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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
tempted in buying a 2006 Bianchi San Jose single-speed
can single-speed cross bikes be "competitive" on a novice 'cross race?
can i add rear dererailleur & cassette later to a 'cross bike like the San Jose if the steep hills strain my knees?
should i just ride my 24# hardtail mtb in a cross race, before i buy a cross bike?
my road bike only takes 25mm tire.
 

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Singles are good

in really bad conditions and courses that suit them. I know alot of fast SSers, if you are fairly light and can ride a SSMTB you shoulk be fine. I don't think the SanJose can go geared but there are a few CX bikes out there that can be run either way.
 

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TrailNut said:
tempted in buying a 2006 Bianchi San Jose single-speed
can single-speed cross bikes be "competitive" on a novice 'cross race?
can i add rear dererailleur & cassette later to a 'cross bike like the San Jose if the steep hills strain my knees?
should i just ride my 24# hardtail mtb in a cross race, before i buy a cross bike?
my road bike only takes 25mm tire.
Like ATP said, the San Jose only goes single (or fixed). Still, it would probably be a fun bike. I've been tempted to buy one and swap out the rear wheel with one that goes fixed or free.

As long as you are reasonably fit, a SS will be fine for racing from entry level to elite. How competative you can be depends on typical courses in your area, your fitness, and how well you run. Single speeds certainly require a whole lot less maintenance over the course of a season ...
 

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steel road, fixie, & MTB
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
single speed or fixed-speed?

for xc mt. biking racing, a free wheel is essesntial (geared or not) if you don't want your tender foot to smash onto shap rocks at high speeds (our in-step bones, top of feet, are rather fragile), but for 'cross copurse where I hardly would image to see rock that jut out above teh bottem bracket, which is preferable: single speed or fixed-speed?
 

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TrailNut said:
for xc mt. biking racing, a free wheel is essesntial (geared or not) if you don't want your tender foot to smash onto shap rocks at high speeds (our in-step bones, top of feet, are rather fragile), but for 'cross copurse where I hardly would image to see rock that jut out above teh bottem bracket, which is preferable: single speed or fixed-speed?
SS is preferable to fixed gear. However, you would get mad props for running fixed. A very few folks do race cross with fixies ...

Plus, here's a bunch of dudes dedicated to riding fixed on the trail ...

http://www.63xc.com/index.htm
 

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Running dismount with a fixed gear?

Gripped said:
SS is preferable to fixed gear. However, you would get mad props for running fixed. A very few folks do race cross with fixies ...
How do you do a running dismount with a fixed gear? I can see that a fixed gear is only a slight hinderance for a remount, but how do you hop off a fixed gear at full speed and hit the ground running?
 

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you 'ride' the crank

for half a Revolution. we have a guy out here who finishes top 10 (usually top 5, sometimes 1st) in Men's Elite racing a fixed. It is so fun to watch him slowly eat up guys
(he lacks the gearing for a fast start and just slowly passes everybody)
he races SS sometimes, wins at will. at state Champs he rode tempo for a Teammate in the SS class and then let his pal take the jersey.
 

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Mark McM said:
How do you do a running dismount with a fixed gear? I can see that a fixed gear is only a slight hinderance for a remount, but how do you hop off a fixed gear at full speed and hit the ground running?
It's not that hard. Same way you do with a freewheel just got to pay more attention to the timing. The rotating pedal actually helps eject your left foot off in a little pre-run boost. I ride my fixed rigid mountain bike both on technical single track and 'cross and it's not really harder, just different. Granted, I'm not that fast either but that has more to do with the motor.

Tony Smith, from San Diego, is a monster when it comes to fixed 'cross. I learned how to do a dismount from watching him.

If you really want to be competitive then go with a freewheel; take the rests when you can. If you just want to ride for fun (in a painful 'cross kind of way) then ride whatever puts a smile on your face (when your not puking).
 

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Yea, I do it on my fixed commuter. If I can do it, anyone can. As far as SS being competitive, a kid on a SS won one of the "C" races I did last season.
 

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Yes and NO

TrailNut said:
tempted in buying a 2006 Bianchi San Jose single-speed
can single-speed cross bikes be "competitive" on a novice 'cross race?
can i add rear dererailleur & cassette later to a 'cross bike like the San Jose if the steep hills strain my knees?
should i just ride my 24# hardtail mtb in a cross race, before i buy a cross bike?
my road bike only takes 25mm tire.
Yes you can be quite competative on a ss cross bike and no It doesn't look like the san jose can be run geared cause of the ss dropouts and lack of a derailer hanger. A cross check can be used both ways though. YOu might want to try your mountain bike first in a race, but if you get used to a ss cross bike you will be faster on a ss cross bike at about 20lbs or less( not hard to acheive even with a cross check frame and fork)then with a geared 24# mt bike.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
swap out the rear wheel with one that goes fixed or free

Gripped said:
...swap out the rear wheel with one that goes fixed or free...
i've learned that there're such a rear wheel, which is th way to go...try both and see.
so with a fixed, i can remove the rear brake?
 

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TrailNut said:
i've learned that there're such a rear wheel, which is th way to go...try both and see.
so with a fixed, i can remove the rear brake?
Flip flop hubs are pretty common.
Yes you can remove the rear brake if you run it fixed. I actually can't stand the feel of using a rear brake, locks up the rear wheel too easily off-road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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TrailNut said:
tempted in buying a 2006 Bianchi San Jose single-speed
can single-speed cross bikes be "competitive" on a novice 'cross race?
can i add rear dererailleur & cassette later to a 'cross bike like the San Jose if the steep hills strain my knees?
should i just ride my 24# hardtail mtb in a cross race, before i buy a cross bike?
my road bike only takes 25mm tire.

Single speed can be real competitive and not just in novice. The guy who has the Florida 45+ championship jersey won several of those races on a SS mountain bike with a rigid fork.

Ron
 

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I saw some adaptor thingy to get a der hanger on track ends over at mtbr.com a few weeks back. I was trying to find the thread but couldn't. You'd still have to deal with the cable routing.
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
I saw some adaptor thingy to get a der hanger on track ends over at mtbr.com a few weeks back. I was trying to find the thread but couldn't. You'd still have to deal with the cable routing.


from On-One.

Their site isn't loading in at the moment but once it does the image and link will work.
 

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TrailNut said:
tempted in buying a 2006 Bianchi San Jose single-speed
can single-speed cross bikes be "competitive" on a novice 'cross race?
can i add rear dererailleur & cassette later to a 'cross bike like the San Jose if the steep hills strain my knees?
should i just ride my 24# hardtail mtb in a cross race, before i buy a cross bike?
my road bike only takes 25mm tire.
The San Jose is based on the Volpe frame ... why not just get the Volpe? It has horizontal dropouts too, just the forward-facing kind traditional on older road bikes rather than the rear-facing fork ends traditional on track bikes. I ran my Volpe as a singlespeed commuter for a couple of years with a variety of gear combinations, and it worked great. Even did my only-ever 'cross race on it singlespeed, with a 38x18 gear (can't race now due to neck injuries).

The Volpe's dropouts are only 1/2" long (vs. 1" for the San Jose), but that's still long enough to run any gear combination you want, and forward-facing makes for much easier tire changes than rear-facing. The Volpe also has a derailer hanger if you decide to run gears later, and its slanted dropout allows for gear changes without readjusting the brakes -- something that is definitely not true of truly horizontal rear-facing drops.
 
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