Litespeed T3 for CX

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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rlhbusl
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by rlhbusl

I just purchased a 2016 Litespeed T3 with Ultegra components; 3T seatpost, stem, and bars; and Mavic Ksyrium wheels. The bike currently has rim brakes but the frame is flat mount disc brake compatible (would require a new fork). I've never raced, but I'm interested in doing a few local cyclocross races. Is the T3 a serviceable CX bike? If so, are disc brakes or cantilever brakes a necessity? I think 28mm tires will be the fattest the frame will allow - will that work? What other upgrades would you do to make this a decent CX bike? Thanks in advance for the help! Ryan

by Weenie


mattr
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by mattr

TBH, once you get some treaded/mud/grass 28s (do they even still make treaded tyres that small) you're going to end up with fag paper clearances, so if it's muddy, you aren't going to go anywhere.

Also looks like the clearance behind the bottom bracket will be the limiting factor (width i reckon).

I reckon it'll be a pretty poor CX bike.

First upgrade i'd make would be the frame.

rlhbusl
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by rlhbusl

Thanks, Matt.

If all agree with the above comments, then perhaps the better question is: Can I make the LS T3 into a serviceable CX bike? If so, where would you start? What tires would you suggest?

Thanks,
Ryan

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jcrr
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by jcrr

@rlhbusl-

I echo what mattr said, and I'll say it differently-- Once you start cornering HARD, you will be at a huge grip disadvantage with any tires smaller than 32, in either dry or wet. If you drop the pressure on a 28 tire in an attempt to try to increase footprint area for grip, you are very likely to pinch-flat the moment you hit something hard. It's about tire volume. And if that frame/fork restricts you to small tires.... I am also of the opinion you may have to look for a different frame platform

Respectfully,

JCR
"If it ain't broken, it could be lighter"

TimmS
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by TimmS

Putting 650b wheels in instead could make room for wider tires

mattr
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by mattr

Depending on the profile of fork and stays. It'll also (possibly) drop the bottom bracket.

Marin
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by Marin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATnL_o0LSAA These guys weren't slow and they were on narrow tires.

You can ride a CX race on any road bike, that's how cyclocross was invented, by finding something fun to do with the road bike in winter.

Schwalbe CX Pro and Michelin Mud 2 run narrow and will probably fit under the brakes, worth a try.

On dry races, you can ride on 28mm road tires with file tread as well. In muddy conditions however, you won't have enough mud clearance in your frame, especially with the rim brakes.

My suggestion would be to get a set of tires and try riding on grass and gravel.

rlhbusl
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by rlhbusl

Marin wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ATnL_o0LSAA These guys weren't slow and they were on narrow tires.

You can ride a CX race on any road bike, that's how cyclocross was invented, by finding something fun to do with the road bike in winter.

Schwalbe CX Pro and Michelin Mud 2 run narrow and will probably fit under the brakes, worth a try.

On dry races, you can ride on 28mm road tires with file tread as well. In muddy conditions however, you won't have enough mud clearance in your frame, especially with the rim brakes.

My suggestion would be to get a set of tires and try riding on grass and gravel.


Thanks for the suggestions, Marin. This is very helpful! Ryan

RyanH
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by RyanH

Could you measure the width of the chainstays at the tire area? My road T3 (rim brake version) is only 31mm.
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rlhbusl
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by rlhbusl

I measured a couple days ago and mine is also 31 mm - or very close. So, the Schwalbe CX Pro 30mm tires that purportedly measure less than 30mm should fit, right.

mattr
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by mattr

Depends on the rim. A slightly wider rim might push the tyre out a bit too much. The only way to find out is to actually try.

marin wrote:These guys weren't slow and they were on narrow tires.

You can ride a CX race on any road bike, that's how cyclocross was invented, by finding something fun to do with the road bike in winter.
Most of them would have been on 27x1 1/4" and clearances were generally much bigger.
There was also virtually bugger all grip on anything other than hardpack and dry firm ground.
I've done a lot of RSF rides on a similarly set up bike (big road tyres and old school centre pulls for clearance), and a proper cross bike is night and day as far as it's capabilities go.

And yes, in dry races you can get away with file tread. Generally they are in short supply for most of the season.
Unless the OP lives somewhere with no rain.

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GonaSovereign
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by GonaSovereign

I love riding my road bike on the trails, and if that fits a 30mm tire, you'll have some fun. A 30 might be a snug fit under the brake caliper (unless you use discs).

It will not be a serviceable CX bike on a CX course. If you want to race cross, If it's dry you'll get around the course with more difficulty than the others, and if it's wet you're finished. In either case, not serviceable if you're looking to race. It's a nice bike, and I'm sure you could sell that lovely frame and buy a nice cross bike with the proceeds.

by Weenie


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