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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 04-22-13, 12:10 AM   #1
Seasonal
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I need your help on which CX to choose! - Your opinion is valued and encouraged.

Hey all,
Newcomer to this site and as well as Cycling and Cyclocross, but I'm in love with the sport.

Some background:
I used to be an avid runner until I severely damaged my foot resulting in some nerve damage and loss of sensation in that specific foot that took a long while to rehabilitate, but I've since been ready to get back into shape and I've chosen Cycling to be my obsession for that aspect in my life. I ride a Fuji Nevada at work, some offroad sections of my work require a tough bike, which is why we use that one specifically, but we can bring our own bikes, and while I intend on getting my own bike and using it at work, I also want to use it every day for around a 30 mile ride on smoother terrain (aslphalt, packed dirt, pavement) as well, so a dual function bike of sorts, which is why I decided on the diversity and toughness of a CX bike. I do need something for touring though as well, I intend on using it for a whole west coast tour from Southern California to Northern Washington eventually, but only after I get back into shape. I ultimately and especially want to do CX races when I am fit to do so, so I am really looking forward to that.

So since I am looking to purchase my first CX bike, I was wondering if you guys could help me out on deciding?
I'd greatly appreciate any help or insight you could give me, I also need a bit of help with sizing, let me list some of my current options right now though:

1. Specialized Tricross Expert (2010) http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...8_5670crx.aspx
I recently went to my LBS and test rode this bike, It was a demo bike for them back a couple years ago, it is in pretty good condition, and they said that they'd sell it to me for $1200 out the door (MSRP brand new nearly $3000), it has a lot of utility on it, like handpump attachments, co2 holders, and some other minor custom things on it. Just some minor - not visible - oxidation that they said they would take care of for me before they'd sell it to me as well as fix it up. My only concern is that it is a "Tricross" bike and not a full fledged Cyclocross bike, so it does have some slotting for touring attachments like panniers, fenders, and whatever.. and a longer chainstay, and a more relaxed geometry than a fullly dedicated CX bike.

Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum frame, fully manipulated tubing, semi-compact Freeroad design, integrated headset, rack and fender fittings
Specialized FACT carbon Tricross fork, carbon legs, aluminum steerer, SpeedZertz inserts, full rack and fender mounts
Specialized Sport stem and Specialized Comp bars
Deore LX, 9-speed rear derailleur
Specialized Borough CX tires

Some questions specific to this bike:
  • Can a shorter chainstay be applied to this bike if I wanted to?
  • Would it be an acceptable CX bike when I do end up doing my first CX race?

-

2. Specialized Tricross Triple Sport http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...osssporttriple
The guy at the LBS was really trying to push this bike because of what I wanted a bike for, which wasn't a bad idea on his part, especially since he knew I intend on touring eventually. I love the fact that it has the ability to mount a rack and fenders for really long travel, my biggest concern about it is - as stated for the above bike - is the ability to use it as a full-on CX bike. Also I know some people don't really like the Triple Chaining on it, because that is more for Touring and not exactly great for CX.

FRAME: Specialized A1 Premium Aluminum Canti, fully manipulated tubing with smooth welds, 1-1/8" lower bearing, rack and fender fittings
REAR: SHOCK
FORK: Specialized Tricross aluminum fork, alloy steerer and crown for 1-1/8" bearing, low-rider & fender fittings
HEADSET: 1-1/8" sealed Cr-Mo cartridge bearings integrated w/ headset, 20mm alloy cone spacer, w/ 20mm of spacers
STEM: 3D forged 6061 alloy, 12 degree, 4 bolt clamp, 31.8mm
HANDLEBARS: Specialized Comp, 6061 alloy, shallow bend
TAPE: Specialized Tricross microfiber wrap w/Body Geometry 2.5 gel pads
FRONT BRAKE: Tektro CR-720 wide canti
REAR BRAKE: Tektro CR-720, wide canti
BRAKE LEVERS: Tricross secondary lever
FRONT DERAILLEUR: New Shimano Sora
REAR DERAILLEUR: New Shimano Sora
SHIFT LEVERS: New Shimano Sora STI
CASSETTE: Shimano HG-50, 9-speed, 11-30
CHAINKMC: X9
CRANKSET: New Shimano Sora triple
CHAINRINGS: 50/39/30
BOTTOM BRACKET: Shimano, outboard cartridge bearing, 68mm
PEDALS: Nylon flat test ride, loose-ball, w/ reflectors
FRONT WHEEL: DT Axis 1.0
REAR WHEEL: DT Axis 1.0
RIMS
FRONT HUB
REAR HUB
SPOKES
FRONT TIRE: Specialized Borough CX Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, 700x32c
REAR TIRE: Specialized Borough CX Sport, 60TPI, wire bead, 700x32c
INNER TUBES: Standard presta valve
SADDLE: Body Geometry Riva Plus, Cr-Mo rails, 155mm
SEATPOST: Specialized Sport alloy, 27.2mm
SEAT BINDER: Alloy, 31.8mm, w/ brake stop
NOTES: Chainstay protector, derailleur hanger, clear coat, owner's manual

Some questions specific to this bike:
  • Can I remove the Triple and replace it with a Double and a MTB casette?
  • Would this still be acceptable as a CX race bike if adjusted?

-

3. Nashbar CX1 Cyclocross Bike http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...2_547466_-1___
This bike has seem to have gotten a lot of attention lately, loads of people have been raving about this, and there is currently a 20% off deal happening only today though, but I doubt I'd make my choice during the sale unless most of you are speedy with the responses and end up thinking this bike would be best for me. For the price, it seems like a beast of a bike.

FRAME: 6061 alloy
FORK: Full chromoly with 1-1/8" steerer
HEADSET: FSA 1-1/8"
CRANKSET: Prowheel OUNCE 50/34T compact
CASSETTE: SHIMANO CS-HG50 9-speed, 12-25T
SHIFTERS: Shimano 3500 Sora
FRONT DERAILLEUR: Shimano 2300
REAR DERAILLEUR: Shimano 3500 Sora
BRAKES: Tektra 992 AG
LEVERS: Shimano 3500 Sora
TIRES: Kenda K1047 700x32C
WHEELSET: Shining A-350 rim, KT 515 front hub, KT G1ER rear hub
BARS: Alloy, Black, 31.8mm clamp
STEM: Alloy, black, 31.8mm clamp, +/-7
SEATPOST: Alloy, black, 27.2mm
SADDLE: Velo
CHAIN: KMC Z99 9-speed
PEDALS: Alloy body, boron-alloy axle
GRIPS/BAR TAPE: EVA cork bar tape

Some questions specific to this bike:
  • Does anyone know how Nashbar's customer service is? is it good/bad?

-

4. Guerciotti Cross Force http://www.planet-x-bikes.co.uk/i/q/...4cm_blue_white

This bike looks pretty awesome for the price as well, especially since US delivery isn't even that much at all, so it would only be around a total of $1200, and it is ready to ride. Planet-X seems to have some really amazing deals on bikes, but the only thing is that I've never heard of Guerciotti, I did a little research on it, and apparently it's an italian brand and they some a type of tool to adjust certain things that is more common in europe than the US, I was wondering if this were true or if this would be a problem.

  • lu 7005 Tubing
  • Frame Weight: 2.1kg
  • Integrated Headset included
  • Brake Cable Guide included
  • Seat Post Diameter: 31.6mm
  • Front Derailleur Clamp Diameter: 35mm
  • Bottom Bracket Threading: English
  • Color: Grey, Black, Red
  • Fork: Carbon Blades, Alloy Steer Tube
  • Fork Weight: 695g
  • Geometry: Standard
  • Seat Tube Length Center to Center : 58 cm
  • Seat Tube Length Center to Top : 62 cm
  • Top tube length Center to Center: 56cm
  • Head tube length: 210mm
  • Sloping Angle : 75

Some questions specific to this bike:
  • Has anyone had any experience with Planet X or Guerciotti? How was the customer service?
  • Does this bike look to be good for it's price?

-

5. Motobecane Fantom Cross http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...m_cross_xi.htm
I've heard lots of different stories and things about Bikesdirect and Motobecane, some say it's an amazing deal and they are great bikes, some say that the customer service is horrible and it can be a bad first bike especially if you don't know how to do your own repairs because Motobecane isn't really liked specifically because it is sold straight from an online distributor, but very mixed reviews and personal opinions on it, but the bottom line is, the prices seem right.

Main Frame 2011 Aluminum alloy with Butted down tube, Integrated HeadTube, Double water bottle mounts Click For Image Gallery
Rear Triangle SuperCustom butted and tapered aluminum, forged road dropout with replaceable derailleur hanger REAR RACK BRAZE-ONS
Fork Motobecane CARBON FIBER Cross 1.125 inch steerer, front fender capable
Crankset FSA Gossamer External Bearing, CNC 36/46T Rings
Bottom Bracket FSA External cartridge bearing
Pedals None
Front Derailleur Shimano 105 FD5700
Rear Derailleur Shimano 105 RD5700
Shifters Shimano 105 10-speed (20 gears total)
Cassette/Freewheel Shimano CS-5700 10-speed, 12-25T
Chain Super Narrow 10-speed
Front Hub Formula Sealed Road, Black, 32H
Rear Hub Formula Sealed Road, Black, 32H
Spokes Stainless Black finish
Rims Alex DC19, 32H, W/CNC Sidewalls
Tires Kenda Kwick Cross, 700 x 32c or 30c (no choice) + presta valve tubes
Brake Set Tektro Oryx Cantilever black finish
Brake Levers Shimano 105 10-speed (20 gears total)
(CROSS LEVERS ON FLATS)
Headset Full Speed Ahead, 1.125" Threadless Sealed Bearing
Handlebar Ultralite Alloy Road, VariButted Alloy
Stem Cross Road Comp Threadless +/- 6 degree
Tape/Grip Custom cork wrap
Saddle Velo UltraLite Racing with Cro-Moly rails
Seat Post Superlite Micro Adjust alloy, 250mm, 27.2
Seat Clamp Ultralite alloy, 31.8mm, Lazer etched
Sizes 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm, 61cm, 64cm

Some questions specific to this bike:
  • How well has BD been in terms of customer service to the people on here that have actually purchased a bike through them?
  • Has anyone had any serious trouble with Motobecane bikes in the past? (see: http://huntergatherernyc.com/2008/05...rectcom-avoid/)
  • Would BD be a good choice for a first bike?

That's it for my list for right now, If anyone has any other recommendations, please feel free, as I'd love to hear them, here are some other specific questions that I really am concerned about:
  • Are CX bikes okay for doing tours? Or would that not be a good idea?
  • I am around 5'7"-5'8" and have a 28" inseam, and I'm still trying to figure out my bike size, would anyone have the slightest Idea, just so I don't mess up an order if I do end up buying online? Some have said 52-54 is okay for my height/inseam, does that sound right? The top bar for the Tricross Expert (Bike #1) kinda snugs up against my crotch but it isn't uncomfortable, but when I do stand on the ground with the bike in between my legs, it does push against my crotch. But Specialized sizing seems to jump by twos (52, 54, 56), some have said that I should go with a the smaller sizes, and others say I should go with the 54.
  • I'm a Clydesdale (intend on losing all of the weight I gained), and I need a good bike that can withstand around 230 lbs, would most of these bikes be okay?
  • I get mixed results on whether or not I should buy online or go to a LBS for my first bike. Because of the support I would get would be invaluable to me since I am not yet familiar with maintaining a bike. But at the same time I get people saying that buying online would be good because the value and vast options I have. One of my concerns is whether or not LBS would sneer at a brand I chose online because of that fact.

Thank you for taking the time to read this really long post, and I hope you all have a good day/night and are safe when you ride.
Hope to hear from you guys soon.

Last edited by Seasonal; 04-23-13 at 02:00 AM. Reason: forgot to add Guerciotti Cross Force stats
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Old 04-22-13, 03:00 AM   #2
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Cyclocross bikes aren't made for carrying large loads for long distances. Only touring bikes work best for touring. I'd rather have a touring bike that I can do cross with, since that's the most demanding job that your bike will ever do. Touring bikes also have longer wheel bases. Something you'll appreciate over longer distances. For touring, I'd go with either the Surly LHT, or the Raleigh Sojourn. IMO, steel works best with Clydes!

From los angeles to seattle is well over 820 mi. Now that's touring!

Last edited by Cfiber; 04-22-13 at 04:08 AM.
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Old 04-22-13, 05:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Cfiber View Post
Cyclocross bikes aren't made for carrying large loads for long distances. Only touring bikes work best for touring. I'd rather have a touring bike that I can do cross with, since that's the most demanding job that your bike will ever do. Touring bikes also have longer wheel bases. Something you'll appreciate over longer distances. For touring, I'd go with either the Surly LHT, or the Raleigh Sojourn. IMO, steel works best with Clydes!

From los angeles to seattle is well over 820 mi. Now that's touring!
Hm that's an interesting way to look at it, So a Tricross or something that is CX-ish with Touring still would bode well in a CX race, right?

What about the Surly Cross Check?

Last edited by Seasonal; 04-22-13 at 06:41 AM.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:14 AM   #4
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Hm that's an interesting way to look at it, So a Tricross or something that is CX-ish with Touring still would bode well in a CX race, right?

What about the Surly Cross Check?
IMO, the Tricross will work well for both CX and credit card touring for most cyclists. However, for those cyclists who have weight issues and who are carrying loads, I wouldn't advise it.

The Cross Check would work fine for cyclocross racing and credit card touring (carrying light loads). Of course, that would mean that you'd have to be motel and hotel hopping for over 800 mi to get there and do the same getting back. That's probably somewhere around two weeks of overnight stays in hotels. That's the beauty of touring with a fully loaded touring bike. You just pitch a tent and rough it. You'd possibly use a hotel only two or three times, if that, unless the weather turns.

There's also the SOMA cyclocross and touring bikes
http://store.somafab.com/cyfr.html

Last edited by Cfiber; 04-22-13 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 04-22-13, 10:06 AM   #5
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I love my soma double cross. There are a couple of good old threads about the differences between the double cross and cross check if you do a search. But you may find yourself spending a lot of time and money switching around your gearing, shifters, handlebars, tires etc. to optimize your "Swiss Army" bike for different uses. You're better off getting a bike set up for what you need now, with the potential for some touring, and save up for a dedicated racing bike later if it's something you'll be serious about.
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Old 04-22-13, 12:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
.. using it for a whole west coast tour from Southern California to Northern Washington eventually,..
Bene Sugg: want the extra challenge of doing it in a headwind?
on the Pacific coast route, its for good reason the bike tourist traffic is North to South.

Quote:
What about the Surly Cross Check?
they get used for touring..

tow a bike trailer and you wont need to fit Racks..

FWIW, the Specialized will be set up and ready to ride at the Dealer .

the others you get a shipping carton with a knocked down Bike in it,
to put together .

Surly will only sell complete bikes through dealers,
though some retailers may reship them..

Lots of shops have QBP account so,
though they may not stock them they can order the bikes on demand.

Last edited by fietsbob; 04-22-13 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-22-13, 07:36 PM   #7
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IMO, the Tricross will work well for both CX and credit card touring for most cyclists. However, for those cyclists who have weight issues and who are carrying loads, I wouldn't advise it.

The Cross Check would work fine for cyclocross racing and credit card touring (carrying light loads). Of course, that would mean that you'd have to be motel and hotel hopping for over 800 mi to get there and do the same getting back. That's probably somewhere around two weeks of overnight stays in hotels. That's the beauty of touring with a fully loaded touring bike. You just pitch a tent and rough it. You'd possibly use a hotel only two or three times, if that, unless the weather turns.

There's also the SOMA cyclocross and touring bikes
http://store.somafab.com/cyfr.html
Before I end up doing any serious touring I intend on riding hard for a year to get back into shape, so by the time I end up doing a tour, I don't think weight will be an issue. ANd thanks, I will check that out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Bene Sugg: want the extra challenge of doing it in a headwind?
on the Pacific coast route, its for good reason the bike tourist traffic is North to South.



they get used for touring..

tow a bike trailer and you wont need to fit Racks..

FWIW, the Specialized will be set up and ready to ride at the Dealer .

the others you get a shipping carton with a knocked down Bike in it,
to put together .

Surly will only sell complete bikes through dealers,
though some retailers may reship them..

Lots of shops have QBP account so,
though they may not stock them they can order the bikes on demand.
Which Specialized are you talking about? Should I go with the brand new one or the demo?
I have great LBS that can put together my bike for a small fee, i.e. like 30 bucks, so I don't think the assembly thing will be that big of an issue, it's the customer service for warranties and any issues is what I am concerned about when it comes to online distributors.

I can ask some other shops to on-demand order some felts or giants in my size too if you all think that would be a good idea. I really like the selection of bikes at Planet-X, but then again I know diddly-squat when it comes to integrity and knowledge of components on a bike and whether or not those are worth it.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:12 PM   #8
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Before I end up doing any serious touring I intend on riding hard for a year to get back into shape, so by the time I end up doing a tour, I don't think weight will be an issue. ANd thanks, I will check that out.


Which Specialized are you talking about? Should I go with the brand new one or the demo?
I have great LBS that can put together my bike for a small fee, i.e. like 30 bucks, so I don't think the assembly thing will be that big of an issue, it's the customer service for warranties and any issues is what I am concerned about when it comes to online distributors.
I can ask some other shops to on-demand order some felts or giants in my size too if you all think that would be a good idea. I really like the selection of bikes at Planet-X, but then again I know diddly-squat when it comes to integrity and knowledge of components on a bike and whether or not those are worth it.
I would only be interested in the Tricross Elite Steel Disc Triple model. I've heard discouraging things about aluminum forks.
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Old 04-22-13, 09:27 PM   #9
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I would only be interested in the Tricross Elite Steel Disc Triple model. I've heard discouraging things about aluminum forks.
The Tricross 2010 Expert has Carbon forks with zerts (i have no idea wtf a zert is), wouldn't that be okay?

Last edited by Seasonal; 04-22-13 at 10:47 PM.
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