CX Build

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#1
I have a new carbon CX frame and want to build up an economical 'Rindo Masher' Since it's been at least 20yr since my last CX (Alan Aluminum , Erickson Ferro) I'd like some guidance of what works best these days - especially for the Japanese terrain and circuits.

Brakes? My frameset is 100% Discbrake - so I'm considering the Avid Lyra

Groupset? No clue. In the past, I'd typically run a clapped out Campy NR with 1 chainring only. And then use either Huret or Campy longcage derailer w/Regina 14-30 or 14-32 cassette.

Wheels? Again. Where to start? Tubular Tufos? Or should I go tubeless clinchers?

Cockpit is no problem - and I'll probably go for the Microshift brifters as they are cheap, short reach and dual lever. (The shifting on the primary brake is bothersome to me especially on a cross type bike)

Anything else? Ludwig? Tom? This is not my 'dream bike' - just want something durable and sensible to pound out some mud and rindo trails with.
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#2
In regards to the Mirco-Shift, my friend who races for a UCI Continental team in europe was sponsored by them he said they were good enough but in harsh conditions the shifting paddles were too small and this is a Japanese guy complaining that the paddles are too small. So something to bear in mind CX is normally an off season sport so riders will be wearing full finger gloves and such.
 

Ludwig

Speeding Up
Oct 9, 2008
871
0
36
Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
#3
Great, Tim! Sounds like you will go geared, so we can do some rides together :)

I'm pretty happy with my setup. Would be even happier if I had a lighter carbon frame, and one that was more compact.

Japanese unpaved rindos are pretty tough terrain, because most of them are quite steep in places and the stones can be very rough or the surface worn out. In Austria, I can ride even steep unpaved rindos with a normal road bike. Here this is impossible. Even with a cyclocross there are stretches when I need to walk, at least uphill.

I would make sure your stem is relatively short and your drops are not deep. Ideally the saddle height is easily adjustable on the go (I don't have that). My Easton EA70 wheels have served me fine so far. They have more spokes than many racing wheels yet are quite light.

Disk brakes would be nice for wet conditions or snow, but I don't find them crucial, because the occasional lack of grip also serves to remind me that I might skid if I brake to hard! And cantilevers are lighter, easy to maintain and better when you need to transport the bike with one or two wheels off.

I think any groupset will be fine. If you think you will be rough on the bike, better go cheap. I use a compact on a 11-28 which gives me almost all I need. Something bigger than 28 will not help that much, because the steepest gravel is usually also just too difficult to handle to ride at very slow speed.

BTW, if you want to stick to paved rindos some of which have a lot of debries, no real need for a cyclocross. I do them usually with my road bike. It would help though to have tyres which are particularly strong on the sides. Side-cuts are my only real issue on such rindos. (Not with my cyclocross, but I don't feel any saver otherwise - on the contrary, the road bike is actually easier to handle on difficult terrain.)

Good luck!
 

bird

Speeding Up
Nov 30, 2010
322
18
38
Kawasaki
#4
Disk brakes are so nice if you ride in rain... not only will they keep a dependable level of braking power, but also keep you free from cleaning the tyres/rims messed up with dirt caused by rubber brake pads. (That's why I use disk brakes on my commuter)
They will also be an advantage on a long technical descent where you otherwise would start worrying about overheating the rims. (Not that I have actually blown a tyre in this way, though)

Unfortunately, there are not too many choices for factory wheels if you want a reasonably priced, 700c(or 29er) & disk compatible set. I'd like to recommend building your own set. I use Chinese carbon rims with 32 spokes, but you might want to go 36 spokes for more durability.
https://tokyocycle.com/gallery/showfull.php?photo=5979
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#5
Great! Thanks for all the suggestions! On the wheels I have quite alot of flexibility - and can do the carbons easily enough - but wonder if the wear and tear of the terrain would be better suited towards alloy? Good point about the smaller paddles - any options? I7m not so keen on Shimano for CX - prefer SRAM or Campy style. The thing about MS that is attractive is that its Shimano ratio, but dual paddle. My frame has both upper and lower pull bosses for the FD so I can go either way there - prolly use the lower pull FD with a pulley. Or just run a single ring. Though larger ring is nice for the commutes out to the rindos. So - compact set seems like the best bet there (??).

So maybe:

Tiagra Compact Chainset
XXX Brifters (??)
Avid Brakes
Tiagra Cassette
Novatec Hubs (DB)
Either my own Carbon rims or Ambrosio Alloys (cheap)
Harp Bars and stem (cheap and decent enough - plus they have a shallow drop bar set)
Soft Carbon CX / MTB saddle
Shimano or MS FD / RD combo
Chain? What's a good weather proofed chain for 10speed? KMC?
Tires??? Should I go tubeless (ala Stans) or ??
Pedals - Time ATAC (my favs)

@Bird - your build looks great!
 

FarEast

Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
5,528
538
193
Yokohama
#6
Tim,

For off road you don't want any of your shifting cables running down the down tube as the debris and mud play merry havoc with shifting so set it up for top pull.

In regards to Ludwig’s comments about cantilever being easier to maintain I would have to totally disagree.

Disc brakes once set up are good to go, no need to constantly adjust as pads wear down, they lose zero braking ability in adverse conditions. You can select larger rotors for individual braking needs (I use a 180mm rotor on the front and a 160mm on the rear) and more importantly continue to work if the wheel is untrue. They also slip in and out without issues.

In regards to brakes are you going mechanical or hydraulic as this can play a huge part in the brand that you buy and it might be worth looking at online reviews to see what other users have said.

Finally in regards to off road riding I take it you plan to ride proper CX on this bike and not just Rindo riding like Ludwig? If so then I would look in to alloy rims with higher spoke count as the braking forces react differently on the wheel as the tension is now on the hub not the outer rim.

In regards to chains....KMC.. I found out that KMC makes all Shimano chains and that the KMC out perform them in most tests and weights.
 

kiwisimon

Maximum Pace
Dec 14, 2006
2,631
449
103
Japan
#7
Tim,

For off road you don't want any of your shifting cables running down the down tube as the debris and mud play merry havoc with shifting so set it up for top pull.
.
Run a continuous outer housing to the RD and you'll be free from crud issues. Use zip ties to hold the cable to the cable stops. Build sounds good and I would run mechanical disk brakes, BB5 work real well on mine. 
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#8
Hi Guys - thanks for all your input. My frame is a 'proper' CX frame and therefore all cables are top mounted - nothing goes on the downtube. I have bosses for either canti or DB - but I also have DB only fork I can put on. I want to use this for both CX events and possible smooth MTB / single track / Rindo with wheel change. For CX thinking about 38mm Tubulars with 2x,2x /32's. For the Rindo mashing thinking of 22mm '9er' type alloys with Stans conversion. Thomson post (have that), quick release clamp (have that) , soft carbon saddle (have that). BB5's or Lyra's ?? Prefer cable brakes if possible.
 

timdesuyo

Speeding Up
Mar 29, 2010
138
1
38
Tokyo
#9
Maybe this is just my misunderstanding, but I thought the rules for this sort of thing specified canti, and therefore, if you were to enter real events, wouldn't be able to ride disk brakes?
 
Dec 31, 2009
906
87
48
Matsumoto
#11
Cross top levers

If you are planning on decending steep terrain I cant recommend enough having cross top levers. They allow you to keep your weight more over the rear of the bike so you have less of a chance of doing an endo if you do smack something. Alot of people hate them, talk trash about them, and dont want the added weight but I think they are really a nice thing to have when going down a dirt road with a 15% gradient. I run a 48 34 on the front and a 13 28 cassette, seems to be enough for even really steep stuff, but if you can, get the largest cassette your derailleur can handle! 28 is the biggest I can get with campy, sometimes wish I had a 32 on the climbs. For racing I would say domething smaller though. One trick I heard from the USA team cyclocross mechanic was that they use PAM cooking spray on the frame so the mud doesnt stick. They use it it on the forks front and rear and the pedals! Tufo tires are definitly not the suplest out there but I am still riding the first pair that I bought over a year ago, (primus flexus) so I am happy! If you plan on racing the new rule is the tire cannot exceed 32mm but unless you are racing in UCI race (this years race in Nobeyama put o buy Diasuke from Rapha/IF) is UCI but I dont think anyone would make a stink but if your on the podium someone might shake a stick. Tubless is overated, the only tires I have found where the hutchinson and they have no grip at all and they also burp air when you hit things. Stay away unless its for a training tire, not for racing unless you like getting passed in the corners. I am suprised you dont make a Ti cross bike, thats on my wish list. Could you make frames with my desired tubing sizes? My dream frame cross bike would be a 32 seat tube, disk, an oval top tube for shouldering the bike. I could go on and on!
 

GSAstuto

Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
945
242
103
tokyo
www.roadfixie.com
#12
Hey Pro - you seem really right on alot of this! So, I will look closely at ur advise. BTW -a Ti frameset is in the works , actually. I just happen to get really great deals on full carbon frames - so it's convenient as a starter build - however to some - this frameset would likely be a dream machine. It does have a couple things I don't like, though ---

1) Sloping top tube. For CX I want horizontal tube - and like you say - even horizontal oval would be nice when you are scrambling.

2) Wishbone rear end. Yeah, I know - it's a better bond, easier to repair, etc etc -- however I like the suppleness of a truly dual seat stay. Especially when you are half-saddling nearly over teakettle just after a mount up.

I'm down with the PAM thing - actually we used to use Simple Green. Remember that stuff? Just spray it on undiluted. After your ride - the bike comes out kissy clean with just a water spray and soft brushing.! Then I used to 'treat' my bike with a full spraydown of WD-40. I never lube the chain - just run it dry after having waxed it in melted parafin.

lets talk - I gotta couple ideas re: the Ti build I'm working on. Wanna pick ur brain.