Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific NW
Bikes: Soma DoubleCross Disc for cross, Motobecane 700HT for cross-country, Monty for trials, IRO Angus for fixed, 83' Gitane Sprint for communting
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I'd say go for the elite model. I recently made the switch to SRAM Rival when I built up my Soma DoubleCross with disc Avid BB7 road brakes. The groupset shifts nicer (to me), the feel is more 'industrious" (meaning it doesn't feel like they would break when under hard shifting), the grips a way more comfortable (Shimano shifters is like holding a chicken neck because the grips on the hood is so skinny), and SRAM shifters can be disassembled and rebuilt (something Shimano shifters are virtually impossible to do). (No offense to all Shimano fans, they make GREAT products, just not for my tastes. I can't wait to try a bike with the new DA) As for the disc brakes, I live in Seattle (rain 3-5 days a week, recently a couple snow days), the brakes work flawlessly. It has great modulation and power. I would definitely get them if you're not looking to use the bike for racing under UCI regulations.
I work at performance, we haven't got the mongoose cross bikes in yet, but we did used to have their road bikes. It was a good quality build. I'd say it was one of the nicer quality bikes for their price range.
I'd say if you are looking to get disc brakes, get the frame with the disc brake tabs. Not that the Fuji is a bad bike (5 guys i work with have either the Fuji Cross Comp or Pro), get what you want if you're going to spend around a grand a a bike.