I have been looking at some different bikes for a while and went to the LBS to check them out. Im new to the scene and would a cross bike be the best application for someone who is looking to ride just for fitness and commuting year round? (I live in MI).
I had been using older bikes and hand-me-downs for years and I went looking for the same thing as you are. I ended up getting a great price in a 2007 Norco CCX that was sitting around the LBS. I only have 500 kilometers on it so far, but it is extremely fun and useful so far. No problems at all - I am 6'4" and 225 and not real easy on gear.
I like them as the steering is usually quite fast, the frames tend to be a little tougher and sometimes the wheels sacrifice weight for strength - this is good for me. Canti brakes make it easy to get a mudguard on and mine has everything you need for a rack. My cross bike is now so commuterised that a real cross bike would disown it but it's a great bike for everything from 2 mile errands to 100 mile rides.
Well, I ride a Tricross Sport, which is what CastIron described - a cyclocross bike that's been "utilitarianised". I couldn't imagine anything better for commuting and generally getting around. It's basically a more rugged, practical version of a road bike.
Hard to beat a utilitarian CX bike for overall versatility.
If you plan on owning only one bike (something almost no regular BF poster would endorse ), it's hard to think of a better choice, unless you're planning on regular touring or otherwise carrying a lot of stuff on the bike--in that case a touring bike might work better.
Originally Posted by MajorMantra
Cycling (taken to the typical roadie extreme) causes you to cough up your own soul as every fibre of your worthless being sings in choral agony. Once you embrace the pain everything is dandy.
The LBS has a 2008 Scott sportster p2 for sale, which is the bike im currently looking at. But i have to go back on monday when the owner is there it was just a kid working and he told me to come back to see whatelse they had in stock.