Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking - First CX Bike
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02-14-11, 07:54 AM
I'm looking for assistance in choosing a first bike for CX. I'd like a singlespeed, and this narrows it down substantially. The bikes I'm looking at are:
1) Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno (http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/uno.htm)- $399
- I've been told by folks that Moto brand was bought out, ain't what it used to be, and the components are lousy. Several reports of tacoed wheels can be found out on the interwebs. The plus is that it's cheap enough to buy with my current wallet.
2) Swobo Crosby (http://www.realcyclist.com/swobo-crosby)- $750
- What are folks' impressions of the component-quality here? I like the versatility, with fender-mounts, etc, to make this a great all-rounder. It can be had for $750ish in my size (50cm), for which I only need to hock a few more personal items to be able to afford.
3) Masi Speciale CX/SS (http://citybikes.com/product/11-masi-speciale-cx-ss-73548-1.htm) - $900+
- I have it on good authority that this one is a sweet set-up. The downside here is the amount of cash I'd have to hack up.
Please give your impressions and opinions, and other suggestions. I'm not cheap, I just don't have very much money to spend on a bike.
Thanks, in advance.
02-14-11, 08:18 AM
The motobecane would be ok for commuting, but not sure about racing. By the time you upgrade components, you might as well purchased the more expensive one. Check out the all city nature boy ss bike. My friend races it, placed first in his group on it and swears by it. I think it can be had for about 800.00
02-14-11, 09:22 AM
What are you planning on using it for?
The only thing really wrong with the Motobecane is that it's like having a big decal on your bike that says, "I bought my bike on the Internet." Some other people will look down their nose at it, but more importantly it will be like nails on a chalkboard if you ever have to take it in to your LBS. You also need to be able to pick your size from a geometry chart and might need to true and tension the wheels along with other minor assembly. If you aren't worried about these things, it's a good deal.
None of the three really have a great gear ratio for racing, though the Motobecane comes closest. That's cheap to fix, though. The wheels on the Motobecane definitely don't look like anything special.
I don't have any first-hand experience, but I like the flexibility of the Crosby. The option to add gears or disc brakes if you want to is nice. The rear dropout spacing also lets you put a standard cassette wheel with a single cog and spacer in there, which is nice to hand pick your gearing and use high quality wheels. The Torpedo hub seems heavy, but you can switch between fixed and freewheel without having to remove the wheel.
The Masi is a very good looking bike. I'm unfamiliar with most of its components. It doesn't appear to have eyelets and whatnot for commuting if that matters to you.
02-14-11, 06:53 PM
if your LBS has a problem with your bike brand choice, find a new LBS. I have one 2 miles from my home, but i drive 13 miles to the further LBS that just likes the fact people ride... and the local LBS has probably missed out on $500 in revenue by being a dick about my bike.
I work on my own junk however. If you didn't gather, i have a Motobecane, i got the fantom cross (tiagra/105). It's not what is holding me back by any means. I have been very happy with the purchase however!!! I have purchased 2 redlines online (ebay), and if anyone judges me based on where i get my equipment, screw them!!!
craigslist can be your friend. i paid $600CAN for my felt breed last fall. it came with a spare chainring[FSA 42t], chain[SRAM PC1], and a set of tubes and tires[vittoria XG pros]. it had barely been used and was in close to mint condition. MSRP was $1000ish so i feel i made off pretty good.
theres a 58cm tricross ss with extras on my local CL for $550 right now. good deals pop up here and there, you just have to be patient and have that spare cash ready to go.
02-14-11, 10:53 PM
There's the Felt Breed in the same price range as the Masi, if you're looking to go with a complete.
If you're willing to build and you can find one in your size, the Redline Conquest Pro SS is a pretty sweet frame; and you can pick up good parts on the cheap if you're willing to wait it out for sales.
I'm trying to find the RL frame in a 60cm. ($349; retail, if I can find one)
IRO custom wheels ($172 on sale)
Ritchey Carbon Comp fork ($135 on sale)
CR720 brakes ($15/ea on sale)
SCR-5 levers ($20 on sale)
SRAM S300 crank/BB ($90 on sale)
Jagwire Ripcord cables ($20 and free shipping)
I've managed to save about $300 on parts so far just by waiting for sales, and in the end I'll have spent a little more but end up with a way better bike for the price than if I went with the average off-the-rack models.
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