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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Should I sell my CX bike for a second (but metal) road bike...?

    I've cross posted this to the commuter forum, and a very similar question in the road forum, and I've even asked an LBS for their advice. I'd like yours as well, fellow Clydes and Athenas. There are a lot of smart people in this forum, and while it has less activity than other fora, there's a lot of quality in here. Plus, C&A is less specialized, and I'd like advice from some generalists.

    I have a Novara Element CX bike; I got it used about 2.5 years ago. It's had some mechanical problems, a few of which nearly killed me. I don't really feel safe on it. Add in the fact that it's very heavy and doesn't handle well, plus it has mediocre components ... but it's strong and a jack of all trades. A bike shop offered me $500 for it. They have a used Cervelo Soloist, an alu frame with a carbon fork and Ultegra 6500. The shop said they're not sure which, but they could either pay half the sales tax or write the sale up as $500 + old bike. They also said I can keep my (SPD) pedals, aerobars, lights, and cyclocomputer, and get the trade-in. The Soloist is a 61 cm frame when I normally take 58 cm, but, with its aero geometry, it fits me well in this size.

    My main road bike is a Cervelo R3, which I'm in love with. But it's carbon/kevlar, so I would never lock it up for fear of damage. This one is metal, so it would take over as my commuter, and my errands bike. Occasionally I like to ride out to a restaurant about 10 miles away, lock up outside, have a meal, and ride home through the city at night - the Soloist would have duties like this. It might also become my rain bike - I don't really like riding the Novara, so I take my R3 out in the rain, and it'd probably be better not to.

    I'd give up off road riding, but I don't really do much of this anyway. There's almost nothing I love more than being in the mountains, but I learned I can do that on the road with my R3... I haven't really been going on trails more than a few times a year, and the Novara is such a harsh ride, I feel pretty beat up at the end of a decent length trail ride. But ... I have that "do I really want to give up being able to do this?" concern.

    So ... I'm not asking you what I should do, but I'm wondering if anybody has any insight, or if there's an angle I should consider but haven't. Stuff like that.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  2. #2
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I don't think I have any insight that you lack, but if you read what you have written here, I think you'll agree that e answer is pretty clear. You don't like the CX bike and don't feel safe on it. You don't ride much off-road anyway and are just as happy on the road in the mountains as you are on the trails. When you go on the trails on the CXbike you don't really enjoy it because you feel beat up.

    All in all, there doesn't't seem to be much sense in keeping the CX bike. Whether you trade it in for the used soloist, or for a different bike (maybe a CX bike that you actually like, to retain the versatility?) is another matter. That depends on how much you like the offer on the soloist.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  3. #3
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    eh ... between the issue/concerns with the wheels, and what seems to be a somewhat apathetic view of the Soloist, I wouldn't.

    maybe consider a different CX bike, for the uses you've described.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chasm54 View Post
    I don't think I have any insight that you lack, but if you read what you have written here, I think you'll agree that e answer is pretty clear. You don't like the CX bike and don't feel safe on it. You don't ride much off-road anyway and are just as happy on the road in the mountains as you are on the trails. When you go on the trails on the CXbike you don't really enjoy it because you feel beat up.

    All in all, there doesn't't seem to be much sense in keeping the CX bike. Whether you trade it in for the used soloist, or for a different bike (maybe a CX bike that you actually like, to retain the versatility?) is another matter. That depends on how much you like the offer on the soloist.
    I agree.

    Don't keep what you don't like

    NEVER keep what you're afraid of.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
    I dislike clipless pedals on any city bike since I feel they are unsafe.

    Originally Posted by krazygluon
    Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?

  5. #5
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Can you put racks on the soloist for your hauling needs? I'd say sell it/trade it in, but I'm not sure the soloist is what you're looking for. Now if you could trade it in for a cross check (never used one but that's just based on the forum reviews) or another cx or touring bike you like, then rock on. On the other hand, if you can run errands and stuff with the soloist (and fit fenders), I'd go with that. Just to me errand/rainy day bike means racks and fenders (not necessarily not aggressive position, though.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  6. #6
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    Hey SF, good to see your post. You know my preference is for dusty trails and keeping my distance from the petro burners. But I know you are good on the pavement and keep yourself safe. The Novara's stiffness doesn't sound fun. But if a LBS will give you $500, can you sell it on Craig's List for that? Maybe then pickup a used full suspension MTB. You live ina great part of the world for getting off road. It would also be a good buy for running around town, coffee and errands. Seems redundant to have two skinny tired bikes when you can have options. That is just my .02.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

    I can't even find my bike when I'm on drugs. -Willie N.

  7. #7
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    my 2 cents

    it seems like you have lost faith/confidence in the novara. That means you will never be happy with it, even if it never has an issue.

    Before jumping to another bike becasue it seems to be a deal, determine your needs Commuting: how far, how often, all weather? utility: need to haul a grocery bag or two, need racks? Weather: need fenders.... want disk brakes?

    Also list what you don't like about the novara and make sure you don't repeat....like component quality

    it sounds like you really want to have some light non paved trail capabiliyt

    budget

    my thoughts based on a a prejudice for steel for bike that live and support your life, and on my take on you needs from overall posts, and with no budget considerations are:

    Surly long haul trucker....touring.. enought clearance to get big tires on for light off roading lots of mount points..... you can buy complete or roll your own with your componenty choice

    surly cross check.... more cx frame than the touring trucker.... lots fo versatility

    and a kinda other there idea... if you can wait until july or so and it is in budget the soma san marcos http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...-marcos/70-999
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  8. #8
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    If you're not too concerned about weight, you could always find yourself an old rigid mtb and throw some drops and slicks on that for all the fender/rack friendliness with the ability to go offroad. Going that old though means going canti-brakes, unless you spring for a new fork too to get disk tabs up front. Lots of versatility and less harshness if you find good old steel, but it'll probably ride like a tank (mine sure does) and I'm not sure that's what you want on the hills of your fair city.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  9. #9
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Let me ask a general question. I like love and adore my R3, and loved my RS before it. I test rode an S2, which is what the Soloist turned into over the years, and liked it very much (because it's FAST!) but choose an R3 instead. I wished I could have both, and this would get me pretty close to having both. Anyway, I drove by the bike shop on my way home Sunday morning, saw a used Cervelo out front, and was curious enough to stop and check it out. Then I did a test ride yesterday and had them check my Novara out for resale value.

    A CX or touring bike may well be a better match for my needs. But I haven't been excited enough by stuff like the Cross Check or LHT to do a test ride. The Soloist isn't perfect, and if I have to use a backpack that'll be kind of annoying, but the bike is exciting, and I'm sure I'll have fun with it ... so I suspect I'll commute by bike more often if I do this. I'm a very indecisive person, and I guess the question is more whether other people think this is smart reasoning?

    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Can you put racks on the soloist for your hauling needs?
    This is one of the things I'm most concerned about. I'm pretty sure the Soloist has no mounts for a rack. I put a rack on my Novara using P-clamps. It's rated to 55 lbs, and I've had close to that in it, on the way back from the grocery store with laundry detergent and stuff. I have a car, but I dislike driving, and love riding.

    Quote Originally Posted by Daspydyr View Post
    But if a LBS will give you $500, can you sell it on Craig's List for that?
    I've been wondering the same thing. The LBS must be expecting to get more than that for it...! I'm "a worrier" and a little nervous about letting strangers show up at my house and test ride it. I could ask for an ID, but I can't spot a fake. I might be able to get $100 more with patience ... is that worth some anxiety and dealing with lots of random people? ( I know that's not something other folks can answer for me. )
    Don't believe everything you think.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    someone's got a case of the N+1s

  11. #11
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
    Let me ask a general question. I like love and adore my R3, and loved my RS before it. I test rode an S2, which is what the Soloist turned into over the years, and liked it very much (because it's FAST!) but choose an R3 instead. I wished I could have both, and this would get me pretty close to having both. Anyway, I drove by the bike shop on my way home Sunday morning, saw a used Cervelo out front, and was curious enough to stop and check it out. Then I did a test ride yesterday and had them check my Novara out for resale value.

    A CX or touring bike may well be a better match for my needs. But I haven't been excited enough by stuff like the Cross Check or LHT to do a test ride. The Soloist isn't perfect, and if I have to use a backpack that'll be kind of annoying, but the bike is exciting, and I'm sure I'll have fun with it ... so I suspect I'll commute by bike more often if I do this. I'm a very indecisive person, and I guess the question is more whether other people think this is smart reasoning?

    snip


    )
    it sounds like you are going to end up with two very similar bikes with this plan....... with one that your worry less about locking up. and that is really fine if that is what you want to do. but as you noted.. you are a worrier....are you going worry enough less about the soloist to make it worth while?

    I understand speed and the feel of a nice bike..... but (my prejudices are showing here) there is also a lot of joy in being able to easily do your commute without stressing your back with a backpack and to use your bike for even more errands. And if the engine is the same you will find the speed is not that much different. Will not having a more utility capable bike make you second guess a decision for the soloist in the future? And as part of the fun aspect, you will really enjoy jumping on the r3 even more when you do, it will feel even faster
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  12. #12
    Travelling hopefully chasm54's Avatar
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    I'd strongly suggest that riding with a backpack isn't ideal. There are plenty of bikes - including different CXbikes - that will handle panniers. However, I have commuted on road bikes using a Carradice saddlebag With their SQR attachment. Very effective, and means you can use a large saddlebag with any saddle/seatpost combination. That might make the soloist versatile enough for your needs.
    There have been many days when I haven't felt like riding, but there has never been a day when I was sorry I rode.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    The questions a lot of you are asking are very helpful. You're all helping me focus. Thanks!!!

    I didn't know about Carradice saddlebags. I'd really like something like this. I'm also pretty interested in finding a cargo rack with P-clamps.

    This is hard to call, but I think I can get my mountains fix between doing road rides up there, and hiking. But I think I should find out exactly how wide I can go on tires. Gravel would probably be out, but I could go slow on dirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
    but as you noted.. you are a worrier....are you going worry enough less about the soloist to make it worth while?
    I went to a different LBS last night, and asked their advice. They said it's a good deal in general, but they also said they'd do a (free!) inspection if I can bring it to them before I buy it. That will help a lot. The Novara has almost crashed me a few times - the freehub seized up coming down a hill once, locking the back wheel. I don't know how I walked away from that, but until the bike stopped, I just knew I was going to lose some teeth. This was on my way in to work, and I was very shaken up for hours. There have been other incidents. The RD hanger snapped, catching the RD between the chain stay and spokes, again surprising me with a coaster brake. I've had to replace most of the bike over time, but there are enough original parts (including the brakes!) that ... I feel like this bike is especially unsafe.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  14. #14
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Are you the first owner on the Novara? It seems like REI has a very generous returns program (though I could be thinking of someone else). Any chance you fall under that?
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  15. #15
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Are you the first owner on the Novara? It seems like REI has a very generous returns program (though I could be thinking of someone else). Any chance you fall under that?
    This thought occurred to me too and then I promptly forgot it

  16. #16
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by himespau View Post
    Are you the first owner on the Novara? It seems like REI has a very generous returns program (though I could be thinking of someone else). Any chance you fall under that?
    I'm not. They sell their returns, which is where mine came from. I got the bike for $600 about 2.5 years ago. Which makes the $500 the neighbhorhood shop offered me pretty amazing. ( Even though I've replaced most of the bike. The guy said it's better that I have a mediocre saddle that looks brand new, than if I had a great one that looked old. )

    I'll have an update tomorrow.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
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    Well ... I bought the bike. The Novara CX is now the shop's, and I have a very fast metal road bike for my new commuter. Of course, there's a downpour now. I'm planning to use the Soloist as a rain bike to spare the cassette on my fancy bike, so I guess it's a good time to get used to that.

    I'll post photos shortly. I shot a few, but have to figure out how to use The Gimp enough to post them.
    Don't believe everything you think.

  18. #18
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    You might look at this http://www.modernbike.com/itemgroup.asp?IGPK=2126178270 if you are still interested in a rack for a road bike.

    Enjoy your new ride!
    P2
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