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$1500 budget, 3 options

Old 07-24-17, 08:18 AM
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absoludicrous
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$1500 budget, 3 options

Given my modest budget of approx $1500, I believe these are the 3 best options available in the current market. However, any input on other candidates would be greatly appreciated.

I have a couple of non-negotiables that I'm looking for in my new bike. They are: $1500, disc brakes and thru-axles front and back, Rival or 105 groupset.

The bikes that fit this or come close are:

Raleigh RX 2.0 – $899
Positives: Price, at $899 I could build a nicer set of wheels, front and back thru-axles, Rival 1x
Negatives: Mechanical disc, post mount, non-tubeless rims, Rival 1x

Giant TCX SLR2 – $1400
Positives: Hydro discs, flat mount, front and back thru-axles, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades

Cannondale CAADX – $1300
Positives: Best looks of the bunch, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles, non-tubeless ready rims

Felt F65x – $1499
Positives: 2x chainring versatility, tubeless ready rims
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles

The Giant is clearly the best bike out of the 4, however, the price of the Raleigh lets me upgrade it which is a huge bonus. However, I'm really torn and leaning toward the Giant.

Other candidates:

2018 Trek Crockett 5 ($1900 exceeds budget)
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Old 07-24-17, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
Given my modest budget of approx $1500, I believe these are the 3 best options available in the current market. However, any input on other candidates would be greatly appreciated.

I have a couple of non-negotiables that I'm looking for in my new bike. They are: $1500, disc brakes and thru-axles front and back, Rival or 105 groupset.

The bikes that fit this or come close are:

Raleigh RX 2.0 $899
Positives: Price, at $899 I could build a nicer set of wheels, front and back thru-axles, Rival 1x
Negatives: Mechanical disc, post mount, non-tubeless rims, Rival 1x

Giant TCX SLR2 $1400
Positives: Hydro discs, flat mount, front and back thru-axles, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades

Cannondale CAADX $1300
Positives: Best looks of the bunch, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles, non-tubeless ready rims

Felt F65x $1499
Positives: 2x chainring versatility, tubeless ready rims
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles

The Giant is clearly the best bike out of the 4, however, the price of the Raleigh lets me upgrade it which is a huge bonus. However, I'm really torn and leaning toward the Giant.

Other candidates:

2018 Trek Crockett 5 ($1900 exceeds budget)
What's your intended riding going to be with this bike?
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Old 07-24-17, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
Given my modest budget of approx $1500, I believe these are the 3 best options available in the current market. However, any input on other candidates would be greatly appreciated.

I have a couple of non-negotiables that I'm looking for in my new bike. They are: $1500, disc brakes and thru-axles front and back, Rival or 105 groupset.

The bikes that fit this or come close are:

Raleigh RX 2.0 $899
Positives: Price, at $899 I could build a nicer set of wheels, front and back thru-axles, Rival 1x
Negatives: Mechanical disc, post mount, non-tubeless rims, Rival 1x

Giant TCX SLR2 $1400
Positives: Hydro discs, flat mount, front and back thru-axles, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades

Cannondale CAADX $1300
Positives: Best looks of the bunch, 2x chainring versatility
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles, non-tubeless ready rims

Felt F65x $1499
Positives: 2x chainring versatility, tubeless ready rims
Negatives: Price leaves no budget left for any upgrades, no thru axles

The Giant is clearly the best bike out of the 4, however, the price of the Raleigh lets me upgrade it which is a huge bonus. However, I'm really torn and leaning toward the Giant.

Other candidates:

2018 Trek Crockett 5 ($1900 exceeds budget)

Save Up To 60% Off Titanium Cyclocross Bicycles | Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom Cross Team Titanium | Cross Bikes
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Old 07-24-17, 09:07 AM
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You know what it doesn't even matter, the Giant is heads and tails above all the other bikes you listed. It probably has the best tire clearance too, being able to fit 40s.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
What's your intended riding going to be with this bike?
I will be racing cross with it this year and it would also serve as my gravel racing bike, as well as commuter. My current bike is a canti-braked All City Space Horse which would be relegated to my "road" bike.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
I will be racing cross with it this year and it would also serve as my gravel racing bike, as well as commuter. My current bike is a canti-braked All City Space Horse which would be relegated to my "road" bike.
Giant or Motobecane
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Old 07-24-17, 10:43 AM
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Funny, I'd listed my new tcx slr 2 for sale with extra set of custom wheels (plus rotors and tires) locally on a whim thinking of getting out of the whole game (long story). No interest whatsoever. People see cx and assume it's only for that, I guess.
It's a hell of a bike. In spite of my actions, I'd still recommend it. A great workhorse!
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Old 07-24-17, 10:49 AM
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I hit submit too soon...the tcx does clear 40s (as I posted on the other thread) and the 2017 that I have has thru axles front and rear. The brakes are flat mount but just be aware that model has mechanical brakes. Maybe the '18 has hydros on that model. I don't know.

Descending 20% loose gravel and being a nervous descender, the spyres with some swissstop pads and ice tech rotors mechanical still get the job done when/if needed.
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Old 07-24-17, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ThirdCog View Post
Funny, I'd listed my new tcx slr 2 for sale with extra set of custom wheels (plus rotors and tires) locally on a whim thinking of getting out of the whole game (long story). No interest whatsoever. People see cx and assume it's only for that, I guess.
It's a hell of a bike. In spite of my actions, I'd still recommend it. A great workhorse!
Thanks for this, exactly what I want to hear.
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Old 07-24-17, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
I will be racing cross with it this year and it would also serve as my gravel racing bike, as well as commuter. My current bike is a canti-braked All City Space Horse which would be relegated to my "road" bike.
From a cross racing perspective, I'd go with the Raleigh because...

- 1x is a huge advantage, especially when it get's muddy.
- the cheap buy in price will allow you to spend more money on wheels, pedals, and replacing other heavy stock parts (saddles, seatposts, etc)
- personally, i like the shorter chainstays/wheelbase of this bike. Those shorter chainstays may limit rear tire clearances a bit for other riding types.


From a more general purpose riding perspective...

None of them stand out as clearly better than the other. 1x vs 2x is a wash in my opinion. I have no experience with the disc brakes, so no comments there...

The short chainstays of the Raleigh may limit tire clearance for larger gravel oriented tires, as mentioned above. But finding the right is better than just cramming in large tires.


Just pointing it out, the Felt has pretty aggressive riding position. No opinions either way on that. It doesn't sound like you're leaning that way anyway.
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Old 07-24-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by justin1138 View Post
From a cross racing perspective, I'd go with the Raleigh because...

- 1x is a huge advantage, especially when it get's muddy.
- the cheap buy in price will allow you to spend more money on wheels, pedals, and replacing other heavy stock parts (saddles, seatposts, etc)
- personally, i like the shorter chainstays/wheelbase of this bike. Those shorter chainstays may limit rear tire clearances a bit for other riding types.


From a more general purpose riding perspective...

None of them stand out as clearly better than the other. 1x vs 2x is a wash in my opinion. I have no experience with the disc brakes, so no comments there...

The short chainstays of the Raleigh may limit tire clearance for larger gravel oriented tires, as mentioned above. But finding the right is better than just cramming in large tires.


Just pointing it out, the Felt has pretty aggressive riding position. No opinions either way on that. It doesn't sound like you're leaning that way anyway.
Excellent points. I have a spreadsheet going with geometry for all the mentioned bikes. They are all very similar...the Felt has longer geo than the others, but is closer to what I ride now...which isn't a factor as I'm looking for something with more cross-oriented geometry.

I think what my biggest unanswered question is how each one of these frames compares to the other. Obviously they are all made of aluminium, be it 7005, 6061, but how do they stack up in terms of stiffness, compliance, durability, quality of welds, technology, etc. It's easy to assume that they are all apples to apples, but I have to believe that some brands invest more time in R&D than others...components generally tend to be similar at pricepoints, but I think a lot of value could be missed on picking an inferior frame/fork.

Is it dumb to assume that the Raleigh is likely an inferior frame to that of the Cannondale or Giant?
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Old 07-24-17, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
Is it dumb to assume that the Raleigh is likely an inferior frame to that of the Cannondale or Giant?
It's a fair question. I've been riding the snot out of my Raleigh RX1 for the last 3-4 years and it isn't broken yet! I'm 96% sure it uses the same aluminum as the newer models.

As for ride quality, I bet you couldn't tell a difference between these bikes, geometry differences aside.


In the end, get whatever bike makes you want to ride the most! None of them are bad choices.
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Old 07-24-17, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
Is it dumb to assume that the Raleigh is likely an inferior frame to that of the Cannondale or Giant?
Not dumb at all because I'm sure it is inferior, technically speaking....

Originally Posted by justin1138 View Post
It's a fair question. I've been riding the snot out of my Raleigh RX1 for the last 3-4 years and it isn't broken yet! I'm 96% sure it uses the same aluminum as the newer models.

As for ride quality, I bet you couldn't tell a difference between these bikes, geometry differences aside.


In the end, get whatever bike makes you want to ride the most! None of them are bad choices.
...but, I also doubt you'll be able to tell the difference. Again, the Giant is a safe bet R&D wise, better than the others spec-wise, gets great reviews, most versatile, and all that within your budget. That doesn't happen often.
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Old 07-24-17, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Not dumb at all because I'm sure it is inferior, technically speaking....



...but, I also doubt you'll be able to tell the difference. Again, the Giant is a safe bet R&D wise, better than the others spec-wise, gets great reviews, most versatile, and all that within your budget. That doesn't happen often.
You're right about that. If only the Giant was Rival 1x, I still think that is the bike I will go with. Thanks!
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Old 07-24-17, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
You're right about that. If only the Giant was Rival 1x, I still think that is the bike I will go with. Thanks!
This just popped up in my email. Check it out.
Kona Jake The Snake Rival 1X Jenson Bike > Bikes > Cyclocross & Gravel Bikes | Jenson USA
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Old 07-24-17, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
That bike is also on the short list, but they don't have my size (XL/60-61cm)
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Old 07-24-17, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
You're right about that. If only the Giant was Rival 1x, I still think that is the bike I will go with. Thanks!
Also, what about buying used? You get way more for your money.

And are you mechanically inclined? You could probably build up a carbon CX frame for close to $1500 if you shopped around.
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Old 07-24-17, 09:15 PM
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Are thru axles really that big a deal? I've been riding since 1975. Over the years I've ridden really ****ty terrain in standard QR wheels and cantilever brakes with no problems at all.
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Old 07-25-17, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
That bike is also on the short list, but they don't have my size (XL/60-61cm)
There's a ton of CX bikes on Facebook. Here's a good example.

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Old 07-25-17, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Also, what about buying used? You get way more for your money.

And are you mechanically inclined? You could probably build up a carbon CX frame for close to $1500 if you shopped around.
Yep, I could build up a frame. However, a new Rival groupset eats up 50% of my budget, let alone a wheelset, bars, etc. I'm also willing to buy used if the right bike is available.

Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
Are thru axles really that big a deal? I've been riding since 1975. Over the years I've ridden really ****ty terrain in standard QR wheels and cantilever brakes with no problems at all.
I think from a futureproof perspective, and where the industry is headed, yes. There are many advantages to the rigidity and stiffness that thru-axles provide as well as wheel alignment with disk brakes. Have you raced cyclocross? After a season on cantis (probably not the best available) I'm committed to a bike with discs.
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Old 07-26-17, 10:50 AM
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I have found a local seller with a 2015 Felt F4x for sale for the same price as the 2018 Giant TCX SLR 2.

F4x - Felt Bicycles

Depending on the condition of the Felt, I think going that way is a no brainer. Anyone disagree?
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Old 07-26-17, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
I have found a local seller with a 2015 Felt F4x for sale for the same price as the 2018 Giant TCX SLR 2.

F4x - Felt Bicycles

Depending on the condition of the Felt, I think going that way is a no brainer. Anyone disagree?
Looks good. Are those wheels tubeless ready?
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Old 07-26-17, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by absoludicrous View Post
I have found a local seller with a 2015 Felt F4x for sale for the same price as the 2018 Giant TCX SLR 2.

F4x - Felt Bicycles

Depending on the condition of the Felt, I think going that way is a no brainer. Anyone disagree?
Depends on what you're wanting. Both have high BBs and fairly racey geometry....although the Giant has a WTF 60mm BB drop?

Ride both. Nice bike jewelry ain't nothing-if you don't like the handling of the frameset it is attached to.
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Old 07-26-17, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Depends on what you're wanting. Both have high BBs and fairly racey geometry....although the Giant has a WTF 60mm BB drop?

Ride both. Nice bike jewelry ain't nothing-if you don't like the handling of the frameset it is attached to.
Looking for a racier bike for CX season. But yes, the plan is to get out and test them.
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Old 07-26-17, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by shoota View Post
Looks good. Are those wheels tubeless ready?
They are not. The felt also comes with mech brakes. Those are two negotiables that I'd be giving up in lieu of a better overall groupset and, dare I say, MUCH better frameset. Wheels could be upgraded at some point.
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