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  1. #1
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Which bike is more race ready (or can be)

    Saw a friend race last fall and I want to try a few myself. I have been looking for a versatile bike that I can use as a city streets commuter that can also do some road work and also allow me to enter a few beginner cyclocross races.

    Budget 1500 and below
    If it matters, I'm a Clyde @ 6'3" 280

    I rode and liked the Trek Crossrip Elite but I keep reading that leans more commuter would not be adequate for racing.
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ossrip_elite/#


    I will be ridding a Surly Cross Check today

    Would love a All City Macho Man but it is slightly out of my budget

    Initially preferred steel and disc brakes but at this point I'll just get what feels good and will allow me the versatility I want.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Rode a few more today

    Specialized Tricross 2012 Base model XXL 61cm sale $850
    Specialized Tricross Sport 2013 XL 58
    Kona Jake 2013 59
    Masi CX comp 58

    The Kona and Masi felt good. I wish they had my size so I could get a real feel. The Kona felt better. I liked to brakes and price point on the Specialized but, again, like the Trek I mentioned above, I have read that they are more for commuting and would not be great for racing (even for a entry level newb racer like me).

    The dealer said that they would be fine for racing and that the only difference between it and say, Specialized Crux is wheel base distance and and chainring.

    Again, I just need something that will be a solid commuter and entry level racing.
    Last edited by TourDeHood; 05-04-13 at 06:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Unique Vintage Steel cuda2k's Avatar
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    If you're also going to commute on it and get your feet wet in racing, don't try to find anything too aggressive. I like some of Masi's recent offerings, and have heard good things about Kona bikes.

    UniversalCycles has the Macho Man complete for $1595, and I was able to find a 15% off coupon when I bought my Space Horse from them a couple weeks ago... just saying.
    [CENTER][URL="http://VeloBase.com"][IMG]http://velobase.com/App_Themes/VeloBase2_blue/Images/VeloBase2TitleCampagnolo.jpg[/IMG][/URL][/CENTER]
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  4. #4
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cuda2k View Post
    If you're also going to commute on it and get your feet wet in racing, don't try to find anything too aggressive. I like some of Masi's recent offerings, and have heard good things about Kona bikes.

    UniversalCycles has the Macho Man complete for $1595, and I was able to find a 15% off coupon when I bought my Space Horse from them a couple weeks ago... just saying.
    So you think the Kona Jake or Masi CX Comp are race worthy as well as commuting?
    http://www.masibikes.com/bikes/competition/cx-comp-2013
    http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=jake

    Also, what do you mean by "aggressive"? Are you talking in terms of frame geometry? Or just in cost and specs? What would be an example of too aggressive?

    Also, I wish that I could actually test ride the Macho Man. Most of the All City dealers around here only stock the Space Horse and Mr Pink.
    Last edited by TourDeHood; 05-04-13 at 08:40 PM.

  5. #5
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    Buy the bike you like the best, and focus on making the engine race-ready.

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    Are you open to used? It is the off-season so there are a lot of great deals out there.

    If you are going to race, I would stay away from generic 4130 steel frames (like All-City, Masi, Surly etc.) they are quite heavy.

    If you are set on steel, I love the Lemond Poprad with disc brakes - it is a fairly light (True Temper Platinum OX) and the steel frame that is extremely well built (in the USA) but unfortunately now discontinued by Trek. They show up on eBay and Craigslist sometimes but can be expensive (about $400 for the frame); but worth it. If you build it up - look for Avid BB7 "ROAD version" disc brakes with 160mm rotors.

    Higher end hydro-formed aluminum cyclocross frames are typically lighter than steel. My favorite is the Cannondale CAAD9 CX, but there are many others. I am 6'-2" and need a 60cm top-tube which is very hard to find, but the 60cm CAAD9 CX is a perfect fit.



    If you really want lightweight than it will be carbon fiber. For my money this Willier Cross Carbon Complete Bike for $2000 (on sale) is the best deal out there: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...ike-32233.html



    I am sure you know, but make sure you get the correct frame size, especially the top-tube that fits. I recommend that people do your body measurements at these 2 free sites:


    Wrench Science: https://www.wrenchscience.com/Login....%2fHeight.aspx (you need to sign up for a password - still free) and Competitive Cyclist: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO


    look at the averages between what these 2 sites spit out for your measurements should be for a ROAD bike and subtract 1cm from the top-tube dimension.


    Then look for a cyclocross bike that lists the top-tube measurement.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flargle View Post
    Buy the bike you like the best, and focus on making the engine race-ready.
    I understand these type of comments. They often elicit a quick "+1" on these forums. I understand the "It's not the tool its the craftsman" school of thought but bear in mind I am coming into this new and am simply trying to figure out the best value commiserate with my needs. The "buy the bike you like" comment could lead to a bad decision. It's not like i'm haggling over color or questions of personal preference. I truly do not know if there are bikes that are marketed as cyclocross that in fact are not race ready. Heck, I happen to "like" the Cannondale Bad Boy. Should I just "buy" it for the sake not cluttering the precious forum space with such inane questions.

    Just trying to make an informed decision, that's all.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post
    I understand these type of comments. They often elicit a quick "+1" on these forums. I understand the "It's not the tool its the craftsman" school of thought but bear in mind I am coming into this new and am simply trying to figure out the best value commiserate with my needs. The "buy the bike you like" comment could lead to a bad decision. It's not like i'm haggling over color or questions of personal preference. I truly do not know if there are bikes that are marketed as cyclocross that in fact are not race ready. Heck, I happen to "like" the Cannondale Bad Boy. Should I just "buy" it for the sake not cluttering the precious forum space with such inane questions.

    Just trying to make an informed decision, that's all.
    Let me spell it out: I was telling you that none of the bikes you've mentioned would be a bad decision.

  9. #9
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    As a general rule the more "race worthy" a cyclocross bike is the less capable of being used for utility purposes it will be. But that's not really a big deal. People do CX races on everything from full suspension mountain bikes to touring bikes. You won't see the winner of the elite race on a utility-oriented CX bike, but in the lower ranks just having a cyclocross bike will put you in a good position to do your best. Any of the bikes you've mentioned would be fine for trying out CX racing.
    Last edited by Andy_K; 05-05-13 at 10:22 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Thanks Erik A.
    I have been searching Craigs also. I am 6'3" 280 and rode a 61 (Specialized Tricross) that felt good, although bigger than Im used to.

  11. #11
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_A View Post
    Are you open to used? It is the off-season so there are a lot of great deals out there.

    If you are going to race, I would stay away from generic 4130 steel frames (like All-City, Masi, Surly etc.) they are quite heavy.

    If you are set on steel, I love the Lemond Poprad with disc brakes - it is a fairly light (True Temper Platinum OX) and the steel frame that is extremely well built (in the USA) but unfortunately now discontinued by Trek. They show up on eBay and Craigslist sometimes but can be expensive (about $400 for the frame); but worth it. If you build it up - look for Avid BB7 "ROAD version" disc brakes with 160mm rotors.

    Higher end hydro-formed aluminum cyclocross frames are typically lighter than steel. My favorite is the Cannondale CAAD9 CX, but there are many others. I am 6'-2" and need a 60cm top-tube which is very hard to find, but the 60cm CAAD9 CX is a perfect fit.



    If you really want lightweight than it will be carbon fiber. For my money this Willier Cross Carbon Complete Bike for $2000 (on sale) is the best deal out there: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/fr...ike-32233.html



    I am sure you know, but make sure you get the correct frame size, especially the top-tube that fits. I recommend that people do your body measurements at these 2 free sites:


    Wrench Science: https://www.wrenchscience.com/Login....%2fHeight.aspx (you need to sign up for a password - still free) and Competitive Cyclist: http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO


    look at the averages between what these 2 sites spit out for your measurements should be for a ROAD bike and subtract 1cm from the top-tube dimension.


    Then look for a cyclocross bike that lists the top-tube measurement.

    Thanks Erik A.
    I have been searching Craigs also. I am 6'3" 280 and rode a 61 (Specialized Tricross) that felt good, although bigger than Im used to.
    I'm not too worried about weight. The way it rides is more important to me.

  12. #12
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
    As a general rule the more "race worthy" a cyclocross bike is the less capable of being used for utility purposes it will be. But that's not really a big deal. People do CX races on everything from full suspension mountain bikes to touring bikes. You won't see the winner of the elite race on a utility-oriented CX bike, but in the lower ranks just having a cyclocross bike will put you in a good position to do your best. Any of the bikes you've mentioned would be fine for trying our CX racing.
    Good information man. Thank you

  13. #13
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    A LBS had a 2012 Kona Jake he was going to give me for 986 bucks. I like the fact that the 2013 has discs and the color and paint scheme of the 2012 is dreadfull.

    I am leaning Jake now though...

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post
    A LBS had a 2012 Kona Jake he was going to give me for 986 bucks. I like the fact that the 2013 has discs and the color and paint scheme of the 2012 is dreadfull.

    I am leaning Jake now though...
    I don't race but I commute on a 2006 Jake and it is a real solid bike, and I bought it as a last model year and was not thrilled about the brown paint. Ultimately I figured the bike and price is more important than the paint. Also something to consider that if commuting is your primary use you can make sure it has the eyelets for a rack an fenders (Jake has them) if you every want to put them on, some bikes don't and could be a pain.

    Edit: Here is a pretty detailed review and responses about the 2013 Jake.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...88-mile-review
    Last edited by majwell; 05-06-13 at 11:07 AM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TourDeHood View Post
    A LBS had a 2012 Kona Jake he was going to give me for 986 bucks. I like the fact that the 2013 has discs and the color and paint scheme of the 2012 is dreadfull.

    I am leaning Jake now though...
    I would jump on that deal, unless you can find a used one (assuming the floor model size frame fits you correctly - check those measurements).

    Also Nashbar sometimes has the Blue Norcross on sale for about the same price as an alternative.

    Color aside, the addition of the low end Tekro Lyra disc brakes seems like a marketing move on Kona's part for the base model Jake in 2013. You can see that the rear brake mount isn't placed very well to counter the braking forces. Also the higher end "Jake the Snake" keeps canti brakes for 2013: http://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?co...jake_the_snake

    I prefer the 2012 Jake just to have the canti's but that is my personal preference.

    (also check this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...2012-Kona-Jake )

  16. #16
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik_A View Post
    You can see that the rear brake mount isn't placed very well to counter the braking forces.
    Actually, I think having the rear brake inside the rear triangle is meant to get it out of the way for rack and fender mounting. It's exactly where I'd want it. The tubing around the rear eyelet still gets in the way, but only a little and that can be dealt with.

  17. #17
    idc
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    I have a 2013 Jake. It's not really "race ready" imo - stock brakes are not good, triple crankset, stock tires are basically utility/city tires, not much lighter than a steel CX bike, non-tapered headtube with aluminum fork. Jake the Snake is much more race ready.

    But of course it depends how serious you want to be about it. I feel like beginner CX races are more about bike handling and fitness (constant accelerations, etc) than anything else.

    It does make an excellent commuter out of the box.

  18. #18
    Senior Member TourDeHood's Avatar
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    After a return test ride I went with the 2013 Jake. It fit all of my needs. If decide after 3 races that I hate cross, at least I will have a great commuter that I could use for a charity ride here or there.

    I am not vein but I do believe there is value in liking the way something looks. The 2012 was not something id like looking at for the next 5 years. My little league football coach used to make us tuck or shirts in and gave everyone's helmet a fresh coat of silver on game day and would say: "If you look good you feel good, If you feel good you play good"

    I am really excited about getting the bike... and riding the hell out of it.
    Last edited by TourDeHood; 05-07-13 at 11:39 PM.

  19. #19
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Congrats on the new bike! I'm sure you'll be happy with it.

    FYI, via Saphod on the commuting sub-forum here's a blog post in a five part series of some guy in Texas reviewing this bike: http://www.spinistry.com/spinistry-b...ocross-racing/

  20. #20
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    I have a trek crossrip elite, and it's great on trails. In fact, it seems more at home trails than on the road. That isn't to say that it isn't adequate on the road. I really enjoy riding the thing.

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