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  1. #1
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    Looking for advice on a cyclocross commuter

    I'm going to be buying my first road bike very soon but can't decide which one. I've decided on a cyclocross bike for commuting, recreation, and fitness. My budget is about $1200 and I'd prefer to buy locally. The only problem is almost nobody stocks CX bikes locally. There is a small shop which normally has Jakes or Cross Checks in stock but doesn't have any at the moment. The Trek store has some Crossrips and I tested an Elite, but even after riding it I can't tell if it really fits or not. The biggest they had was a 58cm and I'm 6'3 with a 36" inseam so I'm leaning towards the 61. The Crossrip seems to have everything I could want on the frame, but I keep reading that they're pricey for the components that come on it. They're going for $1000 (comp) and $1150 (elite). The local Norco dealer didn't know anything about the Threshold but he did say he could get me an A2 for $1000 (carbon fork, disc brakes, and Tiagra for $1k!) but this is a small shop geared towards mountain bikes so I'm not sure about the level of post-purchase support there. I'm going to try to check out the Cannondale and Giant (also sells Redline) shops but I'm assuming there won't be any Giant or Redline CX bikes in stock and the Cannondale will probably be a little too pricey (not to mention the last time I was in that shop the salesman seemed to want to get rid of me).

    So I guess my question is will the Crossrip Comp/Elite be a solid choice? If so, is it worth going up to the Elite for $150? They have two shops in town and seem nice so I'm not worried about the level of support from them. The Cannondale guys also have two shops in town and the Kona/Surly shop is really small but they seem very sharp. Should I see if the other shops can get something in for me to test (I don't know how they deal with ordering bikes that the customer decides not to buy)? And when testing a bike what should I be looking for in terms of fit?

  2. #2
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    Checkout the Giant Anyroad...

  3. #3
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Is it worth paying $150 more? That all depends on personal preferences. I prefer the mechanical simplicity of V-brakes. And on the CrossRip with an 8 speed drivetrain, you can always buy Shimano Ultegra bar-end shifters from Chainreactioncycles or elsewhere. So you could put it in friction mode so you don't need to adjust the derailleurs. Some people prefer minimum Tiagra or 105 shifters. So with the lower end Crossrip (last time I looked), you have Claris which is even under Sora. Of course to me it wouldn't be a problem since people say it's easier to friction shift with 8 speeds than 9 speeds. There are so many people who prefer indexed shifting though so you may want the higher-priced models. I just think the Crossrip with the 8 speed Shimano Claris triple crankset is unique in that you can switch to bar-end shifters very quickly. That would make a more dependable tourer because some say brifters (shifter/brake levers) don't last as long as bar-end shifters. They can also be a pain if you're travelling by bike and have a problem with it.

    In terms of fit, I find it's useful to sit on a bunch of bicycles to tell what you prefer.

    If you make a deposit to order a bike, I don't know if you can get it back if you don't want to buy it.

    Hopefully if you buy a bike like that you'll ride it. For whatever reason, some people pay $1000 for a bike then don't ride it when they get a vehicle.

    Whoops, I almost forgot to mention. Some prefer 9 speeds or more because you have less difference between each gear. So maybe an 8 speed cassette is not the solution to everyone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Checkout the Giant Anyroad...
    It doesn't look like these accomodate much for racks/fenders. I'm not sure if I'll need fenders but I'd like to have the option. If I commute it's likely that I'll want a rack.

  5. #5
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Its a hot market niche , you should find something suitable within the brands your favorite bike shop carries .


    what brand of detergent washes out dirt?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    Is it worth paying $150 more? That all depends on personal preferences. I prefer the mechanical simplicity of V-brakes. And on the CrossRip with an 8 speed drivetrain, you can always buy Shimano Ultegra bar-end shifters from Chainreactioncycles or elsewhere. So you could put it in friction mode so you don't need to adjust the derailleurs. Some people prefer minimum Tiagra or 105 shifters. So with the lower end Crossrip (last time I looked), you have Claris which is even under Sora. Of course to me it wouldn't be a problem since people say it's easier to friction shift with 8 speeds than 9 speeds. There are so many people who prefer indexed shifting though so you may want the higher-priced models. I just think the Crossrip with the 8 speed Shimano Claris triple crankset is unique in that you can switch to bar-end shifters very quickly. That would make a more dependable tourer because some say brifters (shifter/brake levers) don't last as long as bar-end shifters. They can also be a pain if you're travelling by bike and have a problem with it.

    In terms of fit, I find it's useful to sit on a bunch of bicycles to tell what you prefer.

    If you make a deposit to order a bike, I don't know if you can get it back if you don't want to buy it.

    Hopefully if you buy a bike like that you'll ride it. For whatever reason, some people pay $1000 for a bike then don't ride it when they get a vehicle.

    Whoops, I almost forgot to mention. Some prefer 9 speeds or more because you have less difference between each gear. So maybe an 8 speed cassette is not the solution to everyone.
    This bike will not just sit in the garage. Although if I want to maximize my riding time I'd need a trailer for the kid. I'm more interested in index shifting, but I've never tried friction shifting. I used to mountain bike a lot with XT shifters and I have no problem with the Sora or Claris shifters I have tested so far. I'd love to go with Tiagra, but the bikes from the common brands are too much. I'll have to see what the CAADX 6 Disc is going for in store.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Its a hot market niche , you should find something suitable within the brands your favorite bike shop carries .


    what brand of detergent washes out dirt?
    I just moved to this city so I don't have a favorite bike shop. The only one close by (others are at least a 15-20 min drive) is the Giant/Redline shop. I haven't been in there yet, but I'm planning on going today.

  8. #8
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    There's also the Specialized Tricross although I don't know about the prices.

    I just found the link to some bikes I posted once: Cyclocross commuter?

    I see the Opus Spark 3.0 and Devinci Tosca S are other possibilities.
    Last edited by hybridbkrdr; 05-04-14 at 12:32 PM.
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  9. #9
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Often said , 1st pick the shop you like doing business with , then pick the bike ..


    Its a hot selling market niche .. from real Race CX bikes to what is a Hybrid assembled to come with Drop bars .
    so racks and all sorts of stuff will fit..


    Taiwan .. bike maker to the world ..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 05-06-14 at 05:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kextyn View Post
    It doesn't look like these accomodate much for racks/fenders. I'm not sure if I'll need fenders but I'd like to have the option. If I commute it's likely that I'll want a rack.
    Ok then, if it has no rack mount, it looks like the Anyroad drops out of contention...

    The only other options that I would recommend would be either the Surly Cross Check or the Raleigh Roper.

    Only problem is that they're both slightly above budget...
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-06-14 at 07:41 AM.

  11. #11
    we be rollin' hybridbkrdr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kextyn View Post
    It doesn't look like these accomodate much for racks/fenders. I'm not sure if I'll need fenders but I'd like to have the option. If I commute it's likely that I'll want a rack.
    lol, maybe this bike wasn't made really for commuting. Anyone notice how you'd put a seatpost clamp on that bike? Somewhat strange...
    Feeling Good by David Burns

  12. #12
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    Surly Crosscheck.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Mr. Hairy Legs's Avatar
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    I have the Threshold A3 as my main commuter and I love it. It's under $1000, which leaves some extra cash for gear, accessories etc., and it will serve you well. Some people have issues with their heels hitting the fat chain stays, but I got used to the design pretty quickly. Put some stronger tires on it (I use 35mm Marathon Plus) and the bike is bomb proof. Also, I prefer not having any carbon components on it (like the A2) for several reasons which I won't get into.

  14. #14
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    I picked up a 2013 giant tcx 2 to replace my stolen commuter. Looks like they don't make it anymore, which is too bad as it ticks all the boxes in terms of eyelets, price, and quality.
    I compared it to the Kona Jake and Trek Crossrip, but chose the Giant because I wanted rim brakes and the frame seemed to be quite a bit nicer.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
    There's also the Specialized Tricross although I don't know about the prices.

    I just found the link to some bikes I posted once: Cyclocross commuter?

    I see the Opus Spark 3.0 and Devinci Tosca S are other possibilities.
    I recently bought a used S-works Tricross and am very happy with it so far. It's quite light and one of the few lightweight cross bikes with fender mounts. I paid a few hundred more than the OPs budget but think it was reasonably priced. I don't need the light weight for commuting but might do some cross races later this year. It doesn't seem to be much slower than my Tarmac for commuting.

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    Surly CrossCheck -- off Craigslist after 4 weeks of checking daily. Topeak MTX rack/lights/28mm Gatorskins/bar ends--this bike has done almost anything I can think of and everything I've ever needed. 21-mile RT daily commute, 70-mile RT ride in the country or to an adjacent town, haul a kid trailer for groceries, navigate local streets and greenways with ease...yesterday handled a 29-mile ride to donate a half day of free yard work and then 29 miles home @ 15ish mph including red lights and several miles of crushed gravel. If you're hauling and/or pulling stuff that weighs more than a day's change of clothes and lunch, then a steel cross bike can certainly do the job.

  17. #17
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    I've been to almost every shop in town now (with the exception of the big Cannondale dealer and one surly shop) and I've seen 3 different CX bikes: Crossrip, Fuji Cross, and a Scattante. They were all 58cm and I feel like I need a size up. Looking at the CAADXs I don't know if the largest size will fit but I'll still check them out.

    Quote Originally Posted by darkadams00 View Post
    Surly CrossCheck -- off Craigslist after 4 weeks of checking daily. Topeak MTX rack/lights/28mm Gatorskins/bar ends--this bike has done almost anything I can think of and everything I've ever needed. 21-mile RT daily commute, 70-mile RT ride in the country or to an adjacent town, haul a kid trailer for groceries, navigate local streets and greenways with ease...yesterday handled a 29-mile ride to donate a half day of free yard work and then 29 miles home @ 15ish mph including red lights and several miles of crushed gravel. If you're hauling and/or pulling stuff that weighs more than a day's change of clothes and lunch, then a steel cross bike can certainly do the job.
    I wish people would sell stuff in my size on Craigslist. I check everyday but people around here aren't selling much. One of the guys at a local bike shop said I need to watch nearby cities instead because people here tend to keep their bikes.

  18. #18
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    Save some $$$...

    Order your CX bike from www.nashbar.com. It's called the Nashbar CX 1 @ only $600

    * Order today and take an extra 25% off
    Last edited by WestPablo; 05-05-14 at 10:57 AM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Happy Kona Jake rider here ... Use it for commuting in an urban area, 24 miles round trip. Mine's a 2012 in a 59" frame size.

    It sounds like you're nonplussed about the Trek ... so don't settle. Take your time, get what you want.

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    Be wary of people not knowing what they are talking about online. The giant Anyroad does have rack mounts. Not sure on fender possibilities. The revolt comes in right around your price range and has rack capabilities.

  21. #21
    Senior Member AusTexMurf's Avatar
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    Frames I like…..
    Velo Orange Camargue
    Tarwheel's Ritchey
    Surly Straggler
    Soma Double Cross
    Origin8 CX700

    Or

    Soma Saga
    Last edited by AusTexMurf; 05-05-14 at 03:56 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    Happy Kona Jake rider here ... Use it for commuting in an urban area, 24 miles round trip. Mine's a 2012 in a 59" frame size.

    It sounds like you're nonplussed about the Trek ... so don't settle. Take your time, get what you want.
    I do like the Crossrip and I know it will do what I want. But I feel like I'm favoring it because of the brand and availability when there are better and/or cheaper options.

    How is that aluminum fork on rough roads?

  23. #23
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kextyn View Post

    How is that aluminum fork on rough roads?
    That's the one thing I'd change about the bike (and plan to at some point).

    There's a very discernable difference between my roadie with a Carbon fork and the Jake with an AL fork. It's not horrible, and I have excellent grip tape and wear gloves, but there's still quite a bit of buzz

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kextyn View Post
    It doesn't look like these accomodate much for racks/fenders. I'm not sure if I'll need fenders but I'd like to have the option. If I commute it's likely that I'll want a rack.
    The Giant website does state that the Anyroad frame does have a mount that can accommodate a rack.

    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    Ok then, if it has no rack mount, it looks like the Anyroad drops out of contention...

    The only other options that I would recommend would be either the Surly Cross Check or the Raleigh Roper.

    Only problem is that they're both slightly above budget...
    However, it does have a rack mount. Therefore, it's still a contender!

    Quote Originally Posted by AlTheKiller View Post
    Be wary of people not knowing what they are talking about online. The giant Anyroad does have rack mounts. Not sure on fender possibilities. The revolt comes in right around your price range and has rack capabilities.
    I never stated that it didn't have a rack mount. I simply stated, "Checkout the Giant Anyroad..."

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
    I never stated that it didn't have a rack mount. I simply stated, "Checkout the Giant Anyroad..."
    I don't think he was referring to you.

    There's just something about the any road that doesn't feel right to me. But I don't have a chance to test one. One LBS guy said they had to use specific fenders as well.

    I did some comparing of geometries on several CX bikes and it looks like the Crossrip has a longer chainstay than most others 43.5cm) which would be good with my big feet and panniers.

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