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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everybody,
I am rather new to the whole road bike gig, and am looking at doing a build with a steel Seven frame (in a little while), and I have a couple of questions:

1) First question:
I would prefer standard road geometry, and although I am not plotting on doing hardcore cyclocross (ie racing), I would still like the bike to have the durability to do the occasional fire-road/gravel path excursion. Aside of the weight and different rake, what would be the pros and cons of using a CX fork on a road bike?

2) Next question:
An eight speed setup is what would I would prefer, but is there such a thing as a high quality 8-speed cassette, one that would aid shifting more so than a uber-ultra 9 speed cassette? And, also, if I was using friction shifters, I could use a derailleur made for more speeds than I had (like a 10-speed derailleur with an 8-speed cassette), correct?

3) Almost done:
I will probably be running either down tube or bar end shifters. I know that for mountain bikes, Avid, as well as a few other brands, makes these clever little brake levers where you can easily adjust the leverage ratio. Is there an equivalent, only-the-brake-lever, of those for road bike world?

4) Last question, I promise:
Does anybody have experience with the DT Swiss RR 1.2 rims?




If nothing else, thanks for taking the time to read a bunch of newbie questions!

David
 

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1) First question:
I would prefer standard road geometry, and although I am not plotting on doing hardcore cyclocross (ie racing), I would still like the bike to have the durability to do the occasional fire-road/gravel path excursion. Aside of the weight and different rake, what would be the pros and cons of using a CX fork on a road bike?

The biggest con is that it doesn't really help. Your average road bike won't have clearance around the brakes and chainstays for anything bigger than a 26 mm tire. Putting a cross fork on will only help at the front wheel. You'll need to make this clear to Seven when you order the frame. They'll likely either spec long-reach sidepull brakes, or for maximum clearance, go with cantis. Also, Seven's standard road frames are built pretty light for that kind of riding. I think you're likely looking at a custom frame. Sevens are sweet bikes, but if your're willing to sacrifice a bit of weight, and some finishing details, there are other builders who can make a very nice frame and fork for under a grand.

2) Next question:
An eight speed setup is what would I would prefer, but is there such a thing as a high quality 8-speed cassette, one that would aid shifting more so than a uber-ultra 9 speed cassette? And, also, if I was using friction shifters, I could use a derailleur made for more speeds than I had (like a 10-speed derailleur with an 8-speed cassette), correct?
e
SHimano's selection of 8-speed cassettes is pretty good, and likely to remain so for a long time. They still make a full range of 7 speeds, so 8s are gonna be around for a while. As to the derailleur, don't worry about it. With one exception (that only applies to older parts), all Shimano rear derailleurs will index with all Shimano shifters, road or mountain, regarless of speeds. As long as the cassette and the sifters match, and you use the right chain, it'll just work.

3) Almost done:
I will probably be running either down tube or bar end shifters. I know that for mountain bikes, Avid, as well as a few other brands, makes these clever little brake levers where you can easily adjust the leverage ratio. Is there an equivalent, only-the-brake-lever, of those for road bike world?

Nope, but as long as you don't use V-brakes, you're fine.

--Shannon
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I lied. More questions.

Wow. Thanks for the response, I appreciate it. Just a couple more questions (yeah, I lied. I pretty much never run out of questions).

So it would probably just be best to go with a Seven cyclocross setup and have it made with road-style geometry, right (although, that is probably a question the Seven guys could answer, when the time comes, but in my opinion, the more opinions the merrier)? Also, which frame builders do you refer to? I have done a fair bit of research, but I can't seem to find a builder with prices under the buck and a half mark.





Thanks again,
David
 

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Pretty much any road bike will work ok for mild off-road riding as long as you stay out of the mud. You might want to run slightly larger tires (and make sure there is frame clearance for 25mm or 28mm tires). But that's about it.
 

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Tire clearance can be designed into (or out of) any frame. Where you locate the fork crown, brake and chainstay bridges matters. The kind of brakes you use matters. The tubing material, dimensions, and wall thicknesses don't. And it's tire clearance, more than any other single factor, which determines a frame's (and thus a bike's) versatility.

Doug Curtlo, Bernie Mikkelsen, and a few others specialize in custom frames for under a grand. You may want to consider that route, as no one that I know of makes a stock bike that rides like a road bike but has clearance like a cross bike. Off-the-shelf cross bikes are going to be a bit heavier. The Jamis Nova is a good example of a road-biased "cross" bike. A nice bike, to be sure, and a steal if you can get one at the end of the year, but a bit overbuilt for what you're talking about.

--Shannon
 
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