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I've made the leap into CX (from mostly road/adventure racing background) and I am in the process of building up a bike.  Obviously this season is a wash as far as any racing, but my goal is to definitely try my hand at racing.  So in the meantime the bike will serve multiple duties - some road training, commuting and any CX stuff I can get involved with (local club, other riders etc).


I was reading a lot about running a single ring upfront.  But seeing that I won't be racing immediately, does it make more sense to go with a double ring setup at first, then convert it to single ring later?  Especially since I will be out on the roads a fair amount, would I end up missing some gear combos or can I cover the range with say a 42x 13-26 etc?  Thanks for the help!

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Yeah, go double for sure. I hate my single ring bikes for anything other than just racing 'cross.

Thanks Chris (and for the great answers I've been reading elsewhere here).


So then, should I consider a compact setup?

Rob, if you are interested I have an FSA SLK light carbon cyclocross crankset in the box, never used for 299.00 plus shipping. I had one for a project and won one. Do not need two right now. 


I'd go double-chainring, at least to start with. That way, you can figure out whether you need the gear range and how the two rings work for your style of racing. Personally, I run a double ring on my race bike, 46/36, and I never regret it. I probably only use the big ring in about half the races I do, but when I need it, it is really good to have and has definitely helped me to sprint/chase down riders on flat sections of the course.

You can always dump the outer ring later if you need to, but I find that the big ring comes in mighty handy on certain courses.


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