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CrossRip vs. Lombard Elite vs. Felt V85

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CrossRip vs. Lombard Elite vs. Felt V85

Old 02-09-15, 12:23 AM
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BigEdgar
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CrossRip vs. Lombard Elite vs. Felt V85

I'm in the market for a new bike and would love any thoughts from the group on three bikes I'm considering.

I rode a Trek 520 (touring bike) for the last 15 years and got it stolen this summer. After a few attempts at rehabbing some other older bikes, I've decided to take the plunge and get something new. I'll be using the bike as follows:
1. Most frequently for commuting - typical inner city commuting with lots of potholes and bad roads
2. An occasional 30-40 mile ride with friends
3. I will occasionally do a century or other multi-day ride every few years, but this is not the primary use by a long shot
4. I'd also like the ability to do some light touring

The 520 was a good bike for all of the above, but after riding a mtn bike to work when my 520 was taken, I realized that shifting with the bar end shifters on the 520 was a real pain in downtown traffic compared to thumb shifters (or brifters when I rode my wife's bike for a few days). With that said I've decided not to get another 520, as I'd like to try an aluminum frame and get a bike with brifters. After much contemplation, here are the items on my wish list:

1. Aluminum frame for weight reduction (the 520 was heavy).
2. Carbon fork would be nice so I don't feel as much of the road (I really noticed this when I rode my wife's all aluminum road bike - definitely felt a lot more of the road than on the 520)
3. Brifters
4. Drop handlebars, but nothing too deep (the 520s bars were pretty deep and this wasn't great for being in traffic - felt like a long way to go to get down to the bar-end shifters or back up to the hoods)
5. I suppose the one thing I'll be really picky about is the shifting - I live in a hilly area and I really hate it when I'm trying to slog up a hill and the gears jump on me. I'm willing to pay extra for good shifting.

Seems like I'm fortunate in my timing as a lot of companies are coming out with cyclocross-like bikes with a slightly more urban bent. Big tires, eyelets for fenders and racks, carbon forks, etc. I've been exploring this segment of bikes and have narrowed my options down to:

Trek CrossRip Elite
Felt V85
Marin Lombard Elite

I've ridden all three of these bikes, and my thoughts are as follows:

1. Cross Rip - I have only been able to try this bike in a size-too-large, so I can't speak to the fit. The shifting was fine, but I recognize that I'm getting a lesser component set compared to the other two. It's third on my list at the moment. I like the looks of this bike. The LBS that carries this bike is also not my favorite (not the best customer service).

2. Marin Lombard Elite - I wanted to love this bike. I rode it today and liked it… except for the fact that the shifting wasn't terrific. For the most part it shifted fine, but probably 5-7 times in my 20 minute ride it would not shift cleanly when trying to shift going up hills (I had to shift up to a harder gear to get it to reset, and then pop back into an easier gear). Maybe it just needed some adjusting, but it was a pretty big let down as I was pretty excited about this bike.

3. Felt V85 - I rode this a few weeks ago and liked it. The fit was good and the 105 groupset worked nicely together. I think the only thing I didn't love was the granny gearing - I've got a few really step climbs on my way home from work and I could see me and my loaded down pannier having a hard time with the gearing here.

If I'm comparing the Marin and the Felt, I'd say I liked the shifting on the Felt, but I liked the wider gear range on the Marin (11-36 on the Marin, 11-32 on the Felt). I don't have much experience on disc brakes, so I couldn't tell a difference between the two bikes in this area. Both felt good from a fit perspective. Honestly, I like the look of the Marin and was ready to pull the trigger today, but the gearing issues scared me away. I don't love the look of the Felt.

Wow, that's a lot of info. Sorry for the epic post. For any that haven't fallen asleep reading this post, I'd appreciate any thoughts from any of you who may have experience with these bikes, or have thoughts on the good/bad of the various components. Or perhaps there's some other bike I'm not considering (I've checked out the offerings from Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, Salsa, Surly and Novara but didn't find that I liked their offerings as much as Felt/Marin/Trek for what I'm looking for).

Thanks for any thoughts!
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Old 02-09-15, 11:15 AM
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If you really like the Marin talk to the store and see if they'll tune it up better and have you do another test ride. My guess is it's an adjustment issue (SRAM Apex tends to get good reviews). If ultimately you aren't happy with the response talk to the store with the Felt. They can probably swap out either the cassette or one of the cogs to give you better gearing for the hills.
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Old 02-09-15, 02:46 PM
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The Marin Lombard is a drop bar version of their Marin Muirwoods 29er.

Its meant to be an all around urban/country bike/adventure bike rig like a lot of brands are offering these days.

The bike is positioned between a touring bike and a road bike and it can go everywhere.

If people could have only ONE bike, that is the bike they should own.
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Old 02-09-15, 03:10 PM
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Have you looked at the new Trek 720, a light-touring bike with brifters? Granted it's a bit more expensive. But it looks cool to me.

720 Disc - Trek Bicycle
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Old 02-09-15, 03:20 PM
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If they can't get the Marin to shift right then see if they can change the crankset on the Felt to give you more range. I think 32 teeth on the cassette is about all you're going to get out of a 105 derailleur.
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Old 02-09-15, 07:58 PM
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Thanks for all the thoughts.

Ratell - I suspect that, given a chance to tune things up, the LBS could make the issues go away. I guess my primary concern is whether this combination of components will be finicky over the long term. I know it's a decent set of parts, but it's not like this combination is a common setup that others can attest to standing up to the test of time.

NormanF - I agree and it's for this reason that I really like the bike (plus, I think it looks really cool : ) One other issue with this bike is availability - sounds like Marin is having a tough time getting these bikes out to shops. Two authorized" dealers in my area couldn't get the bikes at all, and the one that had the bike that I test rode had to wait months to get them in. Sounds like it's a combination of longshoreman slowdown at the west coast ports as well as Marin not producing enough of these bikes (one LBS owner told me it was the same issue with last year's model). So I may be out of luck if I don't jump at the opportunity to get the Marin that I test rode, but I'd rather not spend that kind of money on a bike about which I'm not feeling 100% confident.

Darth - that 720 is definitely cool and it fits my requirements, but it's outside of my budget.

tjspiel/ratell - it's probably worth a discussion with the Felt dealer to see if there's something they can do about the range of the crank or the cassette. If the answer is no, that may mean that what I'm really looking for is a triple or mountain gearing : )
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Old 02-16-15, 10:24 AM
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All - thanks for the thoughts. I ended up going with the Marin Lombard Elite. The LBS did some adjusting on the gearing and when I went back for a second test ride, things were smooth. For others looking at this same choice, here were a few things that tipped the scales for me:
1. The Marin has a wider gear range - the MTB cassette provides 11-36 gearing vs 11-32 for the Felt, which is nice for some of the hills in my area. One of the LBS owners got ahold of his Shimano rep to find out if they'd be releasing any wider gearing for their 2015 105 components, and he didn't know of any plans to do so. It's possible they'll do this in the future, but for now, if you want wider gearing in the 11 speed cassettes for Shimano, seems their MTB components may be a better option.
2. Better tires for my purposes on the Marin - I'll mostly be riding on city streets, and the Marin has more durable tires.
3. SRAM vs Shimano - this is the first time I've really done a comparison between the two, and while they both felt fine, I did appreciate the ability on the SRAM to dump three gears at once when climbing hills. This is a great feature for my area. The SRAM is 10 speed, the Shimano 11 speed. I can appreciate that the 11 speed gearing would be nice, but for me it didn't feel like it improved the gearing tremendously.
4. Looks - the Marin has a slightly more traditional frame, which I liked a little more than the Felt.

The Felt appears to have a better crank and bottom bracket, which shouldn't be discounted. It also comes with cross top breaks, which might be nice (I found them to be in the way on occasion during my test rides, but I'm pretty sure I'd like them once I got used to them).

Anyways, hope this helps others trying to make a decision.
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Old 07-23-17, 12:59 AM
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Lombard Elite Review

Originally Posted by BigEdgar View Post
I'm in the market for a new bike and would love any thoughts from the group on three bikes I'm considering.

I rode a Trek 520 (touring bike) for the last 15 years and got it stolen this summer. After a few attempts at rehabbing some other older bikes, I've decided to take the plunge and get something new. I'll be using the bike as follows:
1. Most frequently for commuting - typical inner city commuting with lots of potholes and bad roads
2. An occasional 30-40 mile ride with friends
3. I will occasionally do a century or other multi-day ride every few years, but this is not the primary use by a long shot
4. I'd also like the ability to do some light touring

The 520 was a good bike for all of the above, but after riding a mtn bike to work when my 520 was taken, I realized that shifting with the bar end shifters on the 520 was a real pain in downtown traffic compared to thumb shifters (or brifters when I rode my wife's bike for a few days). With that said I've decided not to get another 520, as I'd like to try an aluminum frame and get a bike with brifters. After much contemplation, here are the items on my wish list:

1. Aluminum frame for weight reduction (the 520 was heavy).
2. Carbon fork would be nice so I don't feel as much of the road (I really noticed this when I rode my wife's all aluminum road bike - definitely felt a lot more of the road than on the 520)
3. Brifters
4. Drop handlebars, but nothing too deep (the 520s bars were pretty deep and this wasn't great for being in traffic - felt like a long way to go to get down to the bar-end shifters or back up to the hoods)
5. I suppose the one thing I'll be really picky about is the shifting - I live in a hilly area and I really hate it when I'm trying to slog up a hill and the gears jump on me. I'm willing to pay extra for good shifting.

Seems like I'm fortunate in my timing as a lot of companies are coming out with cyclocross-like bikes with a slightly more urban bent. Big tires, eyelets for fenders and racks, carbon forks, etc. I've been exploring this segment of bikes and have narrowed my options down to:



I've ridden all three of these bikes, and my thoughts are as follows:

1. Cross Rip - I have only been able to try this bike in a size-too-large, so I can't speak to the fit. The shifting was fine, but I recognize that I'm getting a lesser component set compared to the other two. It's third on my list at the moment. I like the looks of this bike. The LBS that carries this bike is also not my favorite (not the best customer service).

2. Marin Lombard Elite - I wanted to love this bike. I rode it today and liked it… except for the fact that the shifting wasn't terrific. For the most part it shifted fine, but probably 5-7 times in my 20 minute ride it would not shift cleanly when trying to shift going up hills (I had to shift up to a harder gear to get it to reset, and then pop back into an easier gear). Maybe it just needed some adjusting, but it was a pretty big let down as I was pretty excited about this bike.

3. Felt V85 - I rode this a few weeks ago and liked it. The fit was good and the 105 groupset worked nicely together. I think the only thing I didn't love was the granny gearing - I've got a few really step climbs on my way home from work and I could see me and my loaded down pannier having a hard time with the gearing here.

If I'm comparing the Marin and the Felt, I'd say I liked the shifting on the Felt, but I liked the wider gear range on the Marin (11-36 on the Marin, 11-32 on the Felt). I don't have much experience on disc brakes, so I couldn't tell a difference between the two bikes in this area. Both felt good from a fit perspective. Honestly, I like the look of the Marin and was ready to pull the trigger today, but the gearing issues scared me away. I don't love the look of the Felt.

Wow, that's a lot of info. Sorry for the epic post. For any that haven't fallen asleep reading this post, I'd appreciate any thoughts from any of you who may have experience with these bikes, or have thoughts on the good/bad of the various components. Or perhaps there's some other bike I'm not considering (I've checked out the offerings from Giant, Specialized, Cannondale, Salsa, Surly and Novara but didn't find that I liked their offerings as much as Felt/Marin/Trek for what I'm looking for).

Thanks for any thoughts!


Greetings


Now that you have been riding the bike for a year or two, would you be so kind on giving it a performance review?
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