I am considering doing some of the PACC cycloscross races this year but not sure what bike to ride.
I have an old steel single speed which I was going to use, but to be honest I dont think it will handle very well on the dirt - it seems to be very high and long which is probably not ideal CX geometry. It currently has a 42x16 gear which is fine for what I use it for but may be a bit big for CX, so I could put a bigger cog on the back. This bike has old school shimano 600 brakes which have a lot of clearance around the tyre and I reckon I could easily fit CX tyres on it. So that is option 1.
Option 2 is to put some CX tyres on my roadie (a 2006 Giant) but I am not sure what size CX tyre I could fit on it. There is not much clearance around the brake area - mainly in the vertical direction, width wise seems to be OK. It is a more compact geometry so I reckon it would handle better, but I dont want to buy some tyres for it if they are not going to fit.
Does anyone have any suggestions. By the way I am just aiming to make it around the course and don't have any expectations!
To answer your question on single speed try sending a PM to AVO, I saw him riding a single speed last season, he's got bloody strong hill climbing legs though. As for the tyre fit, why not go to your LBS with your bike and work out your options
High and long is pretty perfect actually! try a 42x18.
More tyre clearence and a fatter tyre will overcome a skinny tyre. There are quite a few single speeds.
rather than go to your LBS and waste a lot of time getting tyres that won't fit - we did a bit of collective research on actual tyre sizes to try to help other road conversions out, have a look in this thread here.
+1 to the long steel bike
I started out with a relaxed geometry steel framed bike, and it soaked up the bumps a lot better than my lighter, smaller CX bike.
Tyre wise, it's doubtful you will find CX tyres in any bike shop, let alone a range of them. It will be far easier to fit them to the steel bike too....I had 32's on mine, which is the max legal width I think.....I had some issues with frame and brake rubbing, but nothing like the troubles others were having with road bikes.
Yup last time I raced, let the air out of my conti road tyres 700X23c and was able to get around the course....
I would try the small block 8 from kenda. We have had those running in a few roadies. I have them on my cx bike at the moment so if you wanted we could pop a wheel out and put it in your bike to see if it fits. Vittoria xn pro is another but I have no experience in getting it into road brakes. maybe panaracer crossblaster it is a very small 700x31 according to the reviews.
Dstone, if you have some verniers, it woudl be good if you can add to the measurements here fr the small block 8's: http://www.pacc.org.au/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2938
Will do so tom when i ride into work tom.
Havent joined the PACC forum but this is what I found. Photos from phone were too rubbish to upload
Kenda Small block 8 700x32 folding measured 31.17 wide 31.89 high
Kenda Small Block 8 700x34 wire bead measured 32.17 wide 33.57 high
Schwalbe Rapid Ron 700x35 wire bead measured 34.5 wide 33.81 high
Kenda kommando 700x35 wire bead measured 33.1 wide 33.21 high
Thanks, looks like the Schwalbe CX Pro wire bead is still king for fitting to road bikes then at 27mm wide and 29mm high (they have tall knobs)
Like a lot of sports, you don't need front line equiptment to try it out. Just lower the gearing on your SS, fit some fatter tyres if you like and give it a go. You'll discover soon enough whether you want to start modifying/replacing further and, more importantly, WHAT you have to modify. You might also find that you don't like the sport.
Start simple, get complicated when you know what you're doing. Worked for me in track cycling (which I loved but no longer do) and bike polo (which I'm having a break from caused by not being able to get there)
Have decided to use the SS bike and will put a smaller gear on it. Have ordered some Schwalbe CX Pro tyres from my LBS in the UK. If I like it I envisage the need for another bike...!
If you want to borrow some CX Pros I have a set here which you can borrow in the meantime. Or anyone else who wants to try CX for that matter!