/ Do it all cyclocross frame... what would you get?

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beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
Hi all, I'm thinking about ditching my old secondhand alu specialised for various reasons - it's a harsh ride, it doesn't quite fit me right, the brakes are dire, even after upgrading them to full v brakes and it doesn't have lugs, so if I ever want to do touring with it I have to rely on one of those annoying cantilever racks which waves around in the breeze.

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?
Timmd on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:What about a Kaffenbeck with 300 gram disc rims?
Dave Kerr - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to mike kann)What about a Kaffenbeck with 300 gram disc rims?

It's not really a crosser. Doesn't have the clearance needed for proper cross tyres.



Timmd on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Have a perusal for rims of different weights.

http://www.justridingalong.com/

My MTB wheels from here are really well made by the way.
Timmd on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

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.
Liam M - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann: I was functionally looking for something similar last year, and went for one of these http://www.kinesisbikes.co.uk/new-crosslight-pro6/

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.
Dave Kerr - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Cotic X?

Kinesis Crosslight Pro6?
Liam M - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Liam M: Though I've just spotted it's now being advertised at over your budget.
inboard - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:
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.
beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: just realised how damn sexy that cotic is... I think I may be in love...

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.
beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Timmd: kaffenback has poxy tyre clearances...
Dave Kerr - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

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.
Dave Kerr - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Timmd) kaffenback has poxy tyre clearances...

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.

Dave Kerr - on 30 Apr 2013
beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Kerr: you're right, it ticks absolutely everything... WANT!
mikehike on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Rigid Titanium 29er with drop bars.

mh
beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mikehike: hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. If you can find me a titanium 29er even second hand for less than 400 quid, and that's as good on the road as a cx frame, I'll buy it... I would buy five infact.
Stuart Mitchell - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

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.

beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Stuart Mitchell: I was looking at the plant x carbon crosser which is on at 400 as an intro offer, hence the carbon thoughts. I don't think it'd stand up too well though... I think I'm sold on steel...
beardy mike - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to Stuart Mitchell: and had a look at the frame, 54 is a bit small for me... I'm 6'
ads.ukclimbing.com
Mutl3y - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann: I've got last years genesis vapour and absolutely love it. Can't really compare it to anything but it is blatantly a really nice bike. Did a 300 mile coast to coast then reivers route tour last year and couldn't have wished for a better ride.
Orgsm on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to mike kann:

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.
Mikkel - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Liam M:
second that.
build one up with flat bars for the commute.
quirky - on 01 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: What is it with people thinking carbon fibre is tissue paper in disguise???
Liam M - on 01 May 2013
In reply to quirky:
> (In reply to mike kann) What is it with people thinking carbon fibre is tissue paper in disguise???

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.
beardy mike - on 01 May 2013
In reply to quirky: Being an engineer, I understand carbon is strong, but I also understand that a cheap carbon frame, if it's not had the fibres laid up correctly will be weak and brittle. Hence being dubious about buying a frame for a few hundred quid. With steel you know where you are... you're pretty unlikely to break a steel frame unless you hit something extremely hard.
Paul F - on 01 May 2013
Skol on 01 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:
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.
:-)
beardy mike - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Paul F: ooooooo... Likely... You know if the sell the frame on its tod?
quirky - on 01 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: cheaply made badly butted or welded steel frames will also fail catastrophically! carbon will take the minor knocks as it will flex and reform unlike steel or alu. a cheap badly made frame is a cheap badly made frame whatever it is made from!!
loftustowncrier on 01 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:
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.
Paul F - on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:
> (In reply to Paul F) ooooooo... Likely... You know if the sell the frame on its tod?

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.
http://www.orangebikes.co.uk/bikes/rx9/
beardy mike - on 02 May 2013
In reply to quirky: yep, an a cheap badly made carbon frame costs about the same as a well made steel frame. Unless of course you find a really decent deal like the Planet X I was looking at....
Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to quirky:
> (In reply to mike kann) cheaply made badly butted or welded steel frames will also fail catastrophically! carbon will take the minor knocks as it will flex and reform unlike steel or alu. a cheap badly made frame is a cheap badly made frame whatever it is made from!!

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. (:-))
Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:

http://www.shop.18bikes.co.uk/products.php?plid=m5b0s517p1818

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.

Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:

http://www.shop.18bikes.co.uk/products.php?plid=m5b0s433p1962

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.
Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:

Unless it wouldn't handle right for cyclocross, still good value though, wish I hadn't seen they're 300!
beardy mike - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: I saw both of those too... been lusting after the Genesis for a couple of years now. However what attracted me to the Cotic >x< was that it seems more versatile in terms of it's set up. Currently as I say I have all the kit from my existing stead, much of which could be transferred - it's not seen THAT much use and I bought the frame secondhand for 100quid on the off chance that I'd enjoy road biking, but found it wasn't really me, but instead I found that Crossing is immense fun and just like mountain biking when I first started 15 years ago... long distance on and off road riding on tracks and single track paths... So I ended up adapting it to be more aimed at that and now I'm at the point where I want steel (or carbon if the price is right) flex for comfort with the ability to fit large tyres for off road forays...

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...
jfw - on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:

browse here

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 ;-)
Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: I see, thinking around it a bit, I guess you could buy some BB5s or 7s and some bar end shifters as a halfway house untill hydraulic shifters/lever come out, or some Hayes mechanical discs if they're cheaper? They'd be better than cantis, and could be another way of having a small step, though a different step.

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.
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beardy mike - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: Bar end shifters is what I'm running at the minute, with long pull cane creek levers and some old V-brakes I had lying around. Works pretty well until I need to shift going downhill at speed when it all becomes more scary/fun. So in theory I could get hold of some BB7's off fleabay temporarily to give me some extra braking, although that would mean changing wheels too... if I only need to get the frame now, and can work up to get other bits as and when I can slip it past the missus, I'm on a winner... might give cotic a ring to ask them what they think re the roadrat...
Timmd on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann:Had a thought that with the price difference between the >>X<< and the Roadrat you could have some canti mounts brazed onto a Roadrat and they'd be near as dammit the same price, if you wanted to. That's me done for bikes, I've got to get on with my day. How did it get to 4pm?!?
beardy mike - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: Easy. By drooling over bikes.
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to mike kann) I see, thinking around it a bit, I guess you could buy some BB5s or 7s

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.
Antigua - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Timmd:
> (In reply to mike kann) thinking around it a bit, I guess you could buy some BB5s or 7s and some >bar end shifters as a halfway house untill hydraulic shifters/lever come out

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?
beardy mike - on 02 May 2013
In reply to Antigua: well the hope cx2 are about 220 quid ish... These can be combined with any Sti lever. I believe both SRAM and Shimano are working on hydraulic road shifters and so probably a year ish?
Stig - on 02 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: I've got a Croix de Fer - it definitely ticks all your boxes. I have to admit though I'm not sure I'd pay 375 for the frame alone.

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.
In reply to Stig:
> 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.
quirky - on 03 May 2013
In reply to TobyA: i know of at least 3 people who have snapped/broken alu and steel frames, i have broken 2 alu mountain bikes myself. granted mine were crashes but 2 of the other guys were not. none of the bikes were rideable . i have yet to meet someone who has snapped a carbon bike. i have a Scott addict which is a very thin frame..i was could it would be full of hairline cracks after a season.... i have xrayed the bike when new and late last year after about 5k miles...how many hairline fractures were there?? answers on a post card please.
biped - on 03 May 2013
beardy mike - on 03 May 2013
In reply to biped: You can't really say much to that can you... maybe I SHOULD look at the the planet X... same manufacturers... only trouble is it means I have to change everything in one go which will be less missus friendly...
Timmd on 03 May 2013
In reply to TobyA:
> (In reply to Timmd)
> [...]
>
> 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. (:-))
beardy mike - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: that's interesting... So you rate the bb7s for offroad then? Maybe I should just not worry about the hydraulics and just plump for cable... Least they can't leak.
beardy mike - on 03 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: been doing some reading... Would seem that bb7s and the new sora shifter are a match, as are SRAM Apexs and bb7s... Well that's a brake system sorted...
Timmd on 04 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: I think I would recommend them. I'd probably use the metal cable outer tubing idea/method for the straight cable runs, with the outer tubing mine are easily as powerfull as Deore, and a friend's new Avid Juicy brakes I can't remember the model of.
beardy mike - on 04 May 2013
In reply to Timmd: Well there's a bid in for a pair of sora shifters and a brave step into the world of being able to shift and hold onto my bars at the same time without being on the drops all the time...
Timmd on 04 May 2013
In reply to mike kann: If you don't win them, SRAM shifters are ment to be pretty maintainable long term, in a similar way to how you can just buy springs and cogs to keep Campagnolo shifters going.
Timmd on 04 May 2013

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