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  1. #1
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    Specialized Tricross Comp Help Request

    Fellow Bike Geeks:

    After some shopping and test rides, I am planning to make a purchase with my hard earned cash for a Specialized Tricross Comp at ~$2 bills. My riding will be mostly paved surfaces, although some are very rough, some light dirt paths, grocery hauling, 20 mile fitness rides and some bike path riding. Any suggestions for swapping any of the stock components upon purchase and my negotiations with my LBS, based upon my anticipated riding environment and style?

    I am 6' and 210 lbs. Planning to purchase the 58cm frame, wth 25c or 28c Continental Grand Pri 4000 tires or Specialized Armadillos.

    Here are the stock specs on the Tricross Comp:
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=32203

    Any input or suggestions for considering in this purchase are welcome, particularly from those familiar with the Tricross. Thanks!

    CALKID

  2. #2
    shoot up or shut up. isotopesope's Avatar
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    what brakes will your tri-cross be coming with? seems lots of folks had really bad fork chatter with avid 4 canti's and that fork. supposedly they're coming with mini-v's now, which would be great.

    also, i'd check the weight limit on those wheels... your weight might cause them some dismay. if you exceed the weight limit, try to trade them out for a traditional 32 or 36 spoked 3x wheelset.

    other than that, make sure your fit is comfortable. you might need to swap stems, etc. other than that, you should be golden.

  3. #3
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    ISO: Thanks for your prompt and helpful reply. My LBS does not have the tricross in stock, so I will have to prepay, so I don't know what brake type the bike will come with. Based on your helpful suggestion, however, I will address this issue with LBS when I place the order.

    I'm new to XC bikes (and will admittedly be a "YUPPIE XCer", based on my light and occassional off-road needs). I assumed that the stock wheels would be tough as nails and that 210 lbs would not challenge them. I have read elsewhere on this forum that some suggest swapping the stock wheels for those with a more compliant road orientation?

    The bike felt plush and comfy on my test ride. One of my concerns is that when I remove the stock knobby 32c tires and replace them with a high pressure 25c or 28c that the plush road feel will be sacrificed. Anybody have any experience with this?

    Thanks.

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    My TriX is the Expert but it has a lot in common with the Comp.

    The 2008 models definitely have Mini-V brakes, Tektro RX6.

    Because I ride mostly on roads (but boy do our roads sucks...) the original cyclocross tires were swapped for 28c All Condition Armadillo Elite.

    The sensation coming from Armadillos is a bit strange at first as you don't feel the road as much but you'll get used to it in no time.

    The rest of the bike is stock as it is already pretty good as it is. I would suggest to upgrade as *needed* not as *wanted*, if that make sense.

    Oh, and the bike is light, stiff, "deceptively" fast (fast as in near-roadbike speed)... and sexy as hell

  5. #5
    Senior Member jchabalk's Avatar
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    hey there - i have the same bike you're buying, same size too and i love it. I wouldn't worry too much about the wheels, i'm 6'3" and about 240# i haven't had any problems and haven't gotten any indicators that there's a problem.

    My bike came with the Avid Shorty 4 brakes. They pretty much suck. I swapped out the brake pads with something a little softer. They still suck. I've written to Specialized, they've ignored me (to date). I'm going to swap the brakes out to something better but haven't decided yet on what. The Avid's will stop you, but if you're going down hill, or need to stop quickly things can get dicey. I cannot lock up the wheels at all, no matter what, can't even get close. From 30 mph heading towards an intersection this is not a good thing!

    Other than that though i've been super pleased with the bike. I initially put a heavy duty Jandd rack on the bike and used it a few times in place of my grocery getter (old steel beater) with 50+# of groceries on it. I've since removed the rack and use my steel beater for those tasks. I put a lighter duty Topeak rack on there and carry a small topeak trunk on it when i'm out for a while just to put my essentials in (sandwiches etc )


    Great bike, brakes suck, stock tires i'm happy with so far.. i might swap em when they wear out, but i might keep em the same. Hope you enjoy it too! And if you swap out the brakes let me know what you go with?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Myke View Post
    My TriX is the Expert but it has a lot in common with the Comp.

    The 2008 models definitely have Mini-V brakes, Tektro RX6.

    Because I ride mostly on roads (but boy do our roads sucks...) the original cyclocross tires were swapped for 28c All Condition Armadillo Elite.

    The sensation coming from Armadillos is a bit strange at first as you don't feel the road as much but you'll get used to it in no time.

    The rest of the bike is stock as it is already pretty good as it is. I would suggest to upgrade as *needed* not as *wanted*, if that make sense.

    Oh, and the bike is light, stiff, "deceptively" fast (fast as in near-roadbike speed)... and sexy as hell
    Myke: Thanks for your input. A couple of follow-up questions:

    1). Did you notice a substantial difference in the harshness of the ride/road feel when you switched to the 28c Armadillo Elites?

    2). Do the 28c tires feel like the appropriate width for your riding? Did you consider going as narrow as 23c?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jchabalk View Post
    hey there - i have the same bike you're buying, same size too and i love it. I wouldn't worry too much about the wheels, i'm 6'3" and about 240# i haven't had any problems and haven't gotten any indicators that there's a problem.

    My bike came with the Avid Shorty 4 brakes. They pretty much suck. I swapped out the brake pads with something a little softer. They still suck. I've written to Specialized, they've ignored me (to date). I'm going to swap the brakes out to something better but haven't decided yet on what. The Avid's will stop you, but if you're going down hill, or need to stop quickly things can get dicey. I cannot lock up the wheels at all, no matter what, can't even get close. From 30 mph heading towards an intersection this is not a good thing!

    Other than that though i've been super pleased with the bike. I initially put a heavy duty Jandd rack on the bike and used it a few times in place of my grocery getter (old steel beater) with 50+# of groceries on it. I've since removed the rack and use my steel beater for those tasks. I put a lighter duty Topeak rack on there and carry a small topeak trunk on it when i'm out for a while just to put my essentials in (sandwiches etc )


    Great bike, brakes suck, stock tires i'm happy with so far.. i might swap em when they wear out, but i might keep em the same. Hope you enjoy it too! And if you swap out the brakes let me know what you go with?
    jchabalk: Thanks for your feedback and experience. I can't afford to drop $2 bills and have it turn out to be a mistake, so your experience is helpful. Dissapointing about the brakes in a machine in this price range. I have been forewarned. I have to drive about an hour 1-way to test ride the bike to find a dealer who has one in stock in my size, so it's difficult for me to learn this stuff from the single, brief test ride I've taken.

    For racks, I use the topeak MTX quick release rack and various bags for hauling stuff. Since this mounts to the seat post, I plan to use a spare aluminum post and cheap seat to swap for the stock carbon post and seat for when I'm doing my grocery runs, with a quick release seat post clamp. I like the versatility of the quick release rack system to quickly change out riding styles. It seems to handle my ~ 20 lb loads OK.

    If the Tricross size 58cm fits you correctly at 6'3, I wonder if 58 may be too large for my 6' frame...

    At 6'3" and 240, if I encounter you on the bottom of that hill ripping at 30 mph and those shorty brakes, I will yield to you!

  8. #8
    Senior Member jchabalk's Avatar
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    heh - i put one of the ToPeak explorer racks on the bike and use one of the MTX trunks as well. The explorer rack is really light by itself so i'm happy to leave it on there all the time. I was going to use the seat post rack as well but decided it was too much of a pain to swap seats around all the time but being able to use my old mountain-bike conversion for groceries is definitely a plus and negates the need for me to have to do that.

    I rode the larger size (XXL i think) 61cm and it worked for me too. I'm about right in the middle of the sizes for my body geometry. I went with the 58cm as the 61cm doesn't leave me enough room over the top bar when i'm standing, the 58 is a comfortable size for me and sounds like it's probably a good fit for you too, it's all about what you're most comfortable on.

    If you're going to drive an hour and test ride definitely make sure to wail on those brakes. When i test rode mine i was looking for the fork shudder issues specifically and didn't (and haven't still) experienced that. The strength of the brakes is definitely lacking for me though.

    Hope you enjoy it! luckily the shop where i bought mine had a 61cm in stock (sport) and another shop somewhat close by had a 58 in stock so i got to try them both out.

    good luck!

  9. #9
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    jchabalk: I will indeed wail on those brakes during a test ride. Thanks for the heads-up.

    Your hauling solution with the permanent topeak explorer rack makes sense and I may also end up with that solution also, as I'm all for simplicity. Swapping posts and seats could get old fast.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jchabalk's Avatar
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    if you have any other questions about the bike you think i can help with feel free to PM me..

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CALKID View Post
    Myke: Thanks for your input. A couple of follow-up questions:

    1). Did you notice a substantial difference in the harshness of the ride/road feel when you switched to the 28c Armadillo Elites?

    2). Do the 28c tires feel like the appropriate width for your riding? Did you consider going as narrow as 23c?
    1). The tires were swapped when the bike was built so I never experienced the ride/road feel of the original Houffalize.

    When compared to the regular 25c All Condition I had on my previous (road) bike, Armadillos kind of make you feel like you are "on a cloud". This feeling is a bit confusing at first, especially when cornering, and it probably get even more "floaty" under wet conditions. I don't think Armadillos actually reduce the tires grip on the road, it's just that you don't feel it as much because of the kevlar.

    2). 25c is the narrower I ever used and even then, I always felt it was a bit too thin to my liking. To me 28c is right at the sweet spot between road (23c & 25c) and off-road (32c & up) tires.

  12. #12
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    I have a Comp and a Sport and agree with most here. 25's will be good and the wheels on the Comp will be fine. Wheels are a little wide for 23's. I use Conti Ultra Gatorskins and really like them. No sign of wear after 5k miles. Wheels are super tough. Specifically built cross wheels. Bulletproof. The Sport wheels are kinda crap, but the Comp is good to go. Other than that, the brake pads if about all I'd change. The stock components are pretty good, hence the price.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  13. #13
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    Have you looked at other bikes in this range? Specializeds are very, very nice, but there are other great choices out there. Cross-check, Proprad, Jake the Snake, etc.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrien View Post
    Have you looked at other bikes in this range? Specializeds are very, very nice, but there are other great choices out there. Cross-check, Proprad, Jake the Snake, etc.
    Adrien:
    My shopping for a bike upgrade has been frustrating. I do lots of research, find models recommended by others that sound appealing, etc. I am not willing however, to pony-up > $2k without first at least test riding the bike, checking how it fits me, etc. I live in Santa Barbara, CA and "Smell-LA" is about an hour away, with gazillions of people in the area. I have called many dealers searching for various makes and models, but have found it very difficult to find any dealers who carry stock in my size. All of them will special order for me, but they want the cash up front. A challenge to make an informed purchasing choice as a consumer, not being able to test ride the bikes. Can anybody feel my pain here?

    There must be a market need and a business opportunity to provide a service for test rides for bike shoppers, but I'm not yet sure how to translate that to a business model.

    Now, back from my RANT above and to answer your question- the Tricross Sport and Comp are one of the few XC bikes that I have been able to find to test ride, albeit in frame sizes too small for me. I'm looking for an all-rounder bike, and the XCs seem to fit the bill. I don't intend to race and anticipate infrequent light off-road use.
    Thanks for your input!

  15. #15
    Senior Member adrien's Avatar
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    Wow. Sorry to hear it.

    Well, had you tried all those I listed, you might have ended up with a Tricross anyway. They are very nice and should serve you well for what you describe.

    My experience around here was that I had to call around to find sizes and had to drive a bit, but everyone was happy to give me a test ride.
    "how do you know you can't swim until you have drowned?"

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobster View Post
    I have a Comp and a Sport and agree with most here. 25's will be good and the wheels on the Comp will be fine. Wheels are a little wide for 23's. I use Conti Ultra Gatorskins and really like them. No sign of wear after 5k miles. Wheels are super tough. Specifically built cross wheels. Bulletproof. The Sport wheels are kinda crap, but the Comp is good to go. Other than that, the brake pads if about all I'd change. The stock components are pretty good, hence the price.
    I have an '06 Tricross Comp and absolutely love it. I used it on a few nice trails last fall (when I got it) and have been riding this spring on primarily road rides. A friend gave me an old pair of conti GP 3000 tires which he mounted to my Pave wheels (23c) and they have been fine. I've done several 45-55 mile road rides with them and it's been great. I think this bike can keep up with most road bikes (with solid riders) if you put road tires on them like I did. What do you think the issue is with mounting 23s on the stock wheels?

    I am liking the road rides so much I just bought a used pair of Mavic Open 4s to mount the Michelin cross tires I got last fall for when I want to go off road. I think this bike works really well for off road as well as road if you have appropriate tires. But I'll admit I'm new to this sport.
    2006 Specialized Tricross Comp

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  17. #17
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    It's the width of the wheels. It's not recommended to use 23's with this width wheel, but as you pointed out, it can be done. I guess if it's working for you, great. I like the 25's myself and will be trying 28's soon. I rarely, if ever, ride in group rides so speed isn't as important to me as ride quality is.
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