So I'm looking to buy a cross bike soon. I intend to do some recreational road riding, maybe hit some MTB trails, and ride my first cross race in the fall. I have a commuter bike, so I don't need anything with rack & fender mounts, etc. My budget is around $1000, though if I can spend less that would be great. I've been keeping any eye on Ebay, and Craigslist, but in the meantime I've been looking at new bikes and have narrowed my choices down to these:
I'm really leaning towards the Fantom Cross (seems great for the price) or the Cannondale (found them for $1099). Any thoughts on either?
::Frame Q Down here::
My problem with Cannondale is the frame sizing. To have safe top tube clearance would put me on the 44cm frame with a ST height of 75.5cm verse the 48cm frame with a ST height of 77.7cm. I'm 5'6 on a tall day, and have a 31" (78cm) inseam with cycling shoes on, so 77.7cm is a little too close for comfort. My issue is that a 44cm frame just seems ridiculously small. I understand you're supposed to size down for cross bikes, but does this seem right? My commuter bike has a 49cm frame, and an effective TT that's 1.5cm longer then the C-dale. It seems that in most of the cross bikes I've looked at I'd fit a 49cm frame, is Cannondale's sizing just weird?
If anyone has any thoughts or opinions on the bikes listed I'd appreciate hearing them.
2013 Kona Jake, 2008 Kona Major Jake, 2013 Kona Jake the Snake, 1999 Kona Muni Mula, 2012 Ridley Excalibur, 2008 Surly Long Haul Trucker
Sometimes you need to choose the bike that gives you the best fit. The 49cm Jake looks like it would give you a very similar fit to your Casseroll. I'm a big fan of the Jake anyway, and the new model is tweaked to be more of a racing bike, though I'd probably want to replace that Sora triple with a 46-36 double crank.
Ultimately, I think you need to ride the bikes to assess fit, which is the biggest thing against the Bikes Direct bike.
(1) "size down" a cross frame
(2) worry about standover clearance instead of the relevant measurements
A good cross bike will give you less standover than a road bike, for one because of the larger tires, and also because you want a larger main triangle for easy shouldering. Unless you regularly ride your cross bike through bouldery gnar, it doesn't matter.
It'd be between the CAADX Tiagra and the FantomCross that uses rival components for $999 for me. But, in your situation where your concerned about size I'd go with the CAADX simply because you can get fitted to it at a bike shop. A proper fitting bike is the best bike.