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Last minute indecision about bike purchase

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Last minute indecision about bike purchase

Old 10-18-23, 06:39 AM
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Last minute indecision about bike purchase

Hey there,

I am about to commit to a Croix de Fer 30 (plum), overall it's roughly near what I want for a bike. But been reading a lot of comments about the handling being too sluggish/heavy and that's making me feel hesitant because I was looking to ocasionally do some faster rides.

Other choices I've considered are Jamis renegade s3, kona rove LTD, bombtrack hook EXT, and midnight special.
But due to availability constraints / price gaps I ended up choosing the croix de fer.

Would love to hear some thoughts. Is it worth extending the search?
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Old 10-18-23, 07:43 AM
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A gravel/loaded touring bike is sluggish and heavy? That's as shocking as a longshoreman (probably) doesn't look good in a bikini, i.e., not at all.

Have you been able to test ride one? If possible, try to do it. Then you can make up your own mind. If you like it, buy it, ride it, and stop reading online reviews.

OTOH, if you're looking for a bike for day rides on chipseal at worst, you'd probably be happier with something else.
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Old 10-18-23, 08:04 AM
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I have never done a faster ride where I need fast twitchy steering. Handling that feels sluggish/heavy has nothing to do with a bike actually being sluggish/heavy. Sluggish/heavy handling is simply geometry based- front end and rear end. Both are addressed below.
- The XL size has a 72 degree head tube angle and 50mm of fork offset. With 32mm tires, that is 60mm of trail, which is hardly sluggish. With 43mm tires, thats 64mm of trail which is still not sluggish.
- The XL wheelbase is 1063mm which is on the longer side of things, but its hardly so long that its a crazy number that should lead to a sluggish feeling when riding.
- Somehow, Genesis' website doesnt list chainstay length. 1- thats atrocious. 2- based on pictures, the chainstay doesnt look longer than 440mm and so it probably isnt some odd geometry that makes the bike feel sluggish.


Thoughts-
- I dont know the total weight of the bike, but that can definitely influence if a bike feels sluggish/heavy...obviously.
- A steel disc fork is likely pretty beefy, for what thats worth.
- The frame is 725 tubing, but that doesnt mean much without details on which tubes within the 725 product range were used. They can be .7/.4/.7 or .8/.5/.8, for example. A production frame will often use the most conservative(thickest) butted tubes in a product's lineup.
- Those tires should be replaced quickly. High quality fast rolling tires can transform a bike for not much money($80-100usd).
- The Kona Rove LTD has a higher trail number and longer wheelbase(XL size). That typically doesnt lead to a bike feeling lighter or quicker.
- The Jamis Renegade S3 has an identical wheelbase and a lower trail number compared to the Genesis CDF. That means a slightly lighter/twitchier feeling for steering. Slightly. The spec is different- 10sp instead of 11sp and hydraulic brakes instead of cable.
- Bombtrack Hook EXT has a frame weight that is just straight up heavy. Its like 2825g for the XL frame, and the fork weighs 600g.




Consider a Fairlight Secan frame. It will be more expensive, but the geometry lends itself to feeling quicker. I have one in the largest size, 61T, and the frame weighs about 500g less than the Bombtrack frame. Fork weighs less too. Its still 853 steel and is quite frankly overbuilt in order to pass fatigue testing, yet it manages to be a feather compared to that Bombtrack pig.
I bought it because adjusted for tire size, it has frame geometry that most closely mimics my main road bike geometry.
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Old 10-18-23, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
A gravel/loaded touring bike is sluggish and heavy? That's as shocking as a longshoreman (probably) doesn't look good in a bikini, i.e., not at all.


Have you been able to test ride one? If possible, try to do it. Then you can make up your own mind. If you like it, buy it, ride it, and stop reading online reviews.


OTOH, if you're looking for a bike for day rides on chipseal at worst, you'd probably be happier with something else.

yeah it's far from ideal relying on online reviews, but it's what I have. will have to travel abroad to pick it up.


Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I have never done a faster ride where I need fast twitchy steering. Handling that feels sluggish/heavy has nothing to do with a bike actually being sluggish/heavy. Sluggish/heavy handling is simply geometry based- front end and rear end. Both are addressed below.

- The XL size has a 72 degree head tube angle and 50mm of fork offset. With 32mm tires, that is 60mm of trail, which is hardly sluggish. With 43mm tires, thats 64mm of trail which is still not sluggish.

- The XL wheelbase is 1063mm which is on the longer side of things, but its hardly so long that its a crazy number that should lead to a sluggish feeling when riding.

- Somehow, Genesis' website doesnt list chainstay length. 1- thats atrocious. 2- based on pictures, the chainstay doesnt look longer than 440mm and so it probably isnt some odd geometry that makes the bike feel sluggish.



Thoughts-

- I dont know the total weight of the bike, but that can definitely influence if a bike feels sluggish/heavy...obviously.

- A steel disc fork is likely pretty beefy, for what thats worth.

- The frame is 725 tubing, but that doesnt mean much without details on which tubes within the 725 product range were used. They can be .7/.4/.7 or .8/.5/.8, for example. A production frame will often use the most conservative(thickest) butted tubes in a product's lineup.

- Those tires should be replaced quickly. High quality fast rolling tires can transform a bike for not much money($80-100usd).

- The Kona Rove LTD has a higher trail number and longer wheelbase(XL size). That typically doesnt lead to a bike feeling lighter or quicker.

- The Jamis Renegade S3 has an identical wheelbase and a lower trail number compared to the Genesis CDF. That means a slightly lighter/twitchier feeling for steering. Slightly. The spec is different- 10sp instead of 11sp and hydraulic brakes instead of cable.

- Bombtrack Hook EXT has a frame weight that is just straight up heavy. Its like 2825g for the XL frame, and the fork weighs 600g.





Consider a Fairlight Secan frame. It will be more expensive, but the geometry lends itself to feeling quicker. I have one in the largest size, 61T, and the frame weighs about 500g less than the Bombtrack frame. Fork weighs less too. Its still 853 steel and is quite frankly overbuilt in order to pass fatigue testing, yet it manages to be a feather compared to that Bombtrack pig.

I bought it because adjusted for tire size, it has frame geometry that most closely mimics my main road bike geometry.

thank you, this was a helpful reply.

specsheet says 11.28kg for M size, which seems fairly reasonable to me. the fork is probably very heavy, but should be able to swap to carbon in the future, if needed.
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Old 10-18-23, 10:43 AM
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Maybe buy second set of wheels with 28-32mm road tires and use those when you want to do fast rides.
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Old 10-20-23, 12:44 PM
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I have an older model Croix de Fer, and it's a solid bike. It's made to be stable for long distances - it matches the geometry of a 'sport tourer', so slightly slacker and longer wheelbase than a dedicated roadie.

The tubes aren't pig-iron like a Surly, but they're sturdy enough to throw panniers on without it becoming a noodle. The OEM wheels are kinda piggy, especially with tubes. And, the fork is quite heavy, since it's fully steel, and made for panniers.

I like Jv's take about spare wheels - getting some light and racy rims with tubeless will give it a lot of pep. And, if you only see yourself using anything cages or water bottles on the fork, then a carbon replacement will easily take off a pound, maybe two, and make the steering much sharper.
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Old 10-20-23, 01:53 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I have never done a faster ride where I need fast twitchy steering. Handling that feels sluggish/heavy has nothing to do with a bike actually being sluggish/heavy. Sluggish/heavy handling is simply geometry based- front end and rear end. Both are addressed below.
- The XL size has a 72 degree head tube angle and 50mm of fork offset. With 32mm tires, that is 60mm of trail, which is hardly sluggish. With 43mm tires, thats 64mm of trail which is still not sluggish.
- The XL wheelbase is 1063mm which is on the longer side of things, but its hardly so long that its a crazy number that should lead to a sluggish feeling when riding.
- Somehow, Genesis' website doesnt list chainstay length. 1- thats atrocious. 2- based on pictures, the chainstay doesnt look longer than 440mm and so it probably isnt some odd geometry that makes the bike feel sluggish.


Thoughts-
- I dont know the total weight of the bike, but that can definitely influence if a bike feels sluggish/heavy...obviously.
- A steel disc fork is likely pretty beefy, for what thats worth.
- The frame is 725 tubing, but that doesnt mean much without details on which tubes within the 725 product range were used. They can be .7/.4/.7 or .8/.5/.8, for example. A production frame will often use the most conservative(thickest) butted tubes in a product's lineup.
- Those tires should be replaced quickly. High quality fast rolling tires can transform a bike for not much money($80-100usd).
- The Kona Rove LTD has a higher trail number and longer wheelbase(XL size). That typically doesnt lead to a bike feeling lighter or quicker.
- The Jamis Renegade S3 has an identical wheelbase and a lower trail number compared to the Genesis CDF. That means a slightly lighter/twitchier feeling for steering. Slightly. The spec is different- 10sp instead of 11sp and hydraulic brakes instead of cable.
- Bombtrack Hook EXT has a frame weight that is just straight up heavy. Its like 2825g for the XL frame, and the fork weighs 600g.




Consider a Fairlight Secan frame. It will be more expensive, but the geometry lends itself to feeling quicker. I have one in the largest size, 61T, and the frame weighs about 500g less than the Bombtrack frame. Fork weighs less too. Its still 853 steel and is quite frankly overbuilt in order to pass fatigue testing, yet it manages to be a feather compared to that Bombtrack pig.
I bought it because adjusted for tire size, it has frame geometry that most closely mimics my main road bike geometry.
Agreed, pretty much. Not sure how much the geometry matters, though, if you're not racing. These days, I do between 3 and 4 hours of training miles 5 or 6 days a week and alternate between a road-race-geometry fixed-gear bike and a 1995 Cannondale H300 hybrid with a front rack, panniers, and clamp-on aero bars. If I ride one of the two for a week, the first ride on the other feels offputtingly weird for about the first half-hour, and then it feels fine.
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