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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 05-28-13, 04:56 AM   #1
Awakened1
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Need Help Buying from a few choices. Any Advice Welcome!

Hello, fellas I have posted this on another message board aswell but I figure this one might be a little more active for this type of bike/riding.

About me: I'm a short (5'5) Male Future Bike Rider currently living in the New England Area. I haven't been on a bike since I was in my early teen years and I've just recently got the itch to get back to riding. I have spent hours and hours going through information and reading other people's "Choose A Bike for Me" threads and sincerely apologize for adding yet another one. I figure there is only so much I can get from mulling over information and specs on a screen in front of me and thought it would be nice to get some experienced views on a couple bikes. I have not yet been able to get to any of my local bike shops in the area and probaly won't start checking out these bikes in store until mid June . Also because I have not been sized or tried any of these bikes in real life I do not know what frame size or around what frame size I would be.

Type of Bike & Reasoning: Living in the New England Area we experience all 4 seasons pretty distinctly and sometimes at the same time . So during my research I came across a type of bike that would in theory allow me to ride in all the 4 seasons. Even during the best weather I'm still looking for a bike I can ride through the trails, cruise medium length distances, and carry light-medium supplies/groceries. I'm really looking for a Bike that can last me for years to come and I understand no matter what I buy there will be a time when I need to upgrade parts on it. I'm not 100% sure if I need disc brakes at this point or if it would be good to future proof and buy a disc brake bike no matter what.

The Bikes I'm Currently Looking At: Well I've narrowed it down to about 5 bikes but I'm opened to other suggestions. My Price Range is around $1300 dollars for a New Bike so this plants me into an entry level Cyclocross Bike. I'm looking for any information that can help steer me to a clear winner or just owner experiences with these bikes or past models.


2013 Surly Cross–Check - This bike is the cheapest of all the bikes listed but seems to be a real work horse. It doesn't have the best Mechanics on or even the Disc Brakes that some of the other bikes have but I have seen all kinds of configurations of racks, fenders, lights, and all kinds of different mounts that I'm not sure is possible on the other bikes. At the moment I don't plan on doing a ton of lugging stuff around but it would be nice to be able to hook up a rack and carry a laptop and a 6 pack to a friends house without taking the Car.

2013 Kona Jake – This bike seems to have a great mix of features and mechanics on it. The only two things that worry me about this bike is finding information about the Disc Brakes(Tektro Lyra) and whether or not the frame or bike allows for any racks or ways to carry any lightweight stuff with me.

2013 Trek Crossrip Elite – Seems to be a decent bike but only comes equipped with the SORA package. Now it does come with Disc Brakes as a trade off so that's why I'm midly interested in this bike.

2013 Cannondale CAADX Tiagra - Cannondale seems to be a very popular name with a good record from what I've read. Seems to come with the Tiagra package like a few of the other bikes but only has Cantilever brakes. It's a nice looking bike but not sure what quite sets it apart from the rest if we compare the costs. And I'm not quite sure how racks or other mudguards are supported on this bike

2013 Jamis Nova Race – Going by the specifications this bike seems to be the clear winner for the money. It comes with BB7 Disc Brakes and has the Tiagra Package. The only downsides of the bike is it seems to be a bit heavy and I'm not quire sure again if this bike allows for any kinds of racks or mudguards to fit on it. I can't seem to find much information from people that have bought this bike or people that have previous Jamis Nova Races.


Thanks a bunch of any helpful information no matter how small it is from anybody that posts.
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Old 05-28-13, 08:10 PM   #2
Ebubar
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Hello, fellas I have posted this on another message board aswell but I figure this one might be a little more active for this type of bike/riding.

About me: I'm a short (5'5) Male Future Bike Rider currently living in the New England Area. I haven't been on a bike since I was in my early teen years and I've just recently got the itch to get back to riding. I have spent hours and hours going through information and reading other people's "Choose A Bike for Me" threads and sincerely apologize for adding yet another one. I figure there is only so much I can get from mulling over information and specs on a screen in front of me and thought it would be nice to get some experienced views on a couple bikes. I have not yet been able to get to any of my local bike shops in the area and probaly won't start checking out these bikes in store until mid June . Also because I have not been sized or tried any of these bikes in real life I do not know what frame size or around what frame size I would be.

Type of Bike & Reasoning: Living in the New England Area we experience all 4 seasons pretty distinctly and sometimes at the same time . So during my research I came across a type of bike that would in theory allow me to ride in all the 4 seasons. Even during the best weather I'm still looking for a bike I can ride through the trails, cruise medium length distances, and carry light-medium supplies/groceries. I'm really looking for a Bike that can last me for years to come and I understand no matter what I buy there will be a time when I need to upgrade parts on it. I'm not 100% sure if I need disc brakes at this point or if it would be good to future proof and buy a disc brake bike no matter what.

The Bikes I'm Currently Looking At: Well I've narrowed it down to about 5 bikes but I'm opened to other suggestions. My Price Range is around $1300 dollars for a New Bike so this plants me into an entry level Cyclocross Bike. I'm looking for any information that can help steer me to a clear winner or just owner experiences with these bikes or past models.


2013 Surly Cross–Check - This bike is the cheapest of all the bikes listed but seems to be a real work horse. It doesn't have the best Mechanics on or even the Disc Brakes that some of the other bikes have but I have seen all kinds of configurations of racks, fenders, lights, and all kinds of different mounts that I'm not sure is possible on the other bikes. At the moment I don't plan on doing a ton of lugging stuff around but it would be nice to be able to hook up a rack and carry a laptop and a 6 pack to a friends house without taking the Car.

I looked into this one. It seems to be a great choice, if you like the bar end shifters. This means you have to move your hands around for shifting, something that I didn't want to have to do, as I'm kind of lazy.

2013 Kona Jake – This bike seems to have a great mix of features and mechanics on it. The only two things that worry me about this bike is finding information about the Disc Brakes(Tektro Lyra) and whether or not the frame or bike allows for any racks or ways to carry any lightweight stuff with me.

I tried this bike out. I was surprised by how much I didn't like it. It has a good bang for your buck, arguably better than any of the "big" makers like Cannondale, Giant, Trek, Specialized. You could easily pay to upgrade the brakes from BB5's to BB7's (which i've read are much better). The geometry was fine, but I think the bike was perhaps just not very well tuned. The shifting just felt "off" and the brakes had a lot of noise. I think this is because disk brakes require more adjusting to get fine tuned, but not positive. On paper, I loved it...in practice I didn't...

2013 Trek Crossrip Elite – Seems to be a decent bike but only comes equipped with the SORA package. Now it does come with Disc Brakes as a trade off so that's why I'm midly interested in this bike.

I found this bike to be decidedly "meh". Not bad, but not good. Haven't test-ridden it, but I think its overpriced.

2013 Cannondale CAADX Tiagra - Cannondale seems to be a very popular name with a good record from what I've read. Seems to come with the Tiagra package like a few of the other bikes but only has Cantilever brakes. It's a nice looking bike but not sure what quite sets it apart from the rest if we compare the costs. And I'm not quite sure how racks or other mudguards are supported on this bike

These are pretty nice, from what I understand. I think slightly overpriced, but not bad.

2013 Jamis Nova Race – Going by the specifications this bike seems to be the clear winner for the money. It comes with BB7 Disc Brakes and has the Tiagra Package. The only downsides of the bike is it seems to be a bit heavy and I'm not quire sure again if this bike allows for any kinds of racks or mudguards to fit on it. I can't seem to find much information from people that have bought this bike or people that have previous Jamis Nova Races.

Test rode this one, but didn't like it. Just "meh".

Thanks a bunch of any helpful information no matter how small it is from anybody that posts.

Now for MY suggestions:

Definitely test ride the bikes you want. The test ride is SUPREMELY helpful. It helped me decide that I wanted
a triple crank (more gears to get the granny gear) and that I wanted a steel bike.

The Specialized Tricross line of bikes are probably worth a look as well. I've tested an aluminum tricross and a steel disc tricross.
Both were fine. The Steel one was particularly nice. But, as mentioned above, overpriced.

Perhaps the most useful thing to do is also ask the people at the LBS what they recommend.
This led me to the bike that I'm planning on buying, the Bianchi Volpe. I knew NOTHING about this bike,
test rode it, and it kind of just felt right. In particular, there was a magical moment when I was gliding back into the
parking lot after my test ride where something just clicked. Things I like about the Volpe:
Steel - SUPER smooth and comfortable. A little heavy, but worth it for the stability it has on gravel (part of my commute).
Tiagra Shifters - Very smooth shifting. These shifters worked great and I had no problems with them. This makes me think
the Kona was just not properly tuned.
Interruptor Brakes - Additional brakes on the flat part of the bar. Many people don't like them, but I think I like the idea
of them. They also seem like they'll be convenient for slow, upright riding with my wife and friends who have slower hybrids
(like my current commuter).

Hope this helps!
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