I'm thinking about getting into the sport of cyclocross. I've never really trained or learned to ride cyclocross before. I was thinking about saving up for a custom cyclocross bike, but I'm not sure if it would be more prudent to have an aluminum frameset built or a steel frameset. What are some good builders for aluminum framesets? I know Rock Lobster does aluminum and so does Primus Mootry, but are there any others that people would recommend. Thanks, Trevor
Why go custom if you have no idea if you will enjoy the sport? Do you have body dimensions on the outer fringes of the normal distribution? That is typically where custom frames have the most bang for the buck. Or when you have a clear view of the unique features you are looking for in a frame, which usually comes from experience in a particular discipline. These days there are alot of solid off the shelf cross bikes in a variety of price ranges. Just my 2 cents.
Good point. I'm going to look into some production aluminum bikes. Thanks, Trevor
I raced my first season of cross on a semi-converted mtn bike. Yeah, I got my rear end handed to me, but I didn't know if I was even going to [I]like[/I] cross (coming from track) so I didn't go blow big $ on a new bike.
Got bit hard by the bug and started with a Jake the Snake. That did better than the mtn bike. So did finding a Wed nite ride to practice and watch the good guys.
Sold the JtS and bought a Gunnar Crosshairs. Great all-rounder but left something to be desired as a race bike. At the time, I wasn't riding or racing, so that was OK.
Got back into racing again last year and worked a deal on a Van Dessel Full Tilt Boogie. Despite the nice bike, I was still mid-pack in the 3/4s. Just like LA sez 'it ain't about the bike.'
I'll add to LA's statement that 'in cross, if you can't dismount/mount the bike smoothly/quickly' the bike is irrelevant. So ride something. Ride ANYthing. Just ride and practice getting on and off the bike.
Thanks Mike! That's good advice about just getting on a bike an learning the ropes of racing, and then I could always upgrade to nice bikes in the future! Peace, Trevor
Don't worry, you will like cross. A lot.
I got a custom Ti frame built last year and tricked it out with good components and nice carbon tubular wheels. I love the bike, but it didn’t make me any faster than my stock Jake the Snake… I have equal amounts of fun on and get similar results on both bikes.
Race on anything you have at the moment, even a borrowed bike that fits you. You will be having so much fun during the race that you won’t even THINK about what type of frame you are riding!
I appreciate the advice. I think I'm going to try to find a Rivendell Legolas CX frameset used and built it up for cyclocross. If I do for some reason decide cyclocross is not for me, then I'll have a nice all-around bicycle for recreational riding purposes.