I am in the market for my first bike and went and rode a Felt 65X the other day (the only bike I have test rode). I was wondering if anyone had any input on this bike or a better cx bike in that price range? I'm a newbie and don't know anything about components or frames and I can't find any reviews on the bike.
The Specialized is very good, but also more expensive than the Felt. The Airborne is much less expensive, but it's not quite as fancy as the other 2. The Felt and Airborne both come with BB5 brakes, I had the shop change them out to BB7's (which is what the Crux comes with stock). The other curious selection by Felt was the crankset which uses a 130 BDC. This is coupled with 46/38 chainrings. CX bikes almost always come with a compact crankset to allow a smaller 'small' chainring. I had mine changed to a SRAM Force crankset with 46/34 chainrings. The 46/36 is more common, but I personally like having a bit lower gear at times. People say if you have to go to the really low gear, you should be running, not riding. I don't agree. When I'm on climbing on something that is loose and traction is at a premium, a really low gear and a high spin (similar to what you do on a mountain bike) keeps the rear hooked up better and is ultimately faster (for me).
So that's my take. I'm sure there are other options, but these are what I considered prior to my purchase.