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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 04-03-14, 07:02 AM   #1
bres dad
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searching for a CX bike... opinions on these?

I'm looking for an entry level cross bike, budget $700 or less. There isn't much around in the used market and what I've seen, I think I'd be as well off to spend a little more $$ and buy new. This would be a secondary bike for me and possible eventual commuter if I move to a different office. I don't plan on racing either. I'd say about 70% of my riding is road and the rest is on the MTB, mainly with my kids or we ride as a family. It wouldn't replace the mountain bike completely as there is some riding that would probably be too technical or would really push what a cross bike could do off road. There are several trails and placed I'd like to explore off of some of my usual routes, but getting to them would be a bit farther on a mountain bike than I'd care to ride out on one. I've got an old Trek 1000 I've outfitted with cross tires and that's giving me a taste, but isn't a very comfortable bike to ride distances. I'm in the early stages of looking but these stand out so far. Any opions on these or suggestions not on the list are welcome:

new:
Jamis Nova Sport: I rode this and liked it other than the stock tires (slid around alot off road). Disc brakes are a major selling point
Redline conquest sport CX: shop an hour away has some under $700 but I'm not familiar with the brand and haven't found much online so far
Trek Crossrip: might be able to get one close to my budget and like the ride a little more than the Jamis but prefer the disc brake of the Jamis
Gravity Liberty CX: bikesdirect special but for $400 it is intriguing. I figure I'd be doing upgrading on it off the bat. this is on the list but low on the list

I'm also considering getting a frame set and building one up from scratch. I've got an email in to a local guy with a Nashbar frameset w/ fork for about half what Nashbar sells just the frame for. I've got enough parts laying around to get it going, though I'd need to invest in a decent drive train for it. What I have would work but is all mismatched.
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Old 04-03-14, 01:50 PM   #2
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Seen the Cross Rip's they're at the LBS here , they all want market segment and are all made in Taiwan.

bikes direct lands an orphan with a Box at your door , and you cope with it on your own after that .

a buy from a proper bike shop comes with service after the sale .



FYI RedLine is a brand of Seattle Bike supply . they have been in the Cross bike biz for a long time

company started in BMX they still sell those too..
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Old 04-04-14, 09:30 AM   #3
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When I went to watch my first cross race last year there were quite a few Redline, and Jamis bikes. Both brands make good bikes.

The crossrip was one of the few cross bikes I could find at local dealers. If you are buying new I think only the base model has rim brakes. Disks are offered on all other models. It also has rack and fender mounts which could be useful for commuting.

I personally would prefer the other bikes you mentioned to the bikes direct model. But if I had to lock a bike up for extended periods of time and was worried about it getting stolen I would consider a cheaper bike like the Gravity liberty.

I recently built up my first cross bike. I ended up with a Trek Crockett. I'm not so concerned with theft since my office has security cameras and guards preventing most people from having easy access to my bike.

Other models i have seen at shops near me close to your price range are the 2013 Giant TCX2, and 2013 Kona Rove.
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Old 04-04-14, 11:46 AM   #4
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I'm extremely happy with my Civilian Le Roi Le Veut. The single speed came in at a little over $800. It's got a spacer kit on the rear hub, so gears can be added later. The frame and fork are great. The components are good enough for now. The saddle is BRUTAL, however. No problem, I slapped on my Brooks.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:03 PM   #5
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I'm leaning towards the Jamis. I'll probably sell my Trek 1000 to help fund the CX bike. Until then, I have an old Giant hybrid frame I was given I may build up (it uses cantilevers and will take a much wider tire than the 1000 will handle and would probably be more functional), though it would literally be a frankenbike as nothing would match (though the parts are compatible). It would be functional but the bike equiv. of the old Johnny Cash song "One Piece At A Time..."

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Old 04-04-14, 12:18 PM   #6
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I don't have any fear of Frankenbikes, I built one myself. I don't expect anyone to admire my bike, and I don't really care. What I did in the 80s was build up a bike until I was ready to move to new frame.

Important to note that in the 70s, there were many many bikes that were built without a full gruppo. Brakes, hubs, cranks and headsets were often third party, and often that got you better value and performance for the buck.

My current bike is a frankenbike, it was when I bought it - I hadn't checked, and the front wheel was 27 x1.25 and the rear was 700c. I've replaced the front, and while the rims aren't the same, they are similar from the same maker. The rear wheel wasn't original, and the freewheel is 7 speed, when the indexed shifter is 6 speed. But it gets me off my butt and on the road. I am looking at getting seven speed components, but I won't wait on them, I will wait till a good deal.
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Old 04-04-14, 12:28 PM   #7
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Instead of the Gravity Liberty CX from bikesdirect, I'd say upgrade to the Fantom Cross CX for $569. It's got good quality* components (Sora/Tiagra) for the money. I own this one in gray FWIW.

Save up to 60% off new Cyclocross Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom CX Clearance

* My opinion. Others may differ as what constitutes "good quality".
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Old 04-04-14, 12:38 PM   #8
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Parts are replaceable , so You can change things that are not stock out of the carton..
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Old 04-04-14, 10:43 PM   #9
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I am extremely satisfied with my Jamis Nova Sport. Disc brakes and the gears are excellent. Stock tires are decent on road and gravel. Although once you get into dirt, its a little unstable. But just change the tires!
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Old 04-05-14, 05:00 AM   #10
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My wife has a Gravity Liberty CX. It's an ok commuter or recreational ride. It weighs a ton (over 26 lb) and the wheelset, crankset, bars, and saddle are about as low-end as you can get. I wouldn't get one with the intention of upgrading components - the frameset really isn't worth it. It's more of a get it cheap and ride it until it dies kind of bike.
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Old 04-10-14, 09:13 PM   #11
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I have two van dessel hole shots for sale. One is a 55cm and the other is a 50cm.

50 van, force shifters and rival rear derailer, front derailer Ultegra, Easton vista SL wheels with Raze tires. FSA SLK Carbon cranks 36-48 rings, USE carbon post, Easton alloy bars and cross top brakes and Kore canti's.

55 van, rival shifters and rear derail, front derail force, dt r1800 wheels raze and small block 8 tires. FSA energy cranks, 38-46 rings, Easton carbon post, FSA stem, cannondale alloy bars and cross top brakes and Kore canti's.


I have lots of pics but can't figure out how to post. Feel free to email for more info
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Old 04-21-14, 06:51 AM   #12
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This has been on hold as I've had some vehicle repairs to make. I found a NOS Schwinn Super Sport DBX I was able to trade out some stuff and a little bit of cash. I will be tweaking it for awhile but so far me likey. I think I like the Jamis a little better but this specs our very nicely:

9 speed 105 RD (Tiagra FD & STI's)
Avid BB7 discs
Jagwire cables & housing
carbon fiber fork
carbon fiber seatpost

One issue I've found is there is some shaking in the front end when the front brake is applied. I've checked that the headset & front wheel are tight but at certain speeds the front end shakes as it stops. The Jamis did this too but not as bad. LBS looked at the bike, tweaked the brakes a little and improved it some but says that's probably as good as it will get.

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Old 04-21-14, 07:53 AM   #13
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This has been on hold as I've had some vehicle repairs to make. I found a NOS Schwinn Super Sport DBX I was able to trade out some stuff and a little bit of cash. I will be tweaking it for awhile but so far me likey. I think I like the Jamis a little better but this specs our very nicely:

9 speed 105 RD (Tiagra FD & STI's)
Avid BB7 discs
Jagwire cables & housing
carbon fiber fork
carbon fiber seatpost

One issue I've found is there is some shaking in the front end when the front brake is applied. I've checked that the headset & front wheel are tight but at certain speeds the front end shakes as it stops. The Jamis did this too but not as bad. LBS looked at the bike, tweaked the brakes a little and improved it some but says that's probably as good as it will get.

Cool bike, the shaking you are referring too is most likely the fork shuddering. You can try to clean the brake rotor with automotive brake clean or denatured alcohol and a clean rag to remove any oils etc. Also I find that cleaning the brake pads may help, remove the pads and lightly sand them to remove any glazing. If you still have the shudder, then yes, it might be good as it gets.
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Old 04-21-14, 09:45 PM   #14
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Hello , totally new to this forum so apologies in advance if I am not asking the question on the right forum.

Got into bicycling recently. After starting to ride since last year, and after visiting few bicycle,it took me a while to know what kind of bicycle I want. LBS are great, they asks tons of question for all good reasons and to help me, also to confuse me but at the end, they help me figure out what I want. So here it goes, cross bike. I do about 30-50 mile in tow path. Sometime I like to go on a road for a change. So what do you think about this ?
Ridley X-Bow/Shimano Tiagra Complete Bike - 2013 | Competitive Cyclist
deal or no deal.
Many choices, all look good. I really dont care about 12/13 model as long as i am getting the right size (50 cm) I am 5'5" 180 lbs for the deal to steal.
My Goal is to go regular on trails and still do 30/50 miles but more faster. I currently use flat handle road bike on a tow path. It is time for me to upgrade. Please advise.
Thank you in advance.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:06 PM   #15
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Cool bike, the shaking you are referring too is most likely the fork shuddering. You can try to clean the brake rotor with automotive brake clean or denatured alcohol and a clean rag to remove any oils etc. Also I find that cleaning the brake pads may help, remove the pads and lightly sand them to remove any glazing. If you still have the shudder, then yes, it might be good as it gets.
I may have found the problem, or at least a clue. I thought I'd start by pulling the pads & sanding them as recommended. I was looking at the wear on the rotors to see if it was uneven, hinting at a rotor warped just enough to cause my problem but not warped enough to see upon initial inspection. The wear pattern on one side of the rotor (the piston side) was even all the way around, inside to outside. I flipped the wheel over and noticed a problem. The wear pattern is even around, but the inside half of the rotor doesn't look like its been touched. The spacing between each side of the caliper & the rotor is pretty even (meaning I've got the rotor centered about as good as I can get it.) I'm guessing I need to adjust the pad on the non piston side in more? It doesn't look like its making full contact with the rotor. I can see where that would make it do weird stuff. Too late & raining to take it out to play but will one od the first things to try when I get home from work tomorrow afternoon.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:09 PM   #16
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Hello , totally new to this forum so apologies in advance if I am not asking the question on the right forum.

Got into bicycling recently. After starting to ride since last year, and after visiting few bicycle,it took me a while to know what kind of bicycle I want. LBS are great, they asks tons of question for all good reasons and to help me, also to confuse me but at the end, they help me figure out what I want. So here it goes, cross bike. I do about 30-50 mile in tow path. Sometime I like to go on a road for a change. So what do you think about this ?
Ridley X-Bow/Shimano Tiagra Complete Bike - 2013 | Competitive Cyclist
deal or no deal.
Many choices, all look good. I really dont care about 12/13 model as long as i am getting the right size (50 cm) I am 5'5" 180 lbs for the deal to steal.
My Goal is to go regular on trails and still do 30/50 miles but more faster. I currently use flat handle road bike on a tow path. It is time for me to upgrade. Please advise.
Thank you in advance.
I'm not familiar enough with Ridley to comment on the bike but it looks like its speced out nice. No Ridley dealers around otherwise I'd have looked at one. I'm sure someone else can chime in. Might want to start your own thread. That might get more attention and feedback.
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Old 04-21-14, 10:23 PM   #17
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I may have found the problem, or at least a clue. I thought I'd start by pulling the pads & sanding them as recommended. I was looking at the wear on the rotors to see if it was uneven, hinting at a rotor warped just enough to cause my problem but not warped enough to see upon initial inspection. The wear pattern on one side of the rotor (the piston side) was even all the way around, inside to outside. I flipped the wheel over and noticed a problem. The wear pattern is even around, but the inside half of the rotor doesn't look like its been touched. The spacing between each side of the caliper & the rotor is pretty even (meaning I've got the rotor centered about as good as I can get it.) I'm guessing I need to adjust the pad on the non piston side in more? It doesn't look like its making full contact with the rotor. I can see where that would make it do weird stuff. Too late & raining to take it out to play but will one od the first things to try when I get home from work tomorrow afternoon.
I couldn't find the BB7 caliper adjustments on the Avid/Sram site but found this video from Sram: Tech Tuesday - Avid BB7 Cable Disk Brake Setup - Pinkbike

Hope this helps you out,
Mike
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Old 04-22-14, 05:35 AM   #18
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I'll check it out. I did find & download the set up manual from Avid/SRAM. When I picked this up, someone had taken the caliper off & removed the pads. The front pads & cable housing were missing and the caliper was loose. I'll play with pad adjustments and realign the caliper if needed. I'm just hoping someone didn't swap calipers and put a bad one on it. I'm pretty sure its just an alignment issue. Here is what the wear patterns look like:
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Old 04-22-14, 08:03 AM   #19
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I'll check it out. I did find & download the set up manual from Avid/SRAM. When I picked this up, someone had taken the caliper off & removed the pads. The front pads & cable housing were missing and the caliper was loose. I'll play with pad adjustments and realign the caliper if needed. I'm just hoping someone didn't swap calipers and put a bad one on it. I'm pretty sure its just an alignment issue. Here is what the wear patterns look like:
Wow, that is kinda strange, I've had a few bikes with the BB7's and the rotors never looked like that. Is it possible the inside pad is not sitting flush in the caliper?
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Old 04-22-14, 08:11 AM   #20
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anything is possible. I thought the pads were in right (they clicked like they should and looked straight) but who knows. If its even remotely possible to put them in backwards, upside down, etc. I'm sure I can do it... LOL. I'll mess with them tonight when I get home from work. As noted earlier, the pads & housing were removed and the caliper was loose when I got the bike. I wonder if someone had a bad/damaged caliper and switched it, using this one for parts. The caliper looked good and both pad adjusters turn freely.
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Old 04-22-14, 03:39 PM   #21
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I pulled the pads out of the calipers & the caliper off the bike and reset everything... no more shuttering, squeaking, etc. Just need to fine tune the brakes. Problem solved...
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Old 05-02-14, 06:28 PM   #22
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I went with this CX frame from Bikes Direct:

Save Up to 60% Off Disc Brake Cross Bikes SRAM Rival Cyclocross | Cross Bikes, Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Pro

I'm very happy with it, the local Bikes Direct shop in Jacksonville FL put it together for me. It's been a great commuter, as well as generall "all around" bike for me. I was pretty skeptical of the BD bikes at first because it didn't say Trek, Specialized, etc on the side. I think the build quality is comparable to the major brands, though they don't have Specialized's "hydroforming" frame tech. Of the bikes I've owned, it's by far my favorite.

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Old 05-03-14, 05:33 PM   #23
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Ridley is another bike brand in the QBP warehouse .. ask your dealer .. they may not want to tie up their money having them on the floor on spec.

but will get it if you want to buy one. Other kinds of bikes would turn over sooner, so a better economic choice to have on the floor.

the Belgians that race Cross , designed it for the purpose the tiagra components are OK and keep the price down

competitivecyclist.com half off at $850 suggests they're blowing out the last years inventory for cost.
to free up the capital for summer buys of other stuff.

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Old 05-03-14, 05:57 PM   #24
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I appreciate the opinions and options. The Schwinn fits the bill. Actually did some trail riding. I got some strange looks and one guy asked why I was taking a road bike on single track. I pointed to the tires and disc brakes and he understood what I was riding. It was more bumpy than riding the mountain bike but handled everything well. Even had decent traction in the mud, which is more than I can say for my wife on her MTB...
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Old 06-12-14, 07:39 PM   #25
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This has been on hold as I've had some vehicle repairs to make. I found a NOS Schwinn Super Sport DBX I was able to trade out some stuff and a little bit of cash. I will be tweaking it for awhile but so far me likey. I think I like the Jamis a little better but this specs our very nicely:

9 speed 105 RD (Tiagra FD & STI's)
Avid BB7 discs
Jagwire cables & housing
carbon fiber fork
carbon fiber seatpost

One issue I've found is there is some shaking in the front end when the front brake is applied. I've checked that the headset & front wheel are tight but at certain speeds the front end shakes as it stops. The Jamis did this too but not as bad. LBS looked at the bike, tweaked the brakes a little and improved it some but says that's probably as good as it will get.

This is my bike and I have it set up as a commuter. I installed a stem riser, an adjustable stem, replaced the stock drop bars with Origin 8 moustache bars that I've grown fond of for an upright riding position, installed a mega range cassette for the hills where I live, upgraded to BB7 brake levers, added a headlamp, a rear rack, replaced the stock saddle with a Brooks leather Flyer saddle, installed fenders and Michelin City 700 C X 35 tires. Its a very good bike and due to its relaxed frame geometry, its a comfortable and stable ride and sticks hard pack alleys and gravel trails.

Its no longer made and it was Schwinn's first entry in 2006 in the emerging country bike/adventure market. This is a good all rounder bike.
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