Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - Please help me to find the right cyclocross bike for me.
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09-03-10, 06:53 PM
Hi, I'm new to cyclocross or biking in general. I'm 5'6, 125 Ibs. I have a Schwinn Voyageur GS for a few years now. I do want to go biking more often but I rarely ride it because I feel it's too big and too heavy for me to carry it up and down the stairs. I went to a local bike shop today and they recommended me the Scattante X330 size 48 which I really like. It fits me comfortably, lighter than the Voyageur, and I'm interested to learn mountain biking in the future but don't want to buy a new bike. The bike is on sale right now for $599 which is about the price range I'm willing to spend. However, when I looked online, there aren't many good reviews about it and got me thinking. I'm looking for more recommendations since I'm clueless when it comes to bike and I'm willing to pay a little bit more if there are some out there that's better than the Scattante. I really appreciate if any expert out there can help me out. :) Thank you.
09-03-10, 10:34 PM
I'm no expert so take my opinion for what it's worth. Not much.
That's not a bad bike, but the component level is pretty poor. I think you'd be unhappy with Sora level components after a few months of riding. I would say that it may be a good idea to buy from Performance since you will be able to test ride it. See if they have the X-560 model. 105 level components and you can grow with this bike for a few years. Looks like you may also be able to get additional discounts off it.
09-04-10, 05:24 PM
If you're interested in mountain biking then why not buy a mountain bike? You do get that these are different types of bike?
Re. the components, bike people can be very fussy. In practice Sora will weigh a little more and shift gears a little less crisply. If this doesn't worry you then you should be fine with Sora components. Bikes with less prestigious components have functioned for decades with the reasonable care that all bikes need.
09-13-10, 10:37 AM
I'm no expert, either, other than that I've been shopping cross bikes very seriously the past month. Have you checked your local craigslist? Have you looked at the Fujis? Have you looked at Redline?
Redline has an entry level crosser that retails for $729 or so (at my LBS)...the components were I believe Shimano 2300 which are probably similar or just below Sora. I rode it and it was almost as smooth as say, Tiagra (the next step up from Sora), and it might be just the ticket for what you want. Another of my LBS had a higher-spec -- Tiagra/105 -- Redline Conquest that was on clearance in the $750-850 range. Very nice bike.
BikesDirect also has an entry-level crosser for $499 with Sora/Tiagra and two or three other models that go up in price and specs from there. You may want to take it to your LBS to have them put the headset and front wheel on (which you can do, it's not hard) or at least check it out to make sure the wheels are in true and everything is in proper adjustment (as with any mail-order bike). This can be done for around $50. You could also get a '10 closeout Kona Jake with Tiagra for around $800, maybe less depending on how motivated your LBS is to sell.
As meanwhile said, people have been riding all kinds of components for decades, so unless you're racing it or putting in 20 miles a day, I wouldn't worry too much about "lower-end" components. The weight of these bikes is probably in the 22-24 pound range if that helps.
Cross geometry is a little more aggressive than some other bikes...but all these brands likely offer similarly equipped mountain bikes which you may also like better since you're used to being on flat handlebars and more of a comfort ride. Good luck and enjoy whatever you decide to get!
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