Personal setups » Carrotcake’s CX set-up


This is a creation of needs. My cyclocross bike got written off in a crash and I had this Bonrager frame sitting idle with little use. The CX bike got stripped and the components transfered to this frame. It is a bit of a bastard creation with 700c wheels on a frame designed to take a 26′ wheel.
I bought some Salsa Woodchipper bars and Moto Ace stem to achive a more commanding riding position for extended trips. This bike is supposed to be a stop gap until I buy a new CX machine… but i’m growing quite fond of it. The frame is a large Bontrager Race dating to about 1996. Forks are Pace RC31. Brakes are Pauls Motolites. Gearing is a mix match of Shimano 105 STi combo, XTR rear mech, 11-34t 9sp XT cassette, 46/36t Pace chainrings on175mm Raceface turbine cranks, Hope hubs, SRAM chain, Velocity rims, DT Revolution spokes, Panaracer CinderCross 35c tyres, Flite ti saddle on Syncros post.

I’m going to sort out some propper bags at a later date, but for the time being this gets me out on the hills and away from the town. So far i’ve been out on several overnighters here in the UK. I want to string together a longer 2-3 night trip at the end of fall and adjust my gear to suit.

Here is a general overview of my gear and how I pack

The rear rack is a Topeak item.
Alpkit 20l drybag on the rear, containing –
* Alpkit Pipedream 800 bag
* Alpkit Hunka bivvy bag
* Alpkit Rig 7 Tarp
* Alpkit MiTiMug
* Paracord
* Pegs
* Coleman 100 Gas cartridge
* Fire steel
* Howies outback softshell jacket

Abus frame bag, containing
* Park tools multitool
* Leynze micro pump
* 700c tube
* Patchkit
* Emergency cereal bar
* Montane featherlite smock windproof
* MSR pocket rocket

Alpkit 8l Drybag on the bars, containing
* Alpkit aircirc thin sleeping pad
* Shimano XTR beanie hat

Northface Hammerhead hydration pack (older model), Contains

*Food –


*3l bladder of water

*knee warmers

*Change of cloths

*Victorinox Swiss Champ knife


*Alpkit Gamma Headtorch

*Alpkit fillet down vest for cooler time of year

*First Aid kit



*Howies merino wool jersey

*Cannondale short/liners

*Northwave mission shoe

*Thin wool socks

*Specialized gloves


Thanks for looking and feel free to feedback



Comments (7)

luk wynantsAugust 4th, 2011 at 7:46 am

Nice setup! Anxious to read about your experiences with the alpkit drybags, how they are coping with abrasion on the rack etc..

ChuntAugust 5th, 2011 at 9:47 am

Very nice! Impressed with your resourcefulness and love the traditional gravel grinder look of the bike.

Tom SAugust 5th, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Can you post a picture of your rear brake configuration. I’m curious how you are using 700C wheels in a 26″ frame with V-brakes.

carrotcakeAugust 8th, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Thanks for all the comments. I was concerned about the rack threating a hole in the bag at the rear, so have now put a removable pad from the back of an old back pack between the bag and where it contacts with the rack. The Alpkit Airloc XTra bags are made out of quite a thick, durable material compared to other brands I’ve compared them to. They are cheap enough to replace if I do eventually trash one.

With regard to the brakes. The RC-31 forks have clamp on brake bosses which I was able to reposition. With the rear set up, I first went about adjusting the height of the brake pads on the arms of my Paul’s Motolite brakes. They straddle cable cleared a 23c road tyre, but caught the tread on 35c cross tyres. The Motolite BMX models may clear the tread, but the stock Motolite is just too short. I ended up ordering up one of these from Mavic

The 700c adaptor works well. I intend to modify it to do away with the top part of the horseshoe. My intention is to brace the now two piece adaptor off each seat stay. This will allow the clearance and option for me to run a 29er tyre and increase tyre clearance for winter months. I’ll post some picture of the set up when I get I moment.

I’m enjoying ‘tweaking’ the setup after every trip. I know the bike is always going to be a compromise over a bespoke rig, but the satifaction of making it work is gratifying.

Jeff LyallSeptember 1st, 2011 at 5:25 pm

I love looking at the way people customize their rigs like this. Awesome. In the Kiwi Brevet , (a very rough off road event) I cut up a spare tramping mat to put on the top of my Freeload Rack, to protect my dry bag getting damaged. It went great. (the 2nd to last photo).

HarrisonFebruary 19th, 2012 at 10:21 am

Just curious…where did you get that bar tape? I have a cross bike in a similar color and I think it looks great in the blue, yellow, black and red!

carrotcakeFebruary 24th, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Hi there, the bar tape made me smile when I saw it in the shop.. I thought the colours might be a bit over the top, but it just looks viberant and make you want to go ride.

This is the tape and where I bought it from.

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