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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i've never raced cross but i would like to give it a shot this fall. I plan on peaking late in the year and it would be nice to carry some good form into cross season.
I don't have a cross bike at the moment and I'm not sure what makes a bike a good cross bike. I have an old schwinn caliente that I have started building up as a commuter. (tired of taking my race bike into the city). I know what makes a good good commuter but I'm clue-less about cross. I watched one race last year and to be honest was totally focused on the hot chicks racing and not the machine.....
So tell me oh wise ones. What do I need to change on this bike?
 

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I don't know much about your bike, but if it is anything like the ones I saw when I Googled it then I would say you might want to consider another starting point for a serious cross racing bike. Does it have cantilever brakes? Are your races muddy, and if so does your bike have plenty of mud/tire clearance? What is your gearing?
 

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Unless you ride it in dry conditions and can squeeze in at least a 28 tire, I'd probably save my pennies (if you have a real panache for punishment, or simply don't give a ****, go for it). I've tried using a road bike a few times and it sucked hard as soon as I hit anything resembling slop. I've had everything and I mean everything clogged up so badly, that the wheels wouldn't even turn when I tried spinning them by hand. With clearance that small (typical road bike), you're going to have a hard time finding useful tires that will get you some grip and control outside of dry grass / packed dirt. Gearing might be a real problem to depending on your local course design. You might be forced to do a lot of running if you don't have some low gears.

Basically, you want a bike that can take fatter tires (that's your shocks), is reasonably light (for carrying and stuff, otherwise it's pushing time), and is geared for the terrain you're riding in (typical road gearing is way, way too high). There's a lot of other things but, you don't really need a lot to do cross. I really feel that cross is pretty gear dependent. Without the tools, you really can really suffer. It blows when you're watching people you know you'd crush on the road fly by you, while you're floundering helplessly.

It's an awesome genre and you feel like you're 12 again (unless you're suffering then you feel old) flying around in the grass.
 
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