Road to 'cross bike conversion

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by Mark A. Clar » Mon, 20 Mar 2000 04:00:00


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.

Mark Clark

 
 
 

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by Roge » Mon, 20 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Quote:

> 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.

It's expensive to convert a bike with side-pull brakes for cross use,
because cantis are obligatory to get the tyre/mud clearance required.  A
touring bike usually converts OK, if the frame is small enough for cross
use - most people ride fairly large-framed tourers to get a high bar
position.
--
Roger

Web: http://freespace.***.net/roger.cantwell
ICQ: 40038278
*** Please watch the spam trap ***

 
 
 

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by ERus » Mon, 20 Mar 2000 04:00:00

If you want to do a true 'cross conversion you'll need someone to braze on rear
cantilever mounts (or, get a BMX style center pull brake that bolts on) and buy
a fork that has them also.  The next step would be to move your position up and
back a little bit (ala new stem).  Next at bat, change the shifters - bar-cons
my friend.  Get some knobby tires (ask the local 'cross guys/gals what they
use) and you're ready to go.  All of this can be done for less than $200, if
you shop around.  Above all else, feel free to personalize!  Have fun with it.

Ed

 
 
 

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by Ken L » Mon, 20 Mar 2000 04:00:00


Quote:
>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 don't know much about this bike, but check your frame/fork for tire
clearance.  Many road bikes can only accept tires up to 25mm in width,
which is inadequate for rough dirt riding.  You may be able to increase
clearance by getting a new fork, but selling your bike and buying a new one
may be more cost effective than extensive modifications like that.

-------

 
 
 

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by Clint Harsh » Tue, 21 Mar 2000 04:00:00



Quote:
>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.

>Mark Clark

I've done the conversion and I don't recommend it.  I purchased a
used Trek 4xx series road frame, and had split cable guides brazed
on the top tube (which is not a great idea, since you'll be grabbing
the top tube with your right hand and braking with the left hand
during fast barrier dismounts -- you're trying to pull the exposed
brake cable through a gloved hand. A standard top tube 3-eyelet
cable housing routing is best, imho), cantilever bosses brazed on,
crimps for extra clearance at the bb, the brake bridge raised
for more clearance, and the underside of the fork crown was milled
out a couple of mm for additional clearance.

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
tube.

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.


 
 
 

Road to 'cross bike conversion

Post by Mark Schadl » Tue, 21 Mar 2000 04:00:00

Quote:
>>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 did it with an old Bianchi steel frame. I had to replace the fork with a Kona
fork and braze-ons for the rear ders, but that;s pretty much it. It'd be nice
to have more clearance around the chainstays and handling is not as smooth as
an MTB, but it was a fun project...good for unpredictable roads in winter, too.

Quote:
>>>Mark Schadler<<<
><}}'>   ><}}'>   ><}}'>   ><}}'>   ><}}'>  

                  ><}}'> ><}}'>
"Once you have
ruled all of the possibilities, the truth, however improbable, must be
what's left"