Felt or Raleigh
My son has decided to get a cyclocross after visiting many stores and a bike swap we have narrowed it to 2...........
2013 Felt F75X for $975
2013 Raleigh RX 2.0 $929
They're both reasonably similar. The biggest difference is that the Raleigh has mechanical disc brakes and the Felt has cantilevers. The Raleigh also has an all-aluminum fork, while the Felt has carbon legs. How much this matters is debatable.
There's a lot of debate over the value of discs vs. cantilevers for cross racing. I'd lean towards the Felt for primarily cross racing (a little lighter, easier to get spare wheels for, especially used tubulars) and the Raleigh for commuting or recreational off road riding (where the cantilevers may feel underpowered for emergency stopping, or tiring for extended off road descents). They're both fine looking bikes from the specs.
I find the paint jobs on both bikes kind of boring, honestly, my usual tie breaker. Another good tie breaker is, if they're available from different shops, to go with the one that you like better or is more pleasant to deal with.
Test ride both .. some shops , have accounts with both companies .. LBS, here does..
though may need a heads-up to get them both in stock at the same time ..
He test drove the Felt today and loved it......Normally goes for $1350 ended up getting it for $975 including tax.......
My top two bike choices last fall came down to a 2013 Felt F75x and a 2011 Raleigh RX 1.0 (same geo, different fork, cantilever brakes, different paint). My primary focus for this bike would be to race with it. In the end I went with the Raleigh. The two biggest reasons: a) I have a soft spot in my heart for Raleigh and b) the Raleigh looked way more bad-ass.
There were other things I didn't like about the Felt which included the down tube cable routing (I wanted a cross bike with top tube routing), I didn't like the radial laced front wheel (I'm not that light), there were certain things I didn't like about the component spec, and (most importantly) I just didn't like the way the bike rode. It felt a little dead to me. I wanted to like this bike, but I couldn't.
Several months later and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
The best advice has already been given. Have your son go test ride some bikes. If he likes them both, go with the better shop or the better looking paint job.
Looks like he may have already decided...