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Old 10-10-04, 09:26 AM   #1
RonH
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I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of my old road bike (the one with the panniers pictured below) and upgrading to a modestly priced cyclocross bike (like a Jamis Nova). My Raleigh doesn't have room for fenders, although I bought some SKS race blades and I'll try them this week (if I can get them attached). I can't fit a tire larger than 700x25 (fork and brake clearance) and I feel EVERY bump and pothole. So for those of you who commute on cyclocross bikes (or I might consider a touring bike), is the comfort and convenience worth the expense? Anyone have any other suggestions? No mtn bikes - I want drop handlebars.
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Old 10-10-04, 09:32 AM   #2
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I run 700x38 tires and can still have fenders... it's a very comfy setup.
The Jamis Nova is nice, as is the Bianchi Volpe.
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Old 10-10-04, 08:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
I'm seriously thinking of getting rid of my old road bike (the one with the panniers pictured below) and upgrading to a modestly priced cyclocross bike (like a Jamis Nova). My Raleigh doesn't have room for fenders, although I bought some SKS race blades and I'll try them this week (if I can get them attached). I can't fit a tire larger than 700x25 (fork and brake clearance) and I feel EVERY bump and pothole. So for those of you who commute on cyclocross bikes (or I might consider a touring bike), is the comfort and convenience worth the expense? Anyone have any other suggestions? No mtn bikes - I want drop handlebars.
Ron, I have a Jamis Nova, and I love it. Heres a pic, although it needs updating - I've since added fenders.

www.slammingrooves.com/images/bike2a.jpg

To this point, the only complaint I have is the paint seems to chip rather easily, but outside of that, it does the job well enough so that I wouldn't use anything else. There may be some components that I'll swap out over time...but overall, it's a great bike.
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Old 10-10-04, 08:05 PM   #4
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Eh...hit send a little soon. Yeah, my commute is 16 +, one way, with a couple stretches of rough pavement, so I really appreciate the steel frame, and the added toughness. I honestly wouldn't want to take a high buck road bike over this route.
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Old 10-10-04, 09:49 PM   #5
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i think a cyclocross bike for commuting is a great choice. the geometry is usually more comfortable than performance road bikes. there's good clearance for fenders. i love my canti brakes (Paul). plus you want some forgiveness with the streets in my city. absolutely the worst this side of Baja.

the only downside, of my cx bike, is the lack of braze ons. i don't have water bottle cages, or fender holes. i just bought some SKS fenders myself, but i'm had a bit of trouble mounting them. i'm going to give it another shot tonight. they're not as easy fitting as i expected.
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Old 10-11-04, 10:45 AM   #6
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Race CX bike traditionally have no braze-ons but there are plenty of CX/touring bike, festooned with braze-ons which are ideal for commuting.
Zip ties are good for attatching fenders if you dont have braze-ons. I use them at the chainstay bridge rather than that useless metal clip.
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Old 10-11-04, 11:06 AM   #7
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What are fenders for?
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Old 10-11-04, 11:27 AM   #8
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I have a Surly Cross Check that I use for commuting purposes (as well as road rides, pulling the kid trailer, and light trail use). I have a 20 mile commute, with a little more than half on trails. The Cross Check has rack and fenders braze-ons and handles tires up to 700x44. I built the bike up from the frame, but they are also available as a complete bike:

http://parts.spicercycles.com/site/i...=37&SKU=BK0256

baker

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Old 10-11-04, 01:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunkologist
What are fenders for?
To prevent a rooster-tail of dirty water all over your clothes.

Next time it rains, take your bike out for a spin. You'll immediately see the need for fenders.

-Zach
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Old 10-11-04, 01:53 PM   #10
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I use a Cross Check for commuting too. I considered the Jamis Nova, but got a good price on the Surly and really loved the frame. Lots of braze-ons - I've added a rack and panniers, full fenders, water bottle cages, and still have some spots left on the frame for a front rack. I run 700x28 slicks (armadillos) during the summer, and will run 700x32 knobbies for the winter. As bbaker22 said, it'll take up to 45s.

The bike's great and I love riding it, though unfortunately have been travelling so much with work that I haven't been in town on a business day to commute for 2 months!
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Old 10-11-04, 03:17 PM   #11
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I am considering a Soma Double Cross for these very same reasons. I currently commute on an early 90's Specialized Rockhopper, and think that a road bike would be a bit too unforgiving of the roads around here, and a mountain bike is just too heavy, not enough hand positions (even with bar ends), and just not fast enough on some of the longer road trips I take.

I recently found a guy in the town that I live in that has a small repair shop, and he also builds a few bikes a year to sell. I poked around his shop, and he showed me the Double Cross, and I just fell in love with it. He is going to build it up for me over the winter with used parts mainly, and by spring (when I can finally afford it), I will have a spiffy new cross bike!
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Old 10-11-04, 04:22 PM   #12
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How about a Surly Crosscheck? Nice solid steel designed by those who ride 'em.
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Old 10-19-04, 05:52 AM   #13
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Thanks for all of your suggestions and thoughts.
I went to 3 bike shops and looked at some really good looking bikes. Here are my opinions:
Surly CrossCheck - didn't like the bar end shifters
Trek XO-1 - double chainring and didn't like the gearing
Lemond Poprad - double chainring and didn't like gearing
Redline and KHS didn't impress me
Felt F1X - didn't like the gearing and kinda pricey
Bianchi Axis - didn't like the gearing or the cables spread out across a flat top tube
Bianchi Volpe - this was high on my list of contenders but I didn't like the gearing

Some were my size, others were "close" to the right size. All of the bikes were in-stock and most will be clearance priced next weekend, but regardless of price, if I don't like the bike or it doesn't fit then it's not a bargain.


So I bit the bullet and ordered a 2005 Jamis Nova. There aren't any in the USA yet. Jamis isn't even showing the 2005s on their website. I saw the bike in the catalog at the shop. It's black with gray accents. The bike shop owner contacted the factory and told me I may be able to pick it up around Thanksgiving.
I guess I'll put the Raleigh (shown below) on the auction block in time for someone to get a "new" bike for Christmas.
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Old 10-19-04, 07:08 AM   #14
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It may be too late RonH, but for others reading the thread, I think the bar-end shifters on my Crosscheck work great for commuting. You don't need to constantly shift. I don't know the Jamis Nova, but I hope you enjoy it.
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Old 10-19-04, 07:36 AM   #15
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The Nova is a nice bike. It's got excellent components on it for the price. There's really nothing to switch out, no junk components. That was the same with my Jamis Quest. Similar bike, though the Quest is pure road. The 631 frame is nice and cushy, the seat is awesome. You're gonna love it.

Though time will appear to stop in it's tracks as you wait for it!
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Old 10-19-04, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsyptak
The Nova is a nice bike. It's got excellent components on it for the price. There's really nothing to switch out, no junk components. That was the same with my Jamis Quest. Similar bike, though the Quest is pure road. The 631 frame is nice and cushy, the seat is awesome. You're gonna love it.

Though time will appear to stop in it's tracks as you wait for it!
I have a Jamis and it rides very well. I'm in the process of getting a shorter stem to get a better fit but a nice bike overall. Mine is the inexpensive Aurora but the frame really absorbs the road grind.
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Old 10-19-04, 12:57 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daily Commute
It may be too late RonH, but for others reading the thread, I think the bar-end shifters on my Crosscheck work great for commuting. You don't need to constantly shift. I don't know the Jamis Nova, but I hope you enjoy it.
Icky. No offense intended, but I'm not a big fan of bar-end shifters for much of anything. I've only ridden a bike with them for a few miles, but they bug me, and I've heard people ***** about banging them with their knees causing them to shift while climbing which would be just about the worst thing I could image happening. STI, downtube, fixed gear, crappy grip-shift, fine. Anything but bar-ends.
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Old 10-19-04, 02:11 PM   #18
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I too loved everything except the bar-ends on the Cross-Check. I had them put on STI shifters instead. I bought the Tiagra build complete bike and had them swap out the brakes and the bar-ends for 105 STI shifters. I tried for the Tiagra shifters but Shimano is a bit slow on some parts these days. This way I got exactly what I wanted on the bike and now have a nice set set of brakes that are going on a friend's fixed-gear conversion of a mid-70's Peugot.

As stated above, the Cross-Check has a ton of braze-ons for extra bits. And for tire clearance, I now have 35mm Nokian W106 studded tires working under the Planet Bike full fenders. The fenders required some careful adjustment, but it fits. Bring on the snow.
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Old 10-19-04, 02:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajkloss42
Icky. No offense intended, but I'm not a big fan of bar-end shifters for much of anything. I've only ridden a bike with them for a few miles, but they bug me, and I've heard people ***** about banging them with their knees causing them to shift while climbing which would be just about the worst thing I could image happening. STI, downtube, fixed gear, crappy grip-shift, fine. Anything but bar-ends.
I have never bumped my bar-end shifters. I like them, but I have never tried the more advanced shifters attached to the break levers. To each his or her own. If you don't like the bar-ends, buy the frame and build it the way you like it.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:00 PM   #20
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You can't go wrong with the Jamis! Very much an overlooked manufacturer in the U.S. market. I think the Nova would be a great commuter!
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Old 10-19-04, 03:47 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjorissen
I too loved everything except the bar-ends on the Cross-Check. I had them put on STI shifters instead.
I asked about swapping components on a few of the bikes but they were all '04 and the different shops wanted to move them quickly as they were. Any changes would have cost more than I was willing to pay.



Quote:
Originally Posted by N7CZinMT
You can't go wrong with the Jamis! Very much an overlooked manufacturer in the U.S. market. I think the Nova would be a great commuter!
I almost bought a Jamis Quest in '99 but was swayed by the salesperson into buying the Raleigh (pictured below) because it had better components - full 105 for the about the same price as the Jamis with lesser components.
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Old 10-19-04, 03:47 PM   #22
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I have a '99 Bianchi Volpe. Put fenders and a rack on it. 700x32 Conti Top Touring tires on Mavic A719 rims. Very, very comfortable. With those wheels, you can bet I'll be doing some touring next year too.
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Old 10-20-04, 11:33 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
I have never bumped my bar-end shifters. I like them, but I have never tried the more advanced shifters attached to the break levers.
I have bar-end shifters on one bike. They work OK, and should be very reliable. I am considering swapping them out for downtube shifters only because double-shifts require so much movement if I'm riding on the tops. An older bike with downtube shifters lets me double-shift with one hand.
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Old 10-20-04, 08:21 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonH
Thanks for all of your suggestions and thoughts.
I went to 3 bike shops and looked at some really good looking bikes. Here are my opinions:
Surly CrossCheck - didn't like the bar end shifters
Trek XO-1 - double chainring and didn't like the gearing
Lemond Poprad - double chainring and didn't like gearing
Redline and KHS didn't impress me
Felt F1X - didn't like the gearing and kinda pricey
Bianchi Axis - didn't like the gearing or the cables spread out across a flat top tube
Bianchi Volpe - this was high on my list of contenders but I didn't like the gearing

Some were my size, others were "close" to the right size. All of the bikes were in-stock and most will be clearance priced next weekend, but regardless of price, if I don't like the bike or it doesn't fit then it's not a bargain.


So I bit the bullet and ordered a 2005 Jamis Nova. There aren't any in the USA yet. Jamis isn't even showing the 2005s on their website. I saw the bike in the catalog at the shop. It's black with gray accents. The bike shop owner contacted the factory and told me I may be able to pick it up around Thanksgiving.
I guess I'll put the Raleigh (shown below) on the auction block in time for someone to get a "new" bike for Christmas.

Awesome, Ron! Congrats, and be sure to post pics when it arrives...
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Old 10-20-04, 10:13 PM   #25
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