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Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike (NB-SX-1) Unboxing and Review

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Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike (NB-SX-1) Unboxing and Review

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Old 01-06-13, 11:29 PM
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phulin
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Nashbar Steel Cyclocross Bike (NB-SX-1) Unboxing and Review



Saw Nashbar's 20% off sale on the 2nd and couldn't resist - have been thinking about buying a new bike for a while, and this just sounded excellent. Details here. It came on Saturday (the 5th) - wow! A friend of mine who ordered a (somewhat similar) bike from BD a little before me was mad that my bike beat his. I've already ordered Kool Stops and SKS Longboard fenders.

I'll be using it mainly as a short-distance commuter, with longer rides mixed in. I like taking long rides around the city at night sometimes, and whenever it's really nice outside I'll usually go somewhere. In addition, the aforementioned friend and I are planning to try CX in the fall - we'll see how that goes.

I posted some unboxing pics. Review below.

I like the carbon fork, and the steel frame was something I was open to. The drivetrain components are great, even if everything else is a little below par. I like the gear ratios and the 2x10 setup. My fundamental problem with my old bike (2004 entry-level road) was that its skinny tires were not suitable for Boston roads - it couldn't take larger than 25s with fenders, and I had 23s; clearly, that's fixed with this bike.

And despite the steel frame, it's still pretty light. I think the components and carbon fork make up for the frame. The wheelset is a little cheap - no-name hubs with heavy rims - but that's not a huge deal. Wheels will probably be my first big upgrade.

Packing was very well done, but assembly left a little to be desired - some of the cables were run in a stupid way, and the drivetrain needed serious adjusting (limit stops, etc). It frustrated me that there was no adjuster in either of the brake cable runs, as that fact made it really annoying to get the brakes tight. The bar tape was mostly good, but the places where the cables came out were poorly wrapped. The wheels were pretty true, and definitely better than the ones on my old bike, but they aren't quite true enough to satisfy me. I'll work on that this week.

I would not recommend buying this bike if you're not comfortable with basic maintenance - assembling handlebars and stem, adjusting brakes and derailleurs. If you aren't, read your Sheldon and prepare to spend some hours. But if you're a little mechanically experienced, it's an unbelievable deal, and it looks like it will last you for years and years. Steel is real, no?

I'll probably update this as I ride it more. Right now I'm avoiding riding a little until I have fenders - don't want to cover everything in salt instantly. Stupid Boston. And anyway, I'm cleaning up my old bike so I can sell it.
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Last edited by phulin; 01-07-13 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 01-07-13, 12:50 AM
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Interesting, as it's not a 105 gruppo, but only 105 shifting. It's priced at €500 shipped for me, roughly the same price as the entire 105 gruppo. Seems like that kind of money only gets me a Sora-equipped CX bike usually over here.

Be sure to keep us updated once it's rolling.
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Old 01-07-13, 08:48 PM
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Yep, will do. Day 3 was as beautiful as Day 2.
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Old 01-08-13, 05:15 PM
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i had one and it was great.

gave it to a friend who was broke and bikeless. he's ridden it every day since May to work and for fun. i check in with him and he's had no problems.
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Old 01-09-13, 05:43 PM
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Took a 20 mile RT ride today to the Blue Hills for some hiking. It was excellent. The bike performed beautifully, and I really enjoyed having ten speeds in the back. It would have been a little nice to have a triple for the (pretty intense) hills on the way out, but oh well. If I were to do any nontrivial touring, I would definitely switch over. Either way, it felt great - more responsive and "disappearing under me" than my old bike. I'll probably switch to slicks pretty soon, too.
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