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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 08-15-12, 08:22 AM   #1
Dave.H
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Another Which Bike: Felt F65X or Focus Mares AX 2.0 Disc

For many reasons I am SOLD on getting a CX bike with disc brakes. The primary reason for buying a CX bike is racing, secondary is a bad weather/off season training bike in place of my roadie, third is touring on vacation and riding with the kids around town, fourth is commuting. We tend to have muddy/wet races here and being that this will be a foul weather bike I want the stopping power. Some of my training will involve riding road from the house to the local single track and then riding the single track.

I raced some CX last year on an OLD mountain bike. Loved the racing, hated riding that bike.

Anyway, I've done a LOT of looking locally and ruled out a lot of bikes (many because I want disc). Today I am down to these two (this may change tomorrow)

1) Felt F65X - Apex front derailer and and shifters, Rival rear derailer, BB5 brakes
2) Focus Mares AX 2.0 Disc - 105 components, Tektro Lyra brakes

The Focus is pushing the greater BB drop and the Felt seems to have more slop in the TT which will maybe make it easier to toss around? Maybe thats the opposite? I assume this is due to the longer head tube on the Felt than the Focus. What about the wheelsets? is either better? The Felt is supposedly abut 1-2 lbs lighter.

I have ridden the Felt and really liked it. I have not ridden the Focus but have read great reviews on them and it's available significantly cheaper than the Felt.

Anyone have an opinion on these two and how they really compare? Is the Felt worth $350+ more then the Focus?
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Old 08-15-12, 03:50 PM   #2
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German Focus even sold outside germany?
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Old 08-16-12, 09:39 AM   #3
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It can be had.


There are just too many options out there... A LOT of nice deals on used bikes but I am really sold on disc since I will use it for many other things besides racing.
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Old 08-16-12, 11:13 AM   #4
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Oh I see Mares, they buy advertising, shown on this site thru, like, Google..

BB drop makes it more road bike, higher BB means you ride off camber sections,
crossing hills without digging a pedal into the up hill dirt and rocks.

Components can be changed.

SRAM /Shimano, Ford/Chevvy.. they both shove the chain sideways.
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Old 08-16-12, 11:23 AM   #5
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Oh I see Mares, they buy advertising, shown on this site thru, like, Google..

BB drop makes it more road bike, higher BB means you ride off camber sections,
crossing hills without digging a pedal into the up hill dirt and rocks.

Components can be changed.

SRAM /Shimano, Ford/Chevvy.. they both shove the chain sideways.

Frame geometry is my number buying point, plus discs since its hard to add those later

But components can sweeten the deal because they are cheaper to buy up front than later.

I rode the Felt and it feels great and nimble. So far it's the best bang for the buck ive found in new disc bikes. Aside from the rebadged direct from the manufactures bikes that I'm really not too keen on for a lot of reasons.

Im open to options of I am missing something
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Old 08-16-12, 11:28 AM   #6
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go test ride a (road? )bike equipped with both brifters and see what you like.

they apparently neither use an Avid BB7 disc caliper..
A component pick by product manager, based perhaps on cost

keeping the TTL price to where customers are more comfortable paying.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-16-12 at 11:31 AM.
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Old 08-16-12, 01:27 PM   #7
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I've ridden both of the above shifters/derailers and like them both, those aren't really anything that pushes me one bike or the other. Like I said I've looked at a TON of others and I am really leaning towards the Felt. Double what I wanted to spend but I'd rather buy right than buy twice and I'm really sold on disc since it will be a commuter/winter trainer/rainy day bike/touring bike/single track when it's not racing CX. Seems like disc will help the resale value as well IF disc takes off in cyclocross.

I dunno, maybe I am nuts and there is a better deal out there than either of these. I want to do it right and buy something I will keep for a long time and enjoy and I don't really want carbon on my CX bike.
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Old 08-16-12, 05:41 PM   #8
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I just bought a 65X. It's a hell of a nice bike. 2 points I didn't like. I've changed to BB7 calipers and I put a compact crankset on it. I didn't ride the bike before those changes, I had the dealer change that stuff out. On a CX course, this bike is a freakin' rocket ship. I literally have no complaints.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:50 PM   #9
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I just bought a 65X. It's a hell of a nice bike. 2 points I didn't like. I've changed to BB7 calipers and I put a compact crankset on it. I didn't ride the bike before those changes, I had the dealer change that stuff out. On a CX course, this bike is a freakin' rocket ship. I literally have no complaints.
Yeah it seemed like BB7s would be a cheap/easy upgrade. How do they feel compared to canto or v-brakes? Do they feel mushy, meaning can you feel the cable stretch or do they feel solid and connected?

I thought it was speced with a compact crank set? If not, that's an easy swap.
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Old 08-16-12, 07:21 PM   #10
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They both sold where you live, ? back to the 'pick the shop first,
then the bike' motto.

just that the 7s are adjusted with 2 EZ knobs
the 5 is a wrench on 1 side, fixed side,
the cable adjuster is the moving pad adjustment.
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Old 08-16-12, 07:28 PM   #11
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They both sold where you live, ? back to the 'pick the shop first, then the bike' motto.
No. I think that's why I am leaning very strongly to putting some money on the Felt first of the week. It's a lot of money to not ride the bike first. I haven't ridden the F65X in my size, but I have ridden the F75X and LOVED the feel.

Locally here is what I can get (well the ones I have seen):

Trek
Raleigh
Giant
Colnago
Redline
Ridley
Salsa
Fuji
Cannondale


I've ridden most of these, but not all since and even the ones I rode they were not all in my size. There is not a lot of stock in CX bikes around here. Most places will bring one in if you are willing to put money down on it (100% refundable). Of the ones I have ridden the Felt has been my favorite, though I have not ridden the F65X in my size but I will ride before I buy - from the specs it doesn't look like the F65X will feel any worse than the F75X.

My head is spinning from everything I have looked at and read, but I keep coming back to the Felt. Just a lot of coin to drop so I want to make sure I make the right choice.
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Old 08-16-12, 11:18 PM   #12
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Yeah it seemed like BB7s would be a cheap/easy upgrade. How do they feel compared to canto or v-brakes? Do they feel mushy, meaning can you feel the cable stretch or do they feel solid and connected?

I thought it was speced with a compact crank set? If not, that's an easy swap.
The first time I rode the bike I was a little spooked. They didn't stop very well at all and they chattered. Then after 20-30 minutes of riding the pads/discs got burnished in and now they're awesome. Compared to new Shimano hydraulics on my MTB, they're almost indistinguishable. I have done 3 days of CX practice at my local park which has a couple good brake zones. It stops like a dog on the end of it's chain. These are so much better than my V-brakes (with Travel Agents) it's not even a comparison.

The stock chainrings are 46/38 and the crankset is a standard 130 BDC. This limits your small ring to a 38. I changed it out to a Force compact with 46/34 rings. I like a smaller small ring, most run a 46/36. It's just a personal preference thing. I like the lower gearing for spinning up loose climbs. If I try to go up certain climbs with a tall gear, I've got the oomph to get up, but often not the traction. I feel spinning more gives me better traction. Opinions vary.
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Old 08-16-12, 11:22 PM   #13
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Also, I was coming from a Lemond Poprad, which has a low BB, something like a 73mm drop. I was worried about the Felt's stability with the higher BB (65mm drop). It's nothing to worry about. It's very stable at speed. The front end of the bike is solid as a rock.
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Old 08-17-12, 09:06 AM   #14
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Thanks for the info, Fat Boy. I've read that disc breaks usually need a little seating time, much like in a car, before they are 100%.

I'll probably bite the bullet on the Felt first of the week.
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Old 08-17-12, 01:00 PM   #15
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Are you getting a deal on the Mares? It looks like msrp for both are 1750.

I got my 65x for a good price and have been loving it so far.
http://forums.mtbr.com/cyclocross/felt-f65x-807666.html
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Old 08-17-12, 01:08 PM   #16
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You can find the Mares online for $1500-$1600.

That said I can't ride it before buying it. For a few bucks more I can ride the F65X AND it's better looking

Thanks for posting the link to your bike porn!
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Old 08-21-12, 12:00 AM   #17
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For what it's worth, I saw a '11 Mares non disc bike, I believe it was a 56cm for $700 at Performance in Fountain Valley, CA. The original price on it was something like $1500. He checked for a bike for a big boy, but no luck, that's all they got. Sorry I don't have anything more spit and polished.
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Old 08-21-12, 06:28 AM   #18
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Thanks. My search isn't over, there are a couple more I am going to look at today.
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