Finally getting back into the game after a forced (stolen ride) hiatis from two wheels. Used to have a mountain bike, and found myself doing quite a bit of commuting and distance rides along with the weekly trip to the trails. Have come to the conclussion that a Cross Bike is the way to go. Have been looking at three so far..... Jake (Kona) / Cross-Check (Surly) / Volpe (Bianchi). Could use any good/bad info, and other suggestions for similar bikes in the under $1000 range. Haven't settled on anything yet and the local shops seem to carry just about anything. Don't want to miss any options.
I have a Kona Jake that I commute on, and attempt to race CX on. Only been at it for a month so I won't call it racin' yet.
The only drawback to the Jake (not the Jake the Snake) is the Sora shifters. You can't really shift into a higher gear fron the drops. I never rode much in the lower drops of bars when I first started riding in March. Now I do a lot and it kinda sucks having to take your hand off going down a hill to reach up and shift into a higher gear. Not that bad, but anoying none the less. They do have adjustable reach which is nice. Other then that it's a great bike and has started a cycling addiction for me.
I thought a cross bike would be a great do everything bike, which it is, with one negative.
I started going on the local trails and it performed great, except I wanted to go faster and jump, to more tech trails, etc. So... I ented up buying a HT Mt. bike two months later. I have a feeling this summer I will be picking up a real road bike. Did I mention it started a biking addiction
Look for some '05 '06 close out models if you can find them. I picked up my Kona, and helmet, and some other random gear for $600. So deals are out there.
I love my JTS for both commuting and racing. During the week I am a bike trail commuter, and on the weekend I strip it of the rack and lights and attempt to race as a competitive A (Cat. 2) racer.
The JTS is a solid, consistent, trust worthy bicycle. I have no plans to try and dump it after this season. If I was super doper and had to have and A and B bike, I would buy a Major Jake as an A bike. Until then, Ill keep dreaming about the day I get approached to race for Kona on their B team.