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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my sister mentioned her husband is selling his cross bike, a 45 cm Fort. It doesn't look like they sell that size anymore so I haven't found any details. And I don't even remember what size my road bike is... but that said, any thoughts on these bikes? Thought it might work on my commute once the snow is gone...rugged enough for the 1.3 mi of dirt, but alot faster than the MTB for the pavement. Not sure if I can get up the hill without the triple, though (3.5 mi, 1000' up). I am in or pretty close to lowest gear going up on the MTB now, though that is with my heavy studded tires, batteries, etc.
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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Not familiar with the brand, but I do ride a 'cross bike for my commute, and my ride sounds pretty similar to yours in some ways... I have about a mile of dirt road (horrible in winter), the rest is pavement, and the 1.5 mile stretch before home (on dirt) is about a 500' elevation gain. The double crankset took some getting used to, but it's good training. I got rid of the front derailleur and do the whole ride in the big ring (50 tooth) now. That took a while to pull off, but ditching the derailleur is good motivation :) I can't recommend the 'cross bike enough. It's light, fast, beefy enough to beat on, and comfortable.
 

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No-Brakes Cougar
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From what I've seen, some cross bikes are geared kind of low and some are geared almost as high as a road bike. You could try it and maybe decide to play around with the gearing as a side project if it proves too high for your climb?
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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On gearing, I should mention that I built mine from the frame up, and I have a MTB 8 speed cassette out back. 12-32 I think? Front is 50/34 road double.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
dankilling said:
I ride a Fort road frame and know several folks on their cross bikes. A 45 would be pretty small- how tall are you?
I'm 5'3, what do you think? My brother in law thought it might be too small but I have ridden his fixie & Ritchey P- before & don't remember them being too small. Granted, that was around the development not on a long ride. Do you size them like a road bike? I can get some measurements from him & compare.
 

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You might be able to get away with it at 5-3" - see if they will let you take it for a week and see if it is at least close. They are solid frames, but are race focused so no bottle, rack, or fender mounts. That said, if you don't carry much on your commute it could be a really fun all-rounder kind of bike....and might even spark an interest in the infectious condition known as cyclocross racing!
 

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Fat-tired Roadie
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Is 45cm the nominal size or the seat post measurement? It looks like it's got a sloping top tube, so they could be quite different - it could be a better fit for you than you think.

Anyway, give it a try and see what you think. Note that while it's more of a pain, you don't need bottle or fender mounts to mount a bottle and fenders. Rack mounts are less negotiable, IMHO, but I've found I only use mine for my lock most of the time.

What kind of shifters are those? There are ways to get really low gearing onto a road bike...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think 45 is the nominal size, so you might be right about it fitting "bigger" than that - he's sending some measurements & the gearing (but he says its really low:thumbsup: )
I don't know what the shifters are. I don't have a rack on my mtb I'm commuting on now, so no biggee for me there.

I don't think I'll be getting into cyclocross - never been a racer and isn't that here you can get wet, dirty & cold?? I already do that commuting;)

Thanks again, all. Now I am getting excited about "my" bike.
 

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I got nothin'
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Worst case if you buy it and it's too small is you can buy another cross frame and move all of the components over to the new frame. You can then sell the small frame on ebay.
 

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weirdo
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Wow, that does look small- sloping TT and still with a tiny HT. I wonder if those are 700c wheels? It has quite a gap between the seat tube what looks like already good sized tires. If they`re 700s, it has nice long stays.

Since they`re talking about sending you the measurements, I take it the bike isn`t local to you? Bummer. Whether you end up buying that particular bike or not, your commute does sound like a good candidate for a cross bike or sport tourer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It's in PA, but now my brother-in-law is threatening to give it to me, so now it darn well better fit!

The current Fort x-bikes have 700 wheels, so I'm guessing this does too.
 

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weirdo
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Give, as in "free", sounds great. Kind of anti cross, but I imagine you could put a triple on it if the gearing doesn`t cut it for you- I`m pretty sure that Shimano STI had the same front shifters for double and triple up until about a year ago. I don`t deal well with lack of granny either.
 

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According to the Fort web site

mtbxplorer said:
Thanks for all the info everyone -
I got a couple pix...it's a Fort Race
that XS sized frame has a 51.3cm ETT. I'd go with a straight seat post in order to get you over the cranks and not behind um and then a 100mm stem with either 5 degrees rise or straight.

Gotta admit i really like their road geometry alot.
 

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I got nothin'
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No granny gear = stand up and hammer.

I stopped using my granny gear on my commuter bike a few years ago in favor of standing to pedal. The initial idea was to improve my out of the saddle pedaling power for when I ride my SS MTB. Now I only use the granny gear on my FS MTB when I am slogging up realy big climbs. You would be amazed at how quick you can gain fitness.

BTW, free = really good in this case.
 

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Bedwards Of The West
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That thing is sweet. You will love commuting on a 'cross bike. It's the right tool for the job with a mixed terrain commute like you have.
 

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weirdo
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Gary the No-Trash Cougar said:
Also, did you notice the way the rear triangle make it look like an old loop-tail BMX frame?
It makes me think "Yeti".

Hydrogeek, hammer all you want to if it makes you happy. I`m sticking with gears (preferably 24 of `em) and you`ll pry my little granny ring from between my cold dead feet!
 
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