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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Alright everybody, I'm done with my first year of college and my first year of road cycling and racing. Wow. What a ride. Loved every second of it, I've been in love with road cycling since I hopped on my bike. It's been great, owe a lot to the RBR community that helped me get into all of it and gave me advice along the way.

So lately I've been thinking

1) CX looks like a helluva lot of fun.

2) I can barely stand the thought of taking my beautiful campy-equipped classic-steel Bianchi on winter roads/salt for winter training.

3) Why not knock two birds down with one stone? Get a CX bike!


So here's my question: I've got a strong-as-hell (and heavy as hell) steel Bianchi frame, lugged, circa mid 1980's I believe, with all modern Campy Centaur carbon 10 speed as my drive train. It's my first road bike, the result of a fantastic ebay find, and I love it to death. I'm taking it across the country this summer.

Could I convert it into a CX bike, or do I need a cross-specific bike? I was thinking that since it's all steel and I'm 140 lbs that maybe it could handle whatever the dirt throws at it; plus it's got ample fork and rear tire clearance. Is this a safe/wise move?

My thought was: buy a sweet new road frame, swap over my parts/drivetrain, and throw on a new veloce group and some random parts on the old Bianchi frame (and get canti brakes worked in and some cx tires) and then I can seamlessly move my 32h open pro/record hub wheelset between bikes at ease. All would be nicely interchangeable and I could always throw on some road tires and take the old bike through a sketchy crit or two.

So question:

1) Is a steel road frame sufficient as a cross frame for me by any stretch of the imagination?

2) Could I run a campy set up CX bike as described?

3) If this won't work, what's the cheapest way for me to get a functional CX bike for racing/winter training that is preferably campy-compatible?
 

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Number 2 on the course.
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The frame is almost certainly strong enough, and Campy is great for CX. The roadblock I see here is the brakes and tire clearance. As ample as the clearance may seem, if it has standard road calipers you are probably not going to fit a CX tire.

If it was built for long reach calipers, you might fit a 32C, but they will get jammed up in any kind of mud. Stopping power won't be great, and you will not be able to remove the wheels with the tires inflated.

You need brake posts to run canti brakes, which would require having them brazed on. Not a huge deal for a frame builder, but probably not the best option for your frame, especially if the frame clearance is too tight to make it worth it.

The easiest thing to do is take your bike to a shop see if they will let you try out a tire or wheelset from a CX bike. If they work, then you are in business. It won't be ideal but it will be fun.
 

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This Bianchi is the same one you're not keen on taking over winter salt, right? If you like it that much, I wouldn't subject it to mud and run-ups either.

Check your local craigslist, find a mid-80s beater that uses centerpulls. Get some knobbies and go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, I'm more worried about the components/drivetrain than anything; and if I were to get a new road frame, suddenly the Bianchi would be a little bit more expendable (in the sense that it can get some scratches on it and a little bit of mud/salt).

Framesaver is my friend I guess.

But from what you are saying I'm thinking my current road frame would have some difficulties adapting to CX; mainly tire clearance and brakes being the issues at hand.

I'll just have to see then; maybe get a new road frame, sell the old road frame, and buy a budget cx frame. Awww yeah bike lust satisfied!
 

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Trying to make that thing work will be a waste of time and money, the tires will hardly fit and when they get muddy they will just sort of stop.

Get some used redline or similar cross bike with aoutthe same top tube as your current, you can find one for $500 or so which is about what't you'd waste trying to get your old bike to work.
 

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Game on, b*tches!
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jroden said:
Trying to make that thing work will be a waste of time and money, the tires will hardly fit and when they get muddy they will just sort of stop.

Get some used redline or similar cross bike with aoutthe same top tube as your current, you can find one for $500 or so which is about what't you'd waste trying to get your old bike to work.
What he said. My 1st cross bikes were just what you suggested; old road bikes. They were OK if there wasn't any mud, but that doesn't happen often. Check the classifieds here. Check e-bay or craig list. You should be able to find something used for not a lot of coin.
 
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