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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    32

    Frankenbike for cross? Help? tips?

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    Been getting miles on my new Terry road bike and have always wanted to compete in cross.

    Finding a bike in my size was already difficult. I have a 43cm Terry with 650c wheels and even during the fitting they had to jam the stem all the way down.

    I ave a single speed I built up but I ended up giving to my brother because it was too big. It was a 49cm with 700c wheels with annoying toe overlap.

    I have a old Schwinn Caliente that I converted years ago to a single speed because I got tired of the shifting not working. I used to commute on it until I got a new road bike recently. So now the Caliente is just sitting and in the garage so maybe it can be good to build a frankebike for cross? The bike as 24" wheels. Would I put 24" wheels or even be able to put 650b wheels on it? Would I have a disadvantage in racing (not that I care)? Would I have to get a new fork?

    I suppose my other option is to look on CL and find a frame small enough for me and build up from there? It could be a fun project. I have heard that I should just find a mountain bike frame and do that instead of the Schwinn but they never told me why.

    I probably won't have anyone to help me with this project since no one I knows enjoy bikes the same way I do. I honestly don't know where to start though, like what parts to get and what not.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Just today I saw a 46 cm cross bike (or at least a frame) on eBay. Might still be too large if your road bike is a 43. Couldn't you build up a small mtn bike frame with drop bars and 26" wheels?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    32
    I shoudl also mention they put me on the smallest surly crosscheck and their long haul and they ended up being too big as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    perpetual traveler
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    I was just working on my sister's old Schwinn Caliente juvenile which has the 24 inch wheels. That bike is a tank. The wheels are chrome and you have to really have the brakes set close and the wheels super true for them to work at all well. Even with Koolstop pads the braking is inferior. I am very short, 4'10.5", and also ride a 43cm bike with 650 wheels. Even I find the handlebars uncomfortably narrow on the Caliente. However, it is kind of nice to have such a small frame. But, if you are going to use it for cross you will need to have better brakes and wheels than what they came stock, if your bike has similar components to my sister's. You also won't want the original Schwinn wheels because you will be limited in what tires you can use anyway.

    I look at the bike and sigh. It just isn't that great of a bike.

    I'd go for a mountain bike frame. I just bought for fifty dollars an older Trek 800 mountain bike with no suspension in a 13" frame. That would work far better for cross than the Caliente. Though it is almost as much of a tank as the Caliente.

    You could look at juvenile cross bikes as well. For example: http://www.rei.com/product/795151/no...525-_-10456937

    Or a 24 inch wheel bike from Kona that a friend tried to persuade me to get: http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=jake_24
    Last edited by goldfinch; 11-05-2012 at 04:38 PM.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    32
    I know what you mean about the Caliente. It's heavy as heck. In the rain it's not that great even with Koolstop pads. I'm 4'11" and find the bars fine for myself.
    I think the bike has all original components. Would 650b wheels work for them? do I have to get a new fork?
    I thought about going to the community bike center and stripping all the parts...if I don't use it for cross I guess I could turn it into a a fixed gear for fun as well.

    I think I will go the mountain bike route. Do I just check on craigslist? How do I knwo if the frame they are selling is in good condition? Maybe the community bike center will have a few mountain bike frames my size. I will check them out some time.
    Can I just put drop bars on the mountain bike?
    I don't think I will get a cross bike at this time. Just considering my options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West MI
    Posts
    4,308
    Oooh ooh ooh, you should get a Redline Conquest 24. Our 11 year old son has one and loves his. At nearly 5' he'll likely outgrow it in the next year, but right now it fits him perfectly. A neighbor girl of ours is maybe 5'1" and it fits her pretty well, too.


    It's a really sweet bike for the money. Not super lightweight, but I don't think you'll find anything much lighter in that kids' 24" class of bike. It has nice enough components, though. Things you could always upgrade in time and that would save you some weight.
    Kirsten
    run/bike log
    zoomylicious


    '11 Cannondale SuperSix 4 Rival
    '12 Salsa Mukluk 3
    '14 Seven Mudhoney S Ti/disc/Di2

  7. #7
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    Apr 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by amyp View Post
    I know what you mean about the Caliente. It's heavy as heck. In the rain it's not that great even with Koolstop pads. I'm 4'11" and find the bars fine for myself.
    I think the bike has all original components. Would 650b wheels work for them? do I have to get a new fork?
    I thought about going to the community bike center and stripping all the parts...if I don't use it for cross I guess I could turn it into a a fixed gear for fun as well.

    I think I will go the mountain bike route. Do I just check on craigslist? How do I knwo if the frame they are selling is in good condition? Maybe the community bike center will have a few mountain bike frames my size. I will check them out some time.
    Can I just put drop bars on the mountain bike?
    I don't think I will get a cross bike at this time. Just considering my options.
    There are challenges in converting mountain bike bars to drop bars. Brake lever compatibility--road levers are not easily compatible with mountain brakes. You probably will have to use bar end shifters. A new stem likely would be required. The end geometry might be quirky. The better idea may be to keep the flat bar and get a light weight mountain bike that can be carried and put skinnier, slicker tires on it. Try that out and if you like cross go ahead and buy a cross bike, maybe a juvenile, at that point.

    But I don't ride cross so I may be full of it.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Zoom-zoom hit this nail on the head - go check out the Redlines. Here in the Northeast, we have a number of juniors who are shorter than you riding these bikes.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,449
    Quote Originally Posted by amyp View Post
    I shoudl also mention they put me on the smallest surly crosscheck and their long haul and they ended up being too big as well.
    The smallest made? Or the smallest they had in the shop? Makes a difference.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    The smallest made? Or the smallest they had in the shop? Makes a difference.
    From her road bike size, I'm going to say the smallest made. I'm 5' even, with a short reach. I would not fit on any Surly - last time I looked, every model in the smallest size is too long in the top tube for me, way longer than a short stem would ever fix.

    She also would likely never fit on an adult size cross bike - a 46 cross bike is probably more like a 50 road bike - they measure out "smaller" because the bottom bracket is higher, making the seat tube shorter, but the rest of the geometry is more like a much larger bike. I ride a 44cm road bike with 700's, or a 47cm road bike with 650's. I can barely stand over a 44cm Redline and the reach is way longer than I can tolerate. I have a conquest 24 to mess around on. It is a little small. It's the only bike I've ever had that I've had to put a long stem on (I think I've got a 100mm on there) and it is heavy, but it works to have a little fun on.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
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    5,226
    +2 on the 24"-wheel Redline Conquest. I bought one for my niece a few years ago and it's a nice bike. Not a dumbed-down kid bike at all.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    32
    what is considered a "junior"?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,389
    Quote Originally Posted by amyp View Post
    what is considered a "junior"?
    In the racing world, as Shefly used it, a "junior" is anyone under the age of 19. There are restrictions on the gearing that kids can use to race with, and it varies with age.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Suburban MA and Western ME
    Posts
    1,822
    Sorry - as Eden clarified, I did mean racing juniors. And for us, it's mostly 10-14 year olds that are riding that sized frame. For CX racing, there are no gear restrictions, only for road racing so gearing would not be an issue.

    SheFly
    "Well behaved women rarely make history." including me!
    http://twoadventures.blogspot.com

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    32
    Ooohhhh I'm not that young! I probably look like a 15 year old though haha. has anyone (ages 20+) ever competed with the redline conquest 24 with adults?

 

 

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