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  1. #1
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    Help buying my first new bike........

    So here is the situation. I have been consistently riding my bike for 3 years now(exluding a few months a year because of weather). I primarily ride paved trails 75%, Roads 15%, and offroad/dirt trails 10%. I typically ride 40 miles if I am alone and like to do it as fast as possible. If I am with a group I tend to do a 25-30 mile ride and if I have my daughter attached to me I keep it at about 5 miles. I ride with my 6 year old daughter attached to my bike with one of the mini bike contraptions that allows her to pedal if she feels like it. Currently I am riding an old Schwinn Mesa MTB all stock (except the saddle). This bike has been great but is now in need of some repairs that will likely cost a few hundred dollars so I have determined its time to buy an new bike that better suits my riding style. After having been to a few LBS's I have determined that a cyclocross bike might be a good fit. I'd like to hear what you all have to say in regards to what kind of bike would be good and maybe even some specifics on models. Thanks for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ultimattfrisbee's Avatar
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    I agree with your choice of a cyclocross bike, though I don't have a ton of experience with them, so I'll leave that to others. I bought a touring bike this summer, and I love it, but have regretted at times not buying a cross bike. The touring bike is pretty heavy and doesn't do well off-road. Eventually, my guess is that I'll sell the touring bike and get a cyclocross bike, though I have no idea when that will happen.

    I will say this, though: don't junk the Mesa, if only for one reason--I think you're going to love that cyclocross bike and you're not going to want to attach your daughter's bike trailer to it. I also think you'll feel safer and more comfortable tugging her around in a more upright position. I'd keep the Mesa around and do enough with it to keep it rideable for your slow group rides with your kid. They don't sound that demanding (except for pulling the load). Buy that cyclocross, don't load it down too much, and have a blast with it. Soon, she'll be able to keep up on shorter group rides on her two-wheeler, and as she gets bigger and more proficient, you won't need that trailer. Then you can probably say goodbye to the Mesa, but it sounds like a great all-purpose beater and everybody can use one of those. You can use it for errands, commuting, whatever, and you don't end up weighing down or scratching up your "fun" bike. As for repairs, there are co-ops and videos aplenty, and while an inexperienced mechanic (hand raised, here) doesn't want to take apart his primary bike and then find he has no idea what he's done or how to undo it, your old backup bike is a good thing to learn on.

    One final thought: depending on where you live (and I don't know what the theft situation is like in Denver), it's nice to have a bike that doesn't scream "steal me!" when you lock it up in a dicey area (which can be anywhere). A determined thief can break pretty much any lock. The key is to make it less attractive to do that. Good locks/cables around wheels and saddles make another bike a more attractive choice, but so does parking an old Schwinn mountain bike rather than a shiny new cyclocross.

    Good luck choosing a new ride!
    Last edited by ultimattfrisbee; 01-13-12 at 04:22 AM. Reason: Addendum
    2009 Jamis Aurora
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input. Like you mentioned I do plan on keeping the Mesa as just that a bike I can learn bike mechanics on and as a commuter that I can lock up somewhere and not be totally P***ed if it were stolen. Bye the bye I'm also not sure what the bike theft rate here is and that is something I should look into. As for the trailer I didnt even think about how attaching that to the cyclocross bike (or whatever new bike I do end up buying) might affect it and the wear and tear it might take, so that is a good point Ill definitely keep that in mind.

  4. #4
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    How much are you willing to spend?

    Do you have any hills?

    After this purchase, join a bicycle co-op and fix your own MTB.

    Your terrain prescribes road bike or hybrid (depending upon degree of ruggedness off road). Cyclocross of course would be alright, but it won't contribute to speed as efficiently as a genuine road bike.

    Maybe you should keep your MTB and just get a bonafide road bike, eh!

    - Slim

  5. #5
    Senior Member ultimattfrisbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Your terrain prescribes road bike or hybrid (depending upon degree of ruggedness off road). Cyclocross of course would be alright, but it won't contribute to speed as efficiently as a genuine road bike.

    Maybe you should keep your MTB and just get a bonafide road bike, eh!

    - Slim
    Hey Slim,

    I've thought about this some as I ponder, in some distant and imagined future when I have either more money, more time, or both, whether I would buy a cyclocross or road bike. Currently I have a touring bike and a mountain bike. The mountain bike was bought used and is my bad weather commuter. The touring bike was bought with an eye toward being my only bike back when I thought that was normal. I have sometimes thought I made the wrong choice getting a touring instead of cyclocross bike, figuring the latter would be faster and zippier than the touring bike but more rugged than a roadie.

    Now that I have a mountain bike, I'm not so sure. Maybe my fantasy bike should be a real roadie. So here's my question for you. What's the performance difference between a road bike and a cyclocross bike on the road?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by ultimattfrisbee; 01-14-12 at 05:34 AM. Reason: punctuation
    2009 Jamis Aurora
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  6. #6
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    As for price I am looking at spending around 1500.00 give or take a couple of hundred if I find one that really jumps out at me. As for the terrain I mostly ride the platt trail in denver, co and it is fairly flat but as a Colorado native I would like the ability to ride some more hilly roads and trails such as those in the mountains. After doing some product research the bike that seems to stand out to me is the 2012 Specialized Tricross Elite Apex disc I found for 1699.99 or the 2012 Specialized Crux comp disc for 1,899.99 though the crux is probably out of my budget. From what I have been told at a few shops the crux and tricross should be able to keep up with road bikes and handle hilly areas fine with a few minor mods like - road tires, lighter wheelset, and larger chain rings. As for the old mtb I am going to keep it and using it as fixer-upper maintainance learner bike.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ultimattfrisbee View Post
    Hey Slim,

    I've thought about this some as I ponder, in some distant and imagined future when I have either more money, more time, or both, whether I would buy a cyclocross or road bike. Currently I have a touring bike and a mountain bike. The mountain bike was bought used and is my bad weather commuter. The touring bike was bought with an eye toward being my only bike back when I thought that was normal. I have sometimes thought I made the wrong choice getting a touring instead of cyclocross bike, figuring the latter would be faster and zippier than the touring bike but more rugged than a roadie.

    Now that I have a mountain bike, I'm not so sure. Maybe my fantasy bike should be a real roadie. So here's my question for you. What's the performance difference between a road bike and a cyclocross bike on the road?

    Thanks!
    Hey there UltiMattFrisbee!

    On the CX bike the HT will generally be higher. Therefore, you'll have a more upright posture. Also, the gearing is different, you're more apt to be faster on the hills, than on the flats. The tires are usually wider and CX bikes are generally heavier than road bikes. All of these things tend to negatively impact on speed, but effectively addresses terrain diversity.

    Have A Nice Day!

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