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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 09-07-09, 01:30 PM   #1
r_o_b_s_o_n
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New to Cyclo...bike questions!

Hi All
I'm new to the forum, hello! My name is Geoff from Victoria BC. I've just scrapped my car, and am getting a $700 credit towards a new bike. I've decided a cyclocross type bike is what I would like to go with. I've been test riding some bikes, getting a bit of a base to compare bikes. I was initially thinking a Kona Jake the Snake, but have since been interested in a Specialized Tricross Sport. The specialized is a bit more than the kona, but the Kona has 105 components, and a nicer wheel set. What differences would I see between the two bikes, aside from the better package on the JTS... why is the JTS a cheeper bike than the Tricross Sport, yet it has the better running gear? or am I clueless? Sorry... being new, I've a lot to learn. Thanks
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Old 09-07-09, 03:26 PM   #2
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How about telling us what you're planning on using it for first. How much your budget is also.
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Old 09-07-09, 06:21 PM   #3
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How about telling us what you're planning on using it for first. How much your budget is also.
fair enough....

I'm planning on using it to commute to/from work, as well as going on some longer rides. I am not planning on competing at this point, although I wouldn't say it is out of the question. I'm a little bit bigger, 5'10 & 230lb I have trouble finding motivation to go for a run, but I am much more inclined to go for a bike ride. So I am looking at it as a means of getting fit as well. I don't plan on doing too much off roading but I wouldn't want to be limited to pavement only with a dedicated roadbike. I come from a mountain bike, and have never had a road-style bike. my high end is 1400-1500 Cdn, although I have been looking at some bikes in the 1200 range.
I was talking to a guy at one of the local shops, and he seemed to suggest staying away from the Kona, and suggested that the specialized was a better frame.

I believe the Specialized Tricross Sport was $1450 or there abouts, and the Kona JTS was 1399 for the 2009 model. so pretty close in price. if what he says is true and the specialized is the higher end frame, but with lower components... do you go for the Better frame, with lesser components, or the better components with the lesser frame? Keeping in mind, that if I got the specialized it would cost more to ugrade to the 105 component set, than to strip the components from the JTS, and build up a new frame... should I go with the JTS and do that if I ever have problems with the frame?

thanks!
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Old 09-07-09, 06:29 PM   #4
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If they both fit well, I'd say go with the better frame. Upgrade parts as they wear/break. Or check to see who has the better replacement warranty. Good luck with your purchase.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:26 AM   #5
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if what he says is true and the specialized is the higher end frame, but with lower components... do you go for the Better frame, with lesser components, or the better components with the lesser frame? Keeping in mind, that if I got the specialized it would cost more to ugrade to the 105 component set, than to strip the components from the JTS, and build up a new frame... should I go with the JTS and do that if I ever have problems with the frame?

thanks!
The Tricross isn't the higher end frame in any meaningful sense - it's just different and sold by a company that spends more on marketing than Kona. Which you pay for.

The geometries are quite different, so try both bikes and see which you prefer. If possible have the Kona fitted with 30mm road tyres (LBS's should be prepared to do some work for a sale) so that you can compare it more easily with the Tricross.

Personally I'd go with the Kona - imo Spec design their bikes to look good in the showroom rather than to ride well. But if you prefer the slightly more upright position of the Tricross, go for it.

I'd also suggest buying the triple chain ring version of each bike - which is the cheaper Jake rather than the JTS in the Kona's case. Doubles make sense for cross racing, as do the much more expensive lighter components (because you have to pick up the bike and run). You don't need them but you would benefit from a triple.

Last edited by meanwhile; 09-08-09 at 07:44 AM.
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Old 09-10-09, 02:20 AM   #6
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Jake the Snake it is.... Decided that for the money it offers the most. Pretty stoked.... picking it up in 40hrs..... Got the Green 2009 model, less $700, so only putting $765 out of pocket.... Can't complain about that!! I am looking forward very much to putting some miles on this baby....
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Old 09-10-09, 05:03 AM   #7
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aahh... that green Kona looks great. Imagine it with brown leather seat and bar tape...or not!
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Old 09-10-09, 07:28 AM   #8
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aahh... that green Kona looks great. Imagine it with brown leather seat and bar tape...or not!
I think you're mostly right, but the brown of the seat should be mid-brown or tan, and the bar yellow...
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Old 09-10-09, 09:55 AM   #9
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Wow, how'd you get one at that price? Used? Awesome looking bike.
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Old 09-10-09, 07:03 PM   #10
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the provincial government here was running a 'scrap it' program where you got certain incentive options for scrapping any pre-1995 vehicle. One option was $1200 towards a fuel efficient car, another was transit passes, and then a $700 credit for a bicycle. So my car, a 1988 Oldsmobile that wouldn't have been worth more than the steel it was made of.... got me a half price Jake the Snake... wooh!! just got home with it.... love it!! going out for another ride!!
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