Hi everyone, first time poster and soon to be commuter. I have been away from riding for a few years and have now decided to get back into it more seriously. I have looked at a few bikes over the last few days and have narrowed it down to 3 bikes but can't work out which one to get. They are the Avant Blade Pro, Giant CRX Zero and the Specialized Sirrus Pro. As you can see they are all flat bars, which was what I want, although the Specialized Sequoia Elite is a good compromise and a consideration if it really fits my criteria. The main thing I want is something that is comfortable, relativiely smooth, easy to ride, reliable and reasonably quick when I want to go for a fang.
Both the Avanti and the Giant are close in price with the Sirrus about 300ish more. I am rather taken by the Sirrus but am not sure if it is worth the extra coin. The Sirrus also seems to have the best bits of the other 2. eg the blade has the rear carbon stay but not discs and the CRX the opposite. With the discs the Sirrus has the Juicy 5s as opposed to the CRX Juicy 3s. To me it almost looks like that the extras on the Sirrus seem to justify the extra cost eg zertz (not sure if it actually makes a difference) etc but i am just not sure if they all add up to make the Sirrus the best buy. Any help from anyone who has ridden any of these bikes would be appreciated.
For commuting you have to consider utility. The flat bar is good for dense traffic because your head is up for good visibility and your hands are on the brakes all the time. But if you have a really long commute drop bars might be more comfortable.
Also be sure the bike can fit a rack and fenders. Backpacks make your back sweat and make you a little less stable, and fenders really help protect you from mud.
If you live in a bike theft-prone area and can't bring your bike inside, get a cheap bike for commuting and a better one for recreation.
Hmmm -- nice range of choice! Don't know the Avant, but I will share a few thoughts on Giant v. Sirrus. We don't have your CRX range here either, but we do have the FCR series -- very similiar, though I think the CRX is much better thought out for 'flat-bar' (the FCRs are essentially OCR frames with flat bars and SRAM d/t stuck on 'em). But if it were me, as between the CRX-0 and Sirrus Pro it's a no-brainer: CRX. You'll find lots of comment, good and bad, on the Sirrus, but there are a few consistent themes: lousy wheelsets (at all price levels), some not-so-good d/train bits, and an iffy carbon fork/handling. In my opinion, that simply won't apply to the CRX-0: great frame/fork (with a carbon post, I don't think you'd notice much at all, if any, difference with the carbon stays), great wheelset (Mavic SpeedCity), great drivetrain, and -- finally -- Avid Juicy 3s (again, for road riding you're really not going to miss the 5s on the Sirrus) -- all for 300 (Aus.?) less?? Tastes differ, of course, and only you can decide after trying them out, but I would buy that CRX-0 in a heartbeat as my next bike if we could get them here.
The main thing I want is something that is comfortable, relativiely smooth, easy to ride, reliable and reasonably quick when I want to go for a fang.
Don't think you've considered the real value of an internal hub equipped bike in your search. However,
to a very large degree a 7 sp or 8 spd internal hub bike will match the reliable critera best with all
other critera very close behind with the added bonus of VERY low maintance.
That said look at the Breezer line or the Bianchi Milano (there may be others) for truely trouble free
commuters as THAT is what these bikes are all about.
Derallers may be nice and all the fad with the "elite" crowd here but give me an trouble free low
maintance interal hub anyday. Sure they may add a bit of weight but when you can shift stopped
to any gear you want that weight suddenly becomes a non-issue.