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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 06-28-06, 02:44 PM   #1
efree58
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Newbie looking for a cheaper Cyclocross bike

I have been looking at bikes for the past few weeks and am having troubles finding a halfway decent bike within my price range. I want a cyclocross bike because I will need to ride on gravel often because I live out in the boonies where the roads aren't paved but will want to stick to paved road when possible. The problem is is that the bikes I have looked at are a bit too expensive for a struggling college student. I liked the Trek XO 1 alot but it was still a bit too expensive. If anyone can direct me towards a similar bike that would be great. I am also looking used. Can anyone direct me towards a good used bike similar to the Trek XO 1. Thanks for the help before hand.
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Old 06-28-06, 02:53 PM   #2
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What's your size, roughly?
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Old 06-28-06, 04:12 PM   #3
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You didn't say your price range either...the XO1 is around $1200 if I recall. There's some new CX bikes out there for cheaper- Kona Jake (which I just bought), Bianchi Volpe (or San Jose if you can go singlespeed), and I saw a Fuji Cross on closeout at Performance Bike not too long ago. Next best bet is Craigslist...
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Old 06-28-06, 04:57 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by knucklesandwich
Kona Jake (which I just bought), Bianchi Volpe (or San Jose if you can go singlespeed), and I saw a Fuji Cross on closeout at Performance Bike not too long ago. Next best bet is Craigslist...
Right now on Ebay, one can find a size 58 KHS CX100, size 55 Kona Major Jake, size 55 vintage Trek 700 and a size 52 Bianchi Axis, all for less that half (current bid) the price of a new Trek XO.

Among new bikes, the Jake and the Volpe are probably two of the very best off-the-shelf values (imho) in the bike world. Personally I mostly ride a vintage steel Bianchi Axis set up more for commuting and touring than cycloX racing and I love the fact that I can go fast on the road with minimal effort like a road bike, yet take it on dirt fire roads and rail-trail paths with no traction problems and great bb clearance. I'll be touring on it this summer and I hope to do my first cyclocross racing this fall. It looked like a blast when I was a spectator last year.
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Old 06-28-06, 05:26 PM   #5
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Patience certainly rewards on Craigslist. Just of a matter of if you can wait. And you have a fairly active Craigslist.

After waiting for months for a good CX to come up on my CL, I scored a Waterford bike with almost all dura ace 9 speed components. New it would have cost at least 2x what the X01 goes for new, but I got it for well less than $1200. Plus, it's a freakin' Waterford. What's better than that?

I have since seen a few Poprads which were also great deals and had the Waterford not shown up, I would have jumped on one.

Keep holding out if you can.
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Old 06-28-06, 09:30 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help. Right now I am leaning towards the Jake unless someone can tell me of a better one. I am not sure of my frame size. I am just getting into this. I am 5'8", 145lbs. What do you think I am. I could always get sized at the local bike shop which is where I saw the Trek XO 1. Where to buy is another question. The local bike shop doesn't carry Kona and I don't think they could get it in. Craigslist probably won't help me much because I live in the middle of Wisconsin and the closest city with a pop over 100,000 is madison which is over two hours away. I want to get a bike soon so I can jump on and ride for a few months before the cold and snow comes.
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Old 06-29-06, 07:40 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by efree58
Thanks for the help. Right now I am leaning towards the Jake unless someone can tell me of a better one. I am not sure of my frame size. I am just getting into this. I am 5'8", 145lbs. What do you think I am. I could always get sized at the local bike shop which is where I saw the Trek XO 1. Where to buy is another question. The local bike shop doesn't carry Kona and I don't think they could get it in. Craigslist probably won't help me much because I live in the middle of Wisconsin and the closest city with a pop over 100,000 is madison which is over two hours away. I want to get a bike soon so I can jump on and ride for a few months before the cold and snow comes.
Yeah, we have very little Craigslist action here in WI. Even Madison & Milwaukee (my home) have few listings so it would take a lot of patience, especially in some place like Point or Wi Rapids. Minneapolis and Chicago are better bets for Craigslist if you don't mind the drive. Ebay is different since most people will ship. That Bianchi Axis on Ebay is probably your size @ 52. I am also 5'8" (but about 12 lbs heavier) and typically take a 52-53 in a cross bike or a 54-55 in a road bike. If you are very long-legged, you may be a 54-55 on cross bike, but that would be unusual and mean you'd need to tinker with shorter stems on a bigger bike at 5'8".

If you are committed to a bike shop rather than online, I can tell you that the Jake is a fine choice in a new bike and one of my favorite shopsin Milwaukee, Cory the Bike Fixer, carries Kona but rarely has a Jake in stock, though I am sure he'd be happy to order one and is tops regarding customer service. There is probably a dealer in Madison - check out the Kona website. I believe you can order directly from Kona online as well.

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Old 06-29-06, 09:06 AM   #8
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I would recomend the Jake as well

I just purchased a Kona Jake about a week ago, and let me tell you, I think its an awesome bike, I was pretty much in your situation, I wanted a Cross Bike, but didnt want to spend a whole lot of money on it, so I purchased the jake. Very nice for the cost. Everything I wanted. You can check the Kona site, and it will list all of the dealers in the area, very helpful, thats how I found my bike shop
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Old 06-29-06, 01:47 PM   #9
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Get the Jake & post pics after you get it tricked out. Looks like a good choice. And not a huge outlay of cash. That way if you want to get a road bike down the road you can justify the $$ outlay. Or, buy a second lightweight set of wheels & put road tires on it & you've got a do it all bike.
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Old 06-29-06, 09:29 PM   #10
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I talked to a dealer about an hour and a half away from me in Wisconsin Dells and they deal Kona. I plan on going down and checking them out on Saturday. On the phone they said they cost 799 but I am hoping I can talk them down but if that doesn't work maybe I can at least get a Kona jersy thrown in. Thanks for the help.
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Old 06-30-06, 07:03 AM   #11
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Specialized Tricross Sport can be had for under a grand.
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Old 07-01-06, 07:07 PM   #12
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I went down to a Kona dealer two hours away today. Saw Jake. I'm in love. Could it be an unatural love? They didn't have my size in so they ordered it. They made me put 100 down on the bike though. They will have it in on thursday but unfortunately I will be working everyday at the end of the week so I guess I will have to wait a few days to pick it up.
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Old 07-02-06, 01:00 PM   #13
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The waiting is the hardest part...
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Old 07-02-06, 07:06 PM   #14
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If I might put in a suggestion - STEEL FORK.
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