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  1. #1
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    Ok so another this vs that thread...looking for CX bike

    Ok so I am thinking of getting a CX bike for fire road riding...no actual CX racing...well not for now anyway.

    So I am looking at 2 bikes at the LBS and a bike from bikesdirect.com Bikes at LBS are the Specialized Tricross Sport and the Felt F1X...the choice there seems pretty clear in that the felt has the double that I would prefer, 105 ten speed and probably better wheels for only a couple hundred more...the issue is as it always is the bikesdirect.com option. The Fantom Cross PRO has Ultegra vs 105 and better bar, stem...for a couple hundred less (I would pay about $1300 for the F1X after tax). I build most of my own bikes so that isn't an issue with the Moto...and I already have a bike built up on a Bottecchia frame so the BD stigma isn't an issue either.

    But there is this nagging I should buy a bike form the LBS feeling...and the F1X may (?) have the better frame.

    Thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    About one month ago I was ready to order a Motobecane Fantom Cross after looking at a Specialized Tricross Sport at an LBS. Because BD had only email for contact (no live telephone support), it took a week to try to get a couple of pre-sales questions answered. I was frustrated and lost confidence; If communication was this difficult during a time when companies are usually the most attentive, ie making the sale, what would support be like later? I don't do my own maintenance so I was even prepared to spend up to $150 at an LBS (Spokes in VA) for a professional set up. Getting the right fit, frame and then adjustments right down to pedal cleats was important to me for this investment.I wanted a Motobecane to work because the last bike I purchased was a MB in '73 which I still have.

    After the week went by, I discovered a Performance store a few miles away and right off our local/regional bike path. They had a Fuji Cross Comp (reg $1270) on sale and that weekend had an additional 15% promo, so I got the bike for $807 plus about $40 tax.

    The Fuji had the same frame geometry as the Fantom and looks the same frame as the Tricross. It had better components than the Fantom and if I remember the Tricross also. The FD and shifters are Shimano 105 and the RD is Ultegra, and the crankset is better. Also has center pull brakes which the 09 Tricross just went to ($1400). Plus, I got a Performance membership for $25 and got $87 back in Performance dollars to spend on pedals etc.

    The decision for this bike and to buy from an LBS became firmly reinforced over the past several weeks.

    > The bike feels great, fits well and rides/shifts smoothly.

    > The people at Performance really performed. They had physical inventory so I could pick the right size and test ride the bikes. They had friendly, knowledgeable salespeople and techs who ride and took the time to help.

    > One of Performance's really experienced took more than one hour with me to set the bike on a stand and get the adjustments dialed in. The went over the whole bike and tweaked spokes to brakes.

    > With the purchase I have lifetime adjustments and I've been back twice for questions and tweeking(once after a fall to check everything out).

    > After all this took place a long and drawn out saga played out on this site which was posted by a fellow who paid for a MB from BD and not only did not have his bike after two months, but was having difficulty getting any response from BD. After my experience I was not surprised, and I was further elated I had not gone that route.

    At the end of the day, I ended up with a better bike than the Fantom or Specialized Tricross, for a better price, proper fit, and the support of a LBS. And I also like to support local business.

    If you have a local Performance store, I recommend you try a Fuji Cross Comp, and either way I would go with your LBS.

  3. #3
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    Personally, I'll never buy from BD. Not because he's an online dealer, but because his behavior on this and other forums is, frankly, unethical. He also responds very childishly to criticism. Here is just one typical example:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=144082

    On the other hand, many people couldn't care less about the character of the person they are buying from.

  4. #4
    No cud for foil. DasProfezzional's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Personally, I'll never buy from BD. Not because he's an online dealer, but because his behavior on this and other forums is, frankly, unethical. He also responds very childishly to criticism. Here is just one typical example:
    http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=144082
    This has absolutely been beaten to death, on many different threads and, as you point out, on several forums. Though it might peeve you that a paying sponsor breaks the rules, "ethics" has nothing to do with it.

    It's not like you're buying from a puppy killer. You are, however, buying from a strictly web-based operation, with no face-to-face customer service and a not outrageous, but still significant, number of past quality issues. Though I don't have any experience with your shop, I am sure you will make very few friends there by bringing in a bike bought online for assembly at their store, no matter how much you're paying. Fewer still if the bike ends up giving you mechanical trouble somewhere along the line, which, as I'm sure you know, can happen with bikes.

  5. #5
    Average Guy CrankyMonkey's Avatar
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    I would recommend doing more research on 'cross bikes. There are several bikes on the market that would satisfy your needs. Redline, Kona, Surly, Cannondale, Fuji, Bianchi, Felt, Specialized, Bikes Direct, Trek and even Gary Fisher.

    Personally I ride a Surly Cross Check and I absolutely love it. I built mine custom for the ground up and probably paid more for it then I would have if I bought something off the shelf. But it's exactly the bike I wanted. It's not the lightest bike out there but it's a tank (in a good way). I've yet to actually race but I've been doing a ton of "mixed terrain" rides similar to what you described.

    I wouldn't worry so much about 105 vs Ultegra. Bike fit, tires and gearing are going to make the biggest difference for you. If you live in an area that is exceptionally hilly (like NorCal) then you will want something with low enough gears to climb some steep sections of fire roads and singletrack.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    He drop me Grasschopper's Avatar
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    My issue here is trying to hit a price point...I was going to build from the ground up but the cost started to escalate pretty quickly even with a cheapish Soma or Surly frame.

    The Felt is outfitted much better than the Tricross Sport IMO...or the Cannondale at my price point...the Jake the Snake would be an option...but the price went up $100 and I can get a discount on the Felt and not the Kona (the Felt is at the LBS I have used for years and know the GM). No Fuji dealer here and I wont shop at the Trek/Gary Fisher dealer. I will ahve to look into Bianchi but like the Kona it is at a shop I haven't delt with so I assume I will pay MSRP.
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