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  1. #1
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    What defines a TRUE CYCLO CROSS FRAME?

    I see bikes all over called cyclo cross, or cross this, or that cross with frames that do not seem like cyclo cross frames to me.

    For those that are interested in CX, what in your mind are the elements of a frame being a True Cyclo Cross frame? Which design features must be present to keep the frame from just being a hybrid or touring frame with shorter stays?

    I have been involved in CX since the 1970s; so my ideas on the pure cx frame maybe too strick. Wondering what others think

    thanks

    Mike
    mike
    http://www.bikesdirect.com - supports Mtbr.com and RoadBikeReview.com as great places to exchange ideas
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    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Ghandi

  2. #2
    lung lacking loser
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    ugh... consider the can of worms opened.

    I think if you look at some of the recent discussions of disc brakes and tubeless tires and their application on a "cross" bike, you will see that the definition of what a "true" cross bike is has been a fairly contentious subject.

    To keep it simple:

    A "Race" bike for cross (one that is designed purely with racing cyclocross), will not have any features that are unneeded for racing. No rack or fender mounts, no bottle cage mounts (it's only 60min tops, hydrate beforehand), and in all likelihood, no disc brake mounts.

    If you just want the jack of all trades master of none that many look for, I think it's pretty much fair game to add whatever you want.

    Now, let the fun begin....

  3. #3
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    The rider.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaker
    To keep it simple:

    A "Race" bike for cross (one that is designed purely with racing cyclocross), will not have any features that are unneeded for racing. No rack or fender mounts, no bottle cage mounts (it's only 60min tops, hydrate beforehand), and in all likelihood, no disc brake mounts.
    Nice summary.

    I'm sure that Mike is well aware of the previous threads and suspect that this thread stems in part from the following:

    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect
    Based on requests and comments on forums:
    1 - Ultegra level so parts are not too much to replace
    2 - Bullet Proof wheels
    3 - disc tabs on fork and frame
    4 - eyelets and a rr rack braze on

    based on my own ideas
    Bi Oval DT for stiff responsive frame with S stays AND custom TT so that underside is totally flat for caring bike - Top of TT is a semi point with cables run alone top. This frame is comfortable and quick at the same time - and of course will not the durability of Ti. This is a true CX frame so no cables on DT like some brands do on 'cyclo cross'. {I understand that purists do not need or want eyelets or disc tabs -- but they only make the bike illegal to race if disc are mounted.}
    (Emphasis added).

    I still disagree with just about everything in that paragraph, FWIW (nothing).

    At least a manufacturer is asking.

    Give the rampant appropriation of the term "cyclocross" I think that a true race frame is distinguished by what is not present -- bottle bosses, eyelets, disc tabs -- as you say.

    If something could be added to prevent the use of bar-top levers. . .har, har.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikesdirect
    What defines a TRUE CYCLO CROSS FRAME?
    PeanutButterBreath, apparently...

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by buck-50
    PeanutButterBreath, apparently...
    Thank you for your support.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Thank you for your support.
    Someone lobs a softball like that, you gotta swing...

    I can understand the issues you've got with just calling anything that'll fit knobbies and drop-bars a cyclocross bike. I don't know if I completely agree, but then I haven't raced yet, so it's easy for me to be less invested in what cyclocross really is...

  8. #8
    eat live sleep cross
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    bar top levers = not TRUE cyclocross frame

    i'm ambiguious about the bottle cage bolt holes - easily enough covered with tape or wicked light soft alumium screws...

    but "true cyclocross bike" is an antonym for "touring road bike"

    but then who cares - cyclocross is about racing these things... it ain't the next fixie fad for the more practical urban hipsters... well it seems to be but it isn't in spirit...
    "People who don't do it, don't quite understand it.
    People who do, know, intrinsically, as soon as you try it you are hooked on it.
    Once you race cross, it is hard not to."
    -Pure Sweet Hell

  9. #9
    lung lacking loser
    Reputation: beaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gewilli
    bar top levers = not TRUE cyclocross frame...
    Would dieter runkle agree?

    Quote Originally Posted by gewilli
    i'm ambiguious about the bottle cage bolt holes - easily enough covered with tape or wicked light soft alumium screws...
    Despite my definition above, I would prefer to have bottle cage mounts on the frame. I'm not going to kid myself that I'll ever race at a level where having the colossal weight of rack mounts, water bottle bolts, or any of the like slow me down. At times like now where fitness is a little...er...less than ideal, the easier gearing of the cross bike helps limit the suffering on road rides. So gimme waterbottle mounts so I don't have to shadetree some mess onto the frame or wear a camelback (if I don't want to)!

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by gewilli
    bar top levers = not TRUE cyclocross frame
    Brake levers go on the handlebars, not the frame.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pretender
    Brake levers go on the handlebars, not the frame.
    Hence my proposal of modifying the frame to prevent their installation (on the handlebars). Not sure how it would be done, but I think it is worth looking into.

  12. #12
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Thank you for your support.


    and you believe roadbikereview.com is great places to exchange ideas...

    beaker nailed it... CX is racing, "cross" is hybrid/j-o-a-t

  13. #13
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    What's he point of this thread? Are we attempting to call out certain manufacturers that are putting rack mounts on their seat stays and dare to call said model a cyclo-cross bike? Are we in turn going to call out certain consumers that dare to purchase a "cyclo-cross" bike and not race it?
    Last edited by bwcross; 06-12-2008 at 06:31 PM.

  14. #14
    duh...
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    no it's a mfger doing "market research"

  15. #15
    ab aeterno
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    no water bottles mounts, fender mounts, disc brake mounts, cables run on the top tube, slightly higher bottom bracket

  16. #16
    Formosan Cyclocross
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    I might take a loose definition... and maybe look at the wider chain/seat stays and fork length/clearance for fatter tires and mud. Drop bars... maybe canti bosses. Everything else can be rearranged for the purpose the rider intends to use the bike. Look at what people are riding in cyclocross racing and you'll see a true cyclocross bike.

    My bike has discs on it now, but I can throw cantis on if I ever found myself facing a UCI sanctioned race. By some criteria above I don't have a true cross bike (disc tabs, bottle bosses, DT cables)... but a lot of people ride it for cyclocross racing to UCI spec and it was formerly the bike ridden by a sponsored racing team. The disc tabs didn't seem to make it any less a cyclocross bike when they were not being used. By some of the criteria above there are very few "True" cyclocross bikes.

  17. #17
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    I think the whole "cables run on top tube" thing is one of the key things, however I've only had one cross bike that has done that...my Alan Ultral Cross, my Kona Major Jake, Redline Conquest Pro, and Cannondale Cross all has the derailleur cables being run on the downtube. As far as top mount brake levers, who cares, if you're a mtber then you'll most likely go with the top mount brake levers, if you're a roadie then you'll probably use the hoods or drops. As for bottle bosses, I like using my cx bike as a winter and bad weather bike as well so the brake bosses help, but as GeWilli suggested I you can just tape over them which I do.
    2005 Orbea Lobular 100 - 2005 Hot Tubes Carbon - 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper Disc - 2007 Kona Major Jake

  18. #18
    Formosan Cyclocross
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    I agree with gewilli

    I don't think there is such a need for a rigid cyclocross frame orthodoxy. Any frame you could race in a sanctioned cyclocross race that wouldn't have any hinderances, like narrow stays would fit the bill. The earliest cyclocross racers would have been laughed at for what they brought to the races by today's standards.

    Now... some of the bikes that are disc only and don't have canti bosses might be a bit iffy as they'd be disqualified from all the races that use UCI rules. Granted there are some cyclocross races that don't follow UCI rules, but as an international standard... UCI is the widest reaching body.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dajianshan
    By some of the criteria above there are very few "True" cyclocross bikes.
    This is very true. My Soma Double Cross, for example, has bottle cage mounts, fender mounts and rack mounts on the frame and fork. The other bike in the house is a Surly CrossCheck which is similarly configured. Last year I sold off a Cannondale CX frameset that had most of those features to a guy looking for a good commuter.

    In fact, there are few affordable race frames. CX is too small a niche to support them I suspect, and most lower cost frames only ever go into production because manufacturers can sell them to non-racers for their non racing purposes.

    Despite the near 90% of votes in the "do you race poll?" answering in some form of "yes", I wouldn't be surprised if CX bikes sold were even more overwhelmingly bought by people with no intention of racing.

    Its no mystery why things should be so. Neither does it have any bearing on the definition of "cyclocross" or "true cyclocross frame".

    Bar-top levers are lame though.

  20. #20
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    would

    Quote Originally Posted by beaker
    Would dieter runkle agree?
    !
    Katie Compton?

    I like having bottle mounts,during race season it adds how much weight?(for the screws)
    post race season,you can commute

    top mounts are great in traffic
    one nation, under surveillance with liberty and justice for few

    still not figgering on biggering

  21. #21
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    Id say cable on downtube, conti-capable, cross tire acceptable and a higher BB clearance should just about do it. As far as something as insignificant as bottlecage bolts I cant believe that would even come up. seriously..... maybe on an ultra serious race frame that costs $3500 and up I could see avoiding them... just because its obvious that nobody is commuting to work on a $5000+ bike. Besides, im willing to bet that bottlecage bolts weigh exactly the same as the amount of frame material that was removed to fit them. seriously?? what? 5 grams?? just take a leak before your race and itll even things out.

  22. #22
    Number 2 on the course.
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    Quote Originally Posted by B15serv
    Besides, im willing to bet that bottlecage bolts weigh exactly the same as the amount of frame material that was removed to fit them. seriously??
    Seriously? I will so take that bet!

    I agree about DT routing. TT routing is for MTBs.

  23. #23
    raging results nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by atpjunkie
    Katie Compton?

    I like having bottle mounts,during race season it adds how much weight?(for the screws)
    post race season,you can commute

    top mounts are great in traffic
    Yeah, a true cx bike might go so far as to not have bottle mounts, but I sure like mine in the offseason.

    And top mounts ARE great in traffic, but then again, that's not a race application.

  24. #24
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    Padraig says that high BB is a leftover feature from toeclip (i.e. mudcatcher) days:
    http://www.belgiumkneewarmers.com/2007/12/how-high.html
    (You'll find arguments to the contrary in the comments.)

  25. #25
    eat live sleep cross
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeanutButterBreath
    Seriously? I will so take that bet!

    I agree about DT routing. TT routing is for MTBs.
    i think the absolute freaking best cable routing would be ala Gary Klein style (circa mid 1990s).

    I gots both TT and DT...

    and well either one works...

    but

    basically the "only" critical factor besides:

    1. 35c tire clearance
    2. Cantis-or dugast shredders (vs road brakes)
    3. 700c road bike based frame and fork

    really is rear brake cable routing.
    Gotta be on top side of top tube.

    all the other crap (high or low BB, DT TT der cables, steep angles, slack angles, short tt long tt, braze ons, bolt holes) is totally superfluous...
    "People who don't do it, don't quite understand it.
    People who do, know, intrinsically, as soon as you try it you are hooked on it.
    Once you race cross, it is hard not to."
    -Pure Sweet Hell

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