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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 02-26-03, 08:17 AM   #1
ephemeralskin
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help me choose a bike

this is my first post after a couple days of lurking, so hello! i am looking for a new bike to replace my old roadie/commuter. i want a bike that is versatile and can accept different wheelsets for road and trail. and i also would like it to be capable of touring. my budget ends at about $600 and i have been looking for good deals in the classifieds and whatnot. here is what ive found so far, id love to get some feedback:

cannondale y2k xr800 w/105 - $650

soma 2002 double cross w/ 105 shifters, tiagra derailleurs + sugino xd crankset

kona 2002 jake the snake w/ 105 - $650

which frame is the most quality? which is the best deal?

here are my thoughts: since i want it to be a commuter/road bike 80% of the time, the soma frame is more ideal since the dale and kona frames have shorter tts. i havent been able to try either of them but from looking at the specs they dont seem right. i am 6'1" and my inseam is 34". i think that means i should ride the 56cm cannondale frame or the 58cm kona or soma frames (which are the respective sizes of the three bikes i have found). the top tube of a 58cm dale or kona frame would tickle my danglies

anyway, what do you all think? suggestions/advice appreciated.
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Old 02-26-03, 10:19 AM   #2
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Well, I personally really like Jake's for my use, but may not be right for you like you stated. I don't have much experience with the other two listed. One thought maybe the Surly Crosscheck. It should be suitable for the riding you are talking about, and you might possibly pick up a new one for just over your budget amount if you look around. Components would probably be more in line with Tiagra as opposed to 105 though, so if that is a major point, then used would yield a better deal, but anyways, just a thought as the Surly's are nice bikes for the money.
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Old 02-26-03, 02:00 PM   #3
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ive read posts on here saying that the soma frame is better than surly. can anyone confirm this?

also what is the major difference b/t 105 and tiagra? i know that 105 is lighter (hollow cranks etc) but as far as derailleur performance goes, is it that noticeable?
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Old 02-26-03, 02:11 PM   #4
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If you have the choice, I would go with the 105. The shifters, I believe, are alot better functionally. There was a discussion on this recently and the 105 group was said to be the best value of the Shimano line. I tend to agree with that.

The 58cm bikes seem to be around the right size for someone your height/inseam. I don't know why the Kona would have a clearance problem because it's a sloping top tube frame- you should be able to stand over it with no problem.
The cannondale is a good bike too- and considering the way the xr is sized, 56 sounds ok too.
I don't know anything about Soma but I like the Cannondale or Kona because they are full 105-so the most for your money. Also, the condition and type of wheelset on each bike will make a difference.

Both are quality bikes so it maybe the overall condition of the bikes when you see them that seals the deal.
good luck!
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Old 02-26-03, 02:39 PM   #5
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the wheels for the cannondale are: mavic cxp 23 w/ ritchey speed max tires. the soma has: araya 540s w/ ritchey excavader. im guessing the mavics are better but i dont really know.

the standover problems i mentioned are with the cannondale 58cm. the main prob with the kona is that the tt is a lot shorter. it seems to be a lot closer to a mtb frame to me than the other two. the soma seems more tourable and roadlike. www.somabikes.com
its a renoylds 631 frame with a chromoly rear. it has all the braze-ons for touring.

what braze-ons does the cannondale have? anyone know?

i need to go to a lbs w/ a cannondale 56cm..
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Old 02-26-03, 03:19 PM   #6
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mavics are better wheels. The xr will fit different than the road bikes- it is taller to clear larger tires and the geometry is different, so make sure they have an xr.
I think the cannondale has braze-ons. Look over at cannondale.com
can't say anything about soma...don't know about them.
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Old 02-26-03, 09:14 PM   #7
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Somas are nice frames from a small shop out of san francisco. They are made out of reynolds 631 steel, whereas the other two bikes are aluminum. I don't know if that makes a difference to you. If you're looking for a bike that you can use for touring or commuting you might want to check out which of the bikes have the braze-ons for attaching racks.
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Old 02-26-03, 10:41 PM   #8
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i checked out the cannondale today at my lbs. fits ok but i might need a longer stem. no braze-ons on the front fork like the soma.

its b/t the dale and the soma since the kona sold already.

i need to make up my mind by tomorrow morning or they might be sold as well.... which should i pick?
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