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Cyclocross Conversion Advice

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Cyclocross Conversion Advice

Old 10-10-11, 02:02 PM
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lanciat
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Cyclocross Conversion Advice

Looking for recommendations on vintage bikes/frames that can be converted to cyclocross use, or vintage cyclocross bikes.

Any help greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-10-11, 02:21 PM
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mazdaspeed
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I would look at older 700c hybrids. They aren't that heavy, have tons of clearance + canti brakes usually, can be converted to drop bars. Oh and most importantly they are dirt cheap. Besides that your other option would be touring bikes. 27" wheel touring bikes can usually take 700c wheels with tires up to 35c in many cases. Good vintage touring bikes are extremely expensive though, likely you'd either end up devaluing a rare bike or sinking a lot of money into a super heavy frame with geometry that isn't ideal. Still not necessarily a bad option!
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Old 10-10-11, 02:40 PM
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This is my favorite conversion. However, the owner had the cantis brazed on and gave it a make over. Very elegant.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:48 PM
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+1 on the hybrids. There's a thread here on folks that converted several bikes (hybrids, mtbs, tourers) to cyclo-cross config. Some frames are better suited than others. Check frame material, and geometry. Some are relaxed and less suitable.
This is a low cost alternative to trying CX. You can always buy a dedicated CX bike should you deem one necessary.

Bargains are out there....I found a 94 Schwinn Crosscut dirt cheap and was rarely ridden. It's light, and relatively tight geometry wise for such a bike.
I finished reconfiguring it recently and took it out for a shake down ride just yesterday.

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Old 10-10-11, 02:51 PM
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Hybrids I have seen typically have fairly beefy frame, they just were never high-performance bikes to start with. A drop-bar converted hybrid would be fine for casualy gravel-path riding but if you are actually CX racing then a lighter weight frame would be highly recommended if only because you will be lifting the bike over barriers and run-ups several dozen times over a typical race. Touring frames are still fairly hefty and touring geometry is pretty different from optimal CX geometry where you want a bike that can corners and accelerate fast. Most higher end 80's onward road bikes will not have sufficient clearance for wide CX tires (or no mud clearance if you do manage to get the tires to fit without rubbing). An older high-end hardtale MTB can be CX converted but thier geometry is often pretty poor fit for drop bars and MTB tend to have freakishly long top-tubes on comparison to equvalent frame size of a road bike. I have found that high-end 70's era bikes are actually better suited to CX conversion as they often had decent clearance for tires while still offering geometry quicker than you might find on a touring bike. Using a bike orginally designed for 27" wheels, converting to 700c CX tires helps a bit with clearance.
Documentation of my 70's era frame CX conversion is here;
https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ery?highlight=
I just finished our local CX 7-race series riding this frame past weekend, the bike performed very well for me throughout the series.
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Old 10-10-11, 02:57 PM
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Purpose built CX bikes did not start to show up (and were limited to the high-end) until about 1980. It is not until the mid to late 90's that they started to become more common. Some people have taken older frames and simply brazed canti studs to them which works OK. You can use the small burst of 700C hybrids in the early 90's, but you will find that these were sort of based about MTB tubing and are a tad heavier than other options. Trek, Bridgestone, Jamis, others made some good ones. Modern CX bikes seeme to be unusually light, and some seem to think that weight is more important to CX than even road racing. Not sure I agree with this, but it is out there.

FWIW - I did a couple of CX races in the mid-to-late 80's and most of us (non-professionals) were simply using center-pull brakes...not the best option, but it worked. I have since moved to canti's.
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Old 10-10-11, 03:03 PM
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Looks really nice, but racing cross with that saddle to bar drop would be impractical.

Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post


This is my favorite conversion. However, the owner had the cantis brazed on and gave it a make over. Very elegant.
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Old 10-10-11, 08:30 PM
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
Looks really nice, but racing cross with that saddle to bar drop would be impractical.
Impractically awesome.
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Old 10-10-11, 09:14 PM
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All great, quality advice here. I have real XC bikes and wannabes, which get pretty close.

I agree with the hybrid advice here if you are planning to do solo cross (out riding gravel, packed dirt, etc) or, maybe even vintage cross. The MTB option is, as discussed, also available. Yes, TTs can be looong. There is a thread on the MTBR.com vintage forum about drop bar mtbs. There is a forum member here who converted a Trek 660 into a SS CX bike, very nicely, I must say.

Below, my 1988 Fisher ProCaliber converted to trail and path SS bomber. It does very nicely.

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Old 10-10-11, 09:36 PM
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Ha!

It is really cool, I have smashed my nuts too many times on an almost level saddle re-mounts, I can't imagine on this...
Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post
Impractically awesome.
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Old 10-11-11, 12:35 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by vjp View Post
Ha!

It is really cool, I have smashed my nuts too many times on an almost level saddle re-mounts, I can't imagine on this...
Yeah, you'd have to find a log or barricade that you can hop off of. This person must have been a giant.
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Old 10-11-11, 01:20 AM
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Originally Posted by balindamood View Post
Purpose built CX bikes did not start to show up (and were limited to the high-end) until about 1980. It is not until the mid to late 90's that they started to become more common. Some people have taken older frames and simply brazed canti studs to them which works OK. You can use the small burst of 700C hybrids in the early 90's, but you will find that these were sort of based about MTB tubing and are a tad heavier than other options. Trek, Bridgestone, Jamis, others made some good ones. Modern CX bikes seeme to be unusually light, and some seem to think that weight is more important to CX than even road racing. Not sure I agree with this, but it is out there.

FWIW - I did a couple of CX races in the mid-to-late 80's and most of us (non-professionals) were simply using center-pull brakes...not the best option, but it worked. I have since moved to canti's.

You mean like this?



Here's my super-cheapskate Trek 660 to SSCX conversion:



Clearance is a little tight. I'm limited to 30, maybe 32mm tires, but it's quick, light, and a great riding bike. The dropouts have some damage so I will probably have a local frame builder replace them with long track ends. And if I do that, I might as well have some canti bosses brazed on as well.

I don't feel too bad about redoing this frame. It's a Trek 660 so it's no collector's item. I bought the frame on eBay a few years ago for $50 and I've certainly gotten my money's worth out of it as a FG commuter and winter training bike.
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Old 04-12-15, 05:08 PM
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Hello Nice bike.
I have a [h=1]Nishiki Adult Montour Hybrid Bike 2015 700c[/h]
and would like to convert it to a Cyclocross bike is it possible? Thank You JHB
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Old 04-13-15, 02:50 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBloom View Post
Hello Nice bike.
I have a Nishiki Adult Montour Hybrid Bike 2015 700c


and would like to convert it to a Cyclocross bike is it possible? Thank You JHB
Well, you're almost there, considering that it already has v-brakes and tires that could work for CX. The front end, however, needs work. A new fork, stem, drop bars and drop bar levers that pull the necessary amount of cable for v-brakes are likely needed, and this is not a trivial or cheap operation.
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Old 04-20-15, 08:05 AM
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Thank You for the info. I'll look into it.
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Old 05-09-18, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Puget Pounder View Post


This is my favorite conversion. However, the owner had the cantis brazed on and gave it a make over. Very elegant.
Can you tell me exactly what color that is including the paint brand?
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Old 05-10-18, 07:55 AM
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I've been tinkering with this Univega Gran Turismo. Haven't done any CX-style obstacle hopping yet, but it is a pretty fun gravel (and mud) grinder. Like @mazdaspeed said, touring bikes would probably have more value as a touring bike, and they might also have a lower bottom bracket. But if you aren't using them for touring, might as well get them dirty!


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