I'm trying to buy a decent first cyclocross bike in Australia and have narrowed it down to these two models. My conundrum is that, in $US the tricross is cheaper than the kona, but by the time they make it to australia they retail for the exact same price (in fact i can get the jake the snake for a bit cheaper...)
i've test ridden the jake the snake but haven't had a chance to test ride the tricross yet as it's been out of stock. obviously that comparison will play a big part, but in the mean time i was wondering if the jake the snake is a better bike (in terms of parts and brand reputation) compared to the specialized. i was set on the tricross until i discovered the $AU price, and am now tempted by the apparent better value for money of the JTS. basically i really can't choose between the two. i would be looking to race the bikes on weekends but it would also have to double as a commuter bike, so the split between proper cyclocross use and regular cycling is probably be 50:50.
any help would be appreciated. i'm open to suggestions of other bikes but be weary that australia doesn't get many boutique brands, and that they would need to be in the tricross/JTS price range.
Last edited by ZappBrannigan; 06-21-07 at 12:19 AM.
During my research I placed the JTS ahead of the Tricross. If you search this forum you'll find quite a few people that have and love the JTS. I think the appearance is a major factor between these two bikes, obviously the JTS is quite a bit flashier. If you compare the specs I think the JTS comes out a little bit ahead but owners of both bikes seem very happy.
For me I was about to buy the JTS until I test rode the Lemond Poprad and promptly bought it. If you have a chance I'd recommend giving it a try. Good luck, I don't think you can go wrong with any of those choices.
Specialized Rockhopper comp, Kona Kapu, Ira Ryan custom road bike, Ira Ryan custom fixed gear
I'm one of those JTS owners he mentioned...
Specialized makes great bikes -- in fact, they made my MTB. That said, their cross bikes are not quite cross bikes, more multi-purpose bikes that are a little "cross-like" I think there's a review on the Clyde forum of a guy who has one.
I use the kona for 90% commuting, and use road wheels and tires for that. But I love the 10% when i go off road, and knowing that i can heap some abuse on it with no issues. The last factor -- for me at least -- is that Kona is a small manufacturer, and people ask me all the time what it is. That wouldn't happen with a Specialiozed around here.
I am also one of those JTS owners. It was my first cyclocross bike and I don't regret purchasing it one bit. I got a great deal on it from a LBS and have been extremely pleased. I highly doubt you can go wrong with either one of those bikes, but from what I've read, you'd be hard pressed to find someone that was disappointed with their Jake The Snake.
When I was looking in the spring the JTS was much better value than the Specialized. When I mentioned the JTS being strong competition b/c of price to build to the Specialized dealer they said: "We don't consider Kona a competitor". I thought that was a pretty bad answer!
thanks for the advice, unfortunately there's one LeMond store in the whole of australia and it's a 1000km drive away.
having done a bit of extra research i can see the kona is the better bike. i had component problems with the last avanti/specialized bike i bought and definitely want a decent gear system on my new bike so the sora/tiagra components on the specialized are a big turn off. unfortunately the JTS appeals to my brain but the tricross appeals to my heart. i know it should be a minor concern, but i don't like the look of the JTS and i find the tricross very pleasing to the eye. and when you're spending a bit of money on a bike you want everything about it to make you happy. also, i last rode a fluorescent colour bike when i was 7, i wasn't planning to return to such colour schemes...
i wish you could buy bikes like computers, pick each of the components separately and have them put together your ideal bike (i know you can buy a frame and build up yourself but it's an option out of my budget). if the australian prices of the models reflected the US prices i might have been able to buy the specialized bike but upgrade the sora/tiagra to 105s and still kept the price under the JTS (edit: having just investigated the price of a full 105 set up i think i was being a bit optimistic). as it stands, it looks like kona's getting a wad of my cash (and i have to conclude that they deserve it).
Last edited by ZappBrannigan; 06-21-07 at 08:39 PM.
yeah i replied to it... maybe i screwed it up somehow. basically said a 56 cm is too small for me. all the stores i've been going to down here in melbourne have been just about out of stock of the JTS though (of the 4 shops that i found who retail Kona there are only 4 54cm, 1 56cm, and 1 58cm between them all (there were two 58s but i just bought one...)) so if you make a bit of noise about yours you'll probably get a bit of interest.