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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 02-24-05, 02:10 PM   #1
docbluedevil
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My first CX: Axis or Poprad

Thinking about an 05 Bianchi Axis vs. an 05 Lemond Poprad for my first CX bike.

Will do mostly weekend warrior national forest roads, mild single track, commuting, winter road training. Doubt will ever race it.

I currently own a Merlin Extralight for road use and a Klein Mantra Pro for dirt use.

They're both about the same price but I'm having trouble deciding. Here are some of my thoughts. And, oh yeah, none of my LBS' have one to try out for fit purposes.

Poprad: Can retrofit with S&S Couplers for travel purposes, nice steel ride quality, alloy fork, 105 throughout

Axis: Carbon fork, lighter Easton Aluminum tubing (?), harsher ride (?), fender/rack eyelets, triple crankset better for singletrack and touring, Deore/105 combo, comes with pedals.

What do you all think?
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Old 02-24-05, 03:17 PM   #2
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it's all about materials and fit. Forget components, the Poprad is steel and should give a nice comfortable ride but mostly the Porprad TT's are usually longer on the same comparably-sized Axis so it depends on how you like a bike to fit.

I like the Poprad myself, that's what I'm getting for my next bike.
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Old 02-24-05, 03:26 PM   #3
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Fit is the key, but if you are buying with no test ride: I'd think about which one is set up more for what I want to do with it. The Lemond has a double, with tighter, road-like gearing. The Bianchi has a triple with an MTB rear stack. Each could be benneficial in different circumstances. For actual trail riding, I'd go with the triple. I'd also want to look closely at the wheels, they are pretty expensive to replace, and I'd want to be sure what I was getting could stand up to the abuse. They both look pretty cool though, I'm sure most people would enjoy either one.
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Old 02-24-05, 03:56 PM   #4
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I was considering both too and went with the Poprad. I liked the steel frame and preferred the road cassette and 105 rear derailleur (as opposed to the Deore XT and mtb rear gearing on the Axis).

The Poprad uses True Temper OX DB steel in the main triangle and Reynolds 853 for the seat/chain stays.

I would also prefer Bontrager wheels over Alex wheels any day.

The Poprad is nice and comfortable, but if you don't like the flexing, maybe you'd prefer the aluminum frame on the Axis.
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Old 02-24-05, 06:56 PM   #5
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Poprad is a very nice riding bike......I had a Gunnar before and must say that the LeEmond geometry makes a large difference in ride quality for me. I test rode a
Axis......but is was to stiff for my taste.
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Old 02-24-05, 07:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ultra-g
I was considering both too and went with the Poprad. I liked the steel frame and preferred the road cassette and 105 rear derailleur (as opposed to the Deore XT and mtb rear gearing on the Axis).

The Poprad uses True Temper OX DB steel in the main triangle and Reynolds 853 for the seat/chain stays.

I would also prefer Bontrager wheels over Alex wheels any day.

The Poprad is nice and comfortable, but if you don't like the flexing, maybe you'd prefer the aluminum frame on the Axis.
Why Bonty wheels over Alex? Something I should know?
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Old 02-24-05, 07:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by phillybill
Poprad is a very nice riding bike......I had a Gunnar before and must say that the LeEmond geometry makes a large difference in ride quality for me. I test rode a
Axis......but is was to stiff for my taste.
I'd need a 49 cm Poprad or Axis for my standover height. The top tube for a Poprad is 52.5 cm and for an Axis is 51.5 (actual) or 53 (virutal); the Axis top tube must be sloped somewhat giving a 53 cm effective TT. Interestingly, the Axis has a slightly longer TT with similar head/seat tube angles and wheelbase/chainstay lengths. Doubt the geometry would feel that different between the two frames; stem length and angle would affect it more likely for me.
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Old 02-25-05, 07:26 PM   #8
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You'd better check with your local dealer on the LeMond before you spend too much time thinking about it. The factory has only three frames left and they are completely out of most size of complete bikes. I tried to get a 57cm today, and they are out until the 2006's come out in July.
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Old 02-25-05, 09:05 PM   #9
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man i love my axis. i did have the wheels retensioned at a little under 1000 miles, but otherwise it's a great ride. i do some long fireroad rides in the santa monica mountains and the triple has come in plenty handy a couple times.
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Old 02-25-05, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docbluedevil
Why Bonty wheels over Alex? Something I should know?
smoother hubs.
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Old 02-26-05, 10:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for your thoughts. Altthough it seems that the Poprad is a bit more popular from your reponses, I'm actually leaning towards the Axis because...

1) Function/Versatility. The stock Axis seems better suited to my needs. I don't need a road bike that can just accomodate bigger tires (which is my impression of the Poprad). I need something to fit the gap between my mtb and roadie. The Axis' triple chainring and mtb cassette can help me with both singletrack, fireroad, and touring situations, especially here in mountainous western Colorado. Yeah, I suppose I could have my LBS change the cassette, rear derailleur, and crankset on the Poprad to match the Axis...hmm...will have to think about it more but it will likely cost me more.

2) Fit. Don't have opportunities to try either. The geometries look pretty darn close on both frames. Next...

3) Frame material. "Steel is real" is the word out there, but Easton's ultralite tubing in the form of Kona's Jake the Snake seems to be a very popular ride as well. I think both bikes will likely be a pleasure to ride.

4) Component/Accessories. I'm liking the idea of the Axis' carbon fork to help the ride quality and weight issues. Already talked about triple chainring/mtb cassette. Comes with pedals; don't know if I'll keep though. The Poprad comes with a race-oriented double crankset and 12-26 cassette; I don't plan to race though. Poprad offers a carbon seatpost; not a deal maker or breaker for me.

5) Aesthetics. I think the Axis looks better cosmetically, but just my opinion.

Am I way off on any ot these thoughts?
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Old 02-26-05, 11:45 PM   #12
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If the Axis is your choice don't let any of us talk you out of it, it's a sweet bike!

The day I was getting my Poprad I overheard one of the bike shop salesmen trying to sell a Giant TCR to a lady there and he was saying how carbon was the newest technology, aluminum is dying out and Steel is DEAD... I just chuckled to myself, because I know if the lady had been interested in a steel frame bike he would have been saying how Steel is Real and that carbon fiber is good but steel is just as good and all that.




Quote:
Originally Posted by docbluedevil
Thanks for your thoughts. Altthough it seems that the Poprad is a bit more popular from your reponses, I'm actually leaning towards the Axis because...

1) Function/Versatility. The stock Axis seems better suited to my needs. I don't need a road bike that can just accomodate bigger tires (which is my impression of the Poprad). I need something to fit the gap between my mtb and roadie. The Axis' triple chainring and mtb cassette can help me with both singletrack, fireroad, and touring situations, especially here in mountainous western Colorado. Yeah, I suppose I could have my LBS change the cassette, rear derailleur, and crankset on the Poprad to match the Axis...hmm...will have to think about it more but it will likely cost me more.

2) Fit. Don't have opportunities to try either. The geometries look pretty darn close on both frames. Next...

3) Frame material. "Steel is real" is the word out there, but Easton's ultralite tubing in the form of Kona's Jake the Snake seems to be a very popular ride as well. I think both bikes will likely be a pleasure to ride.

4) Component/Accessories. I'm liking the idea of the Axis' carbon fork to help the ride quality and weight issues. Already talked about triple chainring/mtb cassette. Comes with pedals; don't know if I'll keep though. The Poprad comes with a race-oriented double crankset and 12-26 cassette; I don't plan to race though. Poprad offers a carbon seatpost; not a deal maker or breaker for me.

5) Aesthetics. I think the Axis looks better cosmetically, but just my opinion.

Am I way off on any ot these thoughts?
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Old 02-28-05, 01:24 PM   #13
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I have the 1st release of the Axis (All blue frame in Easton tubing). and it is a decent ride. Love the gearing for CO rides - It came with a raceface crank (triple w/ 2 rings 36/44) w/ XT cassette. Isn't plush over ruts, but not that bad either considering the stock al fork. i don't race and it fills a need similar to yours, but I would opt for something different if buying again. At your pricepoint, you could think about SOMA too.
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Old 02-28-05, 03:50 PM   #14
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I have the 1st release of the Axis (All blue frame in Easton tubing). and it is a decent ride. Love the gearing for CO rides - It came with a raceface crank (triple w/ 2 rings 36/44) w/ XT cassette. Isn't plush over ruts, but not that bad either considering the stock al fork. i don't race and it fills a need similar to yours, but I would opt for something different if buying again. At your pricepoint, you could think about SOMA too.
Where in Colorado are you? I think some of the fireroads around me are even prettier than some of the roads or singletrack, thus the reason for a CX-type bike. So what would you go with if starting all over? SOMA?
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Old 03-01-05, 09:01 AM   #15
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Parker. ha ha ha

Lots of unpaved horse trails and unpaved roads in parker, some a bit technical, some easy access roads. Some uphill, some flat.....

to do over: steel (more comfy), single up front, & longer chain stays (panniers are a little tight and I commute and grocery shop sometimes), mainly aesthetics and I gravitate towards double crown forks and lugs these days (like my POS fixie conversion - which I also take on the same trails).

Check out Lyonsport (big fish cross). A few hundred more, but a more versatile ride. Haven't seen any around either.

Again, I don't race and don't care to as I compete in other activities. I do, however, get a kick out of practicing dismounts on my rides just for fun when I have to run through a section. I want an all around drop bar bike for 50/50 road / off-road mileage and the axis is fine for that.
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