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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 07-31-07, 09:17 PM   #1
massocrat
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Newbie Introduction and: Lemond Poprad Vs. Fuji Cross Pro advise

First off, I just wanted to thank all contributors to this forum. I've done a wealth of research and lurking prior to logging on, and the information on here is boundless.

I am just now getting back into biking. I've been deployed quite a bit over the past years and have not actually owned a bike since I was 22. And then, I always had mountain bikes. My day had a Univega road bike that I hated because it was sized too large (even though we are both 6'), and was WAY too rigid and twitchy.

Anyhow, I desperately want to get back into bicycling, but am more realistic nowadays. I don't believe that my needs will be met by a mountain bike, despite my prior experience. I expect to ride 70%+ on road, and the rest a mixture of hardpacked trails, gravel, dirt, etc as I see fit. I started looking at hybrids or flat bar road bikes, and my original research went to the Fuji Absolute (SX or LX). However, once in a Performance Bike store, I saw a Fuji Cross Comp and was VERY intrigued. I am knowledgeable of, but have no current intention to race in, the cyclo-cross sport (at least for now), but I really feel like this will meet my needs quite well! My first few test rides confirmed this theory.

After a bunch of research, and considering some current great deals locally, I am considering the Fuji Cross Pro and the Lemond Poprad Disc (both '07 spec). I would very much appreciate advise on making this VERY difficult decision. Take $$ away as a factor. And I am left to contemplate the following:

1. Aluminum (Fuji) vs. Steel (Lemond): This is a huge consideration, especially considering I will be on road more, and the forgiving steel may trump the rigid alloy.

2. Brakes: Avid Cantilever (Fuji) vs. Mech Discs (Lemond)

3. Componentry: Ultegra and Dura-Ace (Fuji) vs. 105 throughout (Lemond)

4. Fuji's drop bars are slightly more uprightly canted which is more preferable for me than a more agressive road style (even though the Lemond is well within comfort range).

5. Anything else?

If I am seriosuly missing out on something, or you really believe I should consider an option #3, please list why. Truthfully, I am at a loss between these two. I plan to test ride both again on the same day (hopefully tomorrow), or as long as it takes...but I am at an impasse to make a decision. Any words of wisdom?

Thanks a lot for your help.
-Steve
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Old 08-01-07, 08:33 AM   #2
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Both good bikes.

How heavy are you? Wheel strength could be an issue.

I love the looks of the Proprad, but personally don't care for discs. Depends on whether you ride in the rain, but I do, all the time, with rim brakes, and they are fine.

In that price range, see if you can find a Kona JTS to look at, and maybe a bianchie axis.

105s are not quite as high-end as ultegra, but they work great and are very smooth. The Lemond will have more "traditional" geometry, with a longer top tube

Alloy bikes can be tuned to ride very well, it all depends on the frame design and the type of aluminum used. Bottom line -- try them bioth and get the one that feels better fit-wise. Worry about wheels if you're more than say 175 pounds, and consider the tires (you might want a little less aggressive given your description, or -- like me -- get a different wheelset with slick tires for road use.
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Old 08-01-07, 08:55 AM   #3
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First off, I'm 185lbs, so I shouldin't be tipping the scales wheel-wise. But, yes, I am thinking of having a spare wheelset to change out for specific road use.

Alexandria, huh? I am in C'ville, and I'm actually headed up that way today (Vienna and Reston), as NONE of the shops around C'ville carry the Poprad IN STOCK. I've seen and rode the Fuji Cross Comp and Pro, but have yet to get on a Poprad. The nearest one is at Spokes, Etc in Vienna. So now I'm off to do a head-to-head...

Thanks for the info!
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Old 08-01-07, 09:15 AM   #4
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Great post. I'm also in the process of trying to decide what bike to buy, 185 pounds, and ride the same about of time on pavement. Both bikes look nice to me so far. I'm going to monitor this thread. I like disk brakes just because a bike looks more like an off-road bike that a road bike. I really don't care about image but I'm concerned that a road biker will see me on the trails with a cross bike and say "dumb ass". I sort of want to give off the impression that even though it looks like a road bike it’s designed for off road.
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Old 08-01-07, 09:17 AM   #5
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i grew up in vienna and the people at spokes etc. are good folks.

i've never ridden either bike before so my impressions are based solely on component/material and geometry differences.

most importantly, they seem to fit differently. lemonds usually have longer top tubes. for instance, the "size 57" lemond has a 58cm top tube and a 57cm seat tube. the equivalent fuji has the exact opposite, seat tube is 58 and top tube is 57. so in terms of fit, lemonds will typically suit the long torsoed/armed and fujis will suit the long legged.

steel vs. aluminum has been debated to death, i feel that either material can make a very nice bike.

the lemond has 105 and discs where the fuji has ultegra/da and cantis. the fuji is 20.5 lbs which is quite light. i didn't see a published spec for the lemond, but it is almost certainly heavier. discs will take more abuse in terms of performing in crappy weather though.

i'm sure either one is a good bike, good luck.
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Old 08-01-07, 09:53 AM   #6
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It may interest some of you to know the new specs for the '08 Poprad, straight from the horses mouth, so to speak, at Lemond. It appears the Poprad is returning to cantilever brakes ONLY for '08 primarily as a result of UCI rules against discs. But they have a ton of '07's in stock still, so they will attempt to sell the '07 and '08 side by side to satisy both audiences. Also new for '08 is an Ultegra rear with no change in price. Not too shabby.

Anyhow, thought you all would like to know.


Model Name Poprad '08
Sizes 49cm, 52cm, 55cm, 57cm, 59cm
Colors White
Frame True Temper OX Platinum Cantilever Cyclocross
Fork Bontrager Sattelite Carbon Canti
Headset VP-A51A AHS 11/8"
Headset Spacers 1 x 10mm , 1 x 20mm
Crank Bontrager Race Cross GXP 46/38
Bottom Bracket Truvativ GXP
Front Derailleur Shimano 5600 (105)
Rear Derailleur Shimano 6600 (Ultegra)
Shifters Shimano 5600 STI (105)
Cassette Shimano 5600 12-27 (105)
Chain Shimano 5600 10spd (105)
Front Wheel Bontrager Race
Rear Wheel Bontrager Race
Front Hub Bontrager Race
Rear Hub Bontrager Race
Front Skewer Bontrager Race Skewer
Rear Skewer Bontrager Race Skewer
Front Rim Bontrager Race
Rear Rim Bontrager Race
Spokes Bontrager Race
Nipples Bontrager Race
Rear Tire Bontrager Jones CX 700x30/32 127 TPI
Front Tire Bontrager Jones CX 700x30/32 127 TPI
Front Brake Avid Short 4 Cantilevers
Rear Brake Avid Short 4 Cantilevers
Brake Levers Shimano 5600 STI (105)
Handlebar Bontrager CX Race
Stem Bontrager Select 25.4 10d
Grips Bontrager Gel Cork
Saddle Bontrager Race Hollow Cromoly Rails
Seat Post Bontrager Carbon
Seat Post Binder 31.8mm w/integrated Cable Carrier
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Old 08-01-07, 10:07 AM   #7
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Vienna's right near my work...

They'll also have specialized's tricrosses there -- not sure whether they interest you or not, as they are a little less cross-focused.

If you're looking to buy today, I was in revolution cycles in arlington last night and they had a number of proprads and the trek cross bike (can't remember the name).

Big wheel in Arlington and Old Town carries Konas, so if you want to check out a JTS, that might be worth a stop. FWIW, that's what I ended up with.
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Old 08-01-07, 10:23 AM   #8
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...2. Brakes: Avid Cantilever (Fuji) vs. Mech Discs (Lemond)...
go with the disc brake option
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Recommended reading for all cyclists - Cyclecraft - Effective Cycling
Condor Cycles - quite possibly the best bike shop in London
Don't run red lights, wear a helmet, use hand signals, get some cycle lights(front and rear) and, FFS, don't run red lights!
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Old 08-01-07, 08:14 PM   #9
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Well, I'm back from my Northern Virginia adventure. I must say that the bike trail network in NOVA is far better than the Charlottesville area. And even better, the bike store was right next to it!

So I tried out the Poprad for about 4 miles or so; very nice bike! However, a little agressively situated for me, even for a non-road bike. It was a little twitchy; but maybe that was my lack of proper balance getting used to a non-mountain bike (flat bar) setup. I gave the ride about a 7.5-8.0.

The two guys helping me were veering me more towards the Spec TriCross Comp. That is one great bike! And the carbon seat stays were a nice plus. 105 overall, but Ultegra rear. Another 4 miles later, and I was very impressed with the ride. In my opinion, better than that experience on the Poprad.

Then I went to the Performance shop to ride a Fuji Cross Pro right after (this time a 58" instead of the 56" I'd ridden in C'ville.) Holy crap! Not only the best (for me, at least, as everything is preferential with all these great bikes) ride of the three, but the 58" fit my 6' 185lbs a lot better than the 56" I'd been sized for previously. What a sweet bike.

Now here is the clincher. The TriCross is great, but no one I've seen is budging much past $1600 for the bike. The '07 Cross Pro, on the other hand (MSRP of $1749) dropped to $1449, and then to $1249! It gets better. This weekend is "double points". So, everything purchased is credited 20% off, but to be used on additional purchases starting the next day. So, I buy at $1249, get $250 towards voucher points off anything in the store starting the next day. (i.e. shoes, clipless pedals, helmet, etc, etc). Thus, the Fuji Cross Pro becomes a net cost of $1000! Pretty hard to beat!!! Come Saturday, it's mine!
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Old 08-01-07, 09:19 PM   #10
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congrats, i love my fuji cross comp
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Old 08-01-07, 10:18 PM   #11
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I've been noodling on buying virtually all of the bikes discussed here for at least six months. The only reason I haven't pulled the trigger is that I have three bikes (FS mtn, conventional road bike, and an old Trek steel bike I use for touring), use them all, and really can't justify a fourth. But I really would like to try a cross bike and my most common ride is a 70% pavement, 30% nice trail loop that would be perfect for a cross bike.

My $0.02 is that I'd go with the Poprad BECAUSE of the disc brakes, not in spite of them. The steel frame is a plus in my books too.

Having said this, I really think the best value in this class of bikes is the Jamis Nova and the Tricross looks like a superb ride too. The Nova has compact gearing also - the Poprad, I'd have to fit a new front compact crank.

But after rding with BB7 disc brakes on a mountain bike for the past year, I'm not going back to rim brakes on any new bike I buy. I'm hardcore on this. People say disc brakes are "not necessary" and rim brakes are "perfectly adequate" but people said the same thing when disc brakes started replacing drum brakes on cars. It is not a matter of necessity, it is simply a matter of disc brakes being vastly superior brakes in the function of stopping a bicycle with a maximum of control. And I've replaced too many good rims that simply got scoured to death. If the 08 Poprads are going back to rim brakes, I may get off the fence and get an 07 Poprad.

- Mark

Last edited by markjenn; 08-01-07 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 08-02-07, 11:27 AM   #12
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Whatever you do... stay away from 'cross racing. It only takes one try and you're hooked. Worse than drugs.

Wait... maybe it's the adrenaline? Or the endorphins?

Be smart-- don't start.
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Old 08-03-07, 02:24 PM   #13
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I am eyeing a fuji pro frame at my local performance bike store....

the 52 has a 535 effective top tube, felt great. i am 5'9", 205 lbs 32 inch naked inseam. So does the 52 size mean that the effective top tube is actually 535?

Anyway, i am going for this bike tomorrow, and they dont have a 54 in stock...
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Old 08-03-07, 03:12 PM   #14
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did you try out the 52? i'm 6'/192 and ride a 58
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Old 08-03-07, 03:21 PM   #15
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http://www.fujibikes.com/2007/pdf/fit_guide.pdf

Food for thought on frame sizing

Based on Fuji's guidelines and your height, 56 (or at the very least 54) would be a better choice. "Feels great" in the parking lot is much different than feeling great after three hours in the saddle.

If I were you I wouldn't buy the 52.
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Old 08-03-07, 03:42 PM   #16
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Yeah. Based on Fuji's guidelines, I would suggest 54 at the minimum. I went up from a 56 to a 58 for much the same reasons... (6', 185lbs)...
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Old 08-09-07, 01:32 PM   #17
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Thanks guys! Wow i am completely juiced to unleash this bad boy..... i ordered the 54cm Saturday from Performance Bike. I loved the frame, the carbon seat post/fork, the better components and the ride better than the Scott i rode at Beans Bicycles in Paoli PA. Beans Bikes in an awesome shop, but the fuji was the right deal and the people were awesome getting me set up.

I spent hours and hours comparing the Scott sizing to the Fuji and basically learned that a "54" actually has a longer effective top tube, longer crank, wider handle bars so the stretch will be better etc....

My plan is to ride at least 60% on off the hard, and coming from a mountain bike that was a touch too big, wanted to make sure i was stretched, but not overstretched, the 54 on paper looks spot on.

I will try racing at some point....
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Old 08-09-07, 05:24 PM   #18
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I loved the frame, the carbon seat post/fork,
My favorite thing about carbon composite seatposts is that when they snap, they leave behind nice stabby shards that poke straight into your *****.

I've seen enough snapped composite seatposts at the races that I wonder why on earth manufacturers still spec them on cyclocross bikes.

(Yeah yeah, I know-- to sex them up a bit and distract you from the junky headset that's installed.)


Anyway--
Enjoy your bike! And whatever you do STAY AWAY from cyclocross races. DON'T do it.
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Old 08-10-07, 06:37 AM   #19
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I come from sailboat racing where we use (and break) carbon all the time. My quizzical comments to the boys at performance about unidirectional stability and dynamic shock loading weakness were met with blank stares.

Dare i say if i break it it i will enjoy it?
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Old 08-20-07, 07:50 AM   #20
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So how is the bike and some questions for road use too...

Hello,


I am trying to get a new ride, currently just riding a mountain bike on the road, it is 42+ pounds and has the 2.5 inch tires, I guess it is 17 inch bike... concord from target, when I got it about 8 years ago....

I am up to 18+ miles now and ride on hills, lots of hills, not much off reading now, but the other day I looked over my shoulder for traffic and found myself going off the side of the road talk about the pucker factor, so there I am, thinking or correcting and trying to brake and prevent my self from going over the 10 foot drop off, I guess if I had not saved it I would have been mountain biking into the trees,

but that said that fact that it was a mountain bike saved my bacon and I guess I was lucky I did not have clip less pedals either....


So how do you like the bike thus far, I am either going with the cross or the team for road only use....

I like the fact the cross can do everything, with the right wheels/gear sets...

So how is that climbing hills? I know my cheap mountain has a triple and that it is needed sometimes for the hills I am climbing and that when my front derailleur acts up and I can not get to the small chain ring it sure is interesting climbing the hills I have around here.....

well hope you are enjoying your bike and please let me know what you think as far as riding it on the road....too....

thanks MIke
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Old 08-21-07, 09:06 AM   #21
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I was heavily leaning towards the Proprad Disc(best i could find was $1500) and still do think about it. But I ended up finding a deal on a new 2007 Trek XO2(aluminum) for $1400 and I couldn't pass that up with Ultegra versus 105 for $100 less, but Lost out of the Disc brakes. The proprad is also a prettier looking bike in my regard. I just looked at Trek's website and they've changed it all up for 2008, got rid of all the shimano components on the XO2 and ended going with SRAM.
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Old 08-21-07, 12:09 PM   #22
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For comparison, my Trek MTB has Deore LX crankset with 3 chain ring arrangement 44/32/22 and a 9 speed cassette with 30t being the easiest gear. I can sit and climb very steep hills like this.

The Fuji Pro has a 2 chain ring 48/38 set up and a 10 speed 12-25t cassette on the back. On steep hills on the road i amin the easiest gears, out of my saddle and working hard. at 205 lbs i struggle on really steep stuff. The gear isnt small enough for me. Cross bikes are set up for the circuits they race on, so they don't really need a super easy gearing set up for steep road or rocky singletrack climbs. Crossers dismount and run these sections.

For kicks i have been dismounting and running up steep sections of singletrack when riding with my wife. I am faster than her riding up, although i am out of breath.

My suggestion would be to look at a bike that has a 3rd chainring on the crankset, this will give you the extra oomph, unless you want to modify a stock machine with your own components.
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Old 05-23-08, 02:11 PM   #23
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I commute down rt. 50 from Fairfax to Falls Church VA on my 06 Poprad (non-disc) with my friend who rides an 08' Cross Pro. The other day on our way in to work his crank arm flew off, other than that he seems to like it. It's ultimately up to the rider. I am partial to my bike simply because Steel is real and the Orange paint job gets the ladies and myself all hot and bothered.
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Old 05-23-08, 03:55 PM   #24
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was that a structural failure or did a bolt come loose?
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Old 05-23-08, 04:42 PM   #25
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no doubt a bolt came loose. IIRC those come with the truvativ cranks that are held in by one allen bolt. Terrible design, which is why I went with the FSA gossamer. Two cross bolts really hold it in place.

Both bikes are awesome. I've ridden a Fuji Cross Pro pretty extensively and love it, but I wanted discs and a sloping top tube so I went with the '07 Brodie Romax. One day the UCI will come around on the discs, and I'll just be ahead of the curve. Until then, I've got a commuter/do everything bike I love.
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