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.
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.
Originally Posted by Andy_K
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.
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!