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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 05-18-09, 02:33 AM   #1
KingMob
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Specialized Tricross Sport vs. Comp

Hi!
I'm looking for a cyclocross to use for inner city commuting, gravel/dirt trails in the forest and possibly sometimes on a roadtrip (am getting at least two sets of tires). I live in Brussels and I'm struggling to find many different brands. I've found shops that sell Trek, Scott, Cannondale and Specialized. From those I've been able to try the Trek XO1 and the Specialized Comp. I enjoyed the Specialized quite a bit more. At the same time I'm wondering how much different the Sport model is as I would prefer to save some money? It is a little bit scary ordering a bike without having tried it first, so I would be happy to hear from anyone who's tried both.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-09, 06:03 AM   #2
hyunelan2
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While I haven't rode them, I can summarize their differences based on Specialized's specs:
  • Comp uses E5 aluminum, Sport uses A1 aluminum
  • Comp uses 105 (10spd) components with Ultegra rear der., Sport uses Tiagra (9spd) components with Deore LX rear der.
  • The comp is a double, while the sport uses triple chainrings
  • Comp uses Roval Pave rims and hubs, sport uses Specialized hubs with Alex ACE-19 rims

MSRP price difference is $750 USD. While the Comp does have nicer components, better aluminum frame, and better wheels, I don't know if they are 'better enough' for me to justify the extra expense. You can always upgrade those things later on - except for the frame, that you can't change without basically changing to another bike.
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Old 05-18-09, 09:15 AM   #3
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I've owned both a 2008 Sport and a 2006 Comp. I still own the Comp if that tells you anything.

The Comp is a much, much better bike. I've had several aluminum framed bikes and the Comp is so much better riding bike than any of them. I also have a Specialized Roubaix Comp (carbon frame) and the rides are very comparable.

The Sport is not a bad bike at all though and would probably serve you will, but if I had the money, I'd buy the Comp model hands down.
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Old 05-18-09, 12:18 PM   #4
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I rode both the comp and sport. The sport was ok and heavier than expected. The comp has a nicer frame with better Al and carbon seat-stays. The components don't matter--I'd prefer a 2x9 with tiagra/deore, which is cheaper than the Ultegra to replace. Stick with the frame you like--everything else will go...
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Old 05-18-09, 03:52 PM   #5
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I opted for the sport. I prefer a straight forward aluminum frame without the carbon stays and zertz. I also like the triple for riding offroad and for touring.
The wheels on the sport are heavy but I've found them to be quite durable. I've ridden the bike offroad (singletrack and fire roads) quite a bit and everything has held up fine.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:29 PM   #6
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I got the Tricross Sport because it came with a triple and a 9-speed drivetrain so that I could use wide-ratio cassettes if I wanted to.

I've come to not like this bike very much because while it felt good on both test rides, I've become more familiar with the bike and its components and I now feel that its components, mostly its wheelset and crankset, are pretty low grade stuff. My wheelset seems to be machine-built, easily comes out of true and is pretty slow to accelerate, even when I run road tires. The crankset is the older, 3-piece design which is prone to flexing and making creaking noises when a heavier rider sprints or climbs out of saddle.

As well, this bike is prone to vibration when I run road tires, much moreso than my road bike which is also all aluminum and runs narrower, lower-volume tires!

I think a deciding factor is the gearing you will want and if you will be riding in the mountains. If it's mostly flat where you will ride, get the Comp as it comes with a more contemporary design crankset and a lighter Specialized wheelset which itself costs $400+ if you buy the wheelset alone.

If you will need really low gearing for riding in the mountains, consider the Sport as you can use a triple crankset and a wide ratio cassette to get something like a 23 inch low gear.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:16 PM   #7
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I also did a lot of cx bike comparisons, test riding the cx versions from Scott, Giant, Bianchi, Trek, and Specialized. Comfort, handling, and feel went to Tricross, especially the Comp more so than the Sport. Although the Sport felt good too.

The '07 Comp was a triple, and would be a good used bike purchase. The '08 (and I suspect the '09) are lighter being doubles. But as others stated earlier, the Comp is worth the extra $$, especially if you can find last year's on clearance where the price approaches this year's Sport, as they are still here.

Last edited by Richard8655; 05-19-09 at 03:09 PM.
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Old 05-20-09, 05:49 AM   #8
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Thanks all for the detailed feedback. I can't say that I've made up my mind yet, but these are great points to consider during the process. I just realised that there is an Eddy Merckx cyclocross as well, and since I'm living in Belgium at the moment I feel that I should have a look at that one as well.
Thanks again!
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Old 05-20-09, 09:29 AM   #9
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One thing about that Merckx is it's a full on race bike. No braze ons for racks or probably fenders either. That's what's great about the Tricross. It has mounts for just about everything, including a third water bottle.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:18 PM   #10
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How's the cycling in Belgium? Enough small rural roads or any bike paths through the countryside? How's life in Belgium per se (I know it's off subject)? I've always been curious about living in Europe.
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Old 05-26-09, 09:52 PM   #11
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>It has mounts for just about everything, including a third water bottle.

Although ironically it seems to be hard to get a front rack to fit on it.
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Old 05-27-09, 08:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevage View Post
>It has mounts for just about everything, including a third water bottle.

Although ironically it seems to be hard to get a front rack to fit on it.
Yeah, one thing I've noticed about it is not every rack is going to fit front or back. I've heard some old man mountain racks work great on the Tricross, although I've never mounted one on the front. The rear, the seat stays are in the way a bit. I ended up getting a Tricross rack set and they work fine on it. The rack stay is bent inwards to clear the seat stays.
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Old 05-27-09, 09:54 AM   #13
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The Sport is set up more as a touring bike. If I recall it even coems with semi-slick tires. For your purposes that might actually be better. You can use the savings to upgrade the wheels or something, and you'll have a good all-rounder.

The Comp will also fill this niche, however it has racier gearing which you may not find beneficial.
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Old 05-27-09, 08:10 PM   #14
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The Sport comes with these: http://back2dabike.wordpress.com/my-...ough-cx-tires/



Dunno about terminology, but they're virtually "slick" rather than "semi-slick".

Steve
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Old 05-31-09, 06:55 PM   #15
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Well.. I Just bought a comp today. (but that's because I had the money and sold another bike) I test rode both the sport and the comp. They are both great and honestly, if money is an issue, I'd go with the sport, the main difference I noticed was that the sport was significantly heavier (or at least it felt that way) and didn't absorb vibrations quite as well. BUT.. and it's a big BUT. I think the sport will give 90% of what the comp will give you. The Cost difference doesn't really make up for that.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:43 AM   #16
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Heavier wheels, half-aluminium fork, triple chainring - yeah it's heavier.
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