My commute is 11 miles one way and I needed something to replace my Allez for the colder months; In essece all I needed were fenders and rack/pannier but the 2006 Allez was not compatible with any of these so after a couple of test rides on various bikes, i chose a 2009 Tricross Sport. My favourite bike from all test rides was a Condor Agio but it was also more expensive.
Today was my first real ride on the Tricross, the 11 mile journey home. First of all, it's VERY comfortable compared to the Allez and I attribute this mainly to the 32mm tires and also to a slightly lesser part, the geometry that put me in a more upright position, with upward angled stem and shallow drop bars. I bought an Altura pannier for one side. I'll probably buy another pannier for the other side to balance things out and one side of hte bike certainly was weighty.
I'm sure not going to win any speed contests on this bike! This is due to the 32mm tires and (I believe) the less-than-race-oriented geometry). Perhaps one day I'll try 25mm tires and if I dont like them, at least they can be installed on my Allez. I wont say the saddle is comfortable, for my ride was only 11 miles, but it's more spongy than the stock Allez saddle.
Right now the front brakes are not shuddering a whole bunch, I just get a little tinge of shudder, no big deal, but I'm quite prepared for the dreaded shudder to come up at some point in the future. I hear this is common on carbon-forked CX bikes, though I've also heard of this problem on steel-forked CX bikes. Various fixed have been posted, you can look them up.
I rode without clipless pedals today and have ordered Shimano M540. Also on order is a Cateye EL530 and Cateye LD1100. I'll supplement this with a Blackburn Mars 4.0 rear light and transfer the Blackburn Quadrant from the Allez; for winter commuting, I wanna be lit up pretty good and may invest in various other lights as I experiment with new products.
I opted for SKS 45mm full size fenders and the front one hit my toes when turning at slow speed. I could attribute this to me using regular footwear with toe-clips. At the other end of my foot, I also got a very small amount of heel strike on the pannier, again, possibly due to not using clipless pedals/shoes combo.
The colour, brown (looks like bronze) and black is striking and low key at hte same time, I think it's great but would be better with a less bold 'Specialized' on the down tube. It also has brake levers on the horizontal bars which makes me wonder how well my lights will fit. I dont bother with bells and GPS/HRMs - they're not for me.
This is the first bike I've ever bought with utility in mind and before buying it, I thought I'd never sell any of my bikes and over the years build a small collection of bikes. It's early days yet and I may well get used to this bike, but already I can see that wouldn't care about parting with this bike if I needed to. Maybe I'll grow to appreciate it more as time goes on and I encounter bad weather. BUt what do I want in bad weather? Speed to get me home quickly, or a comfortable ride to roll through the winter rain and wind?
I got a very slight back ache when I reached home. Am I glad I bought this bike? Well, I even though it's more expensve, I think I wuld have been happier with the Agio. AS it goes, I'm still happy I bouht this bike. In time I'll either grow to like it, or learn my lesson that I should have spent more money on a bike that I liked a lot more than the Tricross. After the first ride, I wonder all the people who love their Tricross, have they ever ridden a race bike? I hope to like my Tricross more as time goes on.