Converting a road bike to a cross bike.....


Senior Member
After looking in a local bike shop and seeing 2007 Kona Jake reduced from £650 (the cost of the 08 edition) to £450 my appetite has been wetted. They had it in my size only.

I live in Marlborough, (near the Ridgeway) near lots of bridle paths hard packed and muddy (very muddy) and no rocks.

Alternatively I can spend some money on converting my roadbike a Specialized Allez or can I? I have previously put a compact on and can put a 34 on the back with MTB derailleur. My wheels are Mavic Aksiums which I believe can handle off-road.

I am mainly worried about

1. clearance for thicker knobbly tires

2 clearance for bottom bracket

3 the brake levers for the drop bar tops are cheap but how do I attach them with the normal drop brakes? Do I have 2 cables running to the same cantilever?

I would be really grateful for any advice, many thanks

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
You'll have problems with the tyre clearance mostly. quite doubtful if you could get a cyclocross tyre in the frame gap.

And crudely speaking, thats the only difference between roadbikes and Cyclocross bikes, tyres.


Senior Member
Some cross bikes have fairly aggressive geometry, the front tends to be steepish with a more relaxed seat angle.

Coming soon: pictures of my new cross bike!


New Member
Beside the road
The main problem with using a 'normal' road bike is mud clearance. Side pull brakes soon clog up (which is why Cross bike use Cantis) and you need plenty of room between your tyres and the frame.

The high Bottom bracket is often a disadvantage, it makes tight cornering hard work. Not all Cyclo-cross bikes have high BB's and unless your thinking of doing a rocky course IMO you wont need one.

The top bar brakes use the same cable. They're easier to connect than explain. Just thread the wire straight through them and re-cut your outers to size. It's obvious when you see them.
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