Iíd like to thank everyone that posts on this forum. Your opinions not only help me but they help many others. Iím ready to buy a Cyclocross bike and I wanted to have others that are more knowledgeable in the Cyclocross field review my decision and reasons. If I missed anything or you have any last minute suggestions please let me know. Before I get into what I plan on buying let me tell you about my background. I live in Austin, Texas and currently ride a beach cruiser bike (with 24 gears) about 10 miles a day and 20 miles on either Saturday or Sunday. The east side of Austin is flatter than the west side. The west side is called ďthe hill countryĒ. I currently canít put a rear rack on my bike because the way itís designed and how low I have my seat (Iím short). I promised myself my next bike will have a rear rack. Next year I plan on doing 2-3 long distance rides (50+ miles or so) and I think what I have now would wear me down too fast. I want to get a Cyclocross bike because 90% of the time I ride on a sidewalk or the shoulder of a road and 10% of the time off road trails where people can walk. I try not to ride on main roads because I donítí trust drivers in back of me. Call me strange but it only takes one person to ruin my familyís lives forever. Iím not in a hurry to go anywhere so I donít mind stopping. Texas up to a few years ago allowed open containers in your car. The law changed a few years ago but just yesterday I saw someone throwing a 24 oz empty beer can wrapped in a paper bag out the window of a car at a stop light. A few weeks ago my wife got rear ended in her car just for the guy to drive off and continue drinking his beer! When she got next to him he finished it and put it under his seat then changed lanes quickly to get away from her! Most of the time I donít have a designated place to ride to. I just go where ever my eyes takes me. Right now my average speed is about 10-11 MPH on my bike. Like I said Iím not in a hurry to go anywhere. If I see a trail I love to see where it goes. OK, hereís my decision. I think Iím going to get the Ibex XRay. Now I know some are yelling at me now but let me explain some of the reasons for my decision. Remember Iím not into the sport; only what the bike is designed to do.
1. Price. Itís $1,000. Thatís cheap. Iíll never race so why do I need super good components or a racing frame? I donít want to spend a lot of money so the price is right, right? Iím also cheap and like to save a dollar or a few hundred.
2. Size. Iím 5 foot 4 inches weighing 182- pounds (I lost 10 pounds in 2 months so far) and have a 29.5 inch stand over max. Some frames out there are below that but then the top tube gets way small (Jamis 46cm, Bianchi 44cm, Surly 42cm, redline 44cm, etc). Other brands that have a 49cm top tube are over the 29.5 inch stand over for me. I Ibex has a 29 inch stand over with a 51cm top tube.
3. Availability (price). Most bike shops in Austin donít carry more than 1 Cyclocross bike in their store. That means anything in my size they would have to order. Since itís not in their store I canít negotiate on a price to get it out of their inventory. Everyplace Iím talking to wants MSRP.
4. Warranty. I plan on using the bike for many years and I like the lifetime warranty. Sure I would have to ship in the frame and that involves work but itís better than most warranties out there. Depending on how well it holds up who knows. I might not even have to use the warranty. Iím not a hard rider.
5. Service. Iíve heard more good things about Ibex than bad things. I mean itís the frame and possibility the fork thatís made by Ibex and everything else is the same as on other bikes.
6. Components. I think theyíre all good components for the price.
Some other bikes that I considered was the Kona JTS ($300 more same components), the Specialized Tricross triple ($100 more with lower components), the Motobecane Fathom Cross ($200 cheaper but lower components), the Fuji Comp Cross ($300 more with same components with stand over 29.5+ inches), and the Surly crosscheck (over the 29.5 stand over height with a 46 cm top tube). Everything else out there is just too big (K2, Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Scott, etc).
My only other option is the Lemond Poprad Disk. I like the disk brakes and I think Iíd want a steel frame but thatís another $500 bucks and the stand over is 29.7 inches. It has 2 things I like better but its $500 more and it might be too big for me.
Anyone have any thoughts on my decision? Is there something to consider that I didnít cover?