Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How to convert a road bike to a cyclocross bike

This comes up a lot on the cyclocross forums. You want to try out cyclocross but aren’t ready to spend $600 or more on a “real” cyclocross bike. Don’t worry, before about 10 years ago, “real” cyclocross bikes didn’t exist. Or if they did, they were in very limited quantities.

To convert a road bike to a cyclocross bike you’ll need the following:

You CAN use a road bike frame for cyclocross riding! The main issue here is tire clearance. Look for an old steel road bike, ideally one with 27” wheels. 27” wheels are larger than 700c’s and thus you’ll have more room for cyclocross tires. Tip: older Nishiki and Raleigh frames have plenty of clearance for cyclocross (I’ve done it).

If you lucked out, the frame you got has a fork big enough to fit a cyclocross tire in it too! If not, you can simply buy a cyclocross fork. You can even buy a disc front fork if you want!

Use centerpull brakes. They stop really well, are easy to set up, have good mud/tire clearance and are pretty cheap.

Crank Brothers Candy pedals are very popular as are Time ATACs. If you have a mountain bike and like the pedals on it, use the same ones on your cyclocross bike.

Any road wheels will do. If the frame you bought above came with wheels, they will work fine.

Cyclocross Tires:
Get a set of cyclocross tires. You’ll probably need something around 30mm to fit in the frame. Some people are staunch supporters of one brand or another, I’ve never been able to tell the difference.

Integrated shifters like on a modern road bike work great. Though, they are expensive and can break easily. A cheaper and more durable option is bar end shifters. Suntour barends or “barcons” are some of the best.

There you go, hopefully I've demystified the mystery a bit. Let me know by leaving a comment or sending me an email at plusonelap at gmail dot com

Lightweight Cyclocross Bike: Brian's Salsa

Brian sent in his Salsa CX bike:

Hello and thanks for putting together a great blog for a great sport.

Below are the details on the build. I did this on the cheap using lots of old Dura Ace parts. The Dura Ace shifters were bashed up pretty good in a crash so I opted to try out the Campy-Shimano solution and so far I like the notchy feel of the shifts and love that the brake levers are only used to brake; it gets rid of the sloppy feel of the Shimano STI shifters. CX Magazine did a great write up on the details: http://www.cxmagazine.com/shimano-campagnolo-ergopower-compatibility

Frame: Salsa Chili Con Crosso – it was the “Cliff Bar” team edition but was stripped and powder coated.

Fork: Alpha Q CX
Headset: Chris King
Cables/Housing: Gore Ride on for the derailleurs, nothing special for the brakes
Wheels: American Classic Carbon 58 tubular (decals removed)
Tires: Tufo Prestige 32mm
Crank: Shimano Dura Ace 7700 Crank with 46t 39t
Bottom Bracket: Dura Ace 7700
Shifters/Brake Levers: Campy Centaur QS Ergopower 10 speed
Rear Derailleur: Dura Ace 7700
Front Derailleur: Dura Ace 7700
Chain: Sram hollow pin
Cassette: Dura Ace 7700 12-27 9 speed
Pedals: Crank Brothers Egg Beater SL with Ti spindles
Brakes: Origin 8 with TRP Inplace adjust pads
Bars: 3T Ergonova (aluminum)
Stem: 3T aluminum
Seat Post: FSA carbon
Saddle: Cutter (cheap and light 205 grams)

Total weight: 16.75 lbs

Contour HD cams?

Thinking about getting a handsfree HD camera to mount on my bike --- might be cool. Looking at the Contour HD cameras, has anyone used one?


Monday, June 27, 2011

Miir bottles?

They have a ton of color options, anyone ever tried one of these things? Better than a Klean Kanteen?

Says they give back to help keep clean water to African kids, pretty cool.


Fastest rolling resistance road tires

So there's this guy named "AFM"  that measures the rolling resistance of tires and posts his results to Biketechreview.com and other bike forums.

I took his list and made an eBay search tool out of it, so you can search for these quick tires on eBay.

Link to spreadsheet: Google Spreadsheet
Fastest road clincher tires: http://tinyurl.com/3oezmky
Fastest road tubular tires: http://tinyurl.com/3dwxg6x


I created a website to help people find their next used bicycle: www.usedbicyclefinder.com 

I get a lot of questions from people just entering the world of cycling, the site has just the basics up now, but my goal is to add a page a day ---- I have a long list of items to cover!

Check it out: www.usedbicyclefinder.com