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  1. #1
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    "monster 'cross bikes" creeping towards world domination?

    There seems to be a growing subset of people who ride what Higbee recently (and appropriately, I think) referred to as monster 'cross bikes. These are bikes that land closer to the cyclocross bikes than 29ers, but still sport bigger tires than you generally see on a true cyclocross race bike, and manage to do a fair job at anything but the most technical singletrack. Several examples below.

    I'm curious about how this all came to be. Surely Matt Chester had a bit of influence, as well as the other contributors to the 63xc.com site.

    More importantly, I'm curious why the people who ride setups like this don't ride a conventional mountain bike or 29er. What is it about skinny(ish) tires and little crotch clearance that rings your bell? For my part, the answer is easy. I came to offroad riding by way of "something to do inbetween touring". Fat tires went on the crosscheck (seen below) and I fell in love. I'm also always trying to keep my bike count to a minimum, so having a commuter, offroader, and touring bike in one was a very attractive notion.

    I haven't ridding a true "mountain bike" since I was a kid. It seems like most people who choose a setup like this have a bit more experience with a variety of frame styles, so it can't ALL be ignorance, as in my case.










    (I take it as further evidence of Matt Chester's influence that all of the pictured bikes have midge or dirtdrop bars.)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    More importantly, I'm curious why the people who ride setups like this don't ride a conventional mountain bike or 29er.
    I think that is a pretty blanket statement there. I love the 700x44s on my crosscheck, and riding it fixed off road, but I also love my SS and am building a 29er. Riding the CC off road keeps me honest, makes me think more about what I am doing, and more aware of everything. It is more of a "total experience" minus the sex of course
    "Life is a F@#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.

  3. #3
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    I tried skinnys or is it fatties

    42s and 44s......I guess they are skinnys on a 29r and fatties on a cyclocross bike. They seem to improve the performance and rideability of the cyclocross bike except maybe for actual racing.

    On the 29r they seem to lessen the sluggish acceleration and climbing that the heavy tires cause. I have found that they can be a bit sketchy when railing flat or off camber corners fast on hard pack with a dusting of sand or loose dirt compared to the real 29r tires. I have not tried them yet, but I think the Kenda Kharma 29 tires may be the cats meow, I loved them on my 26" SS bike. Light, fast and grippy at least on my local trails.
    Two Wheeled and Too Big

  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    Just because?
    Because you do not want to do everything the way most others do it?
    Because you like the idea of a rigid fork and once you are there you might as well put on the drop bar too? (I did not say road bar)

    Cool stuff!

  5. #5
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    for me it was all about riding something that I could do singletrack confidently and being able to ride rough fire roads efficiently. I think that it is going to catch on. It's really a fun ride. I'd like to see what I can do on my Vulture with the 45's on a fast dirt road XC race course. You'd have to be a pretty fast on a mountain bike to stay with one of these on certain types of courses.
    what the fu#k is the internet?

  6. #6
    Boe
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    For me (the guy with the yellow jersey) it's about learning more about riding. I want to explore how far I can take my bikes, and you get to learn so much when riding "wrong" or "stupid" bikes on the trails. Riding becomes more about you, and your experience, than the bike.



    Fixed off road was really marvelous, I was amazed on the "trail connectivity". Totaly like sex with the trail.

    My old monster Cross Check:
    https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-29/29.jpg
    https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-29/17.jpg
    https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-24/28.jpg
    https://farfar.2038.com/bo/bikes/2005-07-17/22.jpg

  7. #7
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    7 miles to the trail/fireroad so it really maks no sense driving there. Rides are mostly fireroads so what's the perfect ride? Cyclocross! They did not make Crosschecks at that time and my cross would only fit a 38c max but hey, it fits my type of riding and it was a blast.

  8. #8
    Drinker w/ Riding Problem
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    This Dude rocked the Icycle Race last Feb, also did the Night Downhill Race on this bike.

  9. #9
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    I heard the term "monster 'cross" from Wade the Vulture. I really like riding fixed offroad and when ordering my new frame I thought of going the "monster 'cross" style. If I could only have one bike it would be a "monster 'cross" for versatility. Since I don't only have to have one bike I went with more of a mountain bike style frame based on drop bars (lots of standover and EBB for discs). I have a suitalbe road road frame that can be made into a fixie and it will take some 35c tires no problem. The other issue for me is where I ride. Locally I have a lot of deep sand on the trails and a wider tire is nice to have, the same can be said for winter riding on the snow. I also live near the Canadian rockeis where the trails can be very rough and the decents long and steep. Of course I want to try some 44c tires on my bike when I get it! I am very impressed with what people can ride on 'cross bikes and I will get one some day.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boe
    For me (the guy with the yellow jersey) it's about learning more about riding. I want to explore how far I can take my bikes, and you get to learn so much when riding "wrong" or "stupid" bikes on the trails. Riding becomes more about you, and your experience, than the bike.
    Fixed off road was really marvelous, I was amazed on the "trail connectivity". Totaly like sex with the trail.
    Great points, except maybe the sex thing, maybe smooth silky singletrack, but not gnarly rocky technical stuff. That might make your d*** sore.

    It'll never reach world domination in this society, because technology buys speed and technology makes everything better.

    Given equal bike handling skills/cardiovascular fitness, retro geeks who ride fixed rigid skinny tires offroad can't go as fast as guys with the goods, and in today's world it's who crosses the line first that matters to most people.

    The attitude makes the difference, and you put it really well about riding being about you, not the bike. The fact that it's a lot more fun and fulfilling to clean a tough course with a fixed gear and skinny tires than full sus and body armor is irrelevant...RC

  11. #11
    Fahrrad fahren
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    Lovin' this thread.

    I think of my QB as more of a cross than Monster Cross (BTW great name Wade), even though it fits 44s. My as yet to be realized dream bike falls into the monster cross category. Fit up to 52 tires, some (or lots of ) slope to the top tube, disc mounts, but handles like my QB.
    Fixing Frederick Coasting Carroll Wandering Washington

  12. #12
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    What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.

  13. #13
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    I’ve never really been exposed to the whole ‘cross scene, in fact there is no “scene” so to speak of here, but the whole monster 'cross bike idea has really hit a chord with me of late... For some reason the whole idea really appeals to me.

    Fixed? Yeah sure, why not I’m up for a challenge! I would have to start with brakes though I think, and loose them one by one when I gain some confidence – or loose my mind!

    Keep the pics and comments coming!

    Dave.

  14. #14
    Boe
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiMana
    What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
    WTB Mutano raptors. Love them.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiMana
    What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
    the mythos CX is a great choice in the 700x42. Not a whole loot of knobs but it rolls pretty fast and has some pretty good volume. Another good choice is the panaracer fire cross 45's. Lots of knobs and grips super well.
    what the fu#k is the internet?

  16. #16
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    I ride em mostly because they are lots of fun. I haven't counted lately but I probably own/control 15 or 20 bikes of all kinds and the MC Cross bike set up just like you describe is perhaps the funnest to ride. That bike will always be one of my bestest of the best rides I own. I am up around the 50ish mark on pro bikes in my lifetime. I do ride fixed a lot on the road a lot too, and have been riding 5k miles a year or more since about 1966. What is fun is fun so I stick with it. SS cross racing is about good as life gets in a damn hard way of thinking concept.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low_Rider
    I would have to start with brakes though I think, and loose them one by one when I gain some confidence – or loose my mind!
    If you lose more than one brake, you've probably lost your mind, at least if you're going to venture into technical territory.

  18. #18
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    monster cross

    Ive been building frames like this for a while and needed something to call them. Customers would ask for a cross bike, but they would want discs and big tire clearance and tougher tubing for more single track. They did not want suspension, most wanted drop bars and somehow it wasn't really a cross bike any more, but it wasn't really a 29er either. Most of the actuall 29ers I make get flat/rise bars, exi wolf clearance and room for a sus fork. Monster cross seemed like the right way to describe it. I think that it is important for these bikes to be at home on the singletrack as much as on the fire roads, so I'm trying do design them as such. The green bike pictured above is sort of just a cross bike but I stuffed some big tires in and it works great. I did get my butt way kicked racing it this weekend though. I need to do some push ups and stretch more. It is amazing how the panaracer 45 rides up front though!
    cheers, Wade

  19. #19
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    Will the panaracer 45 fit in a cross check?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiMana
    Will the panaracer 45 fit in a cross check?
    More importantly - is the Panaracer 45c (I assume the Smoke) still available for purchase?

    I seem to recall them not being made for a long time.

    LP

  21. #21
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    Here's mine - not setup the same now, but still a great bike.

    Crosscheck w/ 44c Mutanos
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  22. #22
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    alex (solitude) posted this one elsewhere on the boards


  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    More importantly - is the Panaracer 45c (I assume the Smoke) still available for purchase?

    I seem to recall them not being made for a long time.

    LP
    Not the Smoke. They are talking about the Fire Cross 700x45.
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  24. #24
    Not because I'm fast.....
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    I like this thread too

    I started riding a geared cross bike offroad in SoCal back in 2002 for something different. It was challenging and fun and fast. Since then I have adapted my SS Cross Check for all purpose exploring road/offroad riding both fixed and Free. Bars higher, offroad drops, etc. Great fun!
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiMana
    What tires are you guys running? I have a cross check and want to move up from 35s to 42-44s, I am looking at the mythos cx.
    I want a set of these

    https://www.bgcycles.com/access.html
    mtbtires.com
    The trouble with common sense is it is no longer common

  26. #26
    dirty hippy mountainbiker
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    Looks like fun

    The cross bike is aesthetically a cool thing. Whether or not it rides good off road. I'd sure like to find out on my new Bianchi San Jose. Not sure it'll fit the 45c Panaracers. I stacked going down a little dirty DH to get on the bike path with my slicks. So that ain't the way to go.

    -M

    Oh yeah, Cantilever Brakes SUCK!
    Mike Henderson, Dirty Hippy Mountain Biker and part owner of Jet Lites.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjalti
    Fit up to 52 tires, some (or lots of ) slope to the top tube, disc mounts, but handles like my QB.
    I would buy that. I wish when I get up tomorrow my Gunnar and C-dale have little cross/mountain/ss love bikes running around the garage. That would be awesome.

    Monster cross. Someone get a trademark, quick.

    I also see it as a step in the neo-Luddite biker movement. One simple, low maintenance bike for everything. Chester has certainly made himself the living muse for all of this, brilliant marketing on his part. Why he doesn't diversify is beyond me, but then he wouldn't be quite so punk.

    And a sendoff to 42c Ritchey ZED pro's.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    if you get a set, be sure to let us know.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I've got a set of those getting all dry and cracked in my bike closet. I've never had a bike that would fit them.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Not the Smoke. They are talking about the Fire Cross 700x45.
    Ah - thanks...

    LP

  31. #31
    Cold. Blue. Steel.
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    Quote Originally Posted by brado1
    This Dude rocked the Icycle Race last Feb, also did the Night Downhill Race on this bike.
    Yep, that badass is Sean, an Ash Vegas local. The bike is geared and not fixed, but a cool ride nonetheless.
    I have 6 bikes but a gaping hole that could only be filled by a MonsterCross setup!
    Been thinking about it for a while. Hopefully I'll have one before this fall/winter rolls around.

    Great thread, BTW.

    OGG
    Spinning and Grinning...

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Yeah those canties do look sweet. Wait, you mean the tires right? I want a set too. They remind my of the old Cycle Pro Snake Belly. I have fond memories of Snake Bellies from my first ATB circa 1985.
    Wanted: broken Titec 2 bolt seatpost, any size

  33. #33
    blame me for missed rides
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    i also have a so called monster cross. it's geared. i ride it most because i have to ride 30 miles to the trailhead. roadie and mtn bikes either can't ride the trail or can't ride the pavement fast enough.

  34. #34
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    Smile Monster Cross

    My Monster Cross fixie needs were recently met. I wanted clean lines, with no cable guides whatsoever, so chose a Surly Steamroller frameset.

    Set up with a nice long moustache bar/Surly hubs, fixed/fixed rear/Salsa Delgado X rims laced 14/15 DT/well worn Brooks saddle and Ritchey Speedmax 35mm tires.

    Rides particularly wonderfully, and I still have room for a slightly larger tire. Excels nowhere, but a very practical vehicle that can be ridden anywhere. Wonderful on the road, sweet on gravel/fireroads and actually quite useable on gentle singletrack.

    I like it.

  35. #35
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    To me, the 700c single speed adds another dimension to my biking. I sort of liken it to telemark skiing - simpler and purer (such a word?). The telemarkers say "free your heel free you mind", so the monster crosser would probably say "lose the tech, just ride your bike" or something like that.

  36. #36
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    So, like I said, I'm new at this mountain bike thing.

    After the positive response to this thread, I started looking more into the birth of the 29er, and the persistent subset of fixed-offroaders. I've been learning lots about Wes Williams and WTB and I'm so amazed by all of the rich, passionate history that has led to where we're at.

    Wes and Matt both show really inspiring dedication to a particular type of machine, and with such a great attitude about life as a "cyclist" and the material aspects thereof.

    I'm sure that this is probably just a part of coming to appreciate mountain bikes and offroad riding in general. Of course, there's a lot of rich cultural substructure to the current world of road racing, but the heritage of mountain bikes seems so accessible, and immediate, and relatable.

    Thanks for letting me spew my excitement here.

    If anyone just can't understand the way i'm feeling, here's a good starting point.

    http://www.dirtragmag.com/print/arti...egory=features

  37. #37
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    Here's my monster...

    ...and GREAT article, ink1373. Always been a huge WTB fan. Now if I could just fit those Nanos on my Cross Check...

    Sorry for the gears in the pic (no excuses), and yes, I am converting back to SS next weekend. On that note, where do I find a stem with decent rise, like the ones on the cool bikes in this thread?
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  38. #38
    falling off since 1975
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    What tyre width counts as Monster Cross? Does it have to be fixed or will singlespeed do?

    Only I'm not sure if my Pompino is plain old cross or monster cross, and I wanted to make sure I was in the latest trendy marketing sub-genre, and not being left in the wake of fashion...


  39. #39
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    You can fit CX tires in traditional 26" MTB frames.

    I did this with some success at my first race of the year, sporting a 38 rear, 2.3 front.:
    http://www.jandwevents.com/2006xcresults.html
    The course is actually one of the more technical in western NC.
    -Marshall Hance
    EndlessBikeCo.

  40. #40
    Cracker-magnon
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick3216
    What tyre width counts as Monster Cross? Does it have to be fixed or will singlespeed do?
    Pretty much anything bigger than what would typically be raced on, so obigger than 700x35, but bigger than 700x40 is better for offroad (IMHO) fixed/ss/geared, what ever floats your boat
    "Life is a F@#^ing story problem, get used to it - my son.

  41. #41
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpsser
    Pretty much anything bigger than what would typically be raced on, so obigger than 700x35, but bigger than 700x40 is better for offroad (IMHO) fixed/ss/geared, what ever floats your boat
    oh oh !! I have 38c tires on for the winter!!! do i qualify!!
    dont mind the commuter stuff...
    i actually would love to make a commuter/road bike so i could offroadify this one a bit more. maybe later.
    whenever i ride this offroad something breaks.

    Only boring people get bored.

  42. #42
    Needed Less ~ Did More
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick3216
    What tyre width counts as Monster Cross? Does it have to be fixed or will singlespeed do?

    Only I'm not sure if my Pompino is plain old cross or monster cross, and I wanted to make sure I was in the latest trendy marketing sub-genre, and not being left in the wake of fashion...

    Its OK Nick you can join our clique

    You know us, always looking for the next big marketing opertunity*

    Alex

    *See and I didn't even mention 4-bar linkages Doh!
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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    Otis Guy talking about klunkers c1976

  43. #43
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    mister sassy pants...

    a "trendy marketing sub-genre"? come on, man...thats way premature. it's only about marketing if you let it be.

    did you see Boe's peugeot touring frame above? he must've gotten suckered by the monster cross advertisement conspiracy.

    who knows, maybe i'm a corporate trend hunter spying on your hip message boards, seeking the next big thing in cycling.

    as for what qualifies as "monster cross"? hell, who knows. ask wade i guess.

    i thought maybe it was about how you ride it. i could be wrong.

  44. #44
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    sometimes a little qualifier helps communicate an idea

    Quote Originally Posted by nick3216
    What tyre width counts as Monster Cross? Does it have to be fixed or will singlespeed do?

    Only I'm not sure if my Pompino is plain old cross or monster cross, and I wanted to make sure I was in the latest trendy marketing sub-genre, and not being left in the wake of fashion...


    Sometimes is doesn't. I call bikes that are more monsterous than cross but not quite a regular 29" wheel mountain bike "monster cross" nobody cares if they are single speed or fixed or geared or whatever, I just thought of this as a way to talk to my customers. As far as this being a trendy sub-genre dont be worried. You can call your bike anything you want. Just say RAHRR. Real monsters come in all sizes and shapes. Elmo is a monster. Godzilla is a monster. There are Gila monsters and monster Trucks. Some would say that bigfoot is a monster, but he's not real like Elmo and Godzilla. Speaking of Godzilla, check out the FuManchu live cover from Germany. Those guys rock!
    cheers, Wade

  45. #45
    try driving your car less
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    Quote Originally Posted by vulture
    Sometimes is doesn't. I call bikes that are more monsterous than cross but not quite a regular 29" wheel mountain bike "monster cross" nobody cares if they are single speed or fixed or geared or whatever, I just thought of this as a way to talk to my customers. As far as this being a trendy sub-genre dont be worried. You can call your bike anything you want. Just say RAHRR. Real monsters come in all sizes and shapes. Elmo is a monster. Godzilla is a monster. There are Gila monsters and monster Trucks. Some would say that bigfoot is a monster, but he's not real like Elmo and Godzilla. Speaking of Godzilla, check out the FuManchu live cover from Germany. Those guys rock!
    cheers, Wade
    "and if his d!ck is a monster..." -zappa
    he must have been quoting godzilla, upon seeing elmo in the locker room.

    you should make a bike that is elmo and godzilla's illegitimate lovechild. scaly green paint with spots of red fur. design the brake(s) to squeel like elmo talking. and put a flamethrower on the front like godzilla spitting fire. that would RAAAHHHRRRR...
    Only boring people get bored.

  46. #46
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    i've been enjoying this thread thoroughly. does anyone here subscribe to the seemingly chesterian school of thought, though? the one which favours skinnies in the dirt?
    Last edited by crust & crumb; 05-23-2006 at 07:15 PM.

  47. #47
    Just Ride!
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    Warning: Geary content

    Here is mine. No longer have the the current fork/stem setup. Now sporting straight legged fork/threadless stem 15 degree rise(original setup). I know it's geared


  48. #48
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    delightful rock lobster.

    especially delightful cable routing.

  49. #49
    Duckin' Fonuts.
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    Here is my friggen rig...

    This Steelman has all but ruined me for other bikes. I bought it to have a fun bike, and it is. So much so that after seven years it is the only one left. It is on 38c slicks and geared for the road in the pic and fits 45's. I doubt I will ever own a geared bike, or ride anything skinnier than a 32c ever again. The geometry is 71.5 HT, 73 ST, with a 55.5 tt. 11.75 bb height. Rode it on the road this evening, did two long climbs. It just never gets old. I don't miss gears unless I try to hang on a long hilly group road ride. But that so rarely happens. I wouldn't mind having Paul Sadohff build me a true 29er with the same geometry, outfitted with avid road discs and a the Midge bars for more of a true dirt rig.
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  50. #50
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    I lust threw a cane creek thudbuster on my cross bike and I put my paragon sliders to use and singleseeded it. I that for this bike the thudbuster is awesome. It really smoothes out the ride especially on some of the nasty studderbumps that normally eat cross bikes alive. I can just sit and pedal through some pretty rough sections. The singlespeed thing is working out nicely too. I really like the paragon sliding dropout system. I can change up to 3 teeth in the rear cog without changing my chain length
    Last edited by SS4life; 05-23-2006 at 11:04 PM.
    what the fu#k is the internet?

  51. #51
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    Sometimes

    Quote Originally Posted by crust & crumb
    i've been enjoying this thread thoroughly. does anyone here subscribe to the seemingly chesterian school of thought, though? the one which favours skinnies in the dirt?
    I have tried a couple of different sets of tires. Now, I'm a bigger guy than most here, so other results may vary from mine, but I had Nokian 35's on and they gave me tons of flats when riding in the rockier areas nearby (think lots of sharp babyheads). If I travel a bit farther to smoother singletrack, they worked OK, but the rear wore out pretty quickly when combining road and trail. Panaracer Paselas 37 (minimal tread) lasted longer but gave me no joy off road. I've been using Mutanoraptor 44s since April and like them. Here is a photo of my new custom bashring and the Mutano 44 on my bike:

    Fixing Frederick Coasting Carroll Wandering Washington

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nonracerrichie
    I wouldn't mind having Paul Sadohff build me a true 29er with the same geometry, outfitted with avid road discs and a the Midge bars for more of a true dirt rig.
    (minus the road discs)

    LP

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    Now that I'm finally out riding a bit again... here's my Serotta back with some recent updates.

    <center>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/bikes/horscx/serotta.jpg"><p>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/bikes/horscx/serotta_steering.jpg">
    </center>

  54. #54
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    Man that thing looks fast just sitting there!

  55. #55
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    Hey Terminaut,

    What rise do you have on your stem? Sweet bike.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boe


    I am interested in knowing a little more about those bars.

    I am currently running Mary bars on my bike, and I really like them. I am looking for a new bar for my commuter bike. Something with sweep like the Mary, but narrower witn more of a drop. The bars in the photo look like what I was thinking of. Right now, I am considering the nitto north road, but I am not sure what else is out there.

    Cheers,

    GF

  57. #57
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    I was wondering about the stem too - is it custom ti? Builder?

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    (minus the road discs)

    LP

    Why? IThe fixed beast I'm building up right now will have one on the front w/ Midge and Cane Creek brake levers. Not enough power in this brake???

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pigtire
    Hey Terminaut,

    What rise do you have on your stem? Sweet bike.
    If I'm remembering right, it's a 30 degree rise and 120mm extension.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gambler
    I was wondering about the stem too - is it custom ti? Builder?
    The stem is indeed ti and made by Willits (Wes Williams). A majority of the bike is titanium, including the frame/fork/headset/cranks.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfix
    I am interested in knowing a little more about those bars.

    I am currently running Mary bars on my bike, and I really like them. I am looking for a new bar for my commuter bike. Something with sweep like the Mary, but narrower witn more of a drop. The bars in the photo look like what I was thinking of. Right now, I am considering the nitto north road, but I am not sure what else is out there.

    Cheers,

    GF
    Unfortunately I don't know the brand of the bars as they're old-school and don't have any identifying marks. I'd love to find another set like them as IMHO they're the most comfortable bars ever made for riding in the drops.

    Here's a front view:

    <center>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/bikes/horscx/serotta_front.jpg">
    </center>

  62. #62
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    I strongly agree to the "low bike count' theory, I'm thinking about buying a Cross Check myself, and I already have a geared FS I've NEVER RIDDEN, and my Hardtail with 1.6 slicks Rigid, for commuting. I don't find the time to ride the really rough stuff anymore, so a simpler ride would be ideal. So I guess my HT is basically a wannabe Monster Cross!

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by indigosky
    Why? IThe fixed beast I'm building up right now will have one on the front w/ Midge and Cane Creek brake levers. Not enough power in this brake???
    No...no...no problem with the brake. I am sure they work fine.

    I was just saying that if I was hypothetically having a bike built by Paul of Rock Lobster that hypothetically was to built for drop bars, 29" wheels and a rigid fork (maybe a hypothetical custom stem too)...I personally wound not go that route with the brakes. I would hypothetically go with either Paul Motolites or Neo Retros front and rear.

    Hypothetically of course

    LP

  64. #64
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    THanks Terminaut,

    Those are nice bars, but I am interested in the bars posted on the bike in Boe's post. I would like to use mountain levers on my bars (though I will likely hook mine up to a front brake).

    Your bars look like dirt drops to me, and I have thought of the on-one midge bars, but I would like to use some mountain controls.

    Cheers,

    GF

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfix
    THanks Terminaut,

    Those are nice bars, but I am interested in the bars posted on the bike in Boe's post. I would like to use mountain levers on my bars (though I will likely hook mine up to a front brake).

    Your bars look like dirt drops to me, and I have thought of the on-one midge bars, but I would like to use some mountain controls.

    Cheers,

    GF
    Aw man I was a replyin' foo and didn't pay enough attention. Anyways, good luck with your quest!

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenfix
    I am interested in knowing a little more about those bars.

    I am currently running Mary bars on my bike, and I really like them. I am looking for a new bar for my commuter bike. Something with sweep like the Mary, but narrower witn more of a drop. The bars in the photo look like what I was thinking of. Right now, I am considering the nitto north road, but I am not sure what else is out there.

    Cheers,

    GF
    The bars I run in the picture are from our local "wal-mart" type store. $6 bars.


    Most "no name aluminium" makers have them or similar designs.

  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boe
    The bars I run in the picture are from our local "wal-mart" type store. $6 bars.


    Most "no name aluminium" makers have them or similar designs.

    Cheers Boe,

    I think I may have to find a discarded cruiser bike and pilfer the bars from that.

    Thanks again,

    GF

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope

    Hypothetically of course

    LP
    Gotcha... I start brazing this weekend. I ordered about 10' of scrap 1.125" x .035" from aircraftspruce.com to start with so I can make sure my torch is dialed before I hit the good stuff. Don't I owe you a picture of my jig anyway?

    How's your fab-re-catin coming?

  69. #69
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    So what's the distinction between monster cross and a big wheeled MTB with drop bars?

    Here's my take...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  70. #70
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by terminaut
    Now that I'm finally out riding a bit again... here's my Serotta back with some recent updates.

    <center>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/bikes/horscx/serotta.jpg"><p>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/bikes/horscx/serotta_steering.jpg">
    </center>
    Good to hear from you Terminaut ,now how about some action shots ? Please !

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by ppp
    Good to hear from you Terminaut ,now how about some action shots ? Please !
    LOL. I took it for a ride this morning with some downhiller types and got a couple of photos and also a video from my bulletcam setup. I'll create a new post once I get the video editted. :-)

    <center>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/rides/061006/IMG_9257.JPG"><p>
    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/rides/061006/IMG_9256.JPG">
    </center>

  72. #72
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    Totally off topic Term, but are you in anyway involved in this?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...MakeTrack=true

    Certainly looks like something you might have (or need) laying around.

    BTW - What's the latest on "the Willits"?

    LP

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanpope
    Totally off topic Term, but are you in anyway involved in this?

    https://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...MakeTrack=true

    Certainly looks like something you might have (or need) laying around.

    BTW - What's the latest on "the Willits"?

    LP
    That auction is just nutty. No offense to the high bidders (and Moots owners), but the Moots bars are not *that* special. I suppose if you're trying to build up an all-titanium Moots-equipped Moots, then maybe... but only if Moots made you some nice matching ti cranks to go with the ensemble... and you also had the proper Moots stem (with the ti 4-bolt front face) to hold those bars. ;-)

    <img src="https://www.fooriders.com/images/misc/moots_stem.jpg">

    As for the Willits, my B2 is running great but the B29 is still "at the shop"...

  74. #74
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    adding another to the mix

    Here's my "Monster Cross" Kona Sutra, 700X42 ritcheys and it's a sweet ride. Sliding dropouts allow for geared or SS. Currently running in the geared mode to better tow my B.O.B. Trailer. Still it's a fun bike, and a great way to get around. Though now that I have gears on it I do find myself riding my converted F1000 more than the Kona.
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    29er Fan!

  75. #75
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    I have been thinking about adding some larger tires to my Crosscheck. I noticed that Bruce Gordon offers a 700X43 off road tire. What experiences have people had with these. My wheels are made with Mavic MA 3 rims, I am guessing these tires will fit fine on these rims. Any advise would be helpful.

  76. #76
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    I don't have a "monster 'cross bike". What I do have is a very versatile lugged steel Trek 950 that I've managed to stuff with some 700c wheels with knobby tires. Right now, I'm running a Kenda Kross Supreme 700x35c tire in the rear and a WTB Cross Wolf 700x32c tire in the front (the Kenda wouldn't fit).

    Up front, I've got some Cane Creek SCR-5 brake levers mounted onto moustache bars. That setup feels great and they're definitely a chick magnet (as I found out on a rather lengthy tour ride around NYC recently!), but I've got some On*One Midge bars lying around now doing not a whole lot and was thinking of replacing the moustache bars with them. Changing non-MTB bars is always a bit involved (proper cable routing along the bar, bar tape, positioning the levers, etc.), so I wanted to ask first before I did the swap: are there any fundamental advantages a moustache bar might have over a dirt drop bar like the Midges?

    I do love the Midge bar and the multiple hand positions they offer, but I've always had trouble lifting the front-end with them, hence my bit of hesitation here.

    Can anyone offer any help/insight on the two bars?

  77. #77
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    like it, without knowing I'm running a monster cross bike, cool.

  78. #78
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    I never knew I was riding a monster cross bike until now. I just wanted a little better ride for my Specialized Tricross, bought some 700c x 42 Ritchey Zed Pro tires, and on a lark rode some of the local singletrack, the Desert Classic trail on South Mountain. I was amazed by how well the bike handled in the drop bars, even on rocky sections and just started riding the bike more and more on trails.

  79. #79
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    Tires?

    I know there are a couple of mentions of tires in this thread already, but I wanted to get all of the options listed here. I currently have an Airborne Carpe Diem that is sporting some Ritchey Mount Cross 700x38 tires, but I would like to go bigger. I think I can squeeze a 42 in the back, maybe with a little "tweeking", and think I can fit a 45 in the Steelman cross fork up front. So below is the list or possibilities I came up with. Any advice/experience with any of the tires would be appreciated, including actual weight and size. Right now I am leaning toward the Panaracer Fire for the front and the Ritchey Zed for the back. Thanks, Mark!

    Maxxis Wormdrive 700x42, 405g

    WTB Mutanoraptor 1.85 (44/44), claimed weight 850g?!

    Panaracer Fire Cross 700x45

    Ritchey Zed Race 700x42, 520g

    IRC Mythos XC 700x42

    Bontrager Jones XR 29 1.8 (45), 550g

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny
    WTB Mutanoraptor 1.85 (44/44), claimed weight 850g?!
    My Mutanos weight in at 630g

  81. #81
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    I'm having a Willits 28-Incher built right now that I plan on running with Nanos. I've been riding cross bikes on trails for 10 years but this is gonna be awesome.

    -steven
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by big & single
    So what's the distinction between monster cross and a big wheeled MTB with drop bars?
    To my mind, these bikes are defined by the tires: 38-45mm tires, bigger than UCI-sanctioned cyclocross tires (35c max) but smaller than fat MTB tires (about 48mm/1.9" and up). If your 29"er is shod in 700x42s it qualifies in my book.

    Here are the non-slick tires I know of in this size range. I'm including Euro-"trekking" tires if they have some actual usable tread to them. Comments added for the ones I've actually ridden:
    • Avocet Cross II SL 700x38, 445g.
    • Bontrager Jones XR 1.8, 550g.
    • Club Roost Terra 700x38, 500g.
    • Conti CountryRide 700x37, 605g.
    • Hutchinson Acrobat 700x37/700x42, 660g/810g.
    • IRC Cross Country 700x38, 495g.
    • IRC Metrocross Duro 700x38, 502g.
    • IRC Mythos CX Slick 700x38/40/42, 495/510/550g. The 700x42 is ubiquitous and stocked on the GF Dual Sport bikes, last I checked. A bit buzzy and slightly slower rolling than some of the other semislicks, it's still an excellent all-rounder. Not to be confused with a full knobby of course, it still seemed to work decently everywhere I've tried it offroad. A bit sketchy on wet pavement for you commuters.
    • Kenda Kross Plus K847 700x38/42, 630g/650g. Not to be konfused with the Kenda Cross or the Kenda Kross Supreme. Believe it or not, this tire (for which I paid $6.50 at Nashbar) is my favorite tire in this class if you want something that is still fast on pavement. Rolls ultra-fast and has decent grip everywhere from gravel to wet pavement and even mud. Worth the weight.
    • Maxxis WormDrive CX 700x42, 445g. I have two of these. Looks a lot like the K847, so you'd think it would perform similarly. It rolls just as fast (and is much lighter) but has much less grip offroad. Oddly, better in snow and ice than in mud.
    • Michelin TransWorld Sprint 700x40, 640g. Bigger than the K847 or the WormDrive, this sucker grips well offroad, including mud, snow and ice. Not great if you plan to include a lot of road work: sketchy on wet pavement, and rolls slower than you'd think given the low diamond center tread. I'm starting to think that Kevlar puncture belts incur a pretty huge cost in terms of rolling resistance. Seems like thick center treads (like on the K847 or the Karma) give just about as much protection against glass punctures, with about the same weight penalty and much less rolling resistance.
    • Panaracer FireCross 700x45, 690g.
    • Panaracer Smoke 700x45, 550g, out of production. The classic monster-'cross tire. More like 700x42. Oodles of grip. Oodles of rolling resistance.
    • Ritchey Mount Cross 700x38, Pro/WCS 425g/370g. Round carcass and lots of closely spaced flat-topped knobs. Light, smooth, fast and easy-cornering on pavement. Good offroad too, rocks, gravel or even slimy mud. Haven't ridden it in sticky mud, but I bet it would pack up like crazy.
    • Ritchey ZED Race 700x42, 520g. So many rave reviews, I really need to get around to trying this one.
    • Schwalbe Black Jack 700x45, 650g. Raised smooth center tread gives you low rolling resistance, yet still gave me amazing MTB-level traction everywhere I've tried it, from the dry sandy trails of central Oregon to the mudbogs of Western Oregon. Commuters be warned about the worst wet-pavement traction of any tire I've ever ridden, as bad as the old Conti Goliath. Probably scary on wet rocks too.
    • Schwalbe Marathon Cross 700x38, 630g.
    • Schwalbe Marathon XR 700x40, 680g.
    • Schwalbe Hurricane/Hurricane Sport 700x40, 740/630g.
    • WTB Interwolf 700x38, 450g.
    • Tioga Bloodhound 700x38, 473g.
    • WTB Mutanoraptor Comp 700x45, 550g(?).


    Edit: I suppose 35mm tires might qualify too, especially the Kenda Kross Supreme bogblasters. Too many of those for me to list here though.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 06-13-2006 at 12:38 PM.
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  83. #83
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    I'm building my track bike parts list as we speak, I'm going with 32mm's. I'm not going dirty with this bike, I hope to have pics up while this Thread is still alive!

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    Willits

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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by WillitsBrand.com
    Not a monster cross bike. That's a drop bar 29"er.

  86. #86
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    "Not a monster cross bike. That's a drop bar 29"er."

    I hear you. I think this bike overlaps so many different categories that it sits firmly in the "none-of-the-above" column. It's kind of funny you say that because mine is the first one not to be called a "28-Incher". We'll have a new name soon. Wes built the first 28-Incher in 1988 around a Continental Goliath 700x47 and left some huge clearance. It was based on some early 1900s model touring bike. In the Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles book, there is a 1930s French "camping" bike that looks just like this (minus the ExiWolf).

    I actually just posted this picture with the giant tires to show the clearance. I will probably run it with 700x42s, like I have run my CX bikes for years.

    -steven
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  87. #87
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    [QUOTE=WillitsBrand.comI will probably run it with 700x42s, like I have run my CX bikes for years. [/QUOTE]
    Now yer talkin' monster cross!

    I use 34mm Tufo CX tubulars which are light, hook up pretty well, and last a long time. Plus you can add Stan's and have the best of both worlds.

    That's a nice looking bike, I have pretty much the same size fork on mine (Black Sheep unicrown ti) which I can stuff ~a 2.1 in with very little clearance (400mm axle-crown).

    I never have run anything but the tubies on it, but I guess I could go bigger if I ever got the urge. It's hard thinking about bigger/heavier tires when I can do pretty much everything I want with 400g rims and 400 g tires and the really quick acceleration they give....RC

  88. #88
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    WillitsBrand.com,
    that bike is beautiful!
    I run a San Jose with Paul WORD hubs, Mavic CXP33 rims and Ritchey ZED 700x42. I added a Winwood carbon fork for a little plushness in the front.
    I hope I qualify for "monster"cross.....I ride it all over my local trails in socal, it works great on the hardpack trails and fireroads. I've been thinking of geared CX rig but not sure I am ready to turn from the darkside!

  89. #89
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    here's my rendition

    Rock Lobster...

    Mofo crosser/adventure bike n' what-not.

    It eats and wants your grandma...

    https://www.adventurefind.com/images...teind-copy.jpg

  90. #90
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    Now you are talkin' my language

    $5 bike at a church sale, plus some lovin' =

  91. #91
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    MAckie, are you running a Brake Caliper or a Cantilevers up front? What's the biggest tire you can stuff in there?

  92. #92
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    monster truckin

    Well fewer knobs than I like offroad but it is good all arround. Scwalbe big apples (700x50) replaced that Irc mythos 42's on my surly.
    c_IMGP2754.JPG
    definitley monster - very little room in the rear. Must instert wheel in drops before inflating fully in order to squeeze past the chainstay bridge. Wheel is almost all the way back
    w_IMGP2876.JPG

  93. #93
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    great for combo rides...

    Sorry, I am late to this thread. (Trying to upload pic of my Atlantis with 44's).

    I thought these were coined "Adventure Bikes". Anyways, I have been riding my Montster Cross for combo rides etc... also for less than technical single track. The Midge bars are also a nice fit for this type of bike. The second generation of Atlantis will fit true 29" tires, though with a bit of toe pedal overlap. Typicaly I run 44mm WTB Mutano's on mine. These bikes are a nice fit in the quiver, and are especially good "road" bikes for us mountian bikers that like to find car-free routes. That said, I won't be ditching my full-sus mtb any time soon.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackie
    $5 bike at a church sale, plus some lovin' =
    Mackie, perhaps we ought to take our bargain bikes out to some dirt and see what sort of beating they can take.

  95. #95
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    Can anybody tell me the height of those tyres? Bead to top of thread. Yesterday I measured the room that I have in my old MTB frame and it's about 40 to 45 MM. Is that enough clearance for some of those cross tyres?

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    I like it. Been working on somthing similar. What bars are those? Thought they were upsidedown Mary's but they look silver.

  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riding for Sanity
    MAckie, are you running a Brake Caliper or a Cantilevers up front? What's the biggest tire you can stuff in there?
    It's standard calipers. Because the bike was designed for 27 inch wheels and I now run 700c wheels, I have plenty of room. The 45's from my Redline cross frame fit easily.
    I am in the market for a 700c fork with canti studs & a 1 inch steerer though.

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpinWheelz
    Mackie, perhaps we ought to take our bargain bikes out to some dirt and see what sort of beating they can take.[/IMG]
    Nice ride Spin.
    I take mine on dirt fairly frequently out on Long Island - i ride the Bethpage path up to the White Trail that runs around up there. The bike is great on singletrack as long as it's not too rocky. Where it needs work though is the bar/stem/fork connection. Right now I'm using the stock fork - 1 inch threaded, with a Nasgbar threadless steerer adapter taking me up to 1&1/8th. Then an MTB stem & the Midge bars. Feels nice and tight and smooth, but makes an AWFUL knocking sound when I bunnyhop. Not very reassuring.

    Anyway, where are you riding that nice green machine?

  99. #99
    Sofa King We Todd Did
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mackie
    Nice ride Spin.
    I take mine on dirt fairly frequently out on Long Island - i ride the Bethpage path up to the White Trail that runs around up there. The bike is great on singletrack as long as it's not too rocky. Where it needs work though is the bar/stem/fork connection. Right now I'm using the stock fork - 1 inch threaded, with a Nasgbar threadless steerer adapter taking me up to 1&1/8th. Then an MTB stem & the Midge bars. Feels nice and tight and smooth, but makes an AWFUL knocking sound when I bunnyhop. Not very reassuring.

    Anyway, where are you riding that nice green machine?
    Having only just built it up, I've only taken it on a test ride around a small lake in my town. Unfortunately, it was between rainfalls and the lake is surrounded rocks and roots. Wet rocks and roots on (relatively) skinny cross tires - that was unnerving at best. I think this bike will see the most time on flat(ish) fire roads going up from New Rochelle to White Plains as well as out to Orchard Beach. Pretty much the same sort of ride you're taking with your bike (which you've turned into one tasty ride). Front end setup is somewhat similar to yours. Nashbar threadless stem adapter, hi-rise MTB stem and On*One Midge bars. I'm still having a fair bit of trouble lifting the front end with the Midge bars.

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by nm13
    I like it. Been working on somthing similar. What bars are those? Thought they were upsidedown Mary's but they look silver.
    They're old three speed bars salvaged many years ago and inverted in the above setup. A bit narrow for off road ridding (not enough leverage) but they porovide a couple good hand position for arround town and longer rides.

    I think these are more similar to the old 'preist' bars as oposed to the northroads which are longer and have more sweep.
    kinda like these
    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...vendell12.html
    but with less bar, mine might be a 'kids' version

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