/ Do it all cyclocross frame... what would you get?
So my decisions need to be based on:
-it has full disc mounts
-it has a softer ride than my alu frame
-it handles well primarily off road - I use it as a drop bar 29er effectively that is light enough for road rides too
-it has lugs for racks although this isn't THAT much of a priority - I'm thinking maybe a carbon frame and I know I wont get lugs on one of them
-doesn't cost the earth
To that end I'm looking at either a steel frame or a carbon frame, built up as a monster crosser, i.e. larger than 35mm tyres, probably 38 or 40.
I've been looking at On One and planet X, and Genesis. I guess the absolute max I'd be able to spring for the frame would be 400 quid.
In terms of Carbon I worry about durability, but with steel there's a big weight penalty - kind of the opposite ends of the spectrum.
So what would you guys be going for?
It's not really a crosser. Doesn't have the clearance needed for proper cross tyres.
Rather than spending 400 on a frame and sorting out the parts yourself, have you thought about spending more on a whole bike?
You can get a Charge Filter Hi for 999 pounds. It does have mudgaurds, but the same frame (afaik) is also sold as a disc cyclo crosser for a bit over 1000.
The only thing it misses on is it is made from aluminium. I can't say I've noticed this leading to a harsh ride though; it's at least as comfortable as my carbon road bike imo.
It may not end up being what you're after, but possibly worth contemplating.
Kinesis Crosslight Pro6?
I've just built a new bike; my decision to buy the frame was based on almost exactly the same criteria as yours. I eventually got a Salsa Vaya chromoly frame. only finished it Sat eve, so barely ridden it 20km to date, and that only on cycle path & cobbles, but I am very happy with it so far.
there's loads of reviews of it out there.
Triton Cycles were doing a very good deal on them a while ago, I got frame & forks for well under your frame budget.
Cheers for all the suggestions, like the kinesis, my missus has a five t but as you say, a bit pricey. I really like the ride of her bike... It's stonking.
The Cotic would seem to tick most of your boxes and if the clearances are anything like those on a roadrat you should be able to run some pretty fat rubber.
Check out 40 or 45mm smart sams for a good all round fatter cross tyre. Been running them on my 'dale and they really make a difference on the gnarlier stuff.
I met a guy at a cross race who had bought one thinking it was a crosser and struggled to fit 32mm tyres in.
A good frame but not a crosser.
Check this out for some inspiration:
Rigid Titanium 29er with drop bars.
I was going to recommend the On One Dirty Disco until I saw your price threshold. There's an Airborne Carpe Diem titanium frame on Ebay just now, that would fit the bill, assuming it fits you.
Round the world record of 91 days and over 18,000 miles was set on a carbon cyclocross bike with carbon aero rims. So I wouldn't worry about durability too much.
build one up with flat bars for the commute.
I think it may be the failure mechanism, and that metals can have a more benign failure. Big impacts can fail both, but for lesser impacts steel and alu alloys are more likely to have some dints and distinctive deformation indicating damage before they completely fail. Composites may suffer damage to sub-surface laminars without exhibiting any surface and so giving less indication that the strength is reduced before failure.
It's essentially the usual engineering aversion to materials that suffer brittle failure compared to those with ductile failure, even if both have the same design strength.
Bought a Surly cross check, £999 from Alf Jones.
Steel frame and heavy, but have had no problems with it. Good wheel clearance for guards, and braze ons for panniers.
Good bike, love it. Think they do one with discs too but don't like the hassle.
Proper bike that carries my 15 st over rough tracks with no buckles so far.
I bought a Boardman CX Team which cost well under a grand after a student discount. Nice bike, good specification and great on and off road. Only weakness has to be regular servicing of the bottom bracket. It also happened to be the closest match geometrically too, so it's comfortable.
Eventually they probably will, but looking at their Facebook page, they are very busy getting the full RX9 bike out to dealers at the moment. It's a brand new model and weighs in at £1099.99 and could be popular.
That's a fair enough point, though for a steel frame to suddenly fail there'd have to be something very wrong, and possibly something which could be picked up in quality control.
For a frame costing 300+ when bought new, especially from a company who wants to look after it's reputation, i'd say it's probably fairly unlikely to have a steel frame suddenly fail.
In my experience steel and alloy frames have failed at the lug or tube joins, and happened slowly over time.
One of these was a Falcon who I've since learnt had a poor reputation for the quality of their frames, it failed at the driveside chainstay-lug join, and was rusty there now I think about it, and another was a Dawes frame which had been bent in a side on crash from a BT van, and several years later started to fail at where the top tube joined the lug at the upper headtube. As a family none of use noticed it was bent slightly, oops.
The alloy frame was at the join where the little bit of tube for the seatpost to go into at the top of my Kona MTB gradually cracked, i'm guessing in part because I was too big for the frame, and sat on the back of the saddle all the time.
If you're spending a few hundred on a new steel frame, I don't think it's likely to suddenly break on you if you're doing what it's designed for, might be worth cleaning and checking it closely regularly anyway, as that gives peace of mind with spotting the start of any cracks early on, but apart from that i'd be chilled. (:-))
You can get a Genesis Croix De Fer frameset for 375, though i've read it's not as stiff as the Charge filter frameset which you can't buy seperately.
A little bit randomly, I found out a rear rack made my inherited FW Evans 531 road frame stiffer for when going up hills.
At 300 the Roadrat seems like brilliant value, quite temped to make building one a project for this year. Looks like a lot of clearance for cyclocross.
Unless it wouldn't handle right for cyclocross, still good value though, wish I hadn't seen they're 300!
Anyway my point is that the X has cant bosses which can be removed which would allow me to make a small step, transferring the old kit and then upgrading once hydraulic brakes and shifters come out properly... had a look at the Hope V Twin which seems a nice solution bar the fact that it's slung on any old how... was considering designing my own hydraulic adapter that woud be housed inside a stem, but decided I couldn't be arsed... that's what shimano's for...
ebay stores - Paul-Milnes-Cycles/cyclo-cross-frames-and-forks-/_i.html?_fsub=570882011
its a shame discs are so new - cos you could get a really good carbon or carbon/alloy older frame (or second hand) in that budget without disc mounts.
have you looked at hopes disc conversion kits??
(tis true cantis are prety dire brakes - tektros (or copies) being better than froglegs IME, haven't tried mini V-brakes)
hmmmf anyway cyclocross bike with brakes that work - goes against everything ;-)
The disc mount is in a better place for fitting racks on the Roadrat by the way, as it's in the triangle of the frame, so it doesn't get in the way of the rack legs or the mounts. Apparently the front disc brake mount on the right hand leg is ment to be super secure too, because it's not relying on the quick release to keep the axle from coming out of the dropouts due to how it wants to behave when the front brake is used, it's pulled into rather than out of the drop outs, if any movement is possible from the QR not being done up tight enough. Have read on single track somebody having the axle work it's way out a little bit on their Kona Project 2 disc forks. I don't know if that's important to you at all, but thought i'd throw it in. I'm the sort who can think about things like that a bit too much once I know about them.
I would avoid BB5s by the way. A regular source of annoyance on my Boardman. In fact I was just looking to see how much it would be to replace them with 7s.
Would that be a cost effective plan if you wanted to buy a new bike in the sort term? how near to market are reasonably priced hydraulic shifters/levers?
It's pretty chuckable - so much so I have to remember not to cross up the front on jumps as the tires/wheels are a bit unforgiving. I have used it on rocky bridleways where I really shouldnt to reasonably lengthy road rides in the summer
It's typical steel really, sluggish compared to a good carbon road frame, and a bit twangy. ON the other hand I find the straight fork a bit unforgiving on loose trails and sometimes wish it had suspension or maybe a curved carbon fork.
re. carbon, I think the fears are purely residual after the early days of mtb when bars and posts used to snap before people realised that these components should never have been made of carbon in the first place (or paper thin purple alloy). The idea of a decent carbon frame snapping these days is nigh on ridiculous.
How recent is "these days"? This blog has been up dated for a couple of years, but shows plenty of broken frames http://www.bustedcarbon.com/ Of course if you drive into your garage with your bike on the roof you'll damage it whatever it is, but there are others broken from riding.
A user's view on carbon frames:
> I would avoid BB5s by the way. A regular source of annoyance on my Boardman. In fact I was just looking to see how much it would be to replace them with 7s.
Thanks for the tip, my BB7s have been great, really nice to live with. I have the full metal jacket outer tubing which you can't get anymore, but metal tubing the same width as the ferrules Avid still sell would work just as well. It replaces any straight runs of cabling to reduce the fraction.
I did an endo by mistake after fitting my front brake and pulling a 'v brake' amount of lever on my first test ride. Very happy with them. (:-))
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