Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone know much about the Gunnar Crosshair bike. I have never owned a CX bike before and am looking for something to travel with...S&S couplers. I race road and ride a 54cm top tube bike and want something with a similar feel. The bike will also be used for trails in Northern California, mostly jeep roads, no too much rough single track. List of questions: Gunnar fork vs. Winwood Carbon? Avid shorty vs. Paul Neo Retro? What crank and ring size (don't want triple)? Do headsets take extra abuse since no front susp? which headset? Overall impression of bike if people have spent much time on one. Thanks for your advice, John
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
jjscarf said:
Does anyone know much about the Gunnar Crosshair bike. I have never owned a CX bike before and am looking for something to travel with...S&S couplers. I race road and ride a 54cm top tube bike and want something with a similar feel. The bike will also be used for trails in Northern California, mostly jeep roads, no too much rough single track. List of questions: Gunnar fork vs. Winwood Carbon? Avid shorty vs. Paul Neo Retro? What crank and ring size (don't want triple)? Do headsets take extra abuse since no front susp? which headset? Overall impression of bike if people have spent much time on one. Thanks for your advice, John
I've ridden a Crosshairs but don't own one. I like the ride of steel and think it's a good all around, multi purpose cross bike. I believe they've designed it so that it can be used as a fire road bike, commuter, light tourer and century style road bike. I believe the fork is made by Chris Kelly rather than Gunnar. I have a Gunnar RockTour with a Kelly fork and don't care for the fork. It's exceptionally rigid. I replaced it with a Vicious Cycles fork which is much more compliant and comfortable. However, it must be said that my Kelly fork on the Rock Tour was designed for disc brakes and the Vicious fork was designed for Vbrakes/Canti's. I'm not real keen on the service of Gunnar. However, I think the CrossHairs is a good bet.

Aside from a Lemond Poprad, I'm not sure where you'll find a less expensive steel, Reynolds 853 frame.

I ride a Steelman Eurocross. It's the best handling cross bike I've ever ridden. Period. I used to be a road racer and wanted something that felt like a road bike but was more versatile for fire road and commuting use. It rides like a road bike and accepts larger tires for the occasional junket off road. They're more expensive than the Gunnars, but I wouldn't get anything else. Mine is Reynolds 853 tubed, but Brent now uses True Temper tubes. www.steelmancycles.com

BTW, I use Paul canti's. Best canti, IMHO. I briefly tried a Wound Up carbon fork but didn't care for it. I returned to my Steelman steel fork. It's heavier, but rides MUCH better.

Good luck.

PS. One final thought. If you're after an S&S coupled bike, you may want to try out CoMotion cycles. They do lot's of S&S stuff and make great steel bikes.
 

·
Cyclocross is Seasonal?
Joined
·
711 Posts
Crosshairs

I've had a crosshairs now for three years I think. It's a nice bike. The top tube is longer than most cross bikes (my 52 cm has a 55.5 TT) which I liked a lot for long road rides and faster cross courses.

I like the bike a lot. It was my road bike until I bought a real one, but it also had great trail manners. For your purposes, the crosshairs would be a nice do it all bike.

As to the fork question... Waterford now makes the fork for the crosshairs. In the earlier models the waterford fork was an option, but not widely available. If you look at old photos of the crosshairs from the Gunnar site there's a Kinesis aluminum fork on the bike. Gunnar changed their geometry a bit recently. They have shortened their forks axle to crown height to around 383 mm. Richard Schwinn told me this was to eliminate brake chatter. I'm pretty sure the Winwood cross fork is 395-400 mm axle to crown so you will be changing the desired handling of the bike if you go with the fork. The rake for both forks is the same (45); however the difference in height will probably slow down handling a bit.

I have an older crosshairs that uses a higher fork height, and I spoke to Richard about the carbon forks he recommends for the bike. (I'm replacing a custom IF fork) He recommended the Alpha Q CX fork over my other choices (Winwood, Wound Up) because the increased rake of the fork (47) compensates a bit for raising the front end up a few millimeters. The frame is still at the painter's so I haven't had a chance to try out the new set up, but it will be cool.

So... if weight isn't a huge concern (and the Winwood fork is heavy!) I'd go with the gunnar fork.

For a measly $1000 Gunnar will make you a custom frame to work with whatever fork you want.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Vegancx. The fork info is especially important to me, if the Winwood fork will alter the handling of the bike I think I opt for the stock Waterford one. My next questions regarding the cross bike is how I should build it up. I am thinking of Ultegra shifters with avid 6 brakes and an XT rear derail and cassette. I am stuck deciding between a Truvativ and Ritchey cross crank and also the ring sizes, it will see mainly road riding and some trails with big steep climbs. The only thing left will be to choose the paint job...leaning towards the grey powder coat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
165 Posts
jjscarf said:
I am stuck deciding between a Truvativ and Ritchey cross crank and also the ring sizes, it will see mainly road riding and some trails with big steep climbs.
If you've got long steep trail climbs (or even short steep trail climbs) and would like to stick to a double crank, you might want to look at a compact crankset and a medium/large cassette. My new cross bike will be used for purposes very much like yours and I'm going for a 34-48 compact crank with a 13-29 rear cassette and a short or medium cage road rear derailleur. You can put the numbers into any gear chart calculator but when looking at the lowest gear, you may be able to simulate it on your mountain bike (assuming you have one). Mine has a 24-34-46 crank and a 12-34 cassette so the middle ring and the 28 tooth cog is a good approximation of the lowest gear I'll get (but with less weight on the cross bike).

You could even go with a 34/50 chainring to get a little higher top end if you're worried about it.

With similar requirements to yours I had pretty much decided on a crosshairs for many reasons. The geometry was just a bit off for me given the good fit I have on my road bike (largely due to the slightly long top tube) so I started thinking if there were any other options. I ended up going with a Curtlo whose cross frame is literally a few dollars more than the gunnar at $690. The plus for me is that all his frames are custom and they're even fillet brazed. You have to wait but if that's not an issue, you can tell him exactly what you're looking for and you'll end up with a custom fillet brazed steel frame.

If you want more details on my curtlo experience, you can email me by clicking on my login name and using this forum's email feature. I've only test ridden the gunnar but was very impressed. I haven't received my curtlo yet but have high hopes. Either way I think you'll be well set up.
 

·
Cyclocross is Seasonal?
Joined
·
711 Posts
jjscarf said:
Thanks Vegancx. The fork info is especially important to me, if the Winwood fork will alter the handling of the bike I think I opt for the stock Waterford one. My next questions regarding the cross bike is how I should build it up. I am thinking of Ultegra shifters with avid 6 brakes and an XT rear derail and cassette. I am stuck deciding between a Truvativ and Ritchey cross crank and also the ring sizes, it will see mainly road riding and some trails with big steep climbs. The only thing left will be to choose the paint job...leaning towards the grey powder coat.
I'd have to agree that a compact double (110 BCD) may be your best option. FSA makes two, one in carbon one in aluminum, but Ritchey has also come out (very quietly) with a compact double. Both the Ritchey and FSA cranks are widely available. The advantage of compact cranks for cross bikes is that you have a much wider selection of chainring choices. The smallest you can go with the Truvativ or Ritchey cross crank is 38, but with the compact cranks you can get a 34 tooth ring.

go with the powdercoat... the regular Gunnar paint job is iffy sometimes as to durability.
 

·
Cyclocross is Seasonal?
Joined
·
711 Posts
D_man said:
Is the Ritchey compact crankset out yet? Their website says "coming in 2004" but doesn't have a release date.

Oops... it's not out yet. I thought it was, but at least the major distributor is listing them as out of stock. So, it's coming. You can ask your LBS to look at the consumer QBP catalog and it's in there. I expect it will be in the $120-160 price range.

It's octalink V1 compatible btw.

The FSA "FSA Carbon Pro Elite Compact Cross Crankset" with 36/46 rings is available now, and it's only a measly $300 (237 at aebike).

What a deal!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the info so far. I rode a friend's Waterford RST 22 or 14 today, it has similar geometry to the 520 crosshair. All went well, I am still dliberating between the 500 and the 520, my road bike has a 54cm top tube and I sure like it. The drop from saddle to HB is more than I would want on the cross bike which makes the reach further. Anyhow, I think that I will go with the FSA 110mm spaced crank with 50-34. One thing I tried to do today on my friend's touring bike is find a good gear for steep climbs. Without leaving the saddle a 1 to 1 gear ratio of 28 to 28, or in the cross bike's case it would be 34 to 34 seems perfect. My next question is, why don't people use V-brakes instead of cantilevers? His bike had V-brakes and they felt pretty good.
 

·
More Cowbell!
Joined
·
4,832 Posts
jjscarf said:
My next question is, why don't people use V-brakes instead of cantilevers? His bike had V-brakes and they felt pretty good.
Mud clearance. The V's pads are closer to the rim than a canti which means any mud buildup on the pads is going to start to apply drag on the rim and tire. If you aren't ever going to race in the mud, get V's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
107 Posts
Or....

Gripped said:
Mud clearance. The V's pads are closer to the rim than a canti which means any mud buildup on the pads is going to start to apply drag on the rim and tire. If you aren't ever going to race in the mud, get V's.
Also....

Standard road levers aren't compatible with V Brakes. You could get them to work by adding the problem solver's/travel agent gizmos or by using Dia Compe 287v levers w/ barcons. However, if you're going with STI or ergo levers you probably ought to stick with canti's.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I'm running STI w/ V-brakes and travel agents on my Gunnar Crosshairs. Although they are a pain to set up, they work pretty well once you get them dialed in. I've heard that the travel agents can cause the cables to fray, so I keep a pretty close eye on them. No problems so far after one year of use.

On the cosmetic side, I think Cantis look a lot better. They just look more "cross" to me.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top