posts? Im fairly handy, know how to solder and weld. From what i can tell its basically soldering right? Where would i get the posts? And how do i know where to put them. Do the measurements have to be perfect or can they just be close?


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  17. #17
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    Brazing cantilever post to a steel frame is pretty straightforward. You can get post from CANTI AND "U" BRAKE BOSSES :: STEEL SMALL PARTS :: BRAZON/SMALL PARTS :: Nova Cycles Supply Inc. . The front and rear specific 7mm offset miter post are probably good starting point for a standard road frame conversion. If you are really thrifty, you could harvest cantilever post from an old dead steel MTB and re-use them. (Only re-use post that were originally brazed, post that were TIG welded are not re-useable).
    The distance between the post should be around 75mm-80mm but exact dimension is not critical. Select the offset of the miter to locate the post inboard on the tube as-needed to achieve the 75-80mm dimension. You can always use a grinder and 1/2 round file to change the miter and you should file the miter to achieve a very tight fit to the tube.
    It is important that the post are square to the frame, make a simple jig to hold them during brazing by drilling 2 short slots around 80mm apart in a thin metal bar, then use the brake mounting bolts to hold the post square to the bar.
    If you have an oxy-acetylene torch, then brazing is basically a higher-temp soldering operation. Good flux and clean bronze rod and steel surfaces are key for getting the molten bronze to wick between the steel, dont skimp on the rod and flux. You can also build up a small bronze fillet around the bottom of the post for a bit of extra security to the joint.

    The first bike brazing operation I undertook was adding post to an old Bottecchia road frame, worked great and bike is still going strong.
    would this frame work for a build?-seward-ak-april-2011-003.jpg

  18. #18
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    Re: would this frame work for a build?

    Quote Originally Posted by photocodo View Post
    Does a yo e know what the process is like to braze on cantilever posts? Im fairly handy, know how to solder and weld. From what i can tell its basically soldering right? Where would i get the posts? And how do i know where to put them. Do the measurements have to be perfect or can they just be close?


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    I would skip the cantis and just get a set of long reach side pull caliper brakes.
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