I seem to have narrowed down my choices for my first cyclocross bike. Living in a smaller city limits the choices, especially if you want to buy from a LBS. I am going to be using the bike for commuting, light touring and general family activities, so nothing too hardcore. Here are my choices, in no particular order:
1. Giant TCX - good component set, no "mystery meat" stuff in the drivetrain (those were the words of the LBS), Al frame/carbon fork, compact geometry.
2. Kona JTS - well-proven, good components, Al frame/carbon fork.
I also looked at a Norco CCX. It' a good Canadian company, has really nice components (105/Ultegra), a bunch of Ritchey stuff (bars, stem, headset, seatpost), disc brake compatable and the price was great, but it is a Norco. I feel like a bike snob but am I wrong? I called my friend after I looked at it and his response was "But it's a Norco." I also looked at a Devinci Tosca but it seemed to be a bit overpriced for what it offered, really nice frame and fork but Tiagra/Sora parts. The Kona Jake was a better value, IMO.
I have looked at some other bikes available online (Jamis, Surly, etc). There are some nice bikes at good prices but I would have to buy without being fitted and where do I take it if something goes wrong? Seems like a bit of a risk just to save a few bucks.
So, what do you think?