Please help this ******
Yes, the ****** is me.
I am thinking of getting Cyclocross Bike for several uses including Commuting (well actually going to school), simple cycling, and 1 to 2 weeks touring. I found that Cyclocross Bikes are very good for people who has many ways to use the bike. I was initially thinking about getting Cross Bike or Road Bike, but I personally wanted more Road Bike feel (not to mention they look cooler), but Road Bike has such thin tires and I do not think it can handle the sometimes a bit harsh road in the place I live. On the other hand, Cyclocross Bikes could handle these jobs rather easily. Besides, you can't convert Road Bikes to Cyclocross, but the other way around is possible by changing tires (and maybe brakes) because of the clearance problem.
However, there are so much problem I have right now:
First, I am a college student and although my family is rich, I kinda chose not to rely too much on them. They pay for the school fees and for the place I live, but basically, everything else is just me. Since I have to study and can't work 24/7, I don't really have the bucks to get a really expensive bicycle. However, I do at least want Shimano Tiagra 4600 for upgrade reasons because I do think I would some day like to upgrade parts when I get to know the bike more. However, if I buy something like Sora or 2300 then since they are 9 speed, if I want to upgrade I have to change all of the parts.
Second, I have never truly rode a sport bicycle before. I have tried riding friends' road bikes, but I haven't really rode them before. But personally, that's not the point of the problem. The main problem is that my parents denies me of buying something so expensive and tells me to buy a bicycle much cheaper because I lack experience with sport bikes both as consumer and as a cycle rider. I have to say, however, I will have to get experience somewhere and if I don't get the right bike, then I have to buy them again and would cost me much more than just buying one right bike. Yes, I admit it is hard to find the one absolute ultimate answer, but it's better than buying something I don't want. Besides, it's me who's gonna buy the bike and it's me who's gonna ride it. Not my parents.
Third, looks really matters to me. While it is true that performance > looks, but you know, to be honest, it's much easier to be attached to the bike when it looks the way you want it to be than not (not saying that you can't love your bicycle unless you like the way how it looks, but relatively...).
And did a lot of research on bicycles. I went online, read bicycle and touring magazines, went to a lot of bicycle shops and stuff like that for the past two months. I also asked several bicycle riders who goes to touring sometimes. I first thought of getting LGS-CX2 from GARNEAU (Only sold in Japan), but I later reconsidered due to Shimano Sora being incapable for upgrade unless you change the entire thing. Then I also understood that LGS-CX2 did not have eyelets for racks. That's not good.
I thought about Giant TCX2, but Right Dealer is the only Tiagra parts used. The rest was Sora.
So my only remaining candidate is KONA's Jake (2012 model). They are a bit pricey compared to what I used to want, but Shimano upgraded their Tiagra series and it's like 2010 version of 105. It looks like this:
I personally liked the color design of 2011 Jake the Snake (black, white, blue), but this one isn't bad neither.
Do you think this bike is good for me to buy? Or is it too good or too bad? Does anyone have other suggestions? Please help...
First of all, what is your budget? Online, it's looking like that Kona Jake is a $1500 ride. There are other bikes out there that are cheaper. And while I can't say whether or not they are better since I've never ridden that Kona, I can tell you that a rider at your level of experience probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a $700 bike and a $1500 bike. Look at Surly, Novara, Fuji...I could keep going. There are TONS of $700-$1000 bikes that are Tiagra equipped and will do what you want.
Second of all, if you're looking for the "do-it-all" bike, then a CX or touring model is definitely the way to go. They can handle year-round riding conditions, go off-road, do just fine as a road bike, and can carry plenty of junk with a decent rack. There are lots of road bike models that have eyelets for racks, but don't really have great hauling capacity. Touring bikes, on the other hand, are designed to withstand additional weight from all the cargo, and CX bikes are designed to take a good beating. Keep a few different types of tires around (knobby, rando, slick) and you can keep transforming the bike into the right tool for whatever that day's job is.
As far as choosing a bike with the right component group, don't let anyone tell you what not to use. I got a bike two years ago with a full Tiagra group set that I have put thousands upon thousands upon thousands of miles on, and the only parts I've had to replace are the chain and the cassette. Tiagra is a fine option. Sora is also not terrible, but I just don't care for the little nub on the shifter lever as opposed to the two way paddle system that Tiagra and above have. A good friend of mine, however, bought his Sora equipped Fuji 3 years ago, has put some serious miles on it, and has no problem with the system. It's all subjective.
I'm not sure if anyone has put you in this direction yet, but someone is bound to so I'll just get it out of the way:
That is a great place to get a first "real" bike. Unbeatable prices on totally usable, rideable bikes.
Fat man in a little coat
Seeing as you have a preference for some blue, a friend of mine just got this bike: Fuji 2.0 Cross. It is a good looking bike. He ended up getting a Performance Membership at the same time and they even knocked a little more off the bike. As junkyardking said, Bikes Direct has good prices. They have a few Motobecanes under $1000. REI has a couple of really nice bikes at a good price.
Please note that I live in Japan.
Thanks for the reply!
Originally Posted by junkyardking
KONA JAKE is 115500 yen here in Japan. Under current currency rate, that's like $1250 or so. 120000 yen is my budget limit (the bike only. pedals, lights, etc not included).
I am not really sure about bikes over there in USA or Europe, but bikes in Japan doesn't have as much variety of bikes. Many people use bicycle but they really only use Granny Bikes.
I thought about touring bikes, but unfortunately, personally they don't look very cool. Yes, I look like a brat being persistent about looks of a bike, especially when it's my personal taste when it comes to looks. CX bikes are Cyclocross bikes, aren't they?
Yes I did go to local store to see how Sora and Tiagra works. I personally like Tiagra's shifter because of the way both levers are placed in the same spot unlike Sora which has this small lever on the side to push it with your thumb.
THanks for the reply!
Originally Posted by nixternal
Doesn't look bad at all. However, I don't think Fuji Cross 2.0 is sold anymore in Japan.
And signing up for REI Bikes is pointless for a guy in Japan...
By the way, does anyone know whether Raleigh RX 2012 have eyelets or not?
Last edited by IFLUX23; 10-15-11 at 03:45 AM.