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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 04-04-11, 03:12 PM   #1
dynne
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Best starter frame for CX/City build?

I know this topic has been touched upon in several other threads, but I guess I'm selfish and would like specific advice pertaining to my particular situation.

My spring project is to complete a CX bike for city commuting/light trails and eventually entering a race or two next season for fun. I have a lot more experience with road, fixed, and vintage than modern rigs, so I want to be sure I get some advice before diving in.

So I've got plenty of pieces to set one up from between my parts bin and parts from friends, craigslist etc. I'm torn because I recognize the value in buying a complete bike, as they're sized and set up to work correctly and comfortably. But for the sake of using what I already have and potentially saving money, I'd like to explore buying a frame and using what I already have.

I'm 5'11"/6', long-legged, and typically ride a 58cm road. I briefly owned a 56cm Cross Check, but it felt too small and I didn't care for the geometry.

Does anyone have suggestions on where to start? Perhaps Nashbar or another internet whole-sale site? I'd prefer to go with steel frame and carbon fork, but it seems like many CX bikes are aluminum. I would also like to avoid sew-ups, as they are a bit pricey considering my competitive level.

Thanks so much for your time. Hope you guys are experiencing better weather than myself.
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Old 04-04-11, 05:13 PM   #2
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What's your budget?

I'm very partial to the Kona Jake line. You can get a 2010 Jake the Snake frameset for around $400. Given that you have distinct geometry preferences, a test ride is probably in order. If you're really stuck on steel, the Soma Double Cross may be the way to go.
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Old 04-04-11, 06:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
What's your budget?

I'm very partial to the Kona Jake line. You can get a 2010 Jake the Snake frameset for around $400. Given that you have distinct geometry preferences, a test ride is probably in order. If you're really stuck on steel, the Soma Double Cross may be the way to go.

The JTS is a classic.

As for steel vs alu: in the real world the difference in feel is drowned out by tubing thickness, frame geometry, tyres, wheel stiffness. My alu bike feels more like a steel bike is "supposed" to feel than the steel bike does.

If I was in the US I'd just order a BikesDirect crosser for, say, $550 complete. Then tweak anything I didn't like with the contents of that parts bin. The frames are generally the same as Fujis, I believe - they're usually said to be damn decent bikes for very little money.
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Old 04-05-11, 03:15 PM   #4
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Gotcha, thanks for the advice. It occurred to me that I might be best off selling all my parts and getting a pro-built bike and save the headache. I will explore both avenues. Hope you guys are enjoying the sloppy riding conditions!
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