Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - where do I go from here...Ive been bit...
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06-12-06, 10:00 PM
Until now I have been a full-time roadie but after joining a team the president has really got me going on the idea of getting into cyclocross as a good training tool during the fall and winter and a way to switch things up. Needless to say I have been bitten by the bug. I am a college student so funds are low but I anticipate buying a cx bike by the end of the summer. I have been browsing threads here and done many searches but have not come up with a lot of info that pertains to my situation. For someone who is a competitive Cat5 roadie and may end up catting up by the end of the season, what kind of cx bike should I be looking at. I went to my LBS that I trust and he showed me the Trek XO1 (something like that) and he offered me a brand new one for just under 1200$. I have done research through manufacturer websites and it appears to me that many of the bikes are not equipped with higher end components (i.e. DA, ultegra, chorus, record, etc). Why is this? Also, why are '06 bikes still equipped with 9-spd components? Also, w/ regards to cx bikes, what is considered "race-ready" as far as components and weight goes? I know I try to shoot for at least a 105-ultegra mix bike for the road with weight under 18lbs. Any help you guys can give me would be wonderful. Being a college student I will probably shoot to spend at the bottom of the price range that is considered race ready. Thanks ahead of time!
I have a 2006 xo1. Bought it new in sept of 05, and yes its a 9 spd 105 set up. I think with 10 spped youre getting to thin on your drive train. A lot pf people race on a single chainring and a 9 speed cassette. Remember a cros bike and its parts take a lot of abuse, so in some cases heaver is better
Unlike road bikes that can stay pretty and shiny, CX bikes get muddy, nasty, dirty, gunky, and beat up real fast. Look at pics from any local CX race and you'll see many of the people you;ll likely be competing against on a random assortment of $1200 CX bikes like the Kona Jake the Snake, Trek XO1, Specialized Tri0Cross, Redline Conquest, Fuji, and even those beautiiful Cannondales like the one I own. Reality is that you're not Sven Nys yet, you won't be competing at the SuperPrestige series anytime soon, and Nys' very light Colnago wouldn't make you any different a rider than the Trek XO1.
Here's my advice: get one of those $1200 CX bikes, they're all pretty comperable, and ride it into the ground. Eventually, you might want to toss on some new wheels or customize some components, but you can buy and race any of them pretty much the way they are.
06-12-06, 11:10 PM
Awesome! Thanks a bunch guys! That is kind of the impression that I got after looking things over. I will have to get out there and try some of the different models out. One other newbie question: Do guys that race just wear mtb shoes? I plan to run egg beater pedals as I can get an excellent deal on them from my team discount.
P.S. I am assuming as far as weight goes I am going to be looking more at the 20+ lbs range correct?
06-13-06, 03:38 PM
I have a Bianchi Axis (2005 model), I threw some Eggbeater Candys on it, and got some cheaper MTB shoes ($65 Specialized, make sure you get shoes that you don't need a ton of shims to make the cleats work with the pedals, eggbeater cleats and pedals are pretty low profile, so the tall tread on some shoes (most shimanos, for example) forces you to use a bunch of shims or grind down the tread with a dremmel. Specialized and Sidi shoes are great for eggbeaters, and both very comfortable.)
I'm VERY happy with it. The aluminum frame with carbon fork make it light and stiff.
My girlfriend just got a new 2006 model Axis for about $1200. Look around to see if there are any you can check out around your area, and if they have a 2005 model, go for that one.
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