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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 08-24-05, 12:55 PM   #1
waynesworld
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Hi, new here. I have a Trek 4300 MTB that is a year and a half old. Hadn't biked in years before that. I would like something for commuting / errands / touring, with the ability to do some very light off roading if desired. The MTB is just too slow, so I'm thinking a CX bike is the way to go.

I really like the looks and components of the Kona Jake the Snake. I've been looking at others such as Soma, Gunnar, Bianchi, etc... I've read similar threads, but can't seem to make a choice based on them.

I'm wondering about aluminum vs. steel. I want it to be as light as possible, but may give up a slight bit of weight for comfort, if that is the case.

I also want to be able to mount fenders and panniers.

Basically I'd like to know what CX bike you think is best suited to do the above. I'd really like 105 component level or above, with few exceptions.

Thanks,
Wayne

**Update**

I just found out about an '04 Poprad - new- for $900 + tax. Also considering an '05 JTS - used, 80 miles - for $850 plus shipping and LBS assembly ($50 approx). Which seems like a better deal?

Thanks again.

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Old 08-24-05, 07:10 PM   #2
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I'm partial to the JTS

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Old 08-24-05, 07:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by waynesworld
Which seems like a better deal?
Thanks again.
What size do you need? For comfort it has to fit; therefore, you need to know your size, especially as different manufacturers have different geometries.
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Old 08-24-05, 08:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waynesworld
I'm wondering about aluminum vs. steel. I want it to be as light as possible, but may give up a slight bit of weight for comfort, if that is the case.

I also want to be able to mount fenders and panniers.

Basically I'd like to know what CX bike you think is best suited to do the above.
I really like my Surly Cross Check (http://www.surlybikes.com/bikes.html). It's not very fancy or eye-catching (which I like for a commuter) and is very versatile (double eyelets for fenders and rack, standard sizes for the components. It's steel, which I also like. Mine came built with Sora, which I have never had a problem with, but I saw one at REI here with 105 components, so that may be available as well. I don't know if the Poprad has eyelets, but I am sure a search on the Forums will answer that one.

Good luck and good riding!!
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Old 08-25-05, 08:29 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies and ideas.

As far as size, I'm 5'11", with about a 32 inseam. The Kona is a 54, the Poprad a 57 (maybe too big?). I've also been interested in a used 2003 Cannondale XR800 54 - and Joe Dog, it's in Alaska like you. $75 2nd day UPS from Alaska seems about fair.

The Cannondale seems to have great reviews, and is apparently very light. It's not as pretty as the other two, IMHO, but it's growing on me. If I can get it much cheaper that the other two, I probably will.

I don't currently have transportation to the shop where the Poprad is to look at it, and the other two would be internet purchases, so I can't really try them out for fit. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-25-05, 10:11 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by waynesworld
As far as size, I'm 5'11", with about a 32 inseam... the Poprad a 57 (maybe too big?)
We're the same size height and inseam-wise, and my 55 is just a hair taller in the standover than I'd like.

Just can't see you fitting a 57.
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Old 08-25-05, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info regarding size. I thought it was probably too big too. The search continues...
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Old 08-25-05, 12:49 PM   #8
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Dogboy:

Thanks for the pics! You have the 2005 JTS - which is exactly what I want. I love the bright blue finish. From the components it looks like you changed over to a triple?

I found one out of Washington for $850 in 54 cm, which I think will fit. I'm waiting on some Ebay auctions, but I may just buy the JTS if I don't win the auctions.

Beautiful bike.
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Old 08-26-05, 11:37 AM   #9
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Yes, I changed the gearing in front and in back. I use the bike to tow a child trailer up some substantial hills so I put a mtn gearing in the back and cut down the chainrings to 28-39-50. I also use wider rims due to the poor condition of the roads around here. I'm 5'11" with a 32" inseam and ride a 54cm and it fits like a glove. Happy shopping!
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Old 08-26-05, 09:10 PM   #10
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Dogboy:

Well, I pulled the trigger on the JTS tonight. 2005, 54cm, 88 miles, $800 shipped. I think I'll like it.

I'll be in touch, since you already have the same bike. I'm sure I'll have questions about the rack, etc...

Thanks.
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