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big & single said:
So what's the distinction between monster cross and a big wheeled MTB with drop bars?
To my mind, these bikes are defined by the tires: 38-45mm tires, bigger than UCI-sanctioned cyclocross tires (35c max) but smaller than fat MTB tires (about 48mm/1.9" and up). If your 29"er is shod in 700x42s it qualifies in my book.

Here are the non-slick tires I know of in this size range. I'm including Euro-"trekking" tires if they have some actual usable tread to them. Comments added for the ones I've actually ridden:
  • Avocet Cross II SL 700x38, 445g.
  • Bontrager Jones XR 1.8, 550g.
  • Club Roost Terra 700x38, 500g.
  • Conti CountryRide 700x37, 605g.
  • Hutchinson Acrobat 700x37/700x42, 660g/810g.
  • IRC Cross Country 700x38, 495g.
  • IRC Metrocross Duro 700x38, 502g.
  • IRC Mythos CX Slick 700x38/40/42, 495/510/550g. The 700x42 is ubiquitous and stocked on the GF Dual Sport bikes, last I checked. A bit buzzy and slightly slower rolling than some of the other semislicks, it's still an excellent all-rounder. Not to be confused with a full knobby of course, it still seemed to work decently everywhere I've tried it offroad. A bit sketchy on wet pavement for you commuters.
  • Kenda Kross Plus K847 700x38/42, 630g/650g. Not to be konfused with the Kenda Cross or the Kenda Kross Supreme. Believe it or not, this tire (for which I paid $6.50 at Nashbar) is my favorite tire in this class if you want something that is still fast on pavement. Rolls ultra-fast and has decent grip everywhere from gravel to wet pavement and even mud. Worth the weight.:thumbsup:
  • Maxxis WormDrive CX 700x42, 445g. I have two of these. Looks a lot like the K847, so you'd think it would perform similarly. It rolls just as fast (and is much lighter) but has much less grip offroad. Oddly, better in snow and ice than in mud.
  • Michelin TransWorld Sprint 700x40, 640g. Bigger than the K847 or the WormDrive, this sucker grips well offroad, including mud, snow and ice. Not great if you plan to include a lot of road work: sketchy on wet pavement, and rolls slower than you'd think given the low diamond center tread. I'm starting to think that Kevlar puncture belts incur a pretty huge cost in terms of rolling resistance. Seems like thick center treads (like on the K847 or the Karma) give just about as much protection against glass punctures, with about the same weight penalty and much less rolling resistance.
  • Panaracer FireCross 700x45, 690g.
  • Panaracer Smoke 700x45, 550g, out of production. The classic monster-'cross tire. More like 700x42. Oodles of grip. Oodles of rolling resistance.
  • Ritchey Mount Cross 700x38, Pro/WCS 425g/370g. Round carcass and lots of closely spaced flat-topped knobs. Light, smooth, fast and easy-cornering on pavement. Good offroad too, rocks, gravel or even slimy mud. Haven't ridden it in sticky mud, but I bet it would pack up like crazy.
  • Ritchey ZED Race 700x42, 520g. So many rave reviews, I really need to get around to trying this one.
  • Schwalbe Black Jack 700x45, 650g. Raised smooth center tread gives you low rolling resistance, yet still gave me amazing MTB-level traction everywhere I've tried it, from the dry sandy trails of central Oregon to the mudbogs of Western Oregon. Commuters be warned about the worst wet-pavement traction of any tire I've ever ridden, as bad as the old Conti Goliath. Probably scary on wet rocks too.
  • Schwalbe Marathon Cross 700x38, 630g.
  • Schwalbe Marathon XR 700x40, 680g.
  • Schwalbe Hurricane/Hurricane Sport 700x40, 740/630g.
  • WTB Interwolf 700x38, 450g.
  • Tioga Bloodhound 700x38, 473g.
  • WTB Mutanoraptor Comp 700x45, 550g(?).

Edit: I suppose 35mm tires might qualify too, especially the Kenda Kross Supreme bogblasters. Too many of those for me to list here though.
 

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"Not a monster cross bike. That's a drop bar 29"er."

I hear you. I think this bike overlaps so many different categories that it sits firmly in the "none-of-the-above" column. It's kind of funny you say that because mine is the first one not to be called a "28-Incher". We'll have a new name soon. Wes built the first 28-Incher in 1988 around a Continental Goliath 700x47 and left some huge clearance. It was based on some early 1900s model touring bike. In the Golden Age of Handbuilt Bicycles book, there is a 1930s French "camping" bike that looks just like this (minus the ExiWolf).

I actually just posted this picture with the giant tires to show the clearance. I will probably run it with 700x42s, like I have run my CX bikes for years.

-steven
 

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WillitsBrand.comI will probably run it with 700x42s said:
Now yer talkin' monster cross!

I use 34mm Tufo CX tubulars which are light, hook up pretty well, and last a long time. Plus you can add Stan's and have the best of both worlds.

That's a nice looking bike, I have pretty much the same size fork on mine (Black Sheep unicrown ti) which I can stuff ~a 2.1 in with very little clearance (400mm axle-crown).

I never have run anything but the tubies on it, but I guess I could go bigger if I ever got the urge. It's hard thinking about bigger/heavier tires when I can do pretty much everything I want with 400g rims and 400 g tires and the really quick acceleration they give....RC
 

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WillitsBrand.com,
that bike is beautiful!
I run a San Jose with Paul WORD hubs, Mavic CXP33 rims and Ritchey ZED 700x42. I added a Winwood carbon fork for a little plushness in the front.
I hope I qualify for "monster"cross.....I ride it all over my local trails in socal, it works great on the hardpack trails and fireroads. I've been thinking of geared CX rig but not sure I am ready to turn from the darkside!
 

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monster truckin

Well fewer knobs than I like offroad but it is good all arround. Scwalbe big apples (700x50) replaced that Irc mythos 42's on my surly.
Bicycle tire Tire Wheel Bicycle frame Bicycle wheel rim

definitley monster - very little room in the rear. Must instert wheel in drops before inflating fully in order to squeeze past the chainstay bridge. Wheel is almost all the way back
Tire Wheel Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel rim Automotive tire
 

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great for combo rides...

Sorry, I am late to this thread. (Trying to upload pic of my Atlantis with 44's).

I thought these were coined "Adventure Bikes". Anyways, I have been riding my Montster Cross for combo rides etc... also for less than technical single track. The Midge bars are also a nice fit for this type of bike. The second generation of Atlantis will fit true 29" tires, though with a bit of toe pedal overlap. Typicaly I run 44mm WTB Mutano's on mine. These bikes are a nice fit in the quiver, and are especially good "road" bikes for us mountian bikers that like to find car-free routes. That said, I won't be ditching my full-sus mtb any time soon.
 

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Can anybody tell me the height of those tyres? Bead to top of thread. Yesterday I measured the room that I have in my old MTB frame and it's about 40 to 45 MM. Is that enough clearance for some of those cross tyres?
 

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Riding for Sanity said:
MAckie, are you running a Brake Caliper or a Cantilevers up front? What's the biggest tire you can stuff in there?
It's standard calipers. Because the bike was designed for 27 inch wheels and I now run 700c wheels, I have plenty of room. The 45's from my Redline cross frame fit easily.
I am in the market for a 700c fork with canti studs & a 1 inch steerer though.
 

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SpinWheelz said:
Mackie, perhaps we ought to take our bargain bikes out to some dirt and see what sort of beating they can take.[/IMG]
Nice ride Spin.
I take mine on dirt fairly frequently out on Long Island - i ride the Bethpage path up to the White Trail that runs around up there. The bike is great on singletrack as long as it's not too rocky. Where it needs work though is the bar/stem/fork connection. Right now I'm using the stock fork - 1 inch threaded, with a Nasgbar threadless steerer adapter taking me up to 1&1/8th. Then an MTB stem & the Midge bars. Feels nice and tight and smooth, but makes an AWFUL :eek: knocking sound when I bunnyhop. Not very reassuring.

Anyway, where are you riding that nice green machine?
 

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Mackie said:
Nice ride Spin.
I take mine on dirt fairly frequently out on Long Island - i ride the Bethpage path up to the White Trail that runs around up there. The bike is great on singletrack as long as it's not too rocky. Where it needs work though is the bar/stem/fork connection. Right now I'm using the stock fork - 1 inch threaded, with a Nasgbar threadless steerer adapter taking me up to 1&1/8th. Then an MTB stem & the Midge bars. Feels nice and tight and smooth, but makes an AWFUL :eek: knocking sound when I bunnyhop. Not very reassuring.

Anyway, where are you riding that nice green machine?
Having only just built it up, I've only taken it on a test ride around a small lake in my town. Unfortunately, it was between rainfalls and the lake is surrounded rocks and roots. Wet rocks and roots on (relatively) skinny cross tires - that was unnerving at best. I think this bike will see the most time on flat(ish) fire roads going up from New Rochelle to White Plains as well as out to Orchard Beach. Pretty much the same sort of ride you're taking with your bike (which you've turned into one tasty ride). Front end setup is somewhat similar to yours. Nashbar threadless stem adapter, hi-rise MTB stem and On*One Midge bars. I'm still having a fair bit of trouble lifting the front end with the Midge bars.
 

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nm13 said:
I like it. Been working on somthing similar. What bars are those? Thought they were upsidedown Mary's but they look silver.
They're old three speed bars salvaged many years ago and inverted in the above setup. A bit narrow for off road ridding (not enough leverage) but they porovide a couple good hand position for arround town and longer rides.

I think these are more similar to the old 'preist' bars as oposed to the northroads which are longer and have more sweep.
kinda like these
http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/membership_rivendell12.html
but with less bar, mine might be a 'kids' version
 
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