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Thread: SS Cross bike

  1. #1
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    SS Cross bike

    I'm going to embark on my winter project soon which will be converting an old road bike junker into a singlespeed cyclocross machine. I'm here looking for suggestions as to what I should do for the cyclocross aspect of the bike, and definately some help or advice for the singlespeed conversion. Or perhaps some paint scheme ideas or even what to call the think when I'm done. Thanks. Her'es the before. I have no idea when the after will come.
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  2. #2
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    That bike reminds me of my first 10 speed, a Concord Freedom 10.

    Here is my suggestion(for what ever its worth!). I would figure out how much you have to spend, as it looks like most of your parts aren't off road worthy, including the wheels. The clearance on the fork looks too small for a knobby cross tire also. I would suspect that fork is not worthy for trails either(unless your really skinny). I do think it would make a fine on road fixie/singlespeed though.

    Good luck, and thanks for sharing.

    MC
    "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it's always 20 years behind the times." Twain

  3. #3
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    You have several options ...

    Use what you have. I assume those are 27" wheels. There are 27" cross tires (check harriscyclery.com) and they might fit, but MCat said, the clearance looks tight. You can also keep the front fork and caliper brakes. I have used old steel road forks for light trail riding, and have only trashed one, which was due to a loose headset, and was my fault. Also, with good pads, you can get decent braking. As for singlespeed, if it is a freewheel hub, you can pick up a freewheel for $20, have it put on, and have the wheel redished. You can also do these things yourself, if you are inclined.

    Option 2, buy new stuff. I would start with 700c wheels. They are a little smaller and should add tire clearance. There are also a larger variety of tires available. You could replace your front fork with something a little burlier, with canti-studs . Of course this means cantis or V's. Oh, and with the 700c wheels, you could either pick up a cheaper set of road wheels and run a cog and spacer kit, or you could get a flip-flop wheelset, run a freewheel, and have the opportunity to run it fixed, should you desire.

    Just have fun, that's what its all about.

    -Rob.

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    Your wheel/tire combination is going to be limited by the clearance of your fork and stays....

    If they are 27" wheels and you wish to change to 700c, brakes often prove to be a limiting factor. If so check out the Rivendell Silver Sidepulls. They may have enough room to make it work.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...product=15-026
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  5. #5
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    old 27" wheeled bikes are GREAT for 'cross or fat tire ss/fixed conversions. ive done a bunch of them myself with outstanding results, even when running knobbies or fatty tires with fenders.

    first of all, get rid of the 27" hoops and get a set of 700c ss flipflops. we sell a very capable set of 700c ss wheels with high flange formula flip hubs and beefy sun rims for around $140, and i can tell you from experience they are plenty stout enough for off road and/or cross duty. im over 200 lbs in gear and thrash them mercilessly with no probs whatsoever.

    this will open up mud/tire room on the fork and seatstay brake bridge, and a set of tektro r556 long reach calipers (approx $60) will work great and offer more than ample clearance for mud, fat tires, and even fenders if you want to commute in the nasty. plus they look great too.

    then ditch your stem and get a profile threaded to threadless stem converter ($12) and add the salsa bell lap cross bars ($66) and favorite threadless stem. the bell lap bars are great because the drops are flared, so when youre riding off road in the drops you dont bash your wrists. i ride my fixed cross bikes on mtn bike trails and turned my wrists black and blue until i found these bars. theyre awesome.

    i would also suggest a set of tektro r200a levers ($26) because they are beefy, have big hoods to hold on to, hood casing is tacky even in the muck, have slightly flared ergo blades that work great with the bell lap bars, and are cheap. they are bascially the same as the cane creek src5 but without the raised geckos on the hood casing and $20 less.

    guzzio makes a great carbon seat post for about $45 that is a big improvement over the steelie.

    which leaves the cranks. cant see them clearly in the picture, but if they are not stamped rings you can just remove the old ones and replace with one in the tooth count of your choice with ss/bmx ring bolts.

    lastly, when you take off the cable routing braze ons be careful if you use a grinder. knock most of it off with a grinder and then do the rest with a hand file. its really easy to go too thin on the tubes. im sure you can guess how i know.

    old steel frames like that make great ss cross bikes, fixies, and ss commuters. one of my favorite bikes to ride was an old, old panasonic v1000 that i converted to a 700c ss. it weighed 26 lbs with pedals but was very springy and comfy and rode like it weighed 10 lbs less. i used to take it on 50-70 mile rides with gearies and we'd average 20mph. gave it to a friend of mine for a futon and have regretted it ever since.

    if you want i can go snap a couple of pics of mud clearance using the above mentioned wheel/brake combo. i have 700x32 bontrager satellites on there now and still have tons of room. in fact i could easily fit much bigger tires AND fenders or a set of huge knobby cross tires and still have plenty of mud room!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  6. #6
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    You are right on about the 27" to 700C conversion. But threadless converter? Cheap CF seatpost? You've got to be kidding.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    You are right on about the 27" to 700C conversion. But threadless converter? Cheap CF seatpost? You've got to be kidding.
    i was right on with all the suggestions.

    generally cross bikes are set up with the bars higher than that of a road bike. the low position of the bars with the current quill will most likely not provide the desired riding position for an ss cross bike. he may get lucky and that quill will be just the right rise and length and he will fit perfectly on the bike, but chances are this will not be the case. thus, the op can either get a quill stem with the desired length/rise or simply get a cheap threadless converter and put a threadless stem in the length and rise that he wishes. it will look better and be stronger than the quill, and since he is repainting it taking aesthetics into consideration is not out of the question.

    the guzzio cf seatpost is a very nice post, and is will be more comfortable than the steelie that is on the bike currently. i have used this post on several bikes and it has performed flawlessly and held up to a great deal of abuse. and it looks nice too.

    perhaps now you would be kind enough to share why you are so aghast that these suggestions were made?
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  8. #8
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    If a new stem is required there are still quills available that will look a lot cleaner than an adapter. True threadless systems are lighter, but I doubt that amounts to much if anything if you are using a threaded steerer adapter. If height is an issue, the Nitto Technomic is a great option. Nitto knows how to make a strong stem and their finishing is top notch. I can't imagine any appeal to aesthetics that wouldn't be fatally marred by one of those adapters.

    As far as the seatpost, it is a moot point because the Guzzio is only made in 27.2 and that frame's ST is too narrow.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    As far as the seatpost, it is a moot point because the Guzzio is only made in 27.2 and that frame's ST is too narrow.
    Hold the phone! I found the Guzzio in other diameters so I will elaborate on why I think it is a bad choice. Aesthetically, it would be all wrong for an old lugged steel conversion. Logically, with the amount of post showing in that picture no cabon post is going to provide a significant (as in perceptible) difference in comfort. Pragmatically, Al is a better choice for a CX bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    If a new stem is required there are still quills available that will look a lot cleaner than an adapter. I can't imagine any appeal to aesthetics that wouldn't be fatally marred by one of those adapters.
    you obviously are not familiar with a threaded to threadless adapter, as they look very clean, sleek, and integrated. ive used them on numerous builds and they have looked great on each one.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    If height is an issue, the Nitto Technomic is a great option. Nitto knows how to make a strong stem and their finishing is top notch.
    in suggesting an adapter and threadless stem it wasnt implied, nor could any reasonably sane person infer, that quill stems are not still available in various lengths and reach.

    having broken a few, i dont particularly care for quill stems (ESPECIALLY for off road or cross duty) and prefer a nice threadless stem to quill any day of the week. there is a reason that the entire bike industry has, for the most part, moved away from quill stems.

    also, with a quill one is limited to standard sized bars, so if one wanted to use an OD carbon bar, or spec zerts bar, or even the OD bell laps they would be out of luck with a quill.

    and lastly if he ever wants to change bars for different riding positions a threadless wins hands down. i have a couple of different bars for one of my old converted 27" bikes (with brakes/levers/cables/housing already on them) and it takes only a few minutes to change the geometry and riding position drastically depending on what im using it for.

    so yeah, it really does make more sense to go with an adapter and threadless stem.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Hold the phone! I found the Guzzio in other diameters so I will elaborate on why I think it is a bad choice. Aesthetically, it would be all wrong for an old lugged steel conversion. Logically, with the amount of post showing in that picture no cabon post is going to provide a significant (as in perceptible) difference in comfort. Pragmatically, Al is a better choice for a CX bike.
    aesthetically it would not be all wrong for an old lugged steel conversion. quill stems look very dated, and some people like that look while others dont. technology marches on, and there it is no more wrong to use use a carbon post in an old lugged steel frame than it is to fit it with modern 700c wheels than it is to make it a singlespeed or a fixie or a cross bike or put a modern carbon threadless cx fork on it or leave the steel fork and use a threadless adapter or whatever else someone can dream up. thats the beauty of building bikes. make it look retro, or moderm, or something in between. besides, he's not restoring the bike, nor is it a concours build, its a fun winter project. its taking a neat old frame and converting it to an ss cross bike, and hes looking for ideas. now he has a few.

    logically, no matter how much post is showing a carbon post will dampen and deflect vibration and buzz that is transmitted to the saddle.

    and pragmatically, al is no better choice for a cross bike than is a carbon post; guzzio or otherwise. since he is going to the trouble of repainting and naming it, i got the idea that he wasnt trying to nickel and dime the project so a guzzio post would be a nice way to add a little bling and comfort to the project for a very, very reasonable price.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    you obviously are not familiar with a threaded to threadless adapter, as they look very clean, sleek, and integrated. ive used them on numerous builds and they have looked great on each one.
    Numerous builds!? "Very clean, sleek, and integrated". Well, whatever floats your boat man. (Yikes)

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    in suggesting an adapter and threadless stem it wasnt implied, nor could any reasonably sane person infer, that quill stems are not still available in various lengths and reach.
    It just did not occur to me that somebody would elect to use an adapter instead of buying a nice replacement quill. They are just that silly looking.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    having broken a few, i dont particularly care for quill stems (ESPECIALLY for off road or cross duty) and prefer a nice threadless stem to quill any day of the week. there is a reason that the entire bike industry has, for the most part, moved away from quill stems.
    Are you suggesting that the reason is strength? Because I think that it is uncool to spread ignorant paranoia.

    Quote Originally Posted by monogod
    also, with a quill one is limited to standard sized bars, so if one wanted to use an OD carbon bar, or spec zerts bar, or even the OD bell laps they would be out of luck with a quill.
    Holy crap -- Zertz!?. Man, I would almost love to see that old Soma built to your spec with the threadless adapter, OS Zertz bars, CF seatpost etc. Morbid curiosity, I guess.

    As always, Monogod, its been a riot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    It just did not occur to me that somebody would elect to use an adapter instead of buying a nice replacement quill. They are just that silly looking.

    Are you suggesting that the reason is strength? Because I think that it is uncool to spread ignorant paranoia.
    Having had two quill stems fail on me in the past three months, I'm not sure its ignorant paronoia. Admittedly, they did not fail as in break, but theres something that's just not cool with trying to trackstand at a light and having the bars move in your hand. ... Or in riding down a hill and the bars just turn on a bump.

    It seems that rain got in the quills and rusted the wedges, which allowed them to spin in the steerer tube, no matter how much it was tightened

    As for the bike ... just build it man! Do it how you want, to do what you want. You will love it! (And post pics when its done)

    -Rob.

  13. #13
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    I converted a 27" Trek into an all purpose commuter / rain bike.
    I used Shimano long reach calipers (I just got a Paul caliper for the front though), and 700c wheels.
    But you can get knobbie 27" tires; I converted a friends old ten-speed into more of a fire-road cruiser for her with them.
    If I were you I'd start with a singlespeed freewheel, re-dish the wheel, add tires, and brakes and hopefully leave it at that.
    As special as your bike is to you, if you throw much more into it, your better off buying something used, complete and ready to go.
    How much does a new Crosscheck go for $750-$800?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by robcycle
    It seems that rain got in the quills and rusted the wedges, which allowed them to spin in the steerer tube, no matter how much it was tightened
    An adapter still has the wedge, so no help there.

    Then there are the two posts on the CX and SS boards in the last few months involving threadless stems that snapped . . .

    Parts break.

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    Quote Originally Posted by robcycle
    Having had two quill stems fail on me in the past three months, I'm not sure its ignorant paronoia. Admittedly, they did not fail as in break, but theres something that's just not cool with trying to trackstand at a light and having the bars move in your hand. ... Or in riding down a hill and the bars just turn on a bump.

    It seems that rain got in the quills and rusted the wedges, which allowed them to spin in the steerer tube, no matter how much it was tightened

    As for the bike ... just build it man! Do it how you want, to do what you want. You will love it! (And post pics when its done)

    -Rob.
    i think you might have overtightened them and bulged your steerer. not really the stem failing, so much as the fork.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Numerous builds!? "Very clean, sleek, and integrated". Well, whatever floats your boat man. (Yikes)
    yeah, numerous builds. too many to recall, actually. i have good luck coming across old bikes.

    and yes... threadless adapters look clean, sleek, and integrated. here is a shot of a 1" threaded to 1.125" threadless adapter with threadless stem.

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010028.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    geez, other than the lock nuts it looks like it IS a threadless fork with spacers!

    could i have gotten the bars in this position using a nitto or other long quill stem? sure. would it look stupid? oh yeah! would it be safe to ride hard on or off road? no. and this is one of the bikes that i do have a couple of different bar setups for and does get ridden off road fixed.

    i dont think youll find anyone what would want to be doing much ss or fixed riding on or off road with that much quill sticking up. not to mention how silly it would look!

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    It just did not occur to me that somebody would elect to use an adapter instead of buying a nice replacement quill.
    so because it never occurred to YOU then its a bad idea? because YOU have never done it then its a bad idea? because YOU have no experience with them its a bad idea?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    They are just that silly looking.
    a picture speaks a thousand words...

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010025.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    another thousand...

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010026.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    a thousand more, cuz i feel chatty today...

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010030.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    what would look silly is a quill stem sticking up that high.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Are you suggesting that the reason is strength?
    absolutely. riding hard on or off road with that much exposed quill stem would be a recipe for disaster.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Holy crap -- Zertz!?. Man, I would almost love to see that old Soma built to your spec with the threadless adapter, OS Zertz bars, CF seatpost etc. Morbid curiosity, I guess.
    yep, it would be a great bike!

    btw, the guzzio post i had in the raleigh got moved to the san jose i just got and i havent had time to pop another one in. its on the short list though, because the guzzio post is way more comfy than the turd thats in there now.

    and yes, the zerts bars are great! i have a couple of bikes with them and they are really comfy. heres a pic of my steamroller with zerts bars. it has really stiff wheels, so the zerts bars made a huge difference in comfort, and they are only about 50 bucks or so.

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010031.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    As always, Monogod, its been a riot.
    couldnt agree more!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    you can get knobbie 27" tires
    true, but the choices and sizes are VERY limited. and i do agree that 27" cross tires would be great for a rain bike or path bike; but you have zero mud clearance unless REALLY skinny tires are used and the original intent was build it up for cross use.

    here are a couple of shots of mud clearance on a 27" bike with 700x32 tires (which are actually about the size of 35's)...

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010027.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i176.photobucket.com/albums/w182/monogod/P1010029.jpg" border="0" alt="Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket"></a>

    with 700 wheels larger cross tires can be used and still have adequate clearance for mud.

    Quote Originally Posted by CB2
    If I were you I'd start with a singlespeed freewheel, re-dish the wheel, add tires, and brakes and hopefully leave it at that.
    As special as your bike is to you, if you throw much more into it, your better off buying something used, complete and ready to go.
    How much does a new Crosscheck go for $750-$800?
    with the parts i mentioned he could spec the bike for less than half that.

    of course, a crosscheck would be a nice bike too!
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Parts break.
    true. but its stupid to intentionally use a part with a greater probability of failure.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  19. #19
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    Yikes -- is that one of the Dimension stems that was recalled a couple years back!? (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml05/05166.html)

    I like mine better, and I have been riding it hard on and off road with quills for years. Heck, it has been riding with quills since 1978!
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  20. #20
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    Just for the record, I won't really compete with this bike. It's just a fun winter project to keep me busy until the trails thaw out. I guess it's really going to be singlespeed, cyclocross oriented bike. I just said it was going to become "a singlespeed cyclocross machine" to spice things up.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntekrony
    Just for the record, I won't really compete with this bike. It's just a fun winter project to keep me busy until the trails thaw out. I guess it's really going to be singlespeed, cyclocross oriented bike. I just said it was going to become "a singlespeed cyclocross machine" to spice things up.

    Good luck with your project. I hope to see a nice photo essay and perhaps a review....
    aLaN AT BikeMojo DOT com

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Yikes -- is that one of the Dimension stems that was recalled a couple years back!? (http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml05/05166.html)
    nope.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    I like mine better
    well, that makes one of us! imho big quills look silly. nice bike other than that.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ntekrony
    Just for the record, I won't really compete with this bike. It's just a fun winter project to keep me busy until the trails thaw out. I guess it's really going to be singlespeed, cyclocross oriented bike. I just said it was going to become "a singlespeed cyclocross machine" to spice things up.
    if you ever use it in the mud, youll appreciate the added clearance of 700c wheels.

    if you never plan to play in the muck then cb2's suggestion of just spinning on a fw on and redishing the rear wheel might be the best route if youre wanting to keep $$$ to a minimum.

    be sure to take some progress shots and update us on the finished build.
    "Knowledge is good." ~ Emil Faber

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