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Old 08-09-08, 10:15 AM   #1
Tony Higgins
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Newbie Needs Buying Advice

Hello,
I am wanting to get into riding, and am in the market for a cyclocross bike to use as an all around fitness and recreational bike. I've narrowed my choices to 4 bikes (listed below). I've also listed below some specific personal info, some bikes specs., how I intend to use the bike, as well as a few specific questions. Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Personal Info:
Age: 41; Weight: 220 (hoping to drop 15-20 lbs); Height: 6’ 2”; Inseam 34”; Average fitness.

Bike Uses:
(1) General health, fitness, recreation. Plan on incorporating biking into a cross-training routine, and would like to have an all-around bike for other uses.
(2) Camping, Trail ridding, longer “touring” or overnight rides/trips.
(3) Eventually, I would like to get in good enough shape to try cyclocross type activities!

Specifications:
The specifications for the bikes listed below are in the following order:
(1) Jamis Nova Pro, 61cm;
(2) Fuji Cross Comp, 61cm;
(3) Kona Jake ’09, 60cm;
(4) Kona Jake ’09, 62cm

Frame Tubing: (1) aluminum; (2) same; (3) same; (4) same

Fork: (1) carbon; (2) carbon; (3) aluminum?; (4) same as #3?

Effective Top Tube: (1) 595; (2) 590; (3) actual 590; (4) actual 610

Stand Over Height: (1) 853cm/33.5in; (2) 841; (3) 847cm/33.3in; (4) 863cm/34in

Head Tube Angle: (1) 73; (2) 72; (3) 72.5; (4) 72.5

Seat Tube Angle: (1) 72; (2) 72; (3) 72.5; (4) 72.5

Fork Offset: (1) 47; (2) 45; (3) 45; (4) 45

Chain Stay: (1) 425; (2) 430; (3) 435; (4) 435

Wheelbase: (1) 1032; (2) 1040.4; (3) 1047; (4) 1069

BB Drop: (1) ??; (2) 67; (3) 68; (4) 68

BB Height: (1) 276; (2) 280; (3) 285; (4) 285

Tires: (1) 32c; (2) 30c; (3) 35c; (4) 35c

Front Derail.: (1) Tiagra; (2) Shimano 105; (3) Tiagra; (4) Tiagra

Rear Derail.: (1) Tiagra; (2) Shimano Ultegra; (3) Tiagra; (4) Tiagra

Shifters: (1) Tiagra; (2) Shimano 105; (3) Tiagra; (4) Tiagra

Cassette: (1) SRAM PG 950,9 speed,12-26; (2) Shimano 105,10 speed,12-25;(3) Shimano Deore,8 speed,12-25; (4) same as #3

Crankset: (1) FSA Vero 36/46; (2) FSA Gossamer MegaExo 36/46;(3) FSA Omega Triple 30/39/50; (4) same as #3

Questions:
(1) Does anyone have any specific experience with any of these bikes? Likes? Dislikes?
(2) Are there any specific advantages or disadvantages of a shorter vs. longer wheelbase?
(3) Are there any specific advantages or disadvantages of a shorter vs. longer chain stay?
(4) Given my size and age, do any of these frame set-ups look more appropriate for my uses and current fitness level?
(5) For my uses and current fitness/experience, will the components on the Fuji seem that much better?
(6) Any other recommendations?

Blessings,
Tony
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