How Do I Do This Cheaply?

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I'm interested in this whole cross thing, but didn't bother to try and race this year because it just didn't work for me. I figure now is the time to start putting something together. It may also come in handy for days like tomorrow, a bit warmer but rainy, when the road bike may not be the best option and the trails are a disaster.

I think I have 2 questions.

1. What is the real difference between a Cross bike and a Road bike?

2. Other than #1, is it really just the tires that make the bike different?

Ok, a third question.

3. How do I get a frame as cheaply as possible?
 

stb222

Love Drunk
Jerk Squad
I think I have 2 questions.

1. What is the real difference between a Cross bike and a Road bike?

2. Other than #1, is it really just the tires that make the bike different?

Ok, a third question.

3. How do I get a frame as cheaply as possible?

Slightly Different Geometry and Beefier to handle some off road abuse, Canti Brakes and pretty much everything else is the same.

You can get a Surly Cross Check Frame and Fork for between 4 and 500 plus cantis, so I am sure there is a cheaper option.
 

ArmyOfNone

Well-Known Member
higher bottom bracket, shorter chain and seat stays are the huge differences I believe. There might be something different with HT angles and other stuff.

Also the tire clearance is bigger than in a road frame. I will say in your shopping to check out what the largest tire you can run. My cannondale is not so super in that the department. It is more of a race setup than it is versatile ie. surly crosscheck.

Salsa makes a few varieties of cross bikes. Not sure on the prices but J is taking orders. :)
 

CrossAddict

New Member
Cross Bikes (buying?)

Norm,

My first cross bike was a Salsa (now owned by EABODS) and that was a sweet machine. The salsa is a little pricey if you are not sure about making the plunge. I would recomend finding a lightly used bike on E-bay to cut your expense. I was sponsored through Skyalnds/Van Dessel last season and I liked that bike (now my pit bike). I know those bikes go pretty cheap on ebay:). If you want to try it out next season I'm positive someone will lend you a bike to race on. Most CX racers are chill like that. Even though the forums have been rocked a little this season. The race scene is reallly cool, especially at the big races. I meen they have beer tents for Gods sake.

Peace norm. :D

-F to the R and Back
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
Norm said:
I think I have 2 questions.

1. What is the real difference between a Cross bike and a Road bike?

2. Other than #1, is it really just the tires that make the bike different?

A CX frame has a more relaxed geometry similar to that of a road touring bike. The tire clearance of the frame and fork are increase to allow for the wider CX tires. CX bike use cantilever brakes.

Norm said:
3. How do I get a frame as cheaply as possible?
There is cheap and there is easy...There is rarely both.

Old 80's touring bikes had cantilever brakes. It is not uncommon to find one at a garage sale or Craig's list. At that point you are often dealing with a bike with old components in some state of disrepair. While it may be cheap, it may not be easy.

There are a number of budget minded complete CX bikes available. Surly, Kona, VanDessel, etc. You could find something in the $700-$1000

Some guys get lucky and the perfect conversion frame fall in their lap. The rest of us have to spend time or money. Which is more valuable to you?

Here is a bonus tip: Fuji bikes through the early '90s were always better than average. The warehouse was in Oakland, NJ until recently so many NJ shops were selling their stuff. If you see a Fuji at a sale...buy it and ask questions later.
 

Maurice

New Member
Put some skinny tires on your 29er, drop bars and you're good to go. Can you lock out your fork? Score a cheap rigid one otherwise. Might also need to use some cheap cable-operated brake calipers. Seriously.
 

axcxnj

Hipster Keys
you can get a low end cross bike from bikesdirect for about 500, ive seen them at races too, theyre not terrible...but not awesome...i got my SS cross bike from there and like it alot.

or ebay/craigslist too...that is always a great resource
 

THATmanMANNY

Well-Known Member
SS = cheap and fun
I was gonna do the bikes direct thing but I managed to score a better deal.
There is plenty of time before cross unless if you are like I need one right now to ride in this oncoming weather. but if not, just wait and be patient and you will find good things. That strategy always works for me.
 

jimvreeland

Endurance Guy: Tolerates most of us.
Put some skinny tires on your 29er, drop bars and you're good to go. Can you lock out your fork? Score a cheap rigid one otherwise. Might also need to use some cheap cable-operated brake calipers. Seriously.

True. This is possibly the least expensive option. Don't even get drop bars, just throw 'cross tires on your 29er and see how it feels. Otherwise, if you want to try racing 'cross, you will need a real 'cross bike, it's just how it goes.

-Jim.
 

pixychick

JORBA: Ringwood
JORBA.ORG
I know noting about this, but if I had a 29er mountain bike, that would be my choice. Save your money for beer or a real CX bike once you enjoy a whole season, unless you just need an excuse to get another bike, which is cool too.

I usesd my trail maintenace bike at my first race. Ok, I may have been a fool out there, but it did the job and was cheap 0$. I think it gave me a taste of the sport. :hmmm:
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
The salsa is a little pricey if you are not sure about making the plunge. I would recomend finding a lightly used bike on E-bay to cut your expense.

If you want to try it out next season I'm positive someone will lend you a bike to race on.

I'm sure I could ask any number of people to borrow one, especially now that the season is over. But I figure worst case I use it on crap days and it will be worth having my own. I'd just as soon find someone here selling something or go eBay just to get started.

Some guys get lucky and the perfect conversion frame fall in their lap. The rest of us have to spend time or money. Which is more valuable to you?

I'm fine with a project, since I usually try to do something every winter. I guess the question I would have is this. Is there any obvious downside to taking the backup road bike I have on the trainer and slowly turning it into a cross bike? Basically, put cross tires on it now and go from there. Then work on the brakes. Then swap out the frame, etc etc. I know the answer is no other than the frame possibly not being beefy enough to handle me taking it up to LM (or even CR?) and riding it on the trails there. I'm not going to be racing it in mud so the clearance issues etc really aren't a big deal right now.

Put some skinny tires on your 29er, drop bars and you're good to go. Can you lock out your fork? Score a cheap rigid one otherwise. Might also need to use some cheap cable-operated brake calipers. Seriously.

I don't really want to do a swap-frame-parts situation. I'd just as soon do the mess outlined above.

There is plenty of time before cross unless if you are like I need one right now to ride in this oncoming weather. but if not, just wait and be patient and you will find good things. That strategy always works for me.

I can be patient but I also want to be economical. This isn't an axle I can hide from the wife so I need to be able to do it cheaply, for now.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I know noting about this, but if I had a 29er mountain bike, that would be my choice. Save your money for beer or a real CX bike once you enjoy a whole season, unless you just need an excuse to get another bike, which is cool too.

My aim. Tomorrow is going to be something like 35 degrees and raining when I go out to ride. I'd prefer not to take the road bike. I'm trying to put something together that I can take though the dirt road in the swamp then up to LM to ride around a bit and maybe up/down Patriot's Path. IOW, I'm not looking to race it just to get a bike for the conditions of tomorrow. I also prefer not to ride my MTB on the road like I've been doing.

Ok, maybe there's a hint of an excuse to morph into another bike. But that's not the main reason. :)
 

Maurice

New Member
Norm,

I don't know about your backup bike, but cross tires wouldn't fit my road bike, not even close.

Also, a 'cross bike is fun on the race course, but the fun IMO is 90% in the course design. Elsewhere, I'm not too sure. Before dumping money on it consider that.

I got mine because my old commuter disintegrated, and commuting on my road race bike on dirt roads was not good for my teeth fillings.

A 'cross bike with road tires rides just like a road bike, so I intend to ride mine through the winter and bad weather. It's heavier and I'm not afraid to take it on gravel and such. The other day I forgot I had road tires on and pinch-flatted both tires bunny-hopping some rocks...

Cheers,

Maurice
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I have no budget, per se. But that's a good next question. I don't know any cross frames off the top of my head other than Surly Cross Check. I see that frame for around $400. I don't think I want to spend that for a frame.

I'd like to pick up a used frame/fork/headset/stem/bars for something like $200-$300? Am I totally off on that?
 

BiknBen

Well-Known Member
... Surly Cross Check. I see that frame for around $400. I don't think I want to spend that for a frame.

I'd like to pick up a used frame/fork/headset/stem/bars for something like $200-$300? Am I totally off on that?

http://www.chucksbikes.com/

2008 Tsunami Cross Frame
7005 aluminum alloy. Standard frame not compact. The painter put the wrong decals on this frame. Comes with carbon fork, integrated headset and ISIS Italian thread BB.
Price $295.00
 
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