Touring - specialized tricross sport vs comp, or poprad
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12-09-07, 09:03 PM
I posted this in the cyclocross section, but not sure that's the best place: I'm looking for an all-rounder - light tourer, commuter, recreational trail-rider and maybe a beginner triathlon bike.
I've tried lots (excluding, sadly, the bianchi volpe as well as a trek, fuji, k2, rei bikes). The two I've tried that seem to fit best are a specialized tricross 54cm with a shorter stem, or a lemond poprad 52cm.
I like the idea of steel, and the lemond fits like a glove, but I'd want a triple crank (moving to New Zealand.. hilly!) so would probably have to fork out a bit to get that set up. It also doesn't have brazeons for racks (tho does have threaded eyelets on front and back, so would be workable)
The specialized also fits well, has triple crank and braze-ones, and alu may have its advantages for rainy NZ? It's just so chunky looking though, vs. the (to me) attractive classic-style poprad. I could get an '08 sport for $1150, or an '07 comp for $1500. What is there about the higher spec one that would be good for me? (given I don't want to actually race cyclocross...) Is it worth the upgrade?
08 sport - http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32209
07 comp - http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22302
Thanks for any comments....
The sport has a much lower geared cassette and a mountain bike derailleur to support it. The comp has a 10sp derailleur that will not support the really low gears of a mountain bike cassette. So it really depends on how much fast type riding you'll be doing compared to touring type riding. Also depends on the weight you'll be carrying. If you'll only be doing real light touring, the lower gears may not make that big of difference as long as you do have a triple front chain ring.
The comp though does have nicer wheels. Though the wheels are 20 and 24 spoke wheels, I probably wouldn't trust them but with the lightest of loads, even then, not so much. The sport has 32 spoke wheels which aren't good enough for most here, but will probably suffice for a while. While you could race on the 32 spoke wheels of the sport, I wouldn't recommend touring with the 24 of the comp.
A second set of wheels on either would be a good idea. Maybe a lighter racier type set if you get the sport with skinny tires and smaller cassette for road riding and racing. If you get the comp then maybe put skinny tires on the stock wheels and buy a higher spoke count set for touring with fat tires.
I think either bike is a compromise one way or the other. Only you'll be able to decide which type of riding will be your priority.
In Oct 2006 I rode both Tricross models because I was looking for something more efficient for both commuting and light touring than was my mountain bike that was stolen. The fork being drilled for lowrider racks is what initially piqued my interest in the Specialized bikes. I've never ridden the Poprad but I rode with, and was ultimately buried by, a guy riding one this summer-- and I was on my Trek Madone 5.9 at the time. Of course I'm 57 and he was in college, which goes to prove the engine is more important than the bike. I've always felt the fit of the bike is most important and the two types of bikes you're looking at have widely varying geometries. Lemond bikes have always had long top tubes (542mm for the 52cm Poprad vs 530mm for the 52cm Tricross--both come w/ 100mm stems) which is undoubtedly why you are looking at a 52 Poprad vs a 54 Tricross (545mm top tube). Be aware that generally you increase the "twitchiness??" factor as you shorten the stem.
I wouldn't get too hung up on the aluminum vs steel issue from a theoretical perspective. How it's implemented in the design of the bike is most important. People use their aluminum-framed bikes to jump from dizzying heights so durability isn't a problem. Conversely I've never heard of a steel bike that has disintegrated from rust. My vote goes to the one that feels the best/is the most psychologically satisfying, as they all will handle tasks you envision.
12-12-07, 11:36 PM
i'm looking for a bike for nearly the same purposes as you right now. Except I also want a bike that I can take on tame off-road trails.
My searching so far has been all online, but my list is basically the same as yours, with one addition. The new Jamis Aurora Elite. This bike is the one that looks like a winner to me. I hope to find one at an LBS.
12-13-07, 06:16 AM
Wow, I like that bike. As good specs as the Tricross Comp but about $500 cheaper. Nice. Might be a better ride also.
12-13-07, 08:15 AM
I think the Aurora is a bit heavier but looks like a very nice bike. I have the 2007 Tricross Comp (I got it last December) and purchased it after exploring many other options. I really liked the fit and the smooth ride, plus it's very durable. I'm an all-purpose kind of guy. The Tricross is a nice mix of a bike I can use to hop curbs, load up for light touring, speed down the road or take on the trail. My Trek hybrid can do the same things, except it's a lot clunkier and slower.
12-13-07, 10:40 AM
jimmuter - what does the comp weigh? Jamis says that the aurora elite weighs 26.25lbs.
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