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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    183

    Dreaming of a new cross bike

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    This weekend, I experienced pinch flat #2 in my short racing career. I'll definitely be running higher tire pressures for the rest of the season, but I'm already thinking about next year's bike. This year's bike was a Craigslist buy - a basic Redline that someone's kid had outgrown. Next year, it will be a bike more of my choosing. So here's what I'm thinking so far:

    • Nicer (lighter) wheels - either tubular or tubeless
    • Rival or 105
    • I'm thinking of only running 1 chain ring in the front. I never shift, so it seems like a waste to carry 2
    • Lighter frame that fits me better - this one is a touch on the big side. Might have to go custom to make this happen
    • No more brakes on the top bar (not sure what those are called) I never use them


    What would be on your bike if you were outfitting one from scratch?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    92
    I'd just love to get my hands on a cyclocross bike period. But they're pretty expensive and hard to find in my size (I'm only 5'2). If I had the money I'd start off with a Ridley Crossbow I think.

    I don't get the extra break levers that some cross bikes have. Seem pretty useless to me. If you're in a situation where you need to break I'd think you're much more likely to have your hands on the hoods and not on the top of the bars.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    2,704
    Get the Rival. If you like the way SRAM shifters shift compared to Shimano, you can't go wrong with Rival. Way nicer than 105 IMO.

    I don't race cross (never even tried it ), so I'm no help on the rest of your decisions.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    64
    Quote Originally Posted by tjf9 View Post
    This weekend, I experienced pinch flat #2 in my short racing career. I'll definitely be running higher tire pressures for the rest of the season, but I'm already thinking about next year's bike. This year's bike was a Craigslist buy - a basic Redline that someone's kid had outgrown. Next year, it will be a bike more of my choosing. So here's what I'm thinking so far:

    • Nicer (lighter) wheels - either tubular or tubeless
    • Rival or 105
    • I'm thinking of only running 1 chain ring in the front. I never shift, so it seems like a waste to carry 2
    • Lighter frame that fits me better - this one is a touch on the big side. Might have to go custom to make this happen
    • No more brakes on the top bar (not sure what those are called) I never use them


    What would be on your bike if you were outfitting one from scratch?
    I'm debating right now b/c mine is too small I believe. BTW, KrisL I'm nearly 5'4" and may sell my Jamis Nova frame/fork. It's not light but it is steel and it's real! I just realized after riding more that I think it's too small. Not sure if I'll try to ride the season out on it or not. I need to decide what to do and may just go Jake the Snake frame fork at 47 and move my stuff over to keep it cheap. I've just realized after much thought that both my road bike and my cross bike are a tad too small for me. I need some room to stretch out. I also want to be a bit more aggressive with the fit now that I ride more and race a bit.

    If starting from scratch I'd seriously consider the single chainring too. I NEVER shift into that big ring and I run a 46/34! I'd maybe go with a 42 with some extra gearing in the back if that makes sense or is even possible. I don't have top bar breaks and don't see the need for them. In a perfect world I'd go Zipp 404 tubulars....someday....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    996
    I 2nd the suggestion to get SRAM Rival. Personally, I think that it's the best bang for your buck.

    I run a single ring- I go with a 40t (and 11-26 in the rear), and even the one time I've had to sprint in a race, I have never felt the need for a larger gear (though on Saturday, there was a loooooong, muddy hill, and I would have loved to have had a 36t up there). If you go single ring, it's a good idea to have a couple of options and get proficient at swapping them out on the road.

    Personally, I prefer tubeless wheels. They're a little lower maintenance and cheaper than tubular. If you go the tubeless route, I HIGHLY recommend Hutchinson Bulldog tires. I've been using them for the last two seasons and I've never ridden them in a situation where I've wanted something else- they seriously rock on on anything from gravel to singletrack to grass to any type mud you can imagine. It's nice to be able to run 25psi and not worry about pinch flats!
    Along the same lines, there are some tubeless-specific rims (or pre-built wheelsets if you like that better) that can be run either tubeless or with tubes. You can also purchase a kit from Stan's NoTubes that allows you to convert any clincher wheels into tubeless. This is good, though it's a bit of a crapshoot as to whether your tires will seal up well and not "burp" air when under stress- some rims do a lot better than others. I've been lucky- I have a cheap-ish set of Zero A028 wheels that have been awesome. On the other hand, my Mavic Open Sport wheels that I use for single speed don't do so well.
    Tubular tires tend to be more expensive. I've installed both tubeless and tubulars, and I don't think that anyone would disagree that tubular gluing is more labor intensive. The trade-off is that they are lighter, you can run any tire pressure you want, and you don't have to worry about "burps."

    Keep an eye out for end-of-season frame specials. Cyclocrossworld.com usually has some great ones.

    Hope this helps!
    Because not every fast cyclist is a toothpick...

    Brick House Blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Portland
    Posts
    183
    Thanks for all the input. (I'm still open to ideas cause I won't be buying a new bike until next year some time).

    The tubular vs tubeless feedback is especially helpful. That seems to be the hottest debate in cross right now! I'll definitely be on the lookout for sales and take advantage when I can.

 

 

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