Join Date: Aug 2007
Bikes: 2007 Specialized Tricross Sport
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I'm shopping for a new bike, and I've narrowed it down to...
A quick intro: I have been commuting to work (14 miles r/t) in NYC for the past couple of years on my old Trek 4300 mtn bike...and it worked just fine. It was stolen a few weeks ago and I was sad. I had been thinking of buying a new, more suitable bike for my riding purposes, and now that I've been forced to do so, and research new bikes I've discovered I enjoy the cyclocross bike. (80% commute/20% play/offroad). I am trying to keep it under or right at $1000, maybe a little over if it is justified (i.e., I'll need a good story to tell my wife).
I have test ridden the following and feel like any of them would probably suit me just fine:
1. Specialized Tricross Sport ($1100) - First cx bike I rode and I got really excited. No real complaints other than the price maybe, and the opinion of self-proclaimed bike snob acquaintances/friends telling me I can get more for my money.
2. Kona Jake ($800) - Has the cheaper Sora set up, but I honestly didn't mind the thumb shifting...coming from a mtn bike set up that I'd rode for 7 years with mediocre components, this seemed just fine. It also has the second set of brakes along the flat of the bar, which I find myself grabbing often, used to the mtn bike feel I guess. My only complaint would be the color if I had to complain about something.
3. Surly Cross-Check ($930) - This seemed a bit smoother than the Kona, but maybe I was expecting it to be due to all the forum posts about steel framed bikes being, well, smoother rides. My complaint with this bike is the complete build components: the shifters are a little weird. I guess I could adapt, but they really seem out of place to me. Also, the grips on the handlebar where I place my hands (don't know technical term) is hard plastic, and not very forgiving, it wasn't comfy in that respect. To upgrade these things would add a couple hundred dollars to the final price.
4. Bianchi Volpe ($900) - I went to test ride this, but test rode a 2006 Castro Valley as they had one in my size left over and would have to special order the Volpe. LBS guy said the ride would be pretty much identical to the Volpe. Frame is identical. No front der., headlight powered by hub on front wheel, and fenders - more of a commuter bike. He could sale it to me for $720. I enjoyed riding this too, although I think it could use a couple tweaks (shifting slipped between gears sometimes, seat seemed like it was slanted forward a touch). My first question was can i take the fenders off? I test rode this one along the route I normally commute on, which goes along some city streets, cobble stone, then a bike path up the west side of manhattan.
Well, I know this is a long-winded thread, but I'm quite undecided. I'm not married to a steel frame or aluminum frame really. I didn't notice a HUGE difference between the frame types, but this is all based on 20-30 minute test rides too.
I really appreciate anyone's advice, feedback, and insight very much.
Last edited by adamcsmith; 08-16-07 at 08:41 AM.