Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    badbrains22
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    seattle area
    My Bikes
    piece of crap
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would really appreciate your opinions on this one...First off, I am new to this activity. I grew up racing BMX as a kid then as a teen went into skateboarding and snowboarding and I still do both today. Here I am at a little over 30 now and I am craving a new outlet. I know nothing about bikes from a technical standpoint so I would like your help choosing one. I am fairly well researched and I am certain that I want a CX bike for it's crossover appeal.

    Heres my question.

    What "stock" bike is best set up to grow into. I don't want a "beginner" bike but I don't want to be a newbie with a million dollar bike either. I am in good shape and tend to pick up things fast and I am really enthusiastic about this. I have done quite a bit of searching and I think I am choosing between a --Redline Conquest Pro-- Bianchi Axis-- Trek XO 1.....

    I plan on doing a bunch of 50 miles+ trips on the bike....basically I will be on road 80% and racing 20%. I hear people talking about "the geometry" and that doesn't make much sense to me. I am sure it will make sense in the future but for now I just need to know which of these bikes is the best choice for me. Do I just take a pick one and learn from my mistake or what? I am not concerned about "cool factors" or pretty paint jobs. Just the most comfortable, dependable bike. I am pretty sure that I want an aluminum frame even though the ride may be a bit more uncomfortable compared to steel.

    Is the bianchi a better pick because it has a 3 ring crank? Why does the Redline cost 200 buck more than the Trek? Could anyone give me their ideas on picking my first "real" bike.

    If anyone made it this far I thank you ahead of time for your opinion.

    Regards
    jd

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    St Paul, MN
    Posts
    697
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would say that of those three the Redline Conquest Pro is probably the most race-worthy right out of the box. Anyway, that's my personal favorite.

    Just my two cents....

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Inside the beltway
    Posts
    236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    First, great decision to take up cycling! It can satisfy your gonzo itch, provide a cheap fun way to commute to work, take you out into the boonies, and make your body stronger at 30 than you ever were at 19- Second, don't sweat the bike too much. There are lots of great choices, and none of them "wrong"- really no bad bikes out there. Since you're new, the best thing to do is find the best local shop and spend some time with them (a busy Saturday is probably not the best time though...) and try out some different models- try out 1 or 2 that are way out of your price range just to see the difference, and maybe figure out from this that you don't "need" a million dollar bike, just yet anyway. The main thing is that the bike fits you properly, so that it's comfortable on your road rides, and handles well for your races. Frame dimensions/geometry vary with different makers and models, there's a spectrum between frames designed more for all-day comfort and touring on the road, to very stiff, fast handling race-oriented bikes. You can have your long road rides and race on any of these, just depends on what characteristics you want to favor. A stiff race bike on a long road ride will be less comfortable- your hands and back are more likely to get fatigued and sore before your legs give out (once you're in decent cycling shape). A more laid-back all-rounder bike will be just a little bit slower getting around very tight corners on a race course, and you'll have just a little bit less traction trying to ride up steep muddy uphills- so you might end up running a section that a cyclocross race bike can be ridden. But of course, rider skill is so much more important than bike geometry on a cross race course. So don't sweat it- my opinion is that you would probably be more happy with an all-rounder bike that will accomodate your year-round riding better since you have just the one bike for all your adventures (all you need, really- why do I have 3 cyclocross bikes???). I like steel, but it doesnt matter that much. Aluminum frames will theoretically fatigue, but in real life that doesnt really happen unless you're very heavy and you bought a really light Al frame- then you're asking for it. You will be ready for a new bike long before your frame wears out. I have an Aluminum Empella- stiff as hell, fantastic handling on a race course. But not so great on a long training ride, it makes me sore. I also have an old-school steel cross bike from the early 80's- made in Germany. It's basically a classic road bike with relaxed geometry, very much like a Lemond Poprad. I use it as a back up pit bike, and it's great for long rides on hilly gravel roads, all day comfort. Many "cross" bikes are sold with a triple ring crank. Nice for touring, especially loaded or for very hilly road rides. You probably won't want a third ring for racing though, if you are riding that slow or steep its faster to dismount and run. Triple ring drivetrains are also more prone to dropping your chain than doubles. Gearing that's best for cross racing is not ideal for riding on the road, you'll lack a couple of gears at the high end. So you just spin out and coast, no big deal unless you're on a competitive group ride. So there's some compromises to be made- many (most) all-rounder cross bikes come with road gearing unless you request a change. You can always buy a chainring or two to switch during race season. Anyway, find yourself a good shop- I don't know Seattle, but if you're ever down in Portland, River City Bicycles are one of the best shops in the country, and some of those guys really know cyclocross. But you should be able to find it locally. A good shop will fit you properly, give you good advice on bike choices, and good service later on for repairs and maintenance. If you get a hard sell, or they can't answer your questions with direct common sense answers, or give you a quick and dirty "fitting" (ie "here, stand over this one- yup it looks like it fits") then find another sales person or another shop. Have fun!
    Last edited by ZenNMotion; 07-26-05 at 09:27 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    211
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    some good stock bikes:

    http://www.surlybikes.com/crosscheck.html
    http://www.konaworld.com/shopping_ca...4&parentid=182
    http://www.fujibikes.com/2005/bikes.asp?id=19

    some excellent reading about bike fit, cross bike setups, training and racing:

    http://www.cycle-smart.com/Articles/index.html
    http://www.store.yahoo.com/cyclocros...trainandt.html

    for road riding and cx racing, a triple ring setup is definetly not better. a double is all you will need. many of the cx pros use only a single ring in front -- this is because in a cross race you really dont need that many gears, and less rings mean less chance of losing your chain, mis-shifting, etc. when riding in wet, muddy conditions.

    the only reason i could see getting a triple would be if you plan on doing alot of loaded touring and/or technical, single-track off roading.

    as for geometry, as a beginner the most important things you will need to know about when sizing your bike are: the effective top tube length, the seat tube length, and the standover height. to get an idea of how this all relates to your body measurements, your riding style, your preferences, etc...check this out:

    www.speedgoat.com

    and click on "rider profile." this will walk you through a "fit kit" process, and i'm sure it will answer many of your questions.

  5. #5
    badbrains22
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    seattle area
    My Bikes
    piece of crap
    Posts
    8
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for your advice and for your time it is truly appreciated. I will check out those links about fitting etc. and I will also check out that shop in Portland. I travel to Portland about twice a month with my wife on business. They have a really cool bike scene there. Your opinions are valuable and you seemed to understand my concerns. Thanks Guys!

  6. #6
    JPW
    JPW is offline
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    40
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I bought a Axis about 6 weeks ago. Had front shifter adjusted 5 times and still not right. Drops chain between middle and big gear on crank. Drives me nuts. Love the color and ride and the gearing. Going to use it for touring and club rides. The gears are so low I think I can climb trees with it. I need a granny because of age 65. It is not as fast as my 2300 Trek but I expected that. Good Luck. JPW

  7. #7
    Oi! roxys.mama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Masi Team 3V, Diamond Back road bike that I built through trading massage with my wonderful messenger friends in Sea-town! I just tore it down to build my Masi. This bike served me well for the last 4 years!
    Posts
    21
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by badbrains22
    I would really appreciate your opinions on this one...First off, I am new to this activity. I grew up racing BMX as a kid then as a teen went into skateboarding and snowboarding and I still do both today. Here I am at a little over 30 now and I am craving a new outlet. I know nothing about bikes from a technical standpoint so I would like your help choosing one. I am fairly well researched and I am certain that I want a CX bike for it's crossover appeal.

    Heres my question.

    What "stock" bike is best set up to grow into. I don't want a "beginner" bike but I don't want to be a newbie with a million dollar bike either. I am in good shape and tend to pick up things fast and I am really enthusiastic about this. I have done quite a bit of searching and I think I am choosing between a --Redline Conquest Pro-- Bianchi Axis-- Trek XO 1.....

    I plan on doing a bunch of 50 miles+ trips on the bike....basically I will be on road 80% and racing 20%. I hear people talking about "the geometry" and that doesn't make much sense to me. I am sure it will make sense in the future but for now I just need to know which of these bikes is the best choice for me. Do I just take a pick one and learn from my mistake or what? I am not concerned about "cool factors" or pretty paint jobs. Just the most comfortable, dependable bike. I am pretty sure that I want an aluminum frame even though the ride may be a bit more uncomfortable compared to steel.

    Is the bianchi a better pick because it has a 3 ring crank? Why does the Redline cost 200 buck more than the Trek? Could anyone give me their ideas on picking my first "real" bike.

    If anyone made it this far I thank you ahead of time for your opinion.

    Regards
    jd

    A good bike shop in Seattle is CounterBalance. Good people, good advice, friends of mine.
    http://www.counterbalancebicycles.com/

    Also, check out Surly
    http://www.surlybikes.com/bikes.html
    Good bikes, not too flashy. You'd be respected on the road.
    Sois loyal envers toi-mÍme

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •