Fort Cross Bike??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Fort Cross Bike??

    So my sister mentioned her husband is selling his cross bike, a 45 cm Fort. It doesn't look like they sell that size anymore so I haven't found any details. And I don't even remember what size my road bike is... but that said, any thoughts on these bikes? Thought it might work on my commute once the snow is gone...rugged enough for the 1.3 mi of dirt, but alot faster than the MTB for the pavement. Not sure if I can get up the hill without the triple, though (3.5 mi, 1000' up). I am in or pretty close to lowest gear going up on the MTB now, though that is with my heavy studded tires, batteries, etc.

  2. #2
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    Not familiar with the brand, but I do ride a 'cross bike for my commute, and my ride sounds pretty similar to yours in some ways... I have about a mile of dirt road (horrible in winter), the rest is pavement, and the 1.5 mile stretch before home (on dirt) is about a 500' elevation gain. The double crankset took some getting used to, but it's good training. I got rid of the front derailleur and do the whole ride in the big ring (50 tooth) now. That took a while to pull off, but ditching the derailleur is good motivation I can't recommend the 'cross bike enough. It's light, fast, beefy enough to beat on, and comfortable.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    From what I've seen, some cross bikes are geared kind of low and some are geared almost as high as a road bike. You could try it and maybe decide to play around with the gearing as a side project if it proves too high for your climb?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  4. #4
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    I ride a Fort road frame and know several folks on their cross bikes. A 45 would be pretty small- how tall are you?

  5. #5
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    On gearing, I should mention that I built mine from the frame up, and I have a MTB 8 speed cassette out back. 12-32 I think? Front is 50/34 road double.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    I ride a Fort road frame and know several folks on their cross bikes. A 45 would be pretty small- how tall are you?
    I'm 5'3, what do you think? My brother in law thought it might be too small but I have ridden his fixie & Ritchey P- before & don't remember them being too small. Granted, that was around the development not on a long ride. Do you size them like a road bike? I can get some measurements from him & compare.

  7. #7
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    Pix

    Thanks for all the info everyone -
    I got a couple pix...it's a Fort Race
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Fort Cross Bike??-forte_p1010114.jpg  

    Fort Cross Bike??-forte_p1010115.jpg  


  8. #8
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Thanks for all the info everyone -
    I got a couple pix...it's a Fort Race
    Nice! If it doesn't fit then a taller seatpost and/or longer stem well help a lot, too.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  9. #9
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    You might be able to get away with it at 5-3" - see if they will let you take it for a week and see if it is at least close. They are solid frames, but are race focused so no bottle, rack, or fender mounts. That said, if you don't carry much on your commute it could be a really fun all-rounder kind of bike....and might even spark an interest in the infectious condition known as cyclocross racing!

  10. #10
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Is 45cm the nominal size or the seat post measurement? It looks like it's got a sloping top tube, so they could be quite different - it could be a better fit for you than you think.

    Anyway, give it a try and see what you think. Note that while it's more of a pain, you don't need bottle or fender mounts to mount a bottle and fenders. Rack mounts are less negotiable, IMHO, but I've found I only use mine for my lock most of the time.

    What kind of shifters are those? There are ways to get really low gearing onto a road bike...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    I think 45 is the nominal size, so you might be right about it fitting "bigger" than that - he's sending some measurements & the gearing (but he says its really low )
    I don't know what the shifters are. I don't have a rack on my mtb I'm commuting on now, so no biggee for me there.

    I don't think I'll be getting into cyclocross - never been a racer and isn't that here you can get wet, dirty & cold?? I already do that commuting

    Thanks again, all. Now I am getting excited about "my" bike.

  12. #12
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    Worst case if you buy it and it's too small is you can buy another cross frame and move all of the components over to the new frame. You can then sell the small frame on ebay.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  13. #13
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    Wow, that does look small- sloping TT and still with a tiny HT. I wonder if those are 700c wheels? It has quite a gap between the seat tube what looks like already good sized tires. If they`re 700s, it has nice long stays.

    Since they`re talking about sending you the measurements, I take it the bike isn`t local to you? Bummer. Whether you end up buying that particular bike or not, your commute does sound like a good candidate for a cross bike or sport tourer.
    Recalculating....

  14. #14
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    It's in PA, but now my brother-in-law is threatening to give it to me, so now it darn well better fit!

    The current Fort x-bikes have 700 wheels, so I'm guessing this does too.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Give, as in "free", sounds great. Kind of anti cross, but I imagine you could put a triple on it if the gearing doesn`t cut it for you- I`m pretty sure that Shimano STI had the same front shifters for double and triple up until about a year ago. I don`t deal well with lack of granny either.
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
    jrm
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    According to the Fort web site

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Thanks for all the info everyone -
    I got a couple pix...it's a Fort Race
    that XS sized frame has a 51.3cm ETT. I'd go with a straight seat post in order to get you over the cranks and not behind um and then a 100mm stem with either 5 degrees rise or straight.

    Gotta admit i really like their road geometry alot.

  17. #17
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    No granny gear = stand up and hammer.

    I stopped using my granny gear on my commuter bike a few years ago in favor of standing to pedal. The initial idea was to improve my out of the saddle pedaling power for when I ride my SS MTB. Now I only use the granny gear on my FS MTB when I am slogging up realy big climbs. You would be amazed at how quick you can gain fitness.

    BTW, free = really good in this case.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  18. #18
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    That thing is sweet. You will love commuting on a 'cross bike. It's the right tool for the job with a mixed terrain commute like you have.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  19. #19
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    TAKE IT! Also, did you notice the way the rear triangle make it look like an old loop-tail BMX frame? Awesome!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    Also, did you notice the way the rear triangle make it look like an old loop-tail BMX frame?
    It makes me think "Yeti".

    Hydrogeek, hammer all you want to if it makes you happy. I`m sticking with gears (preferably 24 of `em) and you`ll pry my little granny ring from between my cold dead feet!
    Recalculating....

  21. #21
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    What kind of shifters are those? There are ways to get really low gearing onto a road bike...
    Low end Campy so a triple up front would be easy.

    Also IRD makes Campy cassettes with up to 34T
    *** --- *** --- ***

  22. #22
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    ooooohhhhmmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Hydrogeek, hammer all you want to if it makes you happy. I`m sticking with gears (preferably 24 of `em) and you`ll pry my little granny ring from between my cold dead feet!
    Ah, but you have yet to enjoy the simplicity of a SS MTB. Very little to no noise on the trail, no chain slap, just you and one gear in harmony with nature

    It's amazing how many times I can ride on hikers on the trail and they never even hear me until I say hello. No, I don't scare them....just a pleasant hello, comes from the blissful feeling that one gets from riding SS, from an appropriate distance

    This post is meant to be light hearted, I too have geared bikes, just don't tell my SS friends.

    Back to OP....snag it for free and let us know how it rides.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hydrogeek
    It's amazing how many times I can ride on hikers on the trail ...
    That's it. Now I'm trying single speed for sure.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  24. #24
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    Wow! Lots of info & ideas, thanks! I guess I'll try it out as-is & go from there. I'll be interested to try the hill, but I don't think standing for 95% of 3.5 mi will be do-able for me though. But if I end up crying for my granny, I'm not afraid to walk either, at least during the try-it-out period.

  25. #25
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    OK, if you can believe it, I received info from a MTBR'r on my soon-to-be-new-to-me bike:
    That bike has a good pedigree, too. It was owned by Erica Yozell and is a factory race bike from the early 90's. She is about 5-4 or so so it should be pretty close for you. Enjoy!
    Amazing what you will find out on the internet!

  26. #26
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    Test ride & hopefully pickup scheduled for weekend of 4/17. Even found a friend from PA to carpool with. Will miss the VT gravel grinder though that weekend, fun ride, 25-40 mi on mostly dirt roads up the biggest hills around Waterbury. House for rent cheap 05641 that weekend, PM me if interested & if the house will still be here when I come back.

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