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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 01-02-14, 12:27 AM   #1
Th1ng
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a few questions to get started

hello, I am new to the sport and honestly not sure if I will get into the racing aspect of Cyclocross or just keep it as a fun pass time for myself to stay busy. I have never been into cycling before and I'm looking to get into it now, I am 25 yrs old and average fitness level, I am currently in the Navy and stationed in Naples Italy. I am shopping on a budget and finding it increasingly difficult to find a local shop to take a look at some bikes, I am however interested in a cyclocross bike because I belie it will withstand the rough cobblestone roads in the area better, and it will be a better all around commuting bike for me if I can actually get motivated to get into this. my biggest demotivator is the prices I've seen for everything just to get started. I have no idea what size bike I will need and therefore it makes it extremely difficult to reasonably shop for something online, and there is where I run into my problem with finding local shops. I am not looking to spend more than $1500 to get everything to get started, I have a few other things I will need to get in addition to just the bike, can you recommend a good starting point to look at that is affordable and perhaps help with recommending a place to look for local shops in the area (I've looked at the postings on the community connections pages already and they are all talking about northern Italy and Rome area, and yes I have tried google)

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide!
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Old 01-02-14, 10:29 AM   #2
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I've never shopped for a bicycle in Italy but it certainly has a storied history in the world of cycling. Yep the manufacturing is all in the north. You don't necessarily need a cyclocross bike to ride bumpy roads, maybe some local old dude has a classic steel touring bike collecting dust he'd be happy to unload for a few of your greenbacks. Maybe try to find a local cycling club and meet some people. You should be able to determine your approximate frame size either in the local shop or use an online fit kit and measure yourself. Of course you should actually try the bike you're buying to confirm, but at least you'll know the ballpark.
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Old 01-02-14, 11:58 AM   #3
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I am currently in the Navy and stationed in Naples Italy.
where do they let you park the bike on the ship?

small wheel fat tire bike will also be able to absorb the cobble texture .
and wont have as much of a Stowage issue ..

the Skipper needs to approve your plan First. IE, Commanding Officer..

Me: USN '66~'69.

I have a Pinarello Cross, a frame and fork build up circa '90.. My Parts .



.. but most of the Bike Biz is in The Northern Italian cities.

maybe a train trip up there will be possible.. to see places..

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-02-14 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 01-02-14, 12:09 PM   #4
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1. Try CX racing the first chance you get when you're back stateside. It's intensely fun.

2. Any bike with clearance for 32mm wide tires will handle cobblestones just fine.

3. If you're just getting started with biking a used bike is probably the way to go. The main thing your first bike does is teach you what you want your second bike to be.
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Old 01-02-14, 04:29 PM   #5
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3. If you're just getting started with biking a used bike is probably the way to go. The main thing your first bike does is teach you what you want your second bike to be.
What does your 9th bike teach you?
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Old 01-02-14, 04:42 PM   #6
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First off, I'm jealous of your locale! I'd love to ride in Italy on any bicycle.

That said, can you order things online and have them delivered to you over there? http://www.bikesdirect.com is the perennial suggestion, withs scads of 'cross bikes well within your budget. Once you find one you like (shoot for a double chainring, 9 or 10 speeds, a color you like, frame material doesn't much matter), head over to http://www.competitivecyclist.com/St...ulatorBike.jsp to determine a good fit/size for you and then compare the measurements to the geometry charts on bikesdirect, select the closest size, click "buy," and enjoy those cobbles and countryside for the rest of us!
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Old 01-02-14, 06:13 PM   #7
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What does your 9th bike teach you?
Hard to say. My eighth bike taught me that my wife wasn't going to put up with me claiming any more garage space, so now I'm back to seven.
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Old 01-02-14, 07:26 PM   #8
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Hard to say. My eighth bike taught me that my wife wasn't going to put up with me claiming any more garage space, so now I'm back to seven.
lol I've got three and a half and I think I'd better quit with that.
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Old 01-03-14, 08:40 AM   #9
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lol I've got three and a half and I think I'd better quit with that.
Unless you have seven halves.
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Old 01-03-14, 11:14 AM   #10
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where do they let you park the bike on the ship?

small wheel fat tire bike will also be able to absorb the cobble texture .
and wont have as much of a Stowage issue ..

the Skipper needs to approve your plan First. IE, Commanding Officer..

Me: USN '66~'69.

I have a Pinarello Cross, a frame and fork build up circa '90.. My Parts .



.. but most of the Bike Biz is in The Northern Italian cities.

maybe a train trip up there will be possible.. to see places..


I'm actually on shore duty here, so I currently am in a barracks and getting ready to move out in town. In Naples there is actually a fairly large base of mostly shore commands, I'm am in a unique situation where I spend 90% of my time on shore but with just a few underways a year onboard a ship, therefore making it reasonable to live out in town as well as reasonable to get a bike.
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Old 01-03-14, 11:19 AM   #11
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First off, I'm jealous of your locale! I'd love to ride in Italy on any bicycle.

That said, can you order things online and have them delivered to you over there? http://www.bikesdirect.com is the perennial suggestion, withs scads of 'cross bikes well within your budget. Once you find one you like (shoot for a double chainring, 9 or 10 speeds, a color you like, frame material doesn't much matter), head over to http://www.competitivecyclist.com/St...ulatorBike.jsp to determine a good fit/size for you and then compare the measurements to the geometry charts on bikesdirect, select the closest size, click "buy," and enjoy those cobbles and countryside for the rest of us!
Thank you! I will take a look at both of those sites, I also just found out we have a bike store on base, they might be able to help me with at least the sizing. I think that is what I'm most concerned about, I will definitely look into those sites though, they might have something I can use for a first bike.
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Old 01-03-14, 11:21 AM   #12
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Also I suppose another silly question, but what gear do you recommend I immediately pick up when I do buy my bike. Obviously a helmet, maybe some shorts? any other recommendations?
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Old 01-03-14, 11:24 AM   #13
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certainly a Lock, ie, if you want to keep the bike ..

US based sellers May not Ship to Italy for Cheap , like they do from US warehouses.

ask about the FPO .. fleet post office adresses,
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Old 01-03-14, 12:43 PM   #14
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Also I suppose another silly question, but what gear do you recommend I immediately pick up when I do buy my bike. Obviously a helmet, maybe some shorts? any other recommendations?
Get a mini pump (if you get one with a hose it'll be much easier to use), patch kit, spare tubes and some kind of mini tool.

You can ride in the clothes you have to start with then you'll figure out what's comfortable for you. I like bike shorts for longer rides, but for just putzing around town anything is fine.
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