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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 08-17-06, 06:44 PM   #1
abseven7
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building up a bike or buying new

OK here's my situation. I need a cross bike. My options, as I can see, are the following:

1. Buy a new, complete bike. This is way expensive, and I'd prefer to avoid it.

2. Buy a used, complete bike. Ideal, but hard to find one in my size (54cm) and in my area. Ebay tends to be expensive, and a problem IMHO since you can't test ride and know what you're getting. Craigslist is great in NYC but around where I live, there's very little moving through.

3. Buy a new frame and build up. Way too expensive. Forget about it.

4. Buy a used frame and build up with random parts from here and there. Definitely an option. I've already found a frame for five bucks that will work. The problem is the components are going to add up really quickly. I have an old road bike that I don't really use but I don't really want to cannibalize it for parts either. But shifters and derailleurs are way too expensive to buy new, and I can't seem to find them used either! I could buy a used bike and strip it, but that would run me a few hundred, and I that's getting pretty pricey. I don't want to mess around with crappy components, especially for cross, with everything taking a beating, so I would have to invest in at least something worth while.

Any thoughts? Experience? Silver bullets? Help!
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Old 08-17-06, 07:22 PM   #2
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Think about what you're going to use it for, and how much of your riding will be on the new bike. If it's gonna be all (or most) and the gearing will work ok, then maybe you should cannibalize the road bike...just a thought.

I have one bike, a Jake, that is my commuter/ weekend "roadie"/ beer run wagon/ etc etc etc.

You'll read a lot in the commuting forum about people getting a cross bike and abandoning all their others- again, it's down to how much you ride and what type of riding it is.
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Old 08-17-06, 07:28 PM   #3
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it's gonna be cross. cross. cross.

i have my racing road bike. i have my old road bike for around town. i have my beater mountain bike. (i need to get another mountain bike)

so cross it is for this bike!
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Old 08-17-06, 07:54 PM   #4
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ah. i think i have found my solution.

a surly crosscheck. looks like a freakin amazing bike, for around $900, complete bike!

all reviews are fantastic. and steel is real...in my experience. anyone here own one?
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Old 08-17-06, 07:55 PM   #5
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I bought a used Conquest frame with crank, fork and headset, a pair of used tubular rims, some campy mirage ergos from probikekit and suntour brakes from the back of a funky LBS and ended up with a monster cross racer for well under $500 including shipping.

Sacrificing the townie for the cross bike's wheels cranks and such makes sense. You can always use a cross bike for beer.

Ron
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Old 08-18-06, 07:41 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abseven7
ah. i think i have found my solution.

a surly crosscheck. looks like a freakin amazing bike, for around $900, complete bike!

all reviews are fantastic. and steel is real...in my experience. anyone here own one?
I don't own one, but I built one up for a friend of mine, and he freakin' loves it. It's been said before, but the Cross Check is the Swiss Army knife of bikes. Run it geared or singlespeed, fat tires or skinny tires, mountain bike hubs or road hubs -- whatever. The components are adequate to start with, but you will want to upgrade them as your budget allows. The 4130 cromoly frame will probably last a lifetime.

If you want to go even cheaper, and you don't mind having only one gear, check out the IRO Rob Roy, or the Bianchi San Jose -- both very affordable.
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Old 08-18-06, 11:25 AM   #7
gcasillo
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Or a Bianchi Volpe.
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Old 08-18-06, 07:56 PM   #8
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I have had a cross check for the last seven years and love it. I turned it into a commuter bike with full fenders and panniers last year. The Surly was fun to race but kind of heavy. I would get one, it is great place to start and will serve you well for many years. I sprayed my frame with T9 to keep it from rusting. So far so good, and it sees a good amount of rain and snow. I just got a Fuji Cross Pro. The Fuji rides very well (if not too much like a road bike) and is lighter. I doubt it will serve me as long as the CrossCheck but it is FAST.
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Old 08-19-06, 05:59 AM   #9
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I rode my mountain bike last year during some casual cross races so I was thinking about how "road-bikey" a cross bike would feel. I'd rather my cross bike feel more mountain bike-ish. So I guess the Surly is good for that, eh? The aluminum frames are going to feel more racey and snappish I guess.
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Old 08-21-06, 12:28 AM   #10
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So.... Surly On?

Did you get it? Do you like it? I am thinking about the LeMond or the Surly at this point. Read up on the brake shudder on the Poprad (non-disk) which is pushing me towards this.

Of course, I have to see if the darn thing will fit. There is only so much you can do with stem swapping before the intended handling is trashed....
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