I have been thinking of converting an older road bike that I have
(Performance Vitesse w/ Shimano 105 7 speed) to a cyclocross bike. Has
anyone done this? Is it practical or should I just shop for a true
'cross bike? Thanks.
> I have been thinking of converting an older road bike that I have
> (Performance Vitesse w/ Shimano 105 7 speed) to a cyclocross bike. Has
> anyone done this? Is it practical or should I just shop for a true
> 'cross bike? Thanks.
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You'll have a bike that handles well on pavement, but as soon as
you hit the off-road technical sections, you'll find the steering
to be overly twitchy. The time and expense just were not worth
it for me in retrospect. Perhaps the 'cross courses where you
live have no real technical sections -- if that's the case, then
you may want to consider the project -- otherwise, I recommend
an affordable complete bike or frame designed for the task.
After selling the 'cross project bike, I bought a stock Fuji
'cross bike. The improvement in off-road handling was amazing.
The bb is roughly an inch higher than on a road bike, the
wheelbase is a bit longer, and there is gobs of room for
fat tires, such as 35mm knobbies. The project bike was limited
to the old Specialized 700x25 Tri-Cross tires with just 1 mm of
fork crown clearance.
If you're looking to hold expenses down, try finding a slightly
used Fuji, Redline, or Trek 'cross frame and move old parts over
to it. For me, the Fuji has worked very well, with one caveat:
the top tube cable routing is at 7 o'clock on the top tube -- which
is right where you'll shoulder the bike. It is different than in
the brochure's picture. That is not a big issue in use, but if
I could build my own frame, I'd duplicate the Fuji's geometry
with full-length brake housing routing at 12 o'clock on the top
After spending a couple of months getting the project bike ready,
racing it for a few months, and switching to a dedicated 'cross
bike, I can say the Fuji is a better performer and a better value,
than the road-bike-to-'cross-bike conversion project.