Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Choosing cyclocross bike

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Choosing cyclocross bike

Old 03-16-15, 05:45 AM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Choosing cyclocross bike

Hey there

I'm planning to buy a new bike for myself. I was commuting for last 2 years on a MTB Trek 4400, but short time ago I felt a need to buy myself something more dynamic for driving around the ctiy. I may also use it for some short trips, but no longer than 200-300km, 1-2 days ones.

At first I aimed for buying myself a road bike, but after doing some reading (including this forum) I've come to the conclusion that a cyclocross bike will suit me better, as it has some more durability and control needed in the traffic and to overcome many city obstacles, while trading not too much of road bike's dynamism that I probably won't miss as I don't do any competitive racing. I may also take use of it's versatility - ability to ride on tougher terrain - as I am moving out to Amsterdam soon and probably won't take my Trek with me (at least not right away) and so that will be the only bike I'll be using. I want to ask what particular bikes would you recommend for me. What aspects/components of the bike should I pay the most attention to? Oh, and I live in Europe (currently Poland, Netherlands soon), as that may limit the options of bikes to buy.

My budget is around 1000$, but I can pay more for something I know I'll be happy with and will use for years.

The other aspects that are the most important for me are the durability and the looks. I appreciate long-living things and try not to produce more garbage than needed by frequently replacing components. As for the looks I don't like most of the modern bikes' paintings (and even frames' curves). They seem overcomplicated with ornamentation and feel too cold to me. I also hate big logos and rather prefer simple clean looks, like the bikes shown at the bottom of this post for example. I understand it might be very hard to get something like that on a stock bike, so I consider getting it re-painted after purchase. Still if you know where to buy a stock clean looking bike like that it'd be great and save me around $150 for good painting.

The only bikes I found so far and that I truly liked the looks of are Surly Cross-Check (Cross-Check | Bikes | Surly Bikes) and Surly Straggler (Straggler | Bikes | Surly Bikes). I read many positive reviews, but what do you think of them? Also they are rather on the most expensive end of my price range (with Straggler costing more than I initially planned to spend).

Other bikes that seemed worth checking out but would need a repaint were: Kona Jake, Specialized Diverge A1, Specialized Crux E5 (this one is a bit over my price range), Specialized AWOL, Ridley X-Bow 20 Disc, Raleigh RX Elite. I am not sure if all of them are CX bikes (I'm quite a newbie into cyclocross bikes and generally into more serious cycling) but they seemed similar to my needs.

Still I'll welcome any suggestions and critique.


Clean and simple looks I like





Last edited by nocheating; 03-16-15 at 10:03 AM.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 09:44 AM
  #2  
bill nyecycles
 
the sci guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 3,333
Liked 357 Times in 194 Posts
As a Cross-Check owner, I'd say yes, it's a great bike. Always remember the bar-end shifters can be changed to brifters if you want. I love the bike. Its a smooth rider and looks great with its classic road bike style frame. I have the model before the current orange one. They changed a few of the components a bit, but yes, I'd recommend it. The Straggler is pretty much a Cross-Check with disc brakes.

I'd also recommend the All-City Mr Pink, Space Horse, or Nature Boy. They are more $$ but that's up to you.

Otherwise, based on your list, the Kona Jake would be my next stop.
The Giant Defy aren't cyclocross really. The Diverge is probably too pricey, and I've never liked how the AWOL looks.
__________________
Twitter@theSurlyBiker
Instagram @yankee.velo.foxtrot
the sci guy is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:03 AM
  #3  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,595

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,361 Times in 867 Posts
PL, now in the EU, you have the German and French sources .. Trek is a multinational brand ..

cross rip is their non race Cross bike Line. their rim brake bike is about $1K

US biased suggestions may not help. if not distributed in Europe.

better to state with links what you can buy where you are or can cross borders to get.

May be better to go shopping in NL.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:11 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,896

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
Soma Doublecross and Gunnar Crosshairs are both nice cross bikes with clean, understated styling. The Soma Saga is billed as a touring bike but has most of the features of a CX bike with some design adjustments for touring. My personal favorite is the Ritchey Swiss Cross but it lacks mounts for fenders and racks if that's important, although their Breakaway Cross model does have them. (Photo of my Ritchey Breakaway attached)

Unfortunately, Salsa has quit producing the orange CX bike that you posted. I agree with Sci Guy about All-City bikes. They are definitely worth a look.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
ritchey cross - side.jpg (66.1 KB, 40 views)
tarwheel is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:23 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Burlington, ON
Posts: 145

Bikes: 2017 Breezer Radar Expert, 2016 Kona Wo, 1973 Schwinn Sports Tourer Single Speed

Liked 5 Times in 3 Posts
I really like the line of bikes that are a do anything type bike. Specialized AWOL, Giant Anyroad and Kona Rove AL are good examples. Pretty low price, disc brakes, drop bars, lots of room for large tires, fenders and racks. Makes for a good commuting / touring / light off road bike (or I think it would if I bought one).
volvostephen is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:26 AM
  #6  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by the sci guy
As a Cross-Check owner, I'd say yes, it's a great bike. Always remember the bar-end shifters can be changed to brifters if you want. I love the bike. Its a smooth rider and looks great with its classic road bike style frame. I have the model before the current orange one. They changed a few of the components a bit, but yes, I'd recommend it. The Straggler is pretty much a Cross-Check with disc brakes.

I'd also recommend the All-City Mr Pink, Space Horse, or Nature Boy. They are more $$ but that's up to you.

Otherwise, based on your list, the Kona Jake would be my next stop.
The Giant Defy aren't cyclocross really. The Diverge is probably too pricey, and I've never liked how the AWOL looks.
Surly bikes are defintely appealing to me the most of tall I've seen, so after reading so much praise for them (including yours) I think I can safely remove all the other I mentioned from my area of interest. Surly Cross-Check and Straggler look so great!

Thanks for mentioning All-City bikes. They look very nice as well! I'd only cross out a Nature Boy, as I don't want a single-speed (I haven't ridden single speed in like 15 years and it might be nice to try, but definitely not for my only bike). It's also nice because I located a shop in Poland that I could visit, which deals both Surly and All-City. I'm still waiting for them to answer me, which bikes do they have on their shop to try out. It'd be great if I'd be able to try at least 1 model from each company.

So now I have 2 questions to answer. Which bike will fit me the best on real-life test. This one could be answered only after a visit to the shop and is only in my hands. The other question is how much money I'd like to spend. Surly Cross-Check and All-City Mr Pink are at the highest end of my initial price range, but Straggler and Space Horse are 200-300$ over my range. I could squeeze some extra money, but I wonder if buying those higher models would really pay off for me .That's a question that is hard to answer for me, as I'm not that really aware of how valuable the differences between the bikes are and how much they would pay me off in real life. Disc brakes seems a nice upgrade (that's a main difference between Cross-Check and Straggler), but are they worth paying extra 300$? I'll be grateful for suggestions on that evaluation.

Last edited by nocheating; 03-16-15 at 11:17 AM.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:31 AM
  #7  
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,476

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,125 Times in 1,384 Posts
Don't they issue you an omafiets when you move to Amsterdam?
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 10:54 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wiltshire, UK
Posts: 208

Bikes: Genesis Equlibrium, Salsa Vaya, Claud Butler Urban 100

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You may also like to consider Genesis:

Croix de Fer 10 | Genesis Bikes
mhifoe is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:02 AM
  #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob
cross rip is their non race Cross bike Line. their rim brake bike is about $1K
The looks of this one don't appeal to me as much as Surly and All-City do.

Originally Posted by fietsbob
May be better to go shopping in NL.
I think I'll end up buying a bike in Netherlands, as I'm in no real hurry and I won't need to struggle with shipping the bike from Poland to Netherlands this way. Still I'd like to choose a bike when I'm still in Poland, as I have much free time now, which I may lack after moving to Netherlands.

Originally Posted by tarwheel
Soma Doublecross and Gunnar Crosshairs are both nice cross bikes with clean, understated styling. The Soma Saga is billed as a touring bike but has most of the features of a CX bike with some design adjustments for touring. My personal favorite is the Ritchey Swiss Cross but it lacks mounts for fenders and racks if that's important, although their Breakaway Cross model does have them. (Photo of my Ritchey Breakaway attached).
Your Ritchey Swiss Cross looks very nice, but it seems it's a 2000+$ bike, so definetely too much for me. Also are all of those really fully assembled bikes? I see their manufacturers selling only frames under that names.

Originally Posted by mhifoe
You may also like to consider Genesis:

Croix de Fer 10 | Genesis Bikes
Looks nice. I must check this one out, looking for any shop in Poland offering it, so I can try it out.

Originally Posted by Darth Lefty
Don't they issue you an omafiets when you move to Amsterdam?
Riding a roadster is the last thing on my mind! Not that I have ever really rode one : P, but they look scary to me everytime I see someone riding it in the park.

Last edited by nocheating; 03-16-15 at 11:33 AM.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:24 AM
  #10  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,595

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,361 Times in 867 Posts
DHL and UPS will ship anywhere , for A Price..
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:28 AM
  #11  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob
DHL and UPS will ship anywhere , for A Price..
Sure : ). But if I can buy the bike both in Netherlands and Poland, why pay that extra price? I'd rather spend it on getting a better bike.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:36 AM
  #12  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,595

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,361 Times in 867 Posts
Koga And Gazelle are Dutch Brands As Is Batavus , Ridley is a Belgian.

since you are posting in Commuting this is not a Cyclocross Competition Bike You are seeking?
fietsbob is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:47 AM
  #13  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fietsbob
since you are posting in Commuting this is not a Cyclocross Competition Bike You are seeking?
No, I don't do any racing. I need a bike mostly to fit my commuting needs - I ride to work (and other places as needed) on a daily basis. In Warsaw I used to do 15-20km a day, but I don't know yet how far I'll have from home to work in Netherlands. Sometimes I may do some trips outside of town, but it's main use will surely be riding in the city. So far I was doing all that on my Trek 4400, but grew a need for something more sporty/dynamic. Purchasing of that Trek few years ago, wasn't as well thought out, as I hope my current decision will be.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 11:51 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,248

Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Also available in this genre is the Crosslight Pro 6 from Kinesis. Bikes | Crosslight | Pro6 | Kinesis Bikes UK A bit high where your $1000 budget is concerned but definitely very well finished and equipped. The Crosslight provided the geometry for my Kinesis Decade Tripster (2013 frame no longer made) which I have and like very much. Kinesis is known for their excellent aluminum frames and carbon forks. The weight savings of choosing aluminum and carbon over steel is about a real-world pound. Bikes | Crosslight | Pro6 | Kinesis Bikes UK
cale is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 12:06 PM
  #15  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cale
Also available in this genre is the Crosslight Pro 6 from Kinesis. Bikes | Crosslight | Pro6 | Kinesis Bikes UK A bit high where your $1000 budget is concerned but definitely very well finished and equipped. The Crosslight provided the geometry for my Kinesis Decade Tripster (2013 frame no longer made) which I have and like very much. Kinesis is known for their excellent aluminum frames and carbon forks. The weight savings of choosing aluminum and carbon over steel is about a real-world pound. Bikes | Crosslight | Pro6 | Kinesis Bikes UK
It seems nicely equipped indeed and the curves are nice. I only don't like the "futuristic" painting of the main tube.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 12:13 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
snow_echo_NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Montpelier VT
Posts: 855

Bikes: Scott Genius, Surly Crosscheck, Yuba Mundo cargo, Specialized Dolce Triple (stolen 5/8/15)

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my husband rides the surly crosscheck for commuting and he's done so for 2-4 years now, 8 miles one way, 8 miles back. he likes it very much. it was marketed to him as a hybrid, not a cyclocross. we live in NYC.

i don't ride it, so i can't comment much. if it helps, most people here that we know commute, commute with a steel, lightweight bike. surly is a top pick here.
snow_echo_NY is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 12:19 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
cale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 3,248

Bikes: Kuota Ksano. Litespeed T5 gravel - brilliant!

Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by nocheating
It seems nicely equipped indeed and the curves are nice. I only don't like the "futuristic" painting of the main tube.
Paint/graphics are pretty subtle by modern standards.
cale is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 12:50 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Cyclosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago Western 'burbs
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1993 NOS Mt Shasta Tempest, Motobecane Fantom Cross CX, Dahon Speed D7, Dahon Vector P8, Bullitt Superfly

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I love the look of the Nashbar steel cyclocross. It's got a 105 drivetrain for (right now) $750 USD. They do ship worldwide.

Cyclosaurus is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:01 PM
  #19  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by cale
Paint/graphics are pretty subtle by modern standards.
That's true. But my taste seems to be opposite of modern standards and even that main tube painting feels like I'd be making a compromise, which I'd like to avoid paying 1200$ for a bike. I already made a mistake of dismissing bike looks as unimportant, when buying myself my current Trek (I don't like how it looks at all) and will not commit it again.

Originally Posted by snow_echo_NY
my husband rides the surly crosscheck for commuting and he's done so for 2-4 years now, 8 miles one way, 8 miles back. he likes it very much. it was marketed to him as a hybrid, not a cyclocross. we live in NYC.

i don't ride it, so i can't comment much. if it helps, most people here that we know commute, commute with a steel, lightweight bike. surly is a top pick here.
Thanks. So many people recommending this bike, it seems I can't go wrong buying it.

Does somebody have opinion on Cross-Check vs Straggler, also how they compare to All-City Mr Pink and Space Horse? Are disc brakes something worth investing in?

Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus
I love the look of the Nashbar steel cyclocross. It's got a 105 drivetrain for (right now) $750 USD. They do ship worldwide.
The looks are very pleasing indeed (especially me loving red color). Not a single logo nor ornament on this one. I only wonder why is it 30% cheaper than Surly Cross-Check? In what areas were the cost cut made?

Last edited by nocheating; 03-16-15 at 01:35 PM.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:22 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Cyclosaurus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Chicago Western 'burbs
Posts: 1,065

Bikes: 1993 NOS Mt Shasta Tempest, Motobecane Fantom Cross CX, Dahon Speed D7, Dahon Vector P8, Bullitt Superfly

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by nocheating
The looks are very pleasing indeed (especially me loving red color). Not a single logo nor ornament on this one. I only wonder why is it 30% cheaper than Surly Cross-Check? In what areas were the cost cut made?
Mostly I think because it isn't sold through a local dealer who will perform final assembly, tune it for you, and provide an ongoing service relationship. Some people take a bike from Bikes Direct or Nashbar in to a bike shop for assembly, some people do it themselves.
Cyclosaurus is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:25 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,721

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Liked 111 Times in 66 Posts
I really like my cross check, it does everything well. Fit racks fenders and larger tires too. Here in New England disc brakes are great in rain and snow. The cross check is my nice weather bike. Advantages with disc brakes are lack of rim wear and better stopping power. I also dislike cleaning black gunk off the rims as well. Are you able to test ride some bikes? Consider frame material as well. Bike fit would be the most important thing for me in choosing a new bike.
Leebo is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:38 PM
  #22  
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, and High Falls, NY, USA
Posts: 40,805

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Liked 2,742 Times in 1,592 Posts
You should consider the Nashbar seriously if you are competent at assembling or if you have a good local bike shop to do it for you. This service is worth $100 or so.

If you want to buy an assembled bike, consider adding the Bianchi Volpe to the list of models to consider. I have owned two Surly Cross Checks, and they're good, but I like the Bianchi better, largely because it is lighter without any compromises. I'd like it to be even lighter, but then it would cost more.
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:42 PM
  #23  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 14
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Leebo
I really like my cross check, it does everything well. Fit racks fenders and larger tires too. Here in New England disc brakes are great in rain and snow. The cross check is my nice weather bike. Advantages with disc brakes are lack of rim wear and better stopping power. I also dislike cleaning black gunk off the rims as well. Are you able to test ride some bikes? Consider frame material as well. Bike fit would be the most important thing for me in choosing a new bike.
I found a dealer in Warsaw (that's not the city I currently live, but I'll visit it soon, as I was living there last 5 years), who offer both Surly and All-City. I send him an email asking if he has the models I'm interested in, but am still waiting for response. I guess he should have at least Cross-Check, as this seems to be a really popular model.

Originally Posted by Cyclosaurus
Mostly I think because it isn't sold through a local dealer who will perform final assembly, tune it for you, and provide an ongoing service relationship. Some people take a bike from Bikes Direct or Nashbar in to a bike shop for assembly, some people do it themselves.
I'd love to assemble the bike myself, but I guess I lack both the skills (I can take basic care of the bike like oiling, greasing, adjusting the deraileurs but not much more than that) and the tools. I think I'll try to do it in the future though. It must be a very rewarding experience.

Last edited by nocheating; 03-16-15 at 01:47 PM.
nocheating is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 01:42 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
snow_echo_NY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Montpelier VT
Posts: 855

Bikes: Scott Genius, Surly Crosscheck, Yuba Mundo cargo, Specialized Dolce Triple (stolen 5/8/15)

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
+1 what [MENTION=351267]Cyclosaurus[/MENTION] said
+1 what [MENTION=175466]Leebo[/MENTION] said

don't know about straggler but long haul trucker is quite nice too. a fellow commuter has that bike and likes it a lot. my husband says he would have gotten the trucker but couldn't justify the price so went with the crosscheck which he is nonetheless quite happy with.
snow_echo_NY is offline  
Old 03-16-15, 03:35 PM
  #25  
bill nyecycles
 
the sci guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Houston TX
Posts: 3,333
Liked 357 Times in 194 Posts
Agree the Nashbar bike is worth checking out too. A buddy of mine bought the carbon 105 road bike from nashbar, and has had nothing but good things to say about it.
__________________
Twitter@theSurlyBiker
Instagram @yankee.velo.foxtrot
the sci guy is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.