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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 12-23-08, 11:10 PM   #1
jtwilson
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First CX Bike: Motobecane Outlaw



First, let me say I'm new to the world of cycling beyond $100 mountain bikes. This is my second 'real bike' -- moving from a Specialized Sirrus I got in the spring.

Ordering from bikesdirect was totally smooth. I had my paypal setup incorrectly when my order went through, but they responded promptly enough to fix the issue with no delay. Ordered on Monday, it arrived on Friday. Took it to the LBS to have it set up properly, and bought some alloy ATB pedals to go on it. The saddle had to go as well -- switched it for the one from my Sirrus.

VERY impressed with this bike! The carbon fork gives a noticeably smoother ride than my aluminum fork Sirrus. Zooming around some rough and hard frozen dirt trails was surprisingly unjarring. The disc brakes were what really 'sold' me on this bike, and they delivered. The shop set the pads too close, as the rotors were rubbing slightly, but I managed to adjust them without much hassle. Stopping power seemed more than enough, and surprisingly good modulation - not too grabby, but easy to lock up the rear when desired. After riding in some freezing rain for an hour or so, I was still stopping on a dime.

In the future I may add wider handlebars for better control in rough terrain. What is typical for wider-barred cyclocross bikes? Also, can both sets of wires run under the wrap while using in-line levers? Would I have to buy new shifters for that? It would be nice to get it 'cleaner' up front.
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Old 12-24-08, 07:38 AM   #2
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Are you sure you ordered the correct size? That saddle seems kinda low. Or is it just the photo angle.

Handlebars are generally as wide as one's shoulders.
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Old 12-24-08, 08:48 AM   #3
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Ron,

It's a 54. I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam. According to the geometry chart, I'm right between the 54 and 56. I'm glad I didn't order the 56 though. I was definitely a bit nervous to see whether or not the bike would be too small. In fact, the reach is just a tiny bit on the long side. The most comfortable position on the bars is halfway onto the hoods. I may try a shorter stem at some point but really it feels fine as-is. A 52 probably would have worked too. My limbs must be on the short side, proportionally.

What is the average range for drop from seat to handlebars? Wouldn't a larger drop mean a less advantageous posture for rough terrain?
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Old 12-24-08, 08:58 AM   #4
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Nice bike! I'm considering getting that one for my wife. I love discs on my CX bike. Now only if the uci would allow them.
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Old 12-24-08, 09:15 AM   #5
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Nice bike! I'm considering getting that one for my wife. I love discs on my CX bike. Now only if the uci would allow them.
But then it wouldn't be the outlaw!

Cool bike, op.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:29 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Are you sure you ordered the correct size? That saddle seems kinda low. Or is it just the photo angle.

Handlebars are generally as wide as one's shoulders.
Being a product of the Seventies I subscribe to the "fistfull of saddle" theory. It looks good to me. I never liked bikes that had 4" - 6" of drop.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by jtwilson View Post
Ron,

It's a 54. I'm 5'11" with a 31" inseam. According to the geometry chart, I'm right between the 54 and 56. I'm glad I didn't order the 56 though. I was definitely a bit nervous to see whether or not the bike would be too small. In fact, the reach is just a tiny bit on the long side. The most comfortable position on the bars is halfway onto the hoods. I may try a shorter stem at some point but really it feels fine as-is. A 52 probably would have worked too. My limbs must be on the short side, proportionally.

What is the average range for drop from seat to handlebars? Wouldn't a larger drop mean a less advantageous posture for rough terrain?
Roadies like lots of drop. It puts them into the holy grail of riding positions, the flat back. Aerodynamics just aren't that important to cyclocross. You aren't go any faster in mud with 6" of drop.
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Old 12-25-08, 09:53 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by jtwilson View Post
Also, can both sets of wires run under the wrap while using in-line levers? Would I have to buy new shifters for that? It would be nice to get it 'cleaner' up front.
With Shimano levers, the cables for gear shifting can't easily be run under the bar tape. SRAM levers allow this, but require a SRAM rear derailleur.
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Old 12-25-08, 06:08 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jtwilson View Post


First, let me say I'm new to the world of cycling beyond $100 mountain bikes. This is my second 'real bike' -- moving from a Specialized Sirrus I got in the spring.

Ordering from bikesdirect was totally smooth. I had my paypal setup incorrectly when my order went through, but they responded promptly enough to fix the issue with no delay. Ordered on Monday, it arrived on Friday. Took it to the LBS to have it set up properly, and bought some alloy ATB pedals to go on it. The saddle had to go as well -- switched it for the one from my Sirrus.

VERY impressed with this bike! The carbon fork gives a noticeably smoother ride than my aluminum fork Sirrus. Zooming around some rough and hard frozen dirt trails was surprisingly unjarring. The disc brakes were what really 'sold' me on this bike, and they delivered. The shop set the pads too close, as the rotors were rubbing slightly, but I managed to adjust them without much hassle. Stopping power seemed more than enough, and surprisingly good modulation - not too grabby, but easy to lock up the rear when desired. After riding in some freezing rain for an hour or so, I was still stopping on a dime.

In the future I may add wider handlebars for better control in rough terrain. What is typical for wider-barred cyclocross bikes? Also, can both sets of wires run under the wrap while using in-line levers? Would I have to buy new shifters for that? It would be nice to get it 'cleaner' up front.
That bike looks sweet! How much does it weigh?
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