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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 03-18-11, 05:06 PM   #1
htathelizzo
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Need help picking my starter bike

This is my first post on this forum, and actually any forum! I am new to the biking scene and I am trying to pick a new starter bike. I found a trek PDX 2011 for $500(which i think is a good deal) at my local shop. i think this would be a good bike to start using for commuter rides and some mild cyclocross training that i can then build up to be more aggressive as time goes by. for the time being it will primarily be used for commuting to school and work, and for casual group rides. I am trying to determine if this is a good deal, a good bike, and a good idea in general. thank you so much and i look forward to your responses!
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Old 03-18-11, 05:49 PM   #2
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Probably great as a commuter, but I wouldn't choose it for cross racing. For $500 you can probably get a lightly used full on cross bike.
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Old 03-19-11, 07:08 PM   #3
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Probably great as a commuter, but I wouldn't choose it for cross racing. For $500 you can probably get a lightly used full on cross bike.
In most places you have wait years for a used crosser to come along in your size. Of course some people will ship used bikes bought on ebay, but I suspect shipping a bike far across the US isn't cheap???

$500 should buy a pretty decent crosser ***new*** from BikesDirect. Most people are happy with them from the forum chatter I pick up - but it helps if you're willing to do some tweaking and checking yourself, or can put a few extra dollars aside to get a mechanic to do it. Look at:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/cross_bikes.htm

For versatility I'd pick a triple chainring bike:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx3.htm
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Old 03-20-11, 02:06 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses. I think i am going to continue ahead and get the pdx, swap out the bars for either a swept back or flat bar, get some spd's as soon as i can afford some shoes, throw on a water bottle holder, a chain guide, a comp and some lights and just run it as a daily commuter. once ive been really riding for a while ill try to sell it out and move up to a cross, or probably just start putting one together piece by piece for the next few years. I am thinking of taking off the disk brakes right away and switching to cantilever brakes. do you think this would be a good idea? can i get any money out of those disk brakes?

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Old 03-23-11, 10:33 AM   #5
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Disc brakes offer more stopping power, especially in the front. If you're commuting, why not keep them on? As far as I know (anybody can correct me if I'm wrong), disc brakes provide better stopping power in the elements, such as rain. I'm assuming you'll still commute when it rains, so the disc brakes will be an added bonus.
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Old 03-23-11, 02:00 PM   #6
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Thank you for the responses. I think i am going to continue ahead and get the pdx, swap out the bars for either a swept back or flat bar, get some spd's as soon as i can afford some shoes, throw on a water bottle holder, a chain guide, a comp and some lights and just run it as a daily commuter. once ive been really riding for a while ill try to sell it out and move up to a cross, or probably just start putting one together piece by piece for the next few years. I am thinking of taking off the disk brakes right away and switching to cantilever brakes. do you think this would be a good idea? can i get any money out of those disk brakes?
Why reduce your braking performance with canti's?
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Old 03-23-11, 02:54 PM   #7
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Thank you for the responses. I think i am going to continue ahead and get the pdx, swap out the bars for either a swept back or flat bar, get some spd's as soon as i can afford some shoes, throw on a water bottle holder, a chain guide, a comp and some lights and just run it as a daily commuter. once ive been really riding for a while ill try to sell it out and move up to a cross, or probably just start putting one together piece by piece for the next few years. I am thinking of taking off the disk brakes right away and switching to cantilever brakes. do you think this would be a good idea? can i get any money out of those disk brakes?
You probably wouldn't get more than $20 for those brakes, and you can't put cantis on the PDX anyway.

If you're open to tinkering with the parts and you don't want disc brakes, look for a good used late 80's mountain bike. You can probably find one for around $100 and work on the parts upgrades from there. This also has the advamtage that a used late 80's mountain bike will be worth almost exactly the same in a few years as it is now, whereas the new PDX will lose a lot of it's value as soon as take it out of the shop. With some judicious part upgrades, the old mountain bike could also be lighter than the PDX.
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Old 03-23-11, 10:53 PM   #8
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If you're open to tinkering with the parts and you don't want disc brakes, look for a good used late 80's mountain bike. You can probably find one for around $100 and work on the parts upgrades from there. This also has the advamtage that a used late 80's mountain bike will be worth almost exactly the same in a few years as it is now, whereas the new PDX will lose a lot of it's value as soon as take it out of the shop. With some judicious part upgrades, the old mountain bike could also be lighter than the PDX.
Ha, you sound like my buddy, which is a good thing; not bashing you. He loves the old chromoly MTB farmes. His polo frame is an old Diamondback static/acid wash. He also picked up a Scwhinn Sidewinder a few weeks ago. They're bombproof frames that make for fun tinkering.
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