Best cross bike for road rides as well
I am looking to purchase a new cross bike but the only stipulation is that it has to have an aggressive enough geometry to be good for road rides where I will swap out wheels (and possibly brakes during the summer). I don't do any road racing anymore but like the ability to train/ride on the road. During the summer I will mainly be doing mtb races and during the fall/winter cx. I have been bitten by the cx bug and had a felt f1x in 55cm but found it was just a tad bit too small. I am a student so I am on a budget but I can get some good deals on Felts, Kona, Scott, Cannondale, Redline, or Salsa. For those brands I can get employee costs (or right around there).
I am leaning heavily towards the Scott Cross Comp as I love the looks, aggressive geometry and the 48-34 may be a better option for combined road and cross race use. Not only that, but I like to push a bigger gear off road sometimes. My only concerns with the Scott are 1) The geometry for an XL only has a 56cm top tube...seems a bit short to me...I ride a 58cm CAAD9 with 58cm TT. 2) At 1400 retail it seems to be the worst deal with a tiagra/105 mix.
The Felt F1x was great when I had it but I would need a size bigger. Nothing in my price range from cannondale interests me. The redline conquest pro looks awesome and comes with sram (big plus!) but may be out of my price range. The Kona JTS seems like a great deal but I am not attracted to the fact that it comes with aksiums instead of open pros, cxps, etc. In addition, the geometry doesn't seem as good for me and it has the highest standover of any of the bikes I am looking at.
If anyone has any suggestions for me, I am all ears!