Cross bike ideas anyone?

Not a fixed-related query, but a bit on the fringe…

I’m thinking about simplifying life in the bike shed a bit by doing away with the Hardtail MTB and/or the ‘spare’ roadie and building up a cyclocross-type bike (with gears!) for knockabout general use like commuting, occasional rail trails, easy singletrack and the like, maybe even the odd Audax. I don’t want something as relaxed as a tourer. Unless I’ve not been paying attention cross bikes & frames aren.t everyday things here so I have a couple of scenarios in mind and would welcome opinions:

  1. Modify the ‘spare’ roadie
    A custom steel Paconi road frame running 10sp campag chorus. The frame could be maybe be doctored by brazing canti bosses onto the chainstays but there’s a pretty close brake bridge that would have to be moved or removed, plus there’s the repainting. I’m also thinking the Chorus might be a bit flash for the intended use…As well as the frame mod I’d have to buy forks/cantis and a few other bits but I have plenty of campag wheels.

  2. Cannibalise the roadie.
    Source a modest-priced frame/fork set, cantis etc from somewhere (surly, soma, Fetish, Ibex?) alu has some attraction because of the salt factor on the daily bayside commute), migrate the chorus & wheels from the roadie.

  3. Cannibalise the MTB.
    The MTB is my least favourite bike. I’m too old and fat to be arsed riding anything rougher than rail trails and a bit of lazy singletrack, so could scavenge the drivetrain off this one & migrate it to a 'cross frame sourced as in (2). This means finding/building wheels plus new shifters and assorted road bits from the spares cupboard or otherwise scrounged.

Any thoughts welcome, or a pointer to someone who knows about this stuff…I don’t have a budget in mind yet, but cheaper is gooder.

My Cyclo-cross…

Gunnar Crosshairs

56 true temper frame
carbon cross fork
mix of Ultegra and 105
dura-ace bar-end shifters
Paul brakes
On-One midge bars
White Industries hubs, Mavic Cxp33 rims

Modifying an existing bike is a good option but it’s still a compromise. I’m currently riding my track bike with 32c CX tyres. The ride is good but I find the geometry is way too tight for the dirt and the tyre clearance is bugger all.

If I were you, I’d part out your bikes to build a bike with a proper CX frameset and sell the rest to fund the project. Brunswick Street Cycles has some Voodoo CX framesets I believe. Also, they’re currently having a sale on Kona Jake the Snakes. Other CX frames/bikes that you can get in Oz include Redline or Fuji. They seem to be good value as well.


Agreed. I’ve had the gunnar up at Lysterfield, a fucking blast on those trails. Dedicated 'cross frame is the only way to fly. There was a bloke at the Roobaix on Saturday with a Lime green Jake the sanke with Ksyriums, looked great.

hi all, I was recently in Rays I think on Sydney rd Melb (brunswick rd end)
they have anice little Blucher set up with canti brakes and would make anice little cross bike.
I think it may be around 50 cm so one for the shorter people on the planet.
think it was pretty reasonably priced too!
forget what other gear was on it but I was thinking it could be one for missus?


Nice. How do you like the Midge bars and where did you get the frame?

Got the frame from Dan (shifter), when he was set up at Malvern Bicycles. Malvern Bikes was the Oz Distributor for Gunnar, but I think they have closed now. So you’ll probably have to order from the states, cross-hairs frame is about $1000.

Midge bars are great, really wide though, I’ve managed to get some Salsa Bell-lap pros, which aren’t as wide on the outward sweep. Both bars have a nice shallow drop.

Is that the stitched bar tape from Sella Azzura? I’m just about to order a few rolls for myself and a mate from a bloke in Europe for A$15 a set about $5-7 postage each. Any interest? I think Kennedy sells it for close to $50.

That looks like it might be RavX stich tape…

But hey if you have some spares in your order I’ll take one for sure.

Bar tape is what Nath said, Stitch Wrap.

I also have a 56cm Surly Cross Check (misty mountain grey colour), that I have ran as a Single Speed, Fixed and I’m now putting gears on it for touring purposes. If you want a great starter 'cross bike, they’re tops. has 'em for about $640 Oz, frame and fork, delivered in about 5 days.

Also found this for Kona 2008 models. There are the new photos of the Jakes in there

There is also this for the Fixed gear Poofs.

I love 'Cross bikes…

Found THIS:

when I should have been working, currently selling for US$149 frame only plus about $90 shipping.

Not a finesse frame, out of China, but cheap which is a quality I like. Aluminium has some appeal because it’s going to see a lot of salt and sand on the commute.

Anyone have any experience of fetish frames?


Agreed the pricing is good though, considering the only cheap steel frame is a Surly. The only thing you’ll have to do with the Fetish frame is find a fork.

I ride a on one pompino(steel), they have horizontal drop outs but you can pick them up for US$399 out of singapore from the bike boutique, not sure on postage! They sell midge bars and also planet x uncle john cross bike which runs gears also for a decent price. The on one is a pretty sweet ride though.

The '08 Paddywagon looks pretty good. Better colour scheme than this years and an upgrade to FSA cranks. Nice.

As for the Bike Boutique in Singapore … I visited them the last time I was there purely because they are the current distributors for On-one stuff in Asian (including Oz). No customers in the shop except for me. Three shop assistants. No service. Even my T-shirt didn’t attract any attention. Maybe it’s coz I’m a local (anyone that’s ever heard my rant about S’pore bike shops will know what I mean). Anyway, wasn’t very impressed.


Des, Those FSA Cranks are RPM’s (that were on the 2007 model), RPM crank with FSA graphics. I agree that the colour is better.

Thanks for the tip Craig.

The service online from the bike boutique was good but i had the same problem when i got there to pick up some goods, plenty of shop assistants but none to serve !(shop was also empty)

I went there just the once, shop was empty and almost had to beat them off with a shitty stick, but I’m a large white guy, was wearing a suit and my friend dropped me out the front in a large black german car.
I’ll be over there for a short visit next week and I’ll see if it works again. As it happens they didn’t have what I wanted…:evil: