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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 08-19-14, 05:05 PM   #1
Bassthirteen
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Help in choosing cyclocross commuter.

I'm in search of a good drop bar bike for town riding, gravel paths and rail trails and maybe some light touring. I've checked out a fair amount of bikes from Kona, Scott, Raliegh and Trek and I've pretty much hung up on either a Surly Crosscheck or a Kona Rove. Out of all the bikes I've tried these two feel the best to me and seem to be the best value. I'm not too concerned with weight, I'd rather have a good steel frame than aluminum or cf.

I know these are pretty different in terms of components, my question is is it worth the extra expense to get the Kona. I tend to not ride in rain or nastier weather so I'm not sure if I absolutely need disc brakes, and I honestly don't know what the upgraded drivetrain will gain me (seriously I'm new to this stuff, if anyone can school me I would really appreciate it)

I've got just enough in my pocket to grab the Kona, but before I plunk down the cashish I want to make sure it's not overkill for my needs

Thanks guys!

Last edited by Bassthirteen; 08-19-14 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Misspelled words
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Old 08-19-14, 05:12 PM   #2
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The Rove is sweet.
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Old 08-30-14, 12:37 AM   #3
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The question is do you like bar end shifters or integrated shifters better? As far as disc brakes, you might not ever "need" them, but once you have them you will probably love them. I would go for the Rove between those two. However, I'm looking to buy a Raleigh Tamland this winter so I recommend checking those out if you haven't already.
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Old 08-30-14, 10:16 AM   #4
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+=1 On the Tamland. I am interested in one too,.
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Old 09-01-14, 05:35 AM   #5
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Either bike will be fine. You don't mention whether you'll be in a high bike theft area: integrated shifters and disc brakes are more likely to attract the sort of thieves who strip parts. Other than that, I'm sure either bike will be fine - only you can decide if the Kona is worth more to you. (You can fit Kool Stop Pink brake pads to the Surly to improve braking in the rain btw.)
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Old 09-01-14, 02:45 PM   #6
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Not sure if you're interested in mail order, but the Bikes Direct Fantom Cross Pro is pretty sweet. Save Up to 60% Off Titanium Cyclocross Bicycles | Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium | Cross Bikes

Titanium and disc brakes. Good components also and has rack and fender mounts.
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Old 09-02-14, 06:21 AM   #7
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Not sure if you're interested in mail order, but the Bikes Direct Fantom Cross Pro is pretty sweet. Save Up to 60% Off Titanium Cyclocross Bicycles | Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium | Cross Bikes

Titanium and disc brakes. Good components also and has rack and fender mounts.
*Very* nice spec, and BD have a good rep for frame quality. (Although I'd get a decent mechanic to check final assembly if I wasn't up on bike mechanics myself.) Do you know what the tyre clearance is? For a commuter/trail bike then it's a good idea to be able to run at least 40mm -ideally with room for fenders and racks - and a lot of race oriented crossers can't.

The Tamland does look nice. But then the Rove and Surly are both proven successes in this niche... This is probably one of those happy occasions when you can't go wrong as long as you get a bike that fits. (And then buy a decent u-lock and security skewers, as its for commuting - google "sheldon method u-lock".)

Last edited by meanwhile; 09-02-14 at 06:27 AM.
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Old 09-02-14, 06:27 AM   #8
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By and large, we are not really answering the OP's question which is whether the Kona is worth the extra cash over the Surly. You're definitely in the area of diminishing returns when you move "up" from the Rove from the Cross Check. The Cross Check is a fine bike that meets all the OP's requirements esp. since the OP doesn't tend to ride in bad weather (largely negating the value of the disc brakes). I'd say get the cross check then. I have a similar priced and spec'd bike (a Soma Double Cross) and it is a great all around bike.
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Old 09-07-14, 07:55 PM   #9
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I just rode a cross check today and I thought it was a fine bike. I love riding steel, just feels so solid. Can't go wrong with it.
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Old 09-09-14, 08:19 PM   #10
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The distinction between CX, country/adventure/gravel grinder road and touring bikes is becoming blurred these days. Take a look at the new Disc Trek 520:



Any of these bikes can be ridden for commuting as well as for off road ventures.
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Old 09-09-14, 09:34 PM   #11
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*Very* nice spec, and BD have a good rep for frame quality. (Although I'd get a decent mechanic to check final assembly if I wasn't up on bike mechanics myself.) Do you know what the tyre clearance is? For a commuter/trail bike then it's a good idea to be able to run at least 40mm -ideally with room for fenders and racks - and a lot of race oriented crossers can't.

The Tamland does look nice. But then the Rove and Surly are both proven successes in this niche... This is probably one of those happy occasions when you can't go wrong as long as you get a bike that fits. (And then buy a decent u-lock and security skewers, as its for commuting - google "sheldon method u-lock".)
Running 42mm Conti Crossrides on mine right now.

If you are minimally mechanicaly inclined assembly and set up isn't a problem.
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Old 09-12-14, 04:14 PM   #12
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Those bar-end shifters on the Crosscheck would drive me nuts. I used to ride with the old style with the shifter in the middle, and for me brifters are sooo much more convenient, I will personally never go back. For me it would definitely be worth the money to get normal brifters with the shifter being part of the brake, so I never need to take my hands off the bars to shift.
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