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Did I get the wrong bike?

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Did I get the wrong bike?

Old 05-30-08, 05:32 PM
  #1  
cashmonee
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Did I get the wrong bike?

So I have decided that I will start commuting on my bike. I got all jazzed up and bought a bike off of Craigslist, a 2007 Specialized CrossTrail Expert. So far I really enjoy the bike, but am a little worried that it is not well suited for my commutes. Three days a week will be 16 miles round trip and 2 days will be 24 mile round trip. The 16 mile trip is all city road that I plan to do off and on, and the 24 mile trip is mostly paved bike path that I plan to do every Tuesday and Thursday.

So did I get the wrong bike? My brother recently bought a new Giant TCX 1 which seems like it may be better suited for the task, but I don't really want drop-down bars. I only paid $360 for the bike so I could probably sell it if need be or perhaps switch some things out. What do you guys think? Is it going to be too much to try to ride 24 miles round trip with the CrossTrail?

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Old 05-30-08, 05:37 PM
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Wow, neat bike. I'd like to have one of those. I think it'd be fine, but what makes you think it won't? Put some slicks and some bar ends on it and I bet you would do just fine on it.
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Old 05-30-08, 05:48 PM
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Oh no. You've got the new bike jones already. Don't worry. It's normal.

Someone here said recently that the correct number of bikes to own is n+1. The reason is, there's always a better bike. The trick is to figure out what you really want and minimize the number of bikes you buy. The trouble is, you can't really figure out what you really want unless you're riding a bike that isn't what you want.

In summary, you bought the perfect bike. It will accomplish what you want and let you figure out what you want your next bike to be and then in six months or a year you can sell it for pretty close to what you paid for it and buy the bike you really want.
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Old 05-30-08, 05:50 PM
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its a very nice bike.+1 on the slicks and bar ends.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:02 PM
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I just looked at the specs on that bike. It is nice. Forget what I said about selling it for nearly what you paid. It's probably better than that. You got a sweet deal.

If you don't want drop bars, that bike is very close to what you'd want. I would want a rigid fork in addition to the aforementioned slicks and bar ends, but then again I'd want drop bars for the 24 mile trip, so you might want to wait a while and maybe borrow the TCR1 for a ride or two before you invest too much.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:19 PM
  #6  
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That's a nice bike, ride it.

Add accessories such as slicks and bar ends, etc., as you go. This bike will tell you what you want to look for in your next bike. But it can't tell you anything if you don't use it.

When you upgrade bikes, keep the old one.

When I first got back into cycling my first bike was a Cannondale Road Warrior 500. That bike told me I wanted a road bike and a Townie. Now I ride the C'dale, a Specialized Allez Elite, a Townie3, a Schwinn Mesa GS MTB and a C'dale Comfort.

The two that easily see the most miles are the old C'dale and the Townie.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:22 PM
  #7  
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+1 on the skinnier and slick tires.
The front fork even has a lockout.
Looks good to me.

If you want, get a second cheap wheelset and cassette so you have the option of going mtn biking.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:25 PM
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Well the tires were one thing that I am figuring should be swapped out. They are slick on top but have knobs on the side and seem rather wide for road riding. The suspension fork can be locked so that does not bother me, aside from the added weight.

Thanks for the reassurance. I was just envious of the speed that my brother can achieve with his TCX vs what I can get with the CrossTrail. Will slicks improve that much?

@d2create: Mountain biking is something I am kind of considering again, so that may be a good option.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:45 PM
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Its a nicely specced bike, and I agree with slicks, or semi-slicks and bar ends.

A 16 mile round trip is no problem I was doing 20 miles five days a week on a hardtail with heavy semi-slick tires with up to and sometimes more than 10kg in my backpack, which would take 45-55mins depending on wind along a fairly convoluted but safe route. The route includes a few hills and differing surfaces thrown in as well.

Hardtails are an excellent introduction to commuting and I only recently changed over to a cross bike after commuting on hardtails for 10 years. If you only have one bike then a hardtail gives you the best of both worlds - comfy on the roads but can be take on serious off road trails.


24 Miles is also pretty straight forward. During bikewise week I was doing up to 30 Miles daily on work days. Basically if you are fit enough its no biggy, if you are not fit enough it won't kill you and you will not find it a problem after a couple of months.
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Old 05-30-08, 06:50 PM
  #10  
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boooo skinny tires. Slick is where it's at regardless of width though.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:21 PM
  #11  
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I commuted on my Trek 1000 with 700x25 tires (120 PSI) for about 1200 miles. I just recently bought a Novara Safari with 26x1.9" semi-slicks (65 PSI). My average commuting speed has dropped by about 1 mph. The reason is that the Trek was uncomfortable on any roads with large bumps, cracks, bad pavement, or gravel. But the Safari rolls over all that crap without a problem. So now I can go all out as much as I want instead of only 20% of my commute.

Now if you have glass-smooth roads and trails to commute on, a race bike may be a lot faster, but in the real world a bike with medium-width tires will be nearly as fast and much more comfortable and enjoyable.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:38 PM
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That looks like a really good deal on a pretty sweet bike. As long as the fork has a lockout, it should be very doable. Ride it, get something else if you don't like it.
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Old 05-30-08, 08:02 PM
  #13  
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Now that I've stopped drooling, you made out like a bandit. You may be envious of your bro's cx, but he's probably envious of yours as well. You have a urban assault vehicle.
If there are any hills in your area, your triple should beat his double up hill. (Kind of depends on which one of you is in better shape.)
Don't worry about if the bike is suited for the distance. Put some bar ends on, point the front wheel at where you want go, and roll over anything that gets in your way (with in reason, of course...).
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Old 05-30-08, 08:55 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by d2create View Post
+1 on the skinnier and slick tires.
The front fork even has a lockout.
I noticed that too. I'm of the opinion that this bike might even be [gasp] comfortable IF your seat is at the right hight and the stem is high enough to keep some pressure off your hands. I hate flat bars and on a commute that long I'd want somewhere else to put my hands. But I also hate bar ends and don't understand those trecking bars that look like a feeble person's walker, so I'd suggest keeping the flat bar, getting properly fitted to that bike and I think you'll really enjoy it!
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Old 05-30-08, 08:59 PM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
boooo skinny tires. Slick is where it's at regardless of width though.
+1

I love my Big Apples
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Old 05-30-08, 09:00 PM
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btw, there are all sorts of cool tires you can run on that bike. and you're going to love those avid bb-5 disc brakes. that's a cool ride -- put a drop bar on it and it looks almost exactly what I wanted to do with my 1990s kona fire mountain. frankenbike is this weekend but I have to keep the kids all day.
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Old 05-30-08, 10:10 PM
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I just bought an '08 Crosstrail Expert last week. Swapped out the stock 700x45's for 700x32 armadillos and so far have put just over 100 miles on it. I have a 22 mile RT commute and the bike has been great.
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Old 05-31-08, 01:38 AM
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What you did right was to get a bike with 700c wheels rather than 26" because the 700c's roll more easily. Since I have and like Continental Gatorskins, that's what I recommend if the 700x28 size is wide enough to fit your rims. They may actually give a smoother ride given that their casings should be more supple than the 60 TPI tires your bike came with.

See if you can fit some bar ends in the middle of your handlebars, inboard of the shifters. That would give you a more aerodynamic profile because you're hands would be parallel to your shoulders and you should be able to lean forward a little bit. Try it.
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Old 05-31-08, 05:16 AM
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Yes, you got the wrong bike. Totally. Now it's going to be an albatross around your neck forever.

Seriously, why do you ask a bunch of strangers on the internet whether you bought the "wrong bike" or not? Maybe you bought a bike that's got a frame about six inches too big for you, how do we know? You went and bought the bike, presumably after riding it and seeing how you liked the ride -- you did take it for a good long ride, right? You liked it. You bought it. Why would you suddenly stop liking it now?
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Old 05-31-08, 05:21 AM
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One second thought, yes, you got the wrong bike. What's the frame size? I might give you a hundred bucks for it.
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Old 05-31-08, 06:31 AM
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As others have said get the bar ends & slicks. Depending on your location, if you decide you want something else you can keep this as a winter bike. Either way that is a nice bike that is up to the task of as an Urban Assault Vehicle.
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Old 05-31-08, 09:08 AM
  #22  
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Thanks again for the reassurance. As I said I was just concerned that a 24 mile commute maybe a bit much for a bike of this design. Normally I would have done more research and waited longer before making a purchase like this, but as you guys said it was a heck of a deal, so I jumped on it.

So it looks like I'll be swapping out tires and maybe trying some bard ends. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 06-02-08, 01:13 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by ok_commuter View Post
and don't understand those trecking bars that look like a feeble person's walker,
Grrrr.....

Are you insulting my Safari? Them's fightin' words.

Trekking bars use flat bar controls,give many usable hand positions,and can be angled so you can both sit upright and get into a drop bar style aero position.

To the OP,I have the same bike and it will do fine if you swap on a trekking bar,swap the tires for some light 32's,and add a set of full fenders. Just make sure you check the weight of the tires you're putting on. I swapped the stock ones for a set of 38mm Infinitys and actually wound up adding weight. I'm prolly going to swap these for a set of Conti Contact Extralights in 42mm.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:03 PM
  #24  
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You will be able to go as fast as your brother when you have got your legs in as good shape as his. I have a drop bar cyclo cross bike and I find people on crappy mountain bikes passing me - its not the bike its my legs.
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Old 06-02-08, 02:33 PM
  #25  
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The only problem with a flat bar for road riding is that it's hard on hands and wrists IME. There's a reason roadies generally prefer drop bars - multiple hand positions. The longer the commute, the more you'll wish you had more than one hand position.

Other than that, nice bike! Get some slicks (700x32 or 700x35 depending on your weight) and at least some bar ends, and go ride!
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