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Building out an old mountin bike as a cross racing bike? Any advantages?

A local bike co-op is doing a build-a-bike class this winter -- bring in a bike, over 6-8 weeks take everything off, overhaul, put it all back on.  My main goal is to learn how to better maintain mine and my family's bikes, but if I could get a kinda cool cross bike out of it, I'm game!

I'm thinking I'll use my old non-suspension mountain bike (DB cromoly, non-sloping top tube).  Mostly I'm thinking of using this bike because I don't ride it so it can be in pieces of 6-8 weeks and it's front and rear geared so I can learn about that stuff.

But what if at the same time I wanted to try to make it into a cross bike, even for racing?  Are there any advantages to a mtn bike in a CX race?  I've been passed by them (okay, doesn't say a lot!).  Do 26 inch wheels corner better?  Do flat bars give more control in technical parts?  What might I want to do to make this mtn bike into a good cross bike -- moustache bars, drops, other ideas?  

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My most FUN bike is a size too small ATB, Ti, converted to 1X7, 1.5" contis which run at 65# through anything. Amp fork. A nimble dancer. Will surgically do anything. 'We' cover the tech stuff well, out accelerate, loose gap on the flat straights, oh well, it is a HOOT!.
Despite being told I could use the bike in the old fart races at nationals, they now tell me I can't, and it is too late to buy/relearn a new bike...AM BUMMING BIGTIME.
If you want to do the sport, just start with a real CX. Me, I'm dropping the sport, regrettably, at nationals over this...have 18 months joyfully invested...

Nah! Don't quit! Disguise the bike, get a dr's note, something. What are they down on the bike about, the tire width?
THANK YOU! pseudo drops are on order! oughta work. thank you.
hey, no problem...good luck! but don't tell the USAC officials I said they'd be okay. but hopefully they will be okay.
did they arrive? will you be rocking them in bend?
They did arrive, look good, but Brad Ross the race director says we all need 700c wheels, too. Am bumming. Are you going to be here?
really? 700c? hmm. I didn't know there is that rule. so, the vertically challenged cannot ride a 26" wheel? hmm...hmm. usa cycling rule? starting with what age group?

I wonder if there are rules written for this, given the whole emergency thing is so recent. does it define wheel sizes, tire width? after all, uci does not recognize it should be all usa cycling rules.
Andrew, I am clueless. 20 yrs ago we annually redesigned the TT frames we built to adopt to UCI 'progressions'. Today, I try to just play. Brad Ross the race director here responded to my query that the 'true drop bars' and 'tire width' rules would be enforced as would the '700c requirement' in ALL age groups, 'even on Wednesday'...I race 65+. No, they are not keeping their sport(s) accessible with these meaningless barriers...especially in the 'meaningless' (entry pathways, handicapped, aged, etc.) catagories.
Oh well, the snow is superb, we've a nordic race season to train for, and 2 dozen family for Christmas...ON ON !
i used those last tape helped disguise them, ha!
If you don't want to drop the extra money on yet another steed for the stable an old mountain bike works great to try before you buy type of situation...I bought a SOMA off the bat and am happy of the way I went.
As far as performance goes with a mtn bike.....I wouldn't say their is any advantage or disadvantage of going with either from the start as a beginner to the sport, if that is where you are
Yeah, beginner here, no doubt. I do have a real cross bike -- an old, wonderful Lemond Poprad, with tubulars no less! -- but I thought if I'm doing this build-a-bike class anyhow and if I can get another fun cross bike out of it, why not? Tad, I was hoping for something like you were talking about -- something nimble, if slow on straights. Of course, I could just actually learn how to corner properly on my Poprad (getting there...).

Any thoughts on moustache bars on a 26 inch mtn bike as a second cross bike? Any other ways to have some fun with this? I'd like to get friction shifting in there somehow, I miss that.

if you're building a bike, and love 'cross, what I'd do is build an aggressive 29er. that way you can throw on cx tires or big fatties on the same rims and with disc brakes, you're even UCI legal if that's what you aspire'd just need a drop bar. the same benefits of a 29er over a 26er apply for cyclocross, assuming similar tire widths, so on bumps you'd have better luck with the larger diameters.

or, another way to think about it, is build a cx bike with clearance for 1.9" tires... I do mtb races on my cx bike and it's a good way to make boring courses more challenging.


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