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  1. #1
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    Question Which Crosstrail model to get?

    I could use some help narrowing down my choice in picking out my new bike. I'm a novice/recreational rider that does some weekend riding. But I'm looking to do more and to also start commuting to work. So I a want jack of all trades that can handle road, crappy shoulders, and packed-dirt/pea-gravel trails. Based on my research and some test rides at the bike store, I'm going to go with a 2014 Specialized Crosstrail. I'm just having a little trouble declining on what trim line to get.

    I'm looking at the Crosstrail Sport Disc (in-stock; $800), Crosstrail Elite Disc (special-order; $930) and the Crosstrail Comp Disc (in-stock; $1,150). Here's a link to a comparison of the three models. I also have attached a PDF at the bottom with the differences between each level highlighted.

    Based on my needs, I think I've ruled out the upper Comp Disc. Based on great information (especially by @dynaryder - who I hope can help here as well) in this older thread, I do not see that I'm getting really necessary things for the extra cash. (Unless someone can give me some feedback on why that may be my best choice) And as silly as it might be, I think the chain guards, lost on the Comp Disc, are useful on a daily commuter and weekend joy rider.

    So it basically comes down to if the following items are worth the extra $130:
    • Shimano BR-M446 over Tektro Draco brakes
    • Shimano FDM-340 over Shimano M390 Front Derailleur
    • Shimano Deore Shadow over Shimano Acera Rear Derailleur
    • Shimano FC-M431 over SR Suntour XCR Crankset


    Since I don't know much of anything about brakes, derailleurs, and cranksets, I was hoping someone could provide some guidance. What are the benefits of these upgrades? I plan to go back to the store again and test ride the sport and comp (same brakes as the elite) and pay attention to the feel of the brakes as I do so. But since the Derailleurs and crankset are different, and they do not have an elite I can test ride, I'm looking for some expert guidance. I want a bike that I'm going to like and can keep for many years.


    Crosstrail Model Comparison-reduced_size.pdf
    Last edited by SirDilbert; 06-12-14 at 02:24 PM.

  2. #2
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    If you're between the Sport and Elite,and can afford it,I'd go with the Elite. Shimano hydros are really nice,and you get nicer derailleurs,cranks,and pedals.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Dahon Speed Pro TT,Brompton S6L

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
    If you're between the Sport and Elite,and can afford it,I'd go with the Elite. Shimano hydros are really nice,and you get nicer derailleurs,cranks,and pedals.
    +1

    Yes! ^ What this guy says!

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I think that the Sport Disc is the best buy in the Crosstrail line. 9 spd, and disc brakes, lockout front suspension, and a surprisingly comfortable seat. And, it's a triple, for lots of gear choices.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
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  5. #5
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    Here is my .02. I LOVE my 2014 Crosstrail Comp disc. I was torn between that and the pro disc. The pro had an adjustable stem and a remote lockout and a couple of lighter bits but overall the Comp disc is worth every penny IMHO. My fiancÚ got the elite disc to save a little money and the weight difference between her Crosstrail and mine is huge. The Comp is also a little racier which I love. I commute 13 miles one way to work on it and Its everything from gravel to smooth and bumpy bike paths, roads, all of it. I also take it for at least a more adventurous ride once a weekend. The Crosstrail Comp Disc eats it up.

  6. #6
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    I have the Sport Disc and, after a year of ownership, can highly recommend it, it's been virtually trouble free and the Tektro discs are great stoppers. I looked at the Crosstrail Disc, Sport Disc and Elite Disc when I was comparing the models and the bike mechanic in the store said the best buy was the Sport Disc, said it was well equipped for the price and he really liked the Tektro hydraulic brake set. He didn't recommend getting the lower end Crosstrail Disc as it has cable operated discs. After having four road bikes over the years and two mountain bikes, my Crosstrail has impressed me enough to be considered the best bike I've ever owned. The derailleurs have proven to be up to the the punishment I give them, I'm not a light weight rider and when I push up a hill I'm bearing down on that crank pretty hard, they're up to the task.
    If, for whatever reason, you prefer the Elite and don't mind spending the extra bucks, you can't go wrong with that choice, they're both great bikes, it's a win-win situation. Enjoy your new ride - and I think you definitely will...

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for the feedback. I do have to say I really like the Crosstrail bikes. On the web, I've found a number of shops all over the country, and one in the UK, that say its a top seller and well liked. But without being able to test ride the Elite, it's hard to know which model to pick since, as I said, I do not know much about derailers and such. The input here is very useful. Thanks. I'm leaning towards the elite at this point, but want to do a second round of test rides of the sport and comp. I'm hoping to pull the trigger next weekend.(Too much happening this weekend.)

  8. #8
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    If you can afford it, you never go wrong getting better!

    That being said, there is a difference in triples and doubles. I'm a big fan of triples, and 9 speeds, for cheaper maintenance, and lots of gear choices.

    If you like doubles, either of any choices are nice bikes. Would I like a Carbon Crosstrail? Sure I would, but it's not likely.... MHO

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
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  9. #9
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    Thanks @Wanderer. That helps a lot.

    I had not really thought much about the triple vs double. (I was focusing more on the model of the drivetrain components.) @dynaryder also spoke of the cheaper maintenance of the triple in a similar thread. Maintenance aside... is a triple or double better for a novice rider (who will never be using the bike in anything resembling a competition)?

    I agree on getting quality. I live by the motto "The bitterness of poor quality is remembered long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten." As well as, as you say, you never go wrong getting better. That's why I'm eying the Elite over the Sport. If there was a good reason to get the comp, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But if I'm not really going to get anything out of it -- or worse, will be getting into something that would be a poor choice for a novice/commuter -- than I wouldn't want to go that route. The lighter frame would be a nice to have; but I don't see it as compelling enough to make the jump, especially if I'd be getting into a drivetrain that would be a poor choice for a novice.

  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    The triple gives you more gear choices, so you can always find the right one. 9spd parts, and chain , are cheaper to replace, and a tiny bit more stout. More gear choices is always better, to find that gear that is jut right - not to easy, and not to hard. MHO

    In addition to that, the Elite has lower gears available, with a cassette that has more teeth. The Comp is 10 spd, and has a more road oriented cassette, with fewer teeth on the cassette.

    If it were me - my choice would be the Elite.

    My mistake - the Comp does have a low geared cassette also, but it also comes with SRAM shifty bits. Personally, I lik Shimano better.

    My choice would still be the Elite............. MHO
    Last edited by Wanderer; 06-13-14 at 12:41 PM.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  11. #11
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    ...like I said in my previous post, its a win - win situation, either way you'll get a great bike. As to the triple vs double, there's a thread here on Bike Forums that has quite a number of folks praising the virtues of the triple and pointing out that the doubles are really designed more for the hard core road bike aficionados in their never ending quest to pare down weight. I had a double crankset for years on my old road bikes, going back to when they called them 10 speeds, which moved up to 12 and then 18. With the advent of the Mountain Bike and the need to climb the only way to obtain more gearing was to add another front crank, there's a reason they came out with the triples and its not just cuz they look cool and you can brag about your bike having umpteen gazillion speeds...
    Last edited by trainchaser; 06-13-14 at 06:54 PM.

  12. #12
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    Thanks all. I'm going to have the shop order me an elite. I can't get there this weekend. Possibly during the week; but next weekend for sure.

    I very much appreciate everyone's time and help. This is what the internet should be about.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by trainchaser View Post
    As to the triple vs double, there's a thread here on Bike Forums that has quite a number of folks praising the virtues of the triple and pointing out that the doubles are really designed more for the hard core road bike aficionados in their never ending quest to pare down weight. (...) With the advent of the Mountain Bike and the need to climb the only way to obtain more gearing was to add another front crank, there's a reason they came out with the triples and its not just cuz they look cool and you can brag about your bike having umpteen gazillion speeds...
    So true. Its a shame really because, taking the OP as an example, I would have pushed for the Comp Disc (assuming he could afford it) based on the weight saving of the frame and fork alone, but that 2x10 I think will leave a person wanting one more gear on the fast flats. Thats how I felt when I test rode the Specialized Crave.

    In fact if money were no object I'd go all the way to the Limited Disc for the sake of the air fork and swap out the chainring/shifter for a 3x.

  14. #14
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I can see offering the Sirrus with doubles and triples, but I think that the Crosstrail, and others similar to it, are just more suited to triples. I think they make a mistake by not offering it (any level Crosstrail) with a triple. Maybe the higher levels with 50-40-30, but still the triple.
    Last edited by Wanderer; 06-14-14 at 08:54 AM.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

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