Lately I've been pondering buying a new bike and recently I was visiting Rome, Italy, so I went to a few bike shops there. I was initially looking for cyclocross bikes, since they are almost nonexistent in my home city of Athens, Greece. I've since decided though that my main use for this bike will be touring, although I wouldn't mind having some fun in the mountain trails around Athens. I was wondering about this offer I got from Cicli Lazzaretti in Rome and I wanted to ask everyone's opinion on it:
As I am hung between cyclocross and touring, he gave me a choice of frames made by Alan:
Frame: Alan Unicross, Alan Treking or Alan Cross Ultral Easton (+150EUR)
The Treking model is not in the catalogue since they make it on order for Lazzaretti, he claims the geometry is just like the Unicross, but has brazeons among other differences. All frames are aluminum, you can browse them at Alan's website.
Brakes: Ritchey cantilever brakes, I didn't note the model but I think they were Ritchey Logic.
Rear derailer: Campagnolo Veloce
Front derailer: Campgnolo Racing Triple
Shifters: Campagnolo Chorus w/ additional levers on the flat bars
Hubs: Campagnolo Chorus (front and back)
Chain: Campagnolo 9 speed
Chainring: Campagnolo racing triple
Freewheel: Campagnolo Veloce
Rims: Campagnolo Montreal
Spokes: Steel Inox.
Seat: Selle Itali ACTIVA TREKING
Seat post: aluminum
handlebar: drop bars in aluminum
Pedals: some clipless/platform combo, although I didn't note the model.
For the complete bike the price, taxes included, is 1500 EUR. For me it is a bit expensive, what do you think?
To give you an impression of what prices are like over here, I found a forgotten Kona JTS 2004 model in Athens for 1200 EUR (unfortunately it was too small for me).
Also, regarding the frame size, for cyclocross frames I am measured at 58. Since I also plan on using it for touring alot should this make a difference?
Cyclocross bikes are mixed. Some make good Touring bikes and others don't. Touring bikes generally have low bottom brakets. Only SOME cyclocross bikes do.
Touring bikes generally have short chainstays whereas Touring bikes have long chainstays so that your pannier sit far enough back so that you don't hit your heels on the packs.
I have a 1991 Atala World Champion Cyclocross bike that I converted to a Touring bike. This bike had a low bottom bracket and medium length stays so it works out pretty well as long as I shove the pannier all the way back as far as they'll go.
It is also generally better to buy a complete bike because the components are a great deal cheaper on a complete bike than purchased separately.