Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Silver Spring, MD (MABRA/MAC)
Bikes: Cannondale Cyclocross, Specialized Langster, Giant TCR-C2 Composite
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Unlike road bikes that can stay pretty and shiny, CX bikes get muddy, nasty, dirty, gunky, and beat up real fast. Look at pics from any local CX race and you'll see many of the people you;ll likely be competing against on a random assortment of $1200 CX bikes like the Kona Jake the Snake, Trek XO1, Specialized Tri0Cross, Redline Conquest, Fuji, and even those beautiiful Cannondales like the one I own. Reality is that you're not Sven Nys yet, you won't be competing at the SuperPrestige series anytime soon, and Nys' very light Colnago wouldn't make you any different a rider than the Trek XO1.
Here's my advice: get one of those $1200 CX bikes, they're all pretty comperable, and ride it into the ground. Eventually, you might want to toss on some new wheels or customize some components, but you can buy and race any of them pretty much the way they are.