Hello everyone. I first wanted to say this forum has been very helpful for me so far.
I currently own a http://www.k2bike.com/products/biked...ear=2006&ID=66 and I love it. Itís very comfortable to ride. I try to ride 5 miles each day and 10 miles on the weekends right now. The problem is I want something thatís more efficient but will still allow me to ride on trails around town. Currently I mostly ride on sidewalks, streets that have at least a 3 foot wide shoulder (I donít trust drivers), and established trails. Iím looking at getting a Cyclocross bike because I think it would be perfect for what I do. Iím 5 foot 4 at 190- pounds (the Ė is because Iím losing weight!) and I want to spend around $1,000 for a decent cyclocross bike that I will never compete with. Iím in Austin Texas and Iíve been to a few stores so I know whatís in town and I would like to actually look and feel at something before buying it blindly. Below is the selection some stores around me have. I would probably replace the tires with ones that are not knobby and I really like the 2nd set of brakes on the top of the handlebar but Iím sure I can add that on later. Out of the list below what would you choose and why or would you recommend buying one online without actually touching it to see how I like it?
REI Novara Element http://www.rei.com/product/744808
K2 Enemy http://www.rei.com/product/730696
Specialized Tricross Sport http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=22307
Jamis Nova http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/07_bikes/nova.html
Scott Cyclocross Comp http://www.scottusa.com/product.php?UID=9786
Bianchi Volpe http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_volpe.html
Giant TCX http://www.giant-bicycle.com/en-US/bikes/road/590/