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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 02-26-14, 01:38 AM   #1
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Does this budget cyclocross bike look alright?

Hi there,

I wanting to get into the cycling scene, at least on a very basic level. I've recently started a new job and will be taking the regional transit train home everyday where I then plan to cycle to my home (about 5 miles away - not far). On top of this, I would like to ride the local trails with my family on the weekends which go around a big lake. There are some dirt trails that fork off of the main bike path that I have walked before, but would love to cycle down on occasion. The last thing I would be doing is cycling the trails on my own at a fast pace about twice a week to train my cardiovascular system instead of running so much (not giving up running completely).

From the research I've done, a cyclocross bike would be an ideal solution for this. I was originally looking at hybrid style bikes, but think a cyclocross with the drop bars would better suit my needs. The only problem with this is the price of these bikes. I know you get what you pay for, but it seems all the cyclocross entry level bikes such as the Specialized Tricross and Trek versions start at around $1,000 - i was hoping to stay at or under $700 (budget i know). I stopped by a local Performace Bicycle and found a house brand Scattante CX 350 Cyclocross Bike - 2014 for $599 (Product: Scattante CX 350 Cyclocross Bike - 2014) This bike seems to have entry level Sora components, but it seems to be the same on the $1000 dollar specialized bikes. So does this look like a good buy for $600? The other option might be something from bike direct, but I wouldn't know how to set it up just right or what to even look for to buy from there in the first place.

Any opinions will help and any recommendations welcome! Thank you very much!
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Old 02-26-14, 02:41 AM   #2
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For what you plan to do with it, absolutely. It is not an ideal cx race bike, but for what you plan to do with it, it will function much better than a hybrid. You may find the sora brifters annoying after a while and upgrade to tiagra, but they will work in the interim. Replace things as they break or wear- IE tires, wheelset, etc but don't worry about them until they do. People will talk down about the tektro Lyra brakes, but I have them on my kona and they have very good stopping power once broken in, and are 1000x easier to adjust then my canti-brake bikes. Ride the snot out of it, and when you get to a place where your cycling has advanced to the limits of your bike, upgrade. Until then, ride and have fun.
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Old 02-26-14, 08:35 AM   #3
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I have a basic question about your shifters, with the 2014 model the Sora groupset moved away from any thumb shifting correct? I'm only saying this as I have a problem with those thumb shifters after long and/or bumpy rides. You could always see if they have a model year (or two) older that have gone on clearance. This is often a way to get into a better set of components at a relatively identical price point.

I will say, that if you enjoy it you're going to want to upgrade quickly. I've had my 2012 Giant Defy 3 for a couple years and am in the process of building not one, but two, bikes. I guess in that regard buying in cheap is the best option still.

Good Luck!
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Old 02-26-14, 02:41 PM   #4
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Just my opinion, but CX geo with the high BB and racy riding position may not be the best for your uses. Personally, I would go with a something like a flat bar bike. For instance, at Performance:

It still fits bigger tires, if needed, and the position is going to be more upright (good thing). Not sure why you would need drop bars for riding around the lake, but I guess you can put them on, if you would like.

Anyway, just throwing another option out there.
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Old 03-01-14, 09:16 AM   #5
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Scattante is a fine bike.
For a lower budget you might even consider a Surly Cross Check clone like this:

Ready for gears easily
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Old 03-01-14, 03:11 PM   #6
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buy local and you get service after the sale .. the 'Cross bike' is a popular category these days ..

good often comes down to assembly attention to detail since all the parts and the frame come from a few factories

and the bottom line reflects the cost of the parts .

Trek does stand behind their frames for the life of the owner , others limit that term.
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Old 03-02-14, 03:44 PM   #7
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Hey guys! Thanks for all your help on this matter. Sorry for the late reply. Yes i believe the shifters have moved away from thumb shifters. And thanks for the suggestions about the other styles
of bicycles. I went back and forth between a hybrid, cyclocross, or even a hardtail 29er, but figured the cyclocross would be the most versatile if I was to have only one bike for a while.

The only thing holding me back was the sizing on the Scatantte as they only had a 58 in stock on the website and I could not find anything sized larger than a 54 within 200 miles of me. Being 6'3 with a 35" inseam, I didn't know if i would fit on the 58 as most places recommend a 60 or 61 for my size and i obviously could not try it if there was not one available.

Well i ended up going to a local performance bike that had a size 54 in stock and they stood it next to a size 54 road bike from the same frame manufacturer (Fuji) to show me that the cyclocross bike looked almost like a 56 or 57 instead of a 54. It was obviously bigger. This made me feel better about sizing and figured the 58 scattante would fit like a 60 or 61 road bike. I ended up ordering it to the store as well as a 2013 Fuji Traverse 1.3 that my wife enjoyed and we got a pretty good deal on at $375. Looking forward to trying it out!
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Old 03-03-14, 08:25 AM   #8
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Size matters.
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Old 03-03-14, 09:11 AM   #9
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The 58 could be too small. I would test ride it. If it's too small, order the 61. I'm a few inches shorter than you and the 58 would be too small for me.
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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Old 03-03-14, 05:20 PM   #10
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Thanks guys, I do plan on test riding it when it comes in as they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee where if it doesn't work I can choose something else or get my money back. The only problem is if it doesn't work, I'll need to go with a different bike because they are closing these out and only have size 58 in stock. Maybe I'll check out that cross-check clone if it doesn't work.

What is the general rule on cyclocross bike fitting? I'm completely new to real cycling so I really don't know how to judge a fit, and I'm not sure if it's different for cyclocross vs road. I'll have the people at the store help, but I would like to know what to look for myself as I always value second opinions and don't want to rely on just theirs if possible. I will test ride it but I'm not sure how to tell if it's going to be a good fit by a quick test ride. Thanks.
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Old 03-04-14, 10:01 PM   #11
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Your cycling needs are similar to mine and I got a Janis Nova Sport for around $750. I've rode it 30+ miles and so far I love it.
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