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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 05-27-09, 04:27 PM   #1
BG2482
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Deployed Soldier Still In Need Of Advice

I am a deployed Soldier serving in Iraq and I was in the market for a new road bike. I had a post over in the Road Bike section, through research I found out that a CX bike would be the best bet for me at this time. I am serving in Iraq and my base has miles and miles of blacktop. However there are pebbles and sand everywhere. I don't want to pay a grand for a roadie and risk messing up the rims and drive train. More than a couple people turned me to a CX. I have a good mountain bike back home but I wanted to get into Road riding. But I like the flexibility that a CX gives me.

Is this a good starter CX for my current conditions.

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ane/outlaw.htm

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-27-09, 05:04 PM   #2
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Motobecane bikes aren't terrible, and there are those out there that will swear by them. There are better bikes out there for the price, but given the needs of shipping to APO you probably not being in a situation where you can build a bike from the ground up this should be a good choice.
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Old 05-29-09, 02:20 PM   #3
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Yeah, it is. You'll love the BB7 discs. Just make very sure the geometry is right for you. The riding position is slightly more upright than a "regular" road bike, the steering is a bit more stable, and the ride is a bit more compliant (longer wheelbase).

It is a do-everything sort of bike. The major benefit is that you can run tires that will deal well with the challenging terrain.

Good luck. And thank you for serving our country.

DWR
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Old 05-29-09, 03:13 PM   #4
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You can't beat the price that's for sure. Haven't heard anything particularly bad about them. Just their service.
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Old 05-29-09, 04:21 PM   #5
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It looks good, but you just need to be sure about the size. Obviously you can't test drive it so check out the geometry and compare it to another bike that fits, if you can.

You'll have to do some final assembly and tuning, as well, but I assume you're capable of doing that.
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Old 05-30-09, 10:45 AM   #6
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Hello I agree with the others on all counts and would like to add my two or three cents. fopr the most part the biggest difference between a cyclocross bike and road bike is the fat tires. for years guys had been doing cross bikes on the cheap by using old raod bikes for cross. now that it is more mainstream here in the US there are cheaper "off the shelf" bikes. the geomentry on the Fantom Outlaw is not too different from most road bikes so when you get home put some 700X 23 or 25 on and hit the road. I just purchased a Fantom Uno and while it is not the most expensive bike around it seemes like a great bike for the price. the hubs were well adjusted out of the box and the assembly went smoothly ( I do need a stand though). it rides just like a road bike and once I get rid of the knobbies it should be even better.

BG2482 I think the Fantom Outlaw will serve your needs perfectly. thank you so much for your service and I wish you and your brothers and safe and speedy return to a Heroes welcome!
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Old 05-30-09, 12:15 PM   #7
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Welcome Brother!

Looks like a goodbike for the buck. Just make sure you recheck all adjustments, lubrication, etc.

Keep your head down!
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Old 05-30-09, 03:17 PM   #8
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Message to all.

Well I just closed my eyes and bought this bike. Hope to have it within a week or so. I cant wait. I will keep you guys/gals posted. Im like a big kid waiting for Christmas.

P.S. Thank you all for your support. We need all that we can. God Bless Us All
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Old 05-30-09, 05:52 PM   #9
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I think you will be pleased with your choice...... what color?

Not O.D., I hope......
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Old 05-30-09, 11:52 PM   #10
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I think you will be pleased with your choice...... what color?

Not O.D., I hope......
I bought the Black bike. i think it is a very attractive piece of machinery. All I hope is that it perform like it look, I am a little nervous. I have rode a road bike maybe 4-5 times. I am a very big mountain biker, so i think i will love the CX.
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Old 05-30-09, 11:57 PM   #11
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Now my next question. What pedals do you guys/gals recommend. I due to the fact that I must wear regular running shoes here in Iraq, i cant get pro style cycling shoes with clip in pedals. What pedals are good with regular shoes, with toe clip and strap?
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Old 05-31-09, 05:46 AM   #12
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When I was in Balad, I rode a bmx bike around. A CX would have been great. I got home and used my Iraq money for buying a XT'd out mtb before I realized I wanted a Cross Check.
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Old 05-31-09, 07:51 AM   #13
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Now my next question. What pedals do you guys/gals recommend. I due to the fact that I must wear regular running shoes here in Iraq, i cant get pro style cycling shoes with clip in pedals. What pedals are good with regular shoes, with toe clip and strap?
Any flat pedals with clips will be fine. Once you get back, I would recommend the same MTB clipless pedals you already use. Enjoy your bike and be safe.
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Old 05-31-09, 08:07 AM   #14
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Black is pretty to look at, when clean; but, it doesn't go very fast!

And remember - keep your head down!
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Old 05-31-09, 10:10 PM   #15
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Now my next question. What pedals do you guys/gals recommend. I due to the fact that I must wear regular running shoes here in Iraq, i cant get pro style cycling shoes with clip in pedals. What pedals are good with regular shoes, with toe clip and strap?
MKS make nice platform pedals. They are light and well-made (unlike the sort that come on cheap bikes). I like their 'Touring' model the best. It's wide enough for my size 12's.

I also ride mostly in street shoes, and use Powergrips pedal straps. They are super-adjustable and hold your foot very securely on the pedal.
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Old 06-01-09, 01:50 PM   #16
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When I was in Balad, I rode a bmx bike around. A CX would have been great. I got home and used my Iraq money for buying a XT'd out mtb before I realized I wanted a Cross Check.
So how do you like the CX's. And how are they holding up?
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Old 06-01-09, 01:59 PM   #17
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MKS make nice platform pedals. They are light and well-made (unlike the sort that come on cheap bikes). I like their 'Touring' model the best. It's wide enough for my size 12's.

I also ride mostly in street shoes, and use Powergrips pedal straps. They are super-adjustable and hold your foot very securely on the pedal.
http://www.ebikestop.com/mks_platfor...gr9-PD4011.php

is this the platform pedal you were talking about?
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Old 06-01-09, 02:42 PM   #18
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will these shoes work with following pedals



http://cgi.ebay.com/2009-Specialized...3A1%7C294%3A50

These pedals
http://cgi.ebay.com/SHIMANO-PD-M324-...3A1%7C294%3A50

I beleive these shoes allow me to get off the bike and walk normally?
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Old 06-01-09, 07:44 PM   #19
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Yes they will work, but I think you will find the two sided pedals frustrating. You will always be trying to flip the pedal over to clip in. Either get good flat pedals or clipless.

You are correct, those are mountain bike shoes, so the cleat is recessed.
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Old 06-01-09, 08:47 PM   #20
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http://www.ebikestop.com/mks_platfor...gr9-PD4011.php

is this the platform pedal you were talking about?
Nope, this one:
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...ble+Sided.aspx

And here are the straps...
http://www.jensonusa.com/store/produ...s.aspx?sc=FRGL

A competent, elegant solution... Ride in your boots if you want.
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Old 06-02-09, 07:19 AM   #21
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Ok so I purchased these 2 sided pedals
http://cgi.ebay.com/SHIMANO-PD-M324-...3A1%7C294%3A50my

my next question is will these shoes work?

http://www.comcycle-usa.com/ProductInfo.aspx?id=3816629
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Old 06-02-09, 10:25 AM   #22
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If you want something similar to clipless pedal performance, you might try PowerGrips:

http://powergrips.mrpbike.com/
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Old 06-02-09, 01:15 PM   #23
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I have the 324s and really like them. Yes, those shoes will work. it would also be wise to get a set of "pedal washers" to keep from gouging your crank arms at the connection point.

And, be sure to keep us informed of the progress.
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Old 06-08-09, 09:46 AM   #24
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I am sitting here like a little kid on christmas eve waiting for my bike to get here. I dont know what to do.
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Old 06-08-09, 10:20 AM   #25
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Smile - but still remember to keep your head down!
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